Deep Focus

I have been an on-air host and producer at WKCR 89.9FM in New York since 1985; I started the show Deep Focus in 2008. In each episode listeners join me and my musician-guest on an exploration of rare archival recordings of one of the guest’s favorite artists.

I started Deep Focus partly in response to the artists’ loss of support from the imploding music industry; the show is a big cheerleading section for going out to hear live music (the last reliable source of income for today’s artists). But it’s also a kind of listener’s autobiography for me since there is usually a big overlap between the guest’s favorites and mine, and maybe yours too.

Plans are in the works to make podcasts available for current as well as past episodes. In the mean time, please tune in Monday nights from 6pm to 9pm EDT at 89.9FM in New York or

February 19, 2018

Some musicians seem to emerge fully formed.  It’s as if they just show up doing what they do and reliably keep doing it as long as there is breath.  Others [...]

December 11, 2017

Does the name "Mwandishi" Mean anything to you? How about "Headhunters"? Herbie Hancock is one of our most respected composer/improvisers today but in the [...]

November 13, 2017

The hand and the drum: after the human voice, probably the original musical instrument. But the question tonight on Deep Focus is who has considered its [...]

September 4, 2017

"Whatever you think can’t be done, somebody will come along and do it." Thelonious Monk said those words; Henry Threadgill embodies those words. This [...]

August 7, 2017

I love the conversations that ensue when I invite an artist to appear on Deep Focus. Drummer/conceptualist William Hooker is a human musical explosion. So [...]

June 12, 2017

People talk about "the rhythm of New York." Is there really such a thing? Can you see it in the way people walk? The way they talk? Is it in their music? Are [...]

May 15, 2017

Billy Bang wasn't called "Billy Bang" for nothing. He earned that name as a demolitions expert in Viet Nam but it was equally apt when he was blowing up the [...]

May 1, 2017

This Monday night from 6pm to 9pm on WKCR 89.9FM and, our Deep Focus on Allan Holdsworth answers the question, "What makes us love the musicians we [...]

April 17, 2017

Last time Graham Haynes was the guest on Deep Focus, it was to celebrate his father Roy Haynes’s stunning contributions to Charlie Parker’s performances at [...]

April 3, 2017

In the Jazz world, Steve Lacy is like Broadway: doesn't fit neatly into the grid but, wherever he intersects it, magical things happen. No wonder he loved [...]