All that JAZ

JAZ (real name John Zahl) is a 30 year old episcopal minister by day, DJ by night, that?s based in Charlestown, SC. He is known for his edits of obscure disco tracks that has been released on acclaimed record labels such as Beard Science and Sixty Five. He is also doing a great radio show for Viva Radio and posts quality tunes on super blog Dream Chimney.



How did you get into this whole editing thing?

The editing thing started in Pittsburgh a few years ago. My collection started to fill up with all these half-awesome songs that needed a little help. It seemed at the time (though I was way wrong) that all the best stuff from like 76-84 had already been discovered, but that there were lots of almost good tracks from the same period, with all the magic production and feeling of those magic years, but that were ruined either by a poor bit of song-writing in the midst of a bunch of radness, or else the other way around, tons of terrible songs from that period with great breaks or segments in the midst of a bunch of silliness. By editing stuff, I was able essentially to discover new, overlooked gems from the past, thereby unearthing some excellent music.

My own philosophy is that I'm trying to make "good songs" out of "bad songs with good parts" or "good songs" from "good songs that have bad parts". I've heard people say that the bad parts often make the good parts even better, but I don't think that's necessarily true. I think it's best when the digging (read: obscure finds) and the need for an edit (read: "good song with bad parts" or "bad song with good parts") come together. That way I feel like I've contributed something as a listener. I think editing is about listening and finding, not about creating obviously.



Are you writing your own material as well?

No. I played the drums in a terrible jam band in college and that was enough. We were called Three Way and our peak came when we got to open for Moe. Totally ridiculous to think about! After that, it was time to just shut up and listen, time to educate myself about the great music of the late 70s and early 80s. I'm still pretty deep in that vein now.

Also, I think the "good music" bar has been set really high by our musical forefathers. For example, Daft Punk sounds kind of cool and fun until you hear some of the roller-boogie stuff that Thomas Bangalter?s father, Daniel Vanguarde, made in the late 70s, like the stuff by Who's Who, which is insanely good and blows Daft Punk out of the water. Most anything I could come up with has probably already been done much better, even if I don't know it. That said, I would like to get a Juno, and Korg, and a Moog before I die

Finally, ten records you think we oughta hear?

Ganymed - Future World
Dogs of War - Dogs of War
Supermax - Fly With Me
Zeus - Europium
Laser - Laser
Zig Zag - Zig Zag
Polyrock - Polyrock
That Thing - That Thing
Who's Who - Who's Who
Chas Jankel - Chazablanca
The Z.A.C.K. - Disco Cosmix
Jerry Harrison - The Red and the Black
Black Jack - Hot Passion
Nightlife Unlimited - Just Be Yourself
and all things J. P. Massiera, all things Roxy Music, all things Japan, & all things Madlib .

The Show me on the doll EP is out now on Sixty Five.

Get the record here and visit JAZ at MySpace here

JAZ - Jokin' my way


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