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WXDU, as a member of the Duke University Union, exists to inform, educate, and entertain both the students of Duke University and the surrounding community of Durham through quality progressive alternative radio programming. WXDU seeks to give its staff the freedom to pursue their personal aesthetic within the framework of a cohesive format. WXDU aims to provide the listener with an alternative viewpoint untainted by commercial interests. WXDU resolves to maintain good relations with the music industry without compromising its integrity and nationally recognized commitment to quality programming. WXDU resolves to remain a laboratory where all members are free to make and learn from their mistakes.

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Christmas Day 2011 "Out There a Minute" Jazz Program on WXDU 88.7 FM

“Out There a Minute” on Christmas Day will re-present highlights, favorites, and fits from eleven of the jazz program’s dates in 2011. The playlist will include performances and music from The; David Axelrod; Billy Bang; Brooklyn Funk Essentials; Oscar Brown, Jr.; Edd “Kookie” Byrnes; The Claudia Quintet; Marty Grosz; Coleman Hawkins; Iswhat?!; Charles Mingus; Aaron Neville; New York Ska-Jazz Ensemble; Junko Onishi; The Charlie Parker Remix Project; Kenneth Patchen; Dexter Rombweber & The New Romans; Pharoah Sanders; John Scofield; Shamalamacord; Sun Ra; Tortoise; and Warren Zevon. Marc Ribot will have the sign-off song. 

Program time is 10:00 a.m. - noon.

I hope you will tune in, and I hope you will hear something that interests you.

Micheal Akutagawa


"You Talkin' to Me?!"

 10/23/2011 “Out There a Minute” Jazz Program

As it happens, every song title (save one) on this week’s “Out There a Minute” jazz program begins with the word “You”. The artists and performers, however, are a more diverse bunch, mostly drawn from WXDU’s extensive jazz library. The program will feature music and performances by Louis Armstrong; Pearl Bailey; Elvis Costello and Marian MacPartland; Von Freeman and Frank Catalano; Essence All Stars; Benny Green; Bunky Green; Marty Grosz; Leroy Holmes; Harry James; Rahassan Roland Kirk; Frank Lowe; Buddy Morrow; Ken Nordine; The Bad Plus; Sex Mob; Pharoah Sanders; John Scofield and Aaron Neville; Jimmy Smith; Sun Ra; Fats Waller; Billy Ward & The Dominoes; Dick Wellstood; and John Zorn. Phil Wilson will have the sign-off song--which does not begin with “You”.

Program time is Sunday, 10 a.m. - noon. I hope you will tune in, and I hope you will hear something that interests you.


WXDU’s “Out There a Minute” Jazz Program on 7/17/2011 to Feature the Music of Tenor Saxophonist Pharoah Sanders

 The playlist for WXDU’s “Out There a Minute” Jazz Program on Sunday 7/17/2011 will feature the music of Pharoah Sanders, who, according to Allmusic.com., “possesses one of the most distinctive tenor saxophone sounds in jazz”. 


Jazz critic Stanley Crouch places Sanders in the triumvirate of tenor saxophonists (along with Archie Shepp and Albert Ayler) who formed the second wing of the jazz vanguard.  And, according to Ashley Kahn (in the liner notes to the 2006 reissue of Pharoah Sanders:  The Impulse Story), Ayler once dubbed Sanders the “son” of the holy avant-garde trinity, with Coltrane as the “father” and Ayler, himself, as the “holy ghost”. 


Sanders worked with many of the jazz “avant garde” at the time, including Don Cherry and Sun Ra (who suggested Sanders change his name from “Farrell” to “Pharoah”), as well as with John Coltrane.  In fact, Sanders began working with Coltrane in 1964 and he continued working with him until Coltrane’s death in 1967.



Mingus Mingus Mingus! on WXDU’s “Out There a Minute” Jazz Program for 7/3/2011

 Mingus Mingus Mingus! on WXDU’s “Out There a Minute” Jazz Program for 7/3/2011


The playlist for WXDU’s “Out There a Minute” Jazz Program on Sunday 7/3/2011 will be devoted to compositions by Charles Mingus.  


His work includes several well-known jazz standards, music for film (e.g., for John Cassavete’s Shadows), music to accompany spoken word/poetry (e.g., Weary Blues, with Langston Hughes), pieces designed for collective improvisation, as well as what George Kanzler, in his liner notes to the Mingus album, Let My Children Hear Music, describes as “ambitious attempts to build ‘tall buildings’ in jazz employing large ensembles and extended compositional structures”.  After MIngus’s death, The New Yorker wrote of him: "For sheer melodic and rhythmic and structural originality, his compositions may equal anything written in western music in the twentieth century” (mingusmingusmingus.com,).  Mingus’s music defies easy categorization, but it includes elements of traditional jazz, hard bop, free jazz, black gospel music, and classical music.     



Program for "Out There a Minute" Jazz Show on Sunday 5/8 (10 a.m. - noon) is "Be-Bop Spoken Here"

The playlist for the “Out There a Minute” jazz program on Sunday 5/8, 10 a.m. until noon, will explore the conjunction of jazz and poetry, a concept that goes back to the mid-1950s.  According to Leonard Feather’s liner notes for the album, Weary Blues with Langston Hughes, Charles Mingus and Leonard Feather (Verve, 1990), “Possibly there were earlier examples, but it was not until then that pure jazz, belatedly accepted by the intelligentsia as a legitimate art form, was recognized in turn by the poets.”The program is entitled “Be-Bop Spoken Here” because much of the jazz background or accompaniment happened to be “be-bop” jazz, and because much of the spoken word and lingo of the times also consciously tried to reflect the “language” of jazz.  



"Out There A Minute" on Sunday 4/17, 10 a.m. - noon

The playlist for the “Out There a Minute” jazz program on Sunday 4/17, 10 a.m. until noon, will take as its point of departure the song “Woke Up This Morning”, from the 1997 album, Exile on Cold Harbour Lane, by Alabama 3.  You may have heard an abbreviated version as the theme song for the popular drama series “The Sopranos”.


The spoken word opening of the song (excised from the version used for “The Sopranos”) includes references to nearly a dozen jazz or blues composers, musicians or singers:  Charles Mingus and the album Pithecanthropus Erectus; J. R. Monterose; Jackie McLean; Eric Dolphy; John Coltrane; Duke Ellington; Lester Young; Billie Holiday; Ella Fitzgerald; Jimmy Reed; Muddy Waters; and Howlin’ Wolf.