Hot, Sweet & Jazzy

amclellan, 28th November 2016

The name of the show seems almost onomatopoeic. From The Pulse in Geelong, Hot, Sweet & Jazzy invites listeners to relax deep into the passenger seat, and shine the headlights towards the people behind the players.

We asked one of the hosts Ross Williamson about what goes into the program.

1. Tell me about Hot, Sweet & Jazzy. 

We’re a bunch of music lovers who want to emphasise the fun and enjoyment in music. We’re informative but also light-hearted. Our musical offerings veer off the ‘jazz’ path quite often – as the program’s name suggests – as we present music that deserves a wider audience in Australia. It’s a unique program.

2. The program covers recordings past and present from all over the world. What would you say distinguishes what we hear on Hot, Sweet and Jazzy?

We play a range of music that’s always listenable, but is often unlikely to be featured elsewhere on Australian radio. We’ll showcase neo-swing from current bands like Big Bad Voodoo Daddy or Royal Crown Revue and offer tracks from unknown or forgotten performers of the past such as singer Vaughn De Leath. We’ll present Australian performers who don’t receive much airplay elsewhere, including local and regional performers who often have huge talent. 

Occasionally we interview these musicians – veteran trumpeter Bob Venier (pictured left, with Ruby Page) and rising star Travis Woods for example. We’ll look at early blues, which is sometimes very akin to field hollers, through to modern blues performances. We broadcast jazz recordings by musicians from many other countries such as Hungary, Slovakia, Germany, Italy, Iraq and Spain. Hot, Sweet & Jazzy covers a lot of ground!

3. Who's involved?

We have a team of presenters who bring a range of styles and experiences. John Thompson will happily tell stories of the musicians, including both their achievements and some of the scrapes they got into. Listeners are entertained by Peter Milley’s dry humour, as well as by the knowledge he brings as a current musician and band leader. 

Ken Hirst and Ian Coots’ repartee and enthusiasm are always engaging. Peter Fogarty brings his experience as a singer and arranger to bear on many compositions that seem to resemble others! Ross Williamson is constantly trying to bring Australians quality jazz that’s from some unlikely places.

4. I take it you wouldn't all be into the exact same brand of jazz. Do you play jazz yourselves?

We are just like any music fans – we have our likes, dislikes and quirks. But the team comprises many musicians who know music from the inside. Peter Fogarty sings both folk music and jazz. Ian Coots was a drummer for many years with some of the pioneers and characters of Australian jazz and his colleague Ken Hirst played the bass with jazz and blues bands. 

Trumpeter Peter Milley leads the Cairo Club Orchestra and is also a student of recording techniques and music reproduction methods as they developed: he has the skill and patience to re-master recordings of the 1920s for our enjoyment.  In addition, we’re lucky to have well-known broadcaster John Thompson, a long-time student of jazz and of its roots, and a record collector whose shelves are groaning with the weight of important LPs.

5. How do you find the current jazz scene in Australia and its connection to community radio?

The current Australian jazz scene has great potential as is shown in festivals such as Wangaratta and Noosa. Opportunities can be limited, and we hope that Hot, Sweet & Jazzy’s diverse coverage will embolden people to embrace and enjoy a broader and more diverse range of music. 

From my perspective, it’s an honour and a hoot to present radio programs with this team. Please join us and share the pleasure!

6. What are 5 tracks you feel best represent Hot, Sweet & Jazzy?

Ruby Page & the Joe Roberto Jazztet - Moonglow


Cairo Club Orchestra - My Canary Has Circles Under His Eyes


Big Bad Voodoo Daddy - Why Me?


Michelle Benjamin & Doug McKenzie - Close Enough For Love


Ondrej Stveracek Quartet - Live at Reduta, 21 March, 2016

For CRN subscribers:

  • Hot, Sweet & Jazzy (55'50) is broadcast/distributed by CRN Sundays from 12:04 AEST/EDT, and is available for DDN capture
  • Find HW&J on Facebook here
  • Repeats Tuesdays 03:00 AEDT/EDT.
  • For more information contact CRN staff on 02 9310 2999 or email [email protected]

Not a CRN subscriber, but want to find out more about getting content like this for your station? Read more here.

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Produced at Geelong's The Pulse, this new weekly jazz show is available to stations for local broadcast through the Community Radio Network.


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