If you listen to CBC Radio 2 in the evening for the last decade or so, your nightly listening habits are going through a significant change.
Tonic helped out jazz fans from 8 pm-10 pm local time while The Signal brought out eclectic music from 10 pm-Midnight.
Tim Tamashiro hosted the jazz program for about a decade. Laurie Brown hosted The Signal for about a decade. Now, CBC Radio 2 listeners have AfterDark with host Odario Williams (right) Monday-Friday from 8 pm-Midnight.
Tamashiro left Tonic at the end of June. For the summer, CBC Radio 2 employed 5 top female jazz vocalists to fill in on the show:
- Laila Biali – July 3–15; August 28–September 2
- Sophie Milman – July 17–29; August 21–26
- Shakura S'Aida – July 31–August 5
- Barbra Lica – August 7–12
- Diana Panton – August 14–19
Saturday Night Jazz with Laila Biali (left) as the host will run in the 8 pm-Midnight slot on Saturdays.
The CBC Web site describes the music in AfterDark as leading off with "popular contemporary hits. As the night unfolds you'll discover new sounds ranging from art-pop to avant-garde. Hear: Amy Winehouse, Bobbi Bazini, Andra Day, and Sam Smith — then Tei Shi, Chet Faker, Leif Vollebekk, Charlotte Day Wilson."
Listening to the first hour last night, I heard a soundtrack that wasn't particularly relaxing nor special: music that was okay but felt too commercial, music I could hear elsewhere. The second hour was more promising but not terribly consistent. That isn't quite what I want to hear before I go to bed.
Odario Williams has a pleasant presence as a host. The soundtrack needs to be as good as the host. Over a cursory listen, the music mix is definitely not there.
If bedtime isn't in your near future, the music mix isn't as bad. Hopefully, the mix will truly be more soothing over time. The final 2 hours were closer to The Signal mix, but Tonic fans were left in the dark, just not the AfterDark.
The sharp reduction in jazz, Canadian and otherwise, is a real disappointment. I didn't listen as much to The Signal but I was missing that mix a lot more while listening to the first 2 hours of AfterDark.
The bumpers used to refer to "CBC Radio 2" but the AfterDark bumpers identified as "CBC Music."
The good news, if you are on Canadian soil, is that you can stream jazz and other great music through CBC Radio 3 on the CBC Music app or Web site. I can vouch for how nice those feeds are but you have to be literally in Canada to enjoy those streams. You can even find a stream for AfterDark if you enjoy the show.
As for CBC Radio 2, Canadians can tune into any of the 6 time zone feeds. Americans can only access the Eastern and Pacific time zone feeds through the CBC Radio app or the Web site. For example, if you live in the Central Time Zone in the United States, you can listen to AfterDark from 7-11 pm on the Eastern Time Zone feed and 10 pm-2 am on the Pacific Time Zone feed.
photos credit: CBC Radio