Happy New Year Jazz Lovers! from Chuy Varela

Jayn Pettingill | January 2nd, 2023

HAPPY NEW YEAR JAZZ LOVERS! As music director, and now co-program director with Chris Cortez, I have always felt that part of our mission at KCSM JAZZ 91 is to reflect the Jazz music that is being created and produced here in the San Francisco Bay Area as well as that from around the jazz world. Since the 1950s with the emergence of such institutions as The Blackhawk and Fantasy Records as well as artists like Dave Brubeck, John Handy, Cal Tjader, Vince Guaraldi, and others, The SF Bay Area has garnered a reputation as an international Jazz center. The emergence of KJAZ Radio in 1959 set a precedent as the voice of straight-ahead jazz that KCSM JAZZ continues to uphold.

Today KCSM JAZZ 91 is a keeper of a dwindling flame of 24/7 all year around Jazz stations on terrestrial radio. The new paradigm for Jazz radio is made up of streaming jazz stations on the internet and podcasts. Unfortunately, what is being lost is the insight of live announcers who bring expertise and educative commentary to their curated playlists carefully culled from the over hundred years of recorded Jazz.

Yet what keeps the wheel turning are the artists who continue to create and produce Jazz recordings that maintain tradition as well as advancing it. But the heart of the scene is the Jazz fan. The listeners who buy the recordings and attend the gigs to support their favorite artists and venues. Without them it’s a bottomless scene with no one to appreciate the art.

As music director I report the spins that KCSM JAZZ 91 DJ’s give to new releases to JAZZWEEK.COM. New releases are added weekly. Here is a list of the most played 2022 new albums at the Bay Area’s Jazz station.
Jesse ‘Chuy’ Varela, KCSM Music Director and Co-Program Director

1. Steve Davis: Bluesthetic (Smoke Sessions)
2. Joey Alexander: Origin (Mack Avenue)
3. Jeremy Pelt: Soundtrack (High Note)
4. Al Foster: Reflections (Smoke Sessions)
5. Tierney Sutton: Paris Sessions 2 (BFM)
6. Steve Turre: Generations (Smoke Sessions)
7. Cyrus Chestnut: My Father’s Hands (HighNote)
8. Catherine Russell: Send For Me (Dot Time Records)
9. T.S. Monk: TS Monk Live – Two Continents One Groove (Storyville)
10. Jazzmeia Horn and her Noble Force: Dear Love (Empress Legacy Records)
11. Larry Vuckovich Trio: Street Scene (Tetrachord Music)
12. Tom Harrell: Oak Tree (High Note)
13. Michael Dease: Best Next Thing (Positone)
14. Samara Joy: Linger Awhile (Verve)
15. Bobby Watson: Back Home In Kansas City (Smoke Sessions)
16. Bill Ortiz: Points of View (Left Angle Records)
17. Conrad Herwig: The Latin Side Of Mingus (Savant)
18. Various Artists: Honoring Pat Martino, Volume 1 (High Note)
19. Grant Stewart 4tet w. Bruce Harris: The Lighting of the Lamps (Cellar Music Group)
20. Arturo Sandoval: Rhythm & Soul (Metajax Entertainment)
21. Antonio Adolfo: Octet and Originals (AAM)
22. Kim Nalley with Houston Person: I Want A Little Boy (Kim Nalley Jazz Productions)
23. Diego Rivera: Mestizo (Positone)
24. Chucho Valdes & Paquito D’Rivera: I Missed You Too! (Sunnyside)
25. Mike Clark & Leon Lee Dorsey & Mike LeDonne: Blues On Top (Jazz Avenue 1 Records)
26. Emmet Cohen: Uptown In Orbit (Mack Avenue)
27. Greg Tardy: Sufficient Grace (WJ3)
28. Rufus Reid: Celebration (Sunnyside)
29. Ronnie Foster: Reboot (Blue Note)
30. Terri Lyne Carrington: New Standards Vol.1 (Candid)
31. Jean Fineberg & Jazzphoria (Pivotal Records)
32. Calvin Keys: Simply Calvin (Life Force Jazz)
33. Deanna Witkowski: Force Of Nature (MCG Jazz)
34. WJ3 All-Stars: My Ship (Night Is Alive)
35. Bobby Broom: Keyed Up (Steele Records)
36. Lynne Arriale Trio: The Lights Are Always On (Challenge Records)
37. Dick Conte: Nuages (Clouds)
38. Carmen Lundy: Fade To Black (Afrasia)
39. Vicki Burns: Lotus Blossom Days (ViBu Jazz)
40. Melissa Aldana: 12 Stars (Blue Note)
41. Houston Person: Reminiscing At Rudy’s (HighNote)
42. Eliane Elias: Quietude (Candid)
43. Redman/Mehldau/McBride/Blade: Long Gone (Nonesuch)
44. Remy Le Boeuf’s Assembly of Shadows: Architecture of Storms (Soundspore)
45. Nicholas Payton: The Couch Sessions (Smoke Sessions)
46. Dmitri Matheny: Cascadia (Origin Records)
47. Brian Lynch & Spheres of Influence: Songbook Vol.2:Dance The Way U Want To (Hollistic MusicWorks)
48. Adam Shulman: Just The Contrafacts (Cellar Music Group)
49. Dee Bell: Love For Sailin’ Over Seas: Then & Now (Laser Records)
50. Tim Lin: Romance In Formosa (LinSanity Music)

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