Kool Kat of the Week: Scott Glazer Takes Listeners Backstage with Rock, R&B and Country Greats on AM 1690
August 18. 2011Take a visit to the audio green room that is BACKSTAGE ATLANTA (Tues. at 12:30 p.m.; encore Sun. 11:30 a.m.) , and you might find bassist Joe B. Maudlin of Buddy Holly & The Crickets sharing a firsthand account of the heyday of early rock ‘n’ roll. Or ‘80s synth-pop maestro Jan Hammer revealing the story behind how he came to compose the soundtrack to MIAMI VICE. R&B legend Peabo Bryson has stopped by, The Beach Boys‘ Brian Wilson was a recent guest, and country star Emmylou Harris came to sit a spell, as well as pianist Kenny Ascher, who’s collaborated with John Lennon, Barbara Streisand and Paul Williams.
Those Retro music greats, however, never would have found it onto Atlanta’s airwaves if it wasn’t for the existence of an eclectic little radio station called AM 1690 The Voice of the Arts and a visionary local musician named Scott Glazer known for jumping music genres and fascinated with what goes on behind the curtains. ATLRetro recently caught up with Scott, who also deejays The Midday Mix (Mon.-Fri., 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.) on AM 1690, to find out more about the independent radio station and Scott’s passion for preserving music history on the air.
How did you become involved with AM 1690 The Voice of the Arts?
I am a musician. In the fall of ’03, I was playing the annual run of THE 1940s RADIO HOUR at Theatre in the Square in Marietta. One evening after the show I went to a jam session at Darwin’s, a blues joint. There I sang and played with a piano player and spoke and exchanged phone numbers with him. Turns out that he was/is station owner Joe Weber. We touched base a couple of times during the year, and [in] fall of ’04, he called me and asked me to come in to speak with him and [General Manager] Jeff Davis. I was astounded and excited!
When people hear “The Voice of the Arts,” they might think you’re another public radio station playing classical and experimental jazz. They’d be wrong, right?
First off, they’d be wrong in thinking that we are “public radio.” No National Endowment for the Arts funds come our way. Led by noted industry veteran and my personal hero Jeff Davis, our advertising sales staff is #1 and hustles like hell! As far as classical and experimental music, well, you’ll get some of everything on AM1690. We play music that we are passionate about. Most of it is music that you won’t hear on the big megabucks media conglomerates. How can there not be George Jones, Emmylou or Loretta on country radio? Or Chuck Berry, The Olympics, Percy Mayfield, Ruth Brown, Patsy Cline or a litany of other American greats on the air?
In a world of commercial and talk radio, we offer a hopefully thoughtful alternative by seeking music—and spoken word—through considering the scene in a broad scope—indie, local, world. The station reflects the spirit and guiding vision of Joe Weber. Independent radio is a beautiful thing.
You’ve said the reason you do BACKSTAGE ATLANTA is to explore aspects of music that those outside of the business might never experience. What do you mean by that and what are a few examples?
The vagaries and the delights of performing, the creative process, the nuts and bolts and grind of the road. Surprises along the way, chemistry between artists, the sometimes competitive aspect of their artistry. These are things only someone in the middle of it can reflect upon.
I understand you have a wish list of guests? How do you put that together, and what criteria get a potential guest on it?
I’ve been thinking about an older generation of musicians. I enjoy speaking with folks, musicians especially, who have created their own distinctive voice in music. As well, it’s important to me to record the thoughts of folks who are getting on in years—pioneers whose work stands up and sounds as good today as it did when it was recorded maybe 50 years ago. As time flies by, we’ve seen the passing of folks who seemed to be with us on air just yesterday. Solomon Burke, Jack Lalanne. I want to hear about their experiences, creativity, joys and hardships.
I’m sure it’s hard to pick favorite guests, but can you share a few anecdotes about memorable shows. Let’s start with who was the most surprising guest either in terms of revealing something unexpected or in terms of their personality?
