Jazz At The White House: On Hold Music

Barack Obama. i i

hide caption"Hello, Rahm? I'd like to — ack, not this stuff again." *facepalm*

Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images
Barack Obama.

"Hello, Rahm? I'd like to — ack, not this stuff again." *facepalm*

Pete Souza/White House via Getty Images

I've been off the blog beat for about a month and I've collected a small pile of notes and tidbits that I wanted to mention upon my return. I'm afraid I'm going to overload our poor ABS editor with some pent-up blogging, but what the hey — here's the latest thing on the pile. File this under Jazz At The White House:

Remember how cool Candidate Obama was when we learned he had Miles and Coltrane on his iPod? Then how he made 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW the hippest address in town by staging jazz concerts in the East Room once he moved in and unpacked his vinyl collection? (Ok, fine, I'm making the last part up.) Esperanza Spalding. The Marsalis family. And now, Kurt Elling. Big names.

NPR colleague Don Gonyea covers the White House for everything that is not jazz-related (that's my territory). He reported on his Facebook page that he and many other reporters were on hold for a total of 64 minutes awaiting a pre-Afghanistan speech briefing last night.

So what's on the White House hold music rotation?

According to Gonyea, it's some kind of smooth jazz that sounds suspiciously like Kenny G. That's 64 minutes of what sounded like the same two tunes. Ouch.

I don't want to kick-start the smooth jazz bashing with this post. But after winning such great jazz cred, POTUS should have someone look into mixing it up. I mean, even Eisenhower managed to get some new tunes in place. (Granted, it was literally Muzak, sold to him by the Muzak franchisee and rising politico Lyndon Baines Johnson, but whatever.)

I don't want to dis without offering a solution. We could offer a compilation of NPR's Take Five postings. Or Don Gonyea and I could bang out a mixtape.

Are you're listening, White House staffers? I'm willing to help out. You don't really want to annoy the press corps like that too often.

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