The week’s best musical moments happen on your radio overnight.
Find someone who digs Bob Parlocha, the guy playing jazz records at night on 90.7 WNCU, and it’s like finding someone who shares the same favorite author or whiskey. Instant bond.
We are rich in university radio stations, but N.C. Central’s has one of the best jazz formats in the Southeast.
Bob Parlocha is the station’s night owl, spinning records from his perch near San Francisco (he’s flown in via satellite). He says he hopes to die at the console.
What makes him special? Taste, music knowledge, and humble on-air personality that is a palate-cleanser to the sometimes chaotic music he plays.
Bob’s yen for the post-bop stuff from the likes of Chick Corea, Bobby Hutcherson, Betty Carter – for furious modern big-bands, and enough Miles and Trane to keep the whole thing on its keel – makes WNCU the place to go for the best music you’ll never hear otherwise.
I recently caught up with a guy born here, a jazz guitarist in town from Wilmington to play a Carrboro gig. He said the best thing for him about coming here was the scratchy signal clearing as the highway took him closer and hearing Bob’s voice through the static, because that’s where he is every night.
When: Monday-Saturday, overnight
Where: FM 90.7 WNCU
Correspondent Tom Hartwell