Had a quick interview this month with Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys before his August 3 performance at Chastain Park. He lived up to his reputation as a “cryptic” interview. But did offer some insight into his genius. That said, he was revealing in another sort of way; his manner reflecting his tumultuous personal experience.
Who did you think you’d never get on the show, and how did you land him/her?
Emmylou [Harris] took about a year, but she was an amazing guest. She visited us in the studio and spent an hour and a half live on the air with me and her former Hot Band music director, prolific bassist, producer extraordinaire and Atlanta native, Emory Gordy, Jr. I heard that she wanted to come back before her concert this summer at the Atlanta Botanical Garden but had her Mom with her and couldn’t work it out.
Who would you love to talk to talk to in the future?
This week we ran an interview with drumming legend Bernard Purdie, who has been all over music—Aretha, Steely Dan, King Curtis. Right now I’m working toward a conversation with sax legend Sonny Rollins. I saw Atlanta native Gladys Knight‘s great, down home show in Vegas this summer. I’ve always loved her music and would very much like to chat with her.
You’re also an accomplished bassist. What are some bands you’ve played with which readers may know, who are you playing with now, and where can we see you perform live in the near future?
I’ve been around the world playing and singing with various groups including Grammy Award-winning guitarist Earl Klugh and others. In Atlanta, I worked with Atlanta’s Donnie McCormick in the ’80s. I play occasionally with the Columbus [GA] Symphony and various theater and cabaret groups. I enjoy arranging, playing bass and singing for my own group, The MOJO DOJO. The band includes two horns and young bloods alongside veterans. When we’re onstage all is well in the world—or at least on stage! Incidentally, we’ll be at Blind Willie’s on Wed. August 24 playing some great stuff; ‘50s R&B, blues, jazz and Southern soul.
Ten to Look for in 2011: Scott Glazer
February 14, 2011 By Aurek Field
Writer Susanne Katz has spent the last few months interviewing and photographing some of the most busy and innovative members of Atlanta’s Jewish community and over the next two weeks, we will unveil a new personality profile.
The list is made up of men and women, of differing backgrounds, with unique jobs, hobbies or organizations. They are as unique individually as they are collectively, so stay tuned each day to see who is on the list. Enjoy! – AtlantaJewishNews.com
To Scott Glazer, music is all a matter of taste. This on-air host talks about and plays music on AM1690, The Voice of the Arts. “We are multi-dimensional and play all kinds of music,” Glazer explained. “We play the known and ‘deeper tracks.’ I give my listeners an introduction and then try to get out of the way.”
This bassist/vocalist, band leader, side man and teacher met Joe Weber at a jam session in 2004. “Joe was playing piano. I was playing bass. In the fall of 2004, Joe called me in to talk about joining the station.” Glazer, who currently hosts Monday through Friday 11 am to 2 pm, will release a new CD this year; the first under his own name.
“It’s unusual these days for an AM station to play music,” said Glazer. “Even though when we were kids we all had AM radios to our ears listening to music. Today, most people expect AM to present talk radio. We are independent and knowledgeable and we don’t follow a specific format. Unlike many mainstream radio stations, we are not controlled by a mega-corporation. The focus is artistic rather than commercial. Along with vintage sounds, we play music by great new groups coming out today; many that will never be heard on commercial radio.”
Glazer creates his playlist from the station library and his own collection, gleened from stores, the internet and fellow enthusiasts. “The best things about my job are the music and the listeners. And I get to call up and interview my musical heroes.
It used to be that people would get together in a room to make music. It was organic. I like to listen to and play music from that era. As well, listeners would experience live music and get deep into certain genres.”
