I got involved with CKUT and Jazz Euphorium at the beginning of 2004, slowly immersing myself in the world of collective college/community radio. It's proven to be a treasure trove of opportunity, as I've had the occasion to interview and meet many fabulous musicians (whom, as a musician myself, I view more as a colleague than as an interview subject), work with fantastically knowledgeable co-hosts, and explore music I'd otherwise never have access to or never think to listen to. The CKUT library is an incredible resource, receiving new releases all the time, as well as having a huge archive of lesser-known recordings.
Case in point: in preparing the AACM feature last night (check the JE blog for the playlist and more information), I went rummaging through the Anthony Braxton collection, which is fairly extensive. I came across a disc entitled Creative Orchestra Music 1976 (Arista). I put it on for preview, and the first track impressed me for its intricate, irreverent melody and rhythmic drive. As we aired the piece, I started leafing through the liner notes, and the motley crew of personnel floored me: a trumpet section made up of Cecil Bridgewater, Kenny Wheeler, Jon Faddis, and Leo Smith; George Lewis on trombone; Dave Holland on bass; Muhal Richard Abrams on piano. Elsewhere on the album, Roscoe Mitchell joins the reed section, Frederick (sic) Rzewski appears on piano (often alongside Muhal) and percussion, and Barry Altschul is behind the drum set. I am definitely going to have to track down this album.
Other discoveries included the Air record 80° Below '82 (Antilles), which John Corbett once trumpeted in his "Vinyl Freak" Down Beat column, and Kahil El'Zabar's Ritual Trio which my co-host Natalie brought along.