Jazz on the Latin Side

I rarely listen to the radio, but when I do, I usually listen to KKJZ. The music is pretty good, save those awful jazz vocalist songs they play sometimes and the hosts are funny and smart. I was worried when I heard that KKJZ was under new management I got a little worried about the direction the station would take. I had no reason to worry. Even though I miss some of the DJs, I was really worried that José Rizo’s Jazz on the Latin Side show would be relegated to a once a month thing. Already, it sucked that he was only on one day a week. From the article in today’s LA Times, it seems like I wasn’t the only one worried.

Like most employees caught in a change of management, longtime DJ José Rizo worried about his future when a new boss took over earlier this year at L.A.’s only full-time jazz station, KKJZ-FM (88.1). What would it mean for his 17-year run as host of “Jazz on the Latin Side,” a weekly show spotlighting the best in Latin jazz from across the world? Rizo, 50, worried that his program might lose its prime Friday night slot. Then he took a call from the station’s new general manager, Saul Levine.

“I want to shock L.A.,” Rizo remembers his new boss saying.

“How are you going to do that — take my show away?” countered the affable announcer with the mellifluous voice.

“No, I want to have Latin jazz every day, not just once a week,” said Levine.

That’s what I’m talking about it. It’s been pleasant in LA having Jazz on the Latin Side everyday. The music that Rizo shares with the city is one of the best gifts ever. Rizo is not just a DJ. He’s also responsible for the Jazz on the Latin Side All-Stars. They’ve just released a new record, that is really good. And if you’re interested they’ll play that the 17th Annual Jazz at Drew Festival on Oct. 6th,

Now if KKJZ would only bring back Doug Macleod as host of Nothing But the Blues. Don’t get me wrong, Jack Devaney is an okay host, but Macleod not only played better music, he also had great guests; fellow musicians he often toured with. Sean (Shawn?) Highcamper was also a great fill-in host during those times Macleod was on tour. Devaney, just doesn’t have the personality that I associate with the show. Thankfully, Bubba Jackson‘s hosting of the show earlier in the week redeems itself.

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