Glazer and band members recently accompanied musicologist Yale Strom on a klezmer demonstration/lecture/concert before an enthusiastic audience as part of the 2010 Atlanta Jewish Book Festival. “This is the music of the Ashkenazi,” Glazer explained. “Influenced by folk, gypsy and European traditions and based on melodies and modes from the synagogue. Klezmer was brought to the United States beginning in the late 1800’s. It has experienced a revival that speaks to our Jewish culture and identity. The music we played at the MJCCA event was historically significant. It was written but never recorded, by one of America’s first and most important klezmorim, Dave Tarras. It had never before been played in the South.”
“I am having fun and absolutely entertaining myself when I play music on the radio. I like the pulse and the groove of the music,” said Glazer in a recent interview. “I would describe what I play as listenable music…enjoyable but not so intellectual that it’s not accessible. It’s all about the sound and the listener’s experience. We know the nuts and bolts of music and we play the broad spectrum. If you hear something now that’s not your cup of tea, just wait a few minutes and you’ll hear something completely different. ”
Glazer considers it the greatest compliment when a listener says, “You sound like you are talking to me.”
Kool Kat of the Week: Scott Glazer Takes Listeners Backstage with Rock, R&B and Country Greats on AM 1690
Posted on August 18, 2011 by Anya99
Music Review: Klugh takes audience on a smooth jazz ride
Saturday, May 14, 2005
By Rick Nowlin, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Thursday was smooth jazz night at the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild. I mean that literally, by the way.
Acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh, bringing bassist Scott Glazer and drummer Yonrico Scott along for the ride, is certainly not the type to bash you over the head with sheer sound.
Klugh, largely eschewing the pop-oriented material that has endeared him to contemporary jazz fans since the late 1970s, instead romped through a 17-tune set comprising mostly standards and heavy on romance -- "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes," "All the Things You Are," "The Girl From Ipanema," a solo rendition of "Love Theme From 'Spartacus.' "
Thankfully, no one became self-indulgent, as each selection lasted on about five minutes on the average. You didn't really have time to be bored.
The one minus about the concert was that it at times was hard to hear Klugh clearly over the rest of the band. Of course, that may have had something to do with my being seated directly in front of the drummer.
But performing in an all-acoustic setting does have its advantages. Klugh's pickup malfunctioned during the opening "Autumn Leaves," so his sidemen simply brought their respective volumes down so that the leader could still be heard. (Try that with an electric guitar!)
I was especially impressed with drummer Scott's restrained performance throughout because it's occasionally tempting simply to "do your thing." In particular, his solo on "Road Song" stayed within the character of the show.
As for other material, "Heart String," one of only three originals Klugh performed, certainly tugged at mine. Klugh paid homage to a couple of local legends with "Poinciana," of course popularized by Ahmad Jamal, and Stanley Turrentine's "Sugar" and finished off with poignant solo renditions of "Like a Lover" and "Angelina," the latter the first tune he ever recorded as a leader.
I was never much into Earl Klugh. He's an undeniably talented guitarist, but his recordings always seemed too popish and never caught my attention. When it was announced that he would close out this year's Manchester Craftsman's guild season with a rare run of Trio shows I was intrigued, but not nessescarily overwhelmed. Afterall, this season included trio sets by Jim Hall, Monty Alexander and Ahmad Jamal so Klugh would have to play well above my expectations to even warrant notice with those folks. The good news is that Klugh did play well above my expectations and, while he isn't quite in the same realm as Jamal and Hall creatively, he was excellent in the trio setting, so much so, that I wish I could get my hands on tickets for one of the final shows tonight and tomorrow afternoon, which, as usual are sold out.
