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Shazam, Rodeo, and Jazz

Back in the mid 80s, I was listening (as usual) to The Jazz Show by David Sanborn on an east coast radio station. A non-stop stream of great music, so I started taping the show in case I missed it. One day, I taped a show which seemed to be the pinnacle of all other broadcasts: every song had me tingling with delight.

Then a saxophone piece aired and it was off the hook. Of course, it was the only song David Sanborn didn’t announce at the beginning or end and they went to commercial. Immediately, I called the station to find out what it was but couldn’t get through. That Monday I called the station’s office to speak to the programme director. He couldn’t identify it, but said he’d ask David and get back to me. By the time he reached out, David had left the country on tour. Already a Sanborn fan with most of his CDs, I purchased the remainder of them and listened to each one, assuming he must have recorded the piece. The song wasn’t on any of them. I let it go for a while, listening to my now aging cassette when I needed a fix.

I wrote and called Sanborn’s agents. They listened to the song over the phone but couldn’t identify it, but said David would probably know it. I copied the cassette and mailed it. As you can guess, lost in the shuffle while David took off on yet another tour. I started contacting other jazz radio shows and playing it for the hosts. They loved it, but had no clue regarding the artist or song.

By this time, we were in the late 1990s or early 2000s. Sanborn was coming to Jazz Alley, so I planned to bring my cassette so he could listen. It was crowded and we had a chance to chat as he signed his latest CD, but I decided to send it to Jazz Alley and ask them to give it to David. No word back. He came again this past weekend, but I couldn’t find my old cassette tape in time and had to catch the ferry.

Sunday evening, I located it and played it while my spouse opened Shazam on his iPhone. When the name and artist immediately popped up, I ran down to my home office to purchase it on iTunes, then listened to it repeatedly. Heaven!

Shortly thereafter, I sent an email to close friends who enjoyed jazz, and shared my story and the music with them. Now I share both with all of you, as much for the story and its great ending as the music itself (Rodeo by Kirk Whalum).

Now for Shazam

What is it? If you don’t already know, it’s a technology launched nine years ago which enables music lovers to identify a tune from their mobile phone. Used by more than 50 million people in over 150 countries, it is the world’s leading mobile music discovery provider. It supports iOS (iPhone and iPod touch), Android, BlackBerry, BREW, J2ME, Symbian and Windows Phone. If you don’t already have it, download it today. And don’t forget to enjoy “Rodeo”.

In closing, I’m one of those people who believe it’s not just about the technology. This time, it was precisely this which brought a pleasant ending to a twenty-five year quest (ahem, obsession).


Doña Keating is President and CEO of Professional Options,
a prominent innovator in the policy and consulting industry which
provides solutions for businesses, organizations and governmental agencies. She is also a principal in K2 Strategic Solutions, a partnership between Professional Options and Keating Consulting Service which has a combined 50 year history of providing technology and
management consulting. Keating is also past president of West Sound Technology Association (WSTA).

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