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The Last Jazzers



How do you create a time capsule? The short answer is - you can't. But for Romantics like me there is a way. Except that "way" hibernated for a long time. My appreciation for configurations, role players, and unsung heroes stemmed from my love of sports. When I was a kid I would cut out boxscores from west coast basketball games and tape them into a scrap book. I was obsessed with statistics, minutes played, offensive rebounds and the personnel. How they fit together to make a "team." Sure there were the stars but it was the accompanist's who seemed more glamorous to me.

The teams that you could find the silver lining in even if they finished 50 games under 500 (winning %) To find beauty in losing a 7-6 game merely because it was a good game and winning seemed almost an afterthought.

This latent "way" continued through my career in college where I was muddled and confounded by the concrete jungle that lay in front of me. However a seed was sprung when a dear friend of mine foisted a copy of Pat Martino's "Desperado" on me. From the image I could see an artist with a slight goatee and a cap who looked awfully serious. What got my attention was that he was playing with Sherman Ferguson, Eddie Green and Tyrone Brown all black cats from Philly. Also on that album was a blind saxophone player named Eric Kloss. Intrinsically I knew I had found a niche. Guys who could play, were ethnically diverse and epitomized humanity; love, knowledge, set backs and chemistry.

Soon the record player came and the Vinyl although my history was lacking.  At first I didn't know what I was searching for but overtime my collection manifested into a collection of the headiest seventies jazz know to me. There was a certain appeal to the albums. The photography of real people playing actual instruments, intellectual types conversing about arrangements, linear notes written as Newspapers of the time, and the overlap of black, white, Chicano, Brazilian, Cuban and Asian. You had woman playing percussion instruments and bass players who were intoxicated with the Afrocentric grooves of Motown and Hotlanta.

Still I could not see the "way."
I graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism in 2000. Even though I had been told I had potential I was too insecure to act on it. My perspectives were limited in scope and in substance. I became a nomad of sorts arriving in Tucson in 2003.

Than last year a good buddy of mine approached me and said; "you know Jerry and I were talking and we both said if we were still young enough to do what we were meant to do would we do it?" The answer was a resounding yes and what they were really doing was showing me "the way."  With the world caving in around us and the bureaucracy killing our souls they were saying; "go do what you were meant to do." Take your passion and your love and your unique perspective and get on the radio.

The station could not have been more perfect for Jake Feinberg. One of the last independent vestiges in Tucson, left of the dial with a staff cobbled together with guts and string cheese.

It started well, a topical show pertinent to the community. Education, Immigration, Public Policy were discussed and vetted. Still after 3 months I felt a void andI said to myself, "I need to do something for my soul. I am not going to have sponsors support my show if my heart is not in it. I had to figure out what it is that I loved. Something that incorporated intimacy, leadership, race, feeling, diversity and collaboration. Then the image of Pat Martino came back to me and I started to look around at my collection and realized I could create my own time capsule. By painting a piece of our cultural heritage through interviews with my jazz heroes. In my mind they were the last generation of jazz.