Words cannot express the void that has hit Detroit since late 1996. WJZZ, 105.9 AKA Jazz 106 has been the staple of Detroit jazz for forty years. I mean, these cats played virtually everything from Armstrong to Incognito, from Miles Davis to Weather Report to John Zorn. They played hard to find out of print stuff. In spite of the fact that hip-hop had been put on a major pedestal to the point of jazz artists fusing hip hop, jazz-esp. this station-was the cornerstone of jazz in the Metro area. Every other hour on the hour, they’d advertise the latest venues from Chene Park to Bakers Keyboard Lounge, from the Currency Exchange to the Vanity Ballroom (both have been defunct for many years now). In late ’95, smooth jazz (which I think sucks because they try to add some R&B into the mix-even some jazz artists think likewise) had came into play. One well-known rock station WLLZ (Detroit Wheels 98.7) became WVMV-V98.7. It eventually moved WJZZ off the radar. One day en route to work, I had WJZZ on the radio, that same day after work, WJZZ became WCHB, a hip-hop station. Man, I was pissed off to the highest of PISSTIVITY to the frickin’ max, man! I mean we had some hell raising folks ranting about that, and I was one of ’em.
Growing up in the 80s and 90s, that was a staple for me. Yeah, we had the hip-hop, the classic rock, the soft rock (I coulda sworn some of it sounded like makeout music), but when I was in high school, I’d listen to some Metallica, or Living Colour, but at the end of the day when I just wanna unwind and focus, WJZZ was my station. And some of my contemporaries back then was into it as well-esp. those I went to school with.
I hope they bring it back. It’s been almost 20 years now. Nowadays, you can listen to old recorded sessions of the station on YouTube. I have a few recorded sessions myself from the early 90s that I may post myself.
Sweet memories indeed to say the very least.