discover jazz – day 4

JazzLab in the house: monitoring the live streaming thanks to the sweet setup created by Radiator engineer Brian Bittman

A working day. Unfortunately that means not getting out to experience nearly as much of the Discover Jazz Festival as I would like, along with an early bedtime for an early today tomorrow.

Being a working MONday, however, today also included the weekly afternoon stopover at The Radiator, and right now that means being dropped into the thick of JazzLab! (World of Music is on hiatus for one more week – we’ll be back next Monday 3-5pm with the usual blend of jazz, blues, roots and grooves.)

For the last few years The Radiator, 105.9FM has partnered with the Jazz Fest to live stream and broadcast the JazzLab action at the Firehouse Gallery: whatever that may be, at the given time. Over the years that’s meant everything from DJs broadcasting live with passersby on Church Street, to experimental music/dance collaborations on the second floor of the gallery and many spontaneous moments of sheer inspiration and creativity. The point is, you never know until it’s done exactly what it will be.

The idea behind JazzLab is to create an informal community gathering place to channel some of the creative vibe that permeates the town during the Jazz Fest. What happens after that is a happy cocktail of one part planning and vision to three parts blind chance.

This year the JazzLab plan was to do a call-out to local bands to participate in one of three live professional recording sessions to take place during the first full week of the Festival. (That’s today, tomorrow, and Wednesday.) The three bands that made it to the finals are the yoUSAy Placate piano trio, Manual Moon, and the Villanelles. Starting today, the bands began making live multi-track recordings with Ben Colette and Rob O’Dea from The Tank Studios.

For my part, I worked with Firehouse staff and the Radiator’s ace volunteer engineer Brian Bittman to monitor the radio station’s studio connection, make sure it was solid and stayed up and running for the duration of the session. I jumped in to the broadcast stream every so often when there was a pause in the music to ID the station, talk about JazzLab, and do a little station business.

The sounds I heard feeding back from the Firehouse were atmospheric, a moody mix of piano and bass and percussion. It’s not a “concert”, exactly, it’s more a “process” as the retakes happen in real time and blend with spontaneous comments from the live audience, the engineers, and the band themselves. Very interesting listening. I can’t wait to hear what the final mixdown sounds like. The Radiator will get a copy of the master soon, as a matter of fact. and you’ll be able to hear it yourself.

JazzLab streams at and broadcasts live on the Radiator, 105.9FM in Burlington for the next two days, starting at 2pm each day. If you like your music on the raw, organic, REAL end of the spectrum, this is a great way to experience an alternative side to the Jazz Fest. Listen in, or better yet stop by and be part of the action at the Firehouse.

Even if your bedtime is an early one like mine, the 2-6pm timeslot should work out for you.

See you there!

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