March 27, 2015
1. A peculiar context
In the summer of 2014 I worked for a couple of months as a waiter/bartender in a coffee shop / bar / restaurant thing, on an island from Greece, by the name of Kos. During daytime there wasn't much activity around the terrace (that I was supposed to take care of). Very few customers were passing by, asking for all sorts of touristic information and even fewer were stopping on the terrace to have a drink or to grab something to eat, to the dismay of my boss.
Every day was hot like hell. And there were a lot of cats, everywhere. Real cats. During the day there was an online radio station playing all kinds of lounge and smooth jazz. For a while, this seemed nice and relaxing, fitting perfectly with the hot weather and a cold beer or a nice mojito. But after repeatedly listening only to this kind of music, after less than two weeks I already hated it. But there was not really much to hate on that island where ancient physician Hippocrates was born.
The online radio stations aggregator called Tuna Radio was a non-stop solution to almost any kind of music played on that terrace. Search Jazz; search between fusion & world (then search between acid jazz, afro-beat, afro-cuban jazz, fusion, jazz-funk, jazz-rock, latin jazz, smooth jazz, soul-jazz); or search inside the Modern Jazz section (on contemporary jazz, free improv, free jazz, future jazz, modal, post bop, space-age); or finally, search in the Traditional jazz section (on big band, bop, cool jazz, dixieland, easy listening, hard bop, ragtime, swing).
Even if the options of hearing music were enormous, she was permanently playing from easy listening or cool jazz; one could imagine classic stuff from Sinatra, Henry Mancini, Dean Martin, Diana Krall, Nat King Cole, Tony Bennet, Earl Klugh, Paul Mauriat, Wes Montgomery, Kenny Burrell, Oscar Peterson, Houston Person. There was also Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, Quincy Jones. I could rarely find some valuable couple of hours when my boss would go out of the café and I could play some eclectic radio station, or disco, funk, library psych funk or something a little bit more weird. But usually it was all about Martini in the morning, The Jazz Groove, The Lounge Sound and other stations I can’t really remember right now. On the terrace there was an active monitor / speaker, hidden in the branches of a big tree.
And all this led me to an incredible person that I will introduce you to in the following.
“I don't know what the fuck music journalism is. I was a reporter and I still am. Reporters in my time wrote about the Bruckner Expressway, the courts, police, and schools. There was no bag other than that of writer/reporter. ”