Leaning almost exclusively on standards, Klugh, bassist Scott Glazer and drummer Yonrico Scott were incredibly in sync, playing as one. So much so that when Klugh's amp cut out mid song his rhythm section dropped the volume so quickly and smoothly that it seemed like part of the act until the guitar tech came out and adjusted the guitarist's cordless transmittor. The MCG's acoustically perfect sound allowed Klugh to continue playing his acoustic guitar without missing a note. Klugh's finger picking style was both fluid and filled with emotion. I honestly would have never known from his recordings I've heard that he was capable of what he shown here. His interplay with Scott was especially effective. Scott, who is also the drummer for Derek Trucks' Band plays every square inch of his kit and can use the brushes to great effect as well as pounding the skins when the situation calls for that. Scott Glazer played the right runs and fills and injected the proceedings with an appropriate bluesy feel. Many artists release live recordings from the MCG, here's to hoping that the tapes are rolling this weekend.
August 14, 2003
BRINGING ALL THAT JAZZ TO BUFORD: Scott Glazer
Rendezvous at the Mojo Dojo
37 Main Street brings jazz and more to Buford
by Bryan Powell, Creative Loafing - Atlanta
Don't look now, but -- for one night a week, at least -- jazz has come to Buford.
It's a Thursday night in downtown Buford. Main Street is only a few minutes from the Mall of Georgia and the hubbub of I-85 and I-985, but at first glance, it looks like it could be 50 years in the past. Purposefully, no doubt, Buford's main stem is a once-upon-a-time-warp bubble of small-town nostalgia.
It's in this setting, at a tapas restaurant named 37 Main Street (the exact address is 37 E. Main St.) that some very fine jazz is taking place. The band, dubbed Mojo Dojo, is a rotating cast of Atlanta's finest, under the direction of upright bassist Scott Glazer. On this night, tenor saxophonist Sam Skelton, alto saxophonist Tony Carrere, keyboardist Randy Hoexter, drummer Keith Runfola and guest vocalist Audrey Shakir join Glazer. The performance has a loose, spontaneous air as the band romps through such standards as "Cherokee" and "Yardbird Suite" and lesser-known tunes such as the Duke Ellington/Don George composition, "Tulip or Turnip."
On a typical night, Glazer handles most of the vocals himself, but tonight he's added Shakir to the bill. She's fully up to the role of jazz chanteuse, whether it's scatting over a blues improvisation or skillfully wringing every drop of nuance from the Sarah Vaughan ballad, "If You Could See Me Now."
The Mojo Dojo musicians are quite plainly enjoying themselves. "Some of the nights have been really good experiments," Glazer says. "One night we had Bill Hatcher on six-string bass, myself on upright bass, Keith on drums and Randy Honea on guitar. It was a combination I wouldn't have been able to put on the bandstand in most places."
A mojo, for those not up on voodoo lore, is a magic charm designed to bring power and success to its holder -- usually, but not always, in sexual relations. Dojo is a Japanese term which, at its most basic, describes a martial arts training facility. "However, dojo embraces other concepts as well," says Glazer, "including a sense of place, learning, community, respect for the art. I approach the gig in this spirit."
Players vary from weekly, Glazer explains. Other participants have included pianist Cody Stine (who's there most weeks); trumpeter Gordon Vernick, director of jazz studies at Georgia State; trumpeter Joe Grandsen; and drummers Clay Hulet, Justin Varnes, Lawrence Jennings, Matt Turnure and Phil Smith.
Opened in May, 37 Main Street is a nonsmoking venue, open Tuesday through Saturday, with music each night. The Tuesday and Wednesday offerings vary; Fridays and Saturdays are devoted to flamenco music, of all things, which has been very well-received. On Fridays, guitarist Rouzbeh (pronounced ROOS-bah) Hosmandi performs solo; on Saturdays, guitarist Sasha performs with two percussionists. They don't perform as background music. "We opened it to be a music venue," Attaway explains.
Glazer, an Atlanta native, is glad they did, and pleasantly surprised at the opportunity to plant the jazz flag in Buford.
"One of the best musical experiences of my life is to have this weekly opportunity to not only play, but to watch these guys play," Glazer says. "I'm as big a fan of the musicians in this town as anybody, so at the same time we're doing our thing, I'm happy to be listening to them and honored to be up on the bandstand and do this thing every week."