Coupled with the loss of another smooth jazz station in St. Louis, now Emmis Communications has announced that the new 96.3 HD-3 came to life at 1:15 P.M. on Tuesday, January 5th 2010. The ‘new’ station (if you will) is now filled with artists like Dave Koz, Paul Hardcastle, David Benoit, The Rippingtons and Boney James, as well as many of your usual smooth jazz favorites...all coming together to provide a "Smooth and Sexy" sound. Although I haven’t had a chance to listen to 96.3 HD-3, the press release mentions that the intent is to produce a familiar, but yet a unique sound, that will include some stand-out gems sprinkled throughout the day. Such examples include tracks from staight-ahead jazz atist Miles Davis, or a chilled out groove from Zero 7, or something a little funkier from Deodato. Plus, they also mention plans to expand both the station library as well as the programming.
Here is a synopsis of the new programming:
--"Sunday Morning Tranquility," which will start your Sunday off chilled and relaxing with an eclectic mix of music which will include Enya, Rufus Wainwright, Ottmar Liebert, Eva Cassidy and Nick Drake, among others.
--"The Groove Suite" is an evening program which will air on Friday and Saturday nights. The Groove Suite takes our same, great music and ramps it up a bit to get your energy going. You will hear artists like Down To The Bone, Four80East and Soundscape UK.
--"The Saturday Night Lounge" will wrap up an energetic Saturday night with a chilled out and groovy playlist filled with artists like Zero 7, Air, Moby and Massive Attack. Just perfect for winding down after your Saturday night plans are over with.
--"All-Request Saturday Afternoons" will be an interactive show which will allow the listeners to run the station for a 3-hour period every Saturday. Listeners can e-mail their requests and hear them played on Saturday afternoons.
So now we have a 'smooth jazz' station that offers straight-up jazz, smooth jazz, chill, dance, new age, soft rock - - - now why didn’t they do this before the station got dropped off of the radio dial??? Personally speaking, I think it's a great format, but then again who the hell is going to get the chance to enjoy it when it's only available in the HD graveyard. By the way, if any of you readers desire to check out this type of format - - - check out Jazz FM and Solar Radio (both in the U.K., and both available online.