Best Jazz DJ?s (2008)

Phil Schaap

Now that The New Yorker (with David Remnick, no less, doing the honors) has paid lengthy homage to Phil Schaap, WKCRs jazz disc jockey/historian extraordinaire, wed like to slip in a few words to herald the other DJs that make this bottom-of-the-FM-dial radio station such a rare and continuous treat. Dont get us wrong: Schaap is greatthough now that we are three decades into his advanced course of on-air bebop history, we wouldnt mind if the lectures were taken down a few notches. By contrast, give a listen if you get a chance to the great Sid Gribetz, host of the Sunday-afternoon Jazz Profiles. Like Schaap, Gribetz has been at the mic for decades and knows his stuff. But he manages to let the music do most of the talking, as per his recent, triumphant five-hour tribute to the brilliant (but rarely celebrated) trumpeter, composer, and arranger, Neil Hefti, or his similar paean this spring to the obscure but magnificent tenor saxman, Ike Quebec. Like Gribetz, fellow WKCR broadcaster Sharif Abdus-Salam is an old hand around Columbia Universitys radio station and has a gracious and mellow approach to the music that lets jazz take flight without hammering home his own vast knowledge.