“Jazz is such a broad term,” DJ Linus writes in an email. “There are so many different sub-genres, some of which had more importance in the past, some of which are very future-oriented, and some of which are almost completely mixed into another genre. So it’s tough, you don’t want to upset some ‘jazz puritans;’ and at the same time you want to keep it fresh.”
DJ Linus’ Sunday morning program The Jazz Hole has a lot to cover. He is spot on when he assigns jazz to the phrase “broad term.” As all jazz fans know, jazz is anything but specific. In today’s jazz circles, musicians and fans of the genre are looking for the perfect blend of tradition and innovation. One wants to listen to the style that pushes the boundaries of musical composition further and further from its influences while at the same time still recognizing the purity of its historic form. It is this balance that DJ Linus specifically sets out to maintain: “Stylistically, I try to vary as much as I can. I mostly play material that’s been recorded within the past ten years, though most of it is brand new! So even if it is something with an ‘old-school’ sound, it is still quite fresh.”
Being a jazz musician himself in New York City, DJ Linus embraces a unique relationship with the style and its players, giving him (and consequently us, as listeners) an inside look at this ongoing evolution. As “part of the New Yorker scene” Linus is exposed to “great artists all the time” giving him an inside edge to “the American jazz scene and much of the European jazz scene as well.” When you listen to The Jazz Hole on BTR, you benefit from this backstage point of view.
Also, because of the nature and values of the genre, it is easy to be exposed to some of the larger acts on BreakThru despite our being a radio station that features independent artists. DJ Linus explains: “Even some big major jazz artists are kinda like ‘independent artists’ and often willing to share their music, which often gives me the chance to play some famous jazz artists on the show. This (hopefully) attracts some listeners, which are now also getting exposed to the smaller artists (and hopefully they like what they hear).”
Jazz is one of those musical terms that just by the mere mention of it, opens the doors to so much opinion. I feel that amongst heavy music fans, “jazz” is one of those things that should not be discussed at dinner right along with politics and religion. Everyone seems to have an opinion about jazz. Regardless of what yours is, DJ Linus will, in some way, try to entertain it. As he tells me, “One of the beautiful things in jazz [is that] none of these ‘sub-genres’ ever really seem to ‘die’. In the end, I try to create a show that hopefully impresses a jazz aficionado, but also somebody who has never considered himself/herself a big fan of the genre.”
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– Kory French