SUBMITTED BY: Barbara and A. Spencer Barefield
Ed Love has been one of Detroit’s most prominent voices of Jazz going back some 60 years. His shows on WCHD, which later became WJZZ, and then his shows on WDET, are legendary. Back in the 1970s, when you could hear and learn about this great American art form ’round the clock, Love and other hosts on WJZZ introduced listeners to some of the most amazing composers and musicians. He shaped the awareness and developed the tastes of musicians, future musicians and music lovers, both in Detroit and worldwide.
WJZZ was a Black-owned stationed — a revolution in Detroit and in the world — and was a model for numerous stations throughout the U.S. Ed was a leader in this revolution, playing the music of some of the most stellar national and local musicians. Detroit was a leader of Black arts and culture, as well as Black leadership and politics, and the voice of these changes was WCHD, and later WJZZ. Detroit had a cultural uniqueness that was exemplified by these Black-owned radio stations and hosts like Ed Love — as well as the artistry of the musicians who exported their gifts and prominence around the world.
For musicians, wherever you traveled if you said you were from Detroit and played Jazz, respect for you was enormously elevated. Musicians like Kenny Burrell, Marcus Belgrave, Wendell Harrison, Donald Byrd, Barry Harris, Alice Coltrane, Tommy Flanagan, Ron Carter and many other Detroiters — including some of the next generation of musicians like A. Spencer Barefield, James Carter, Geri Allen, Straight Ahead and Regina Carter — could be heard on Love’s show and helped to define Detroit’s ‘Sound’ internationally. Although avant-garde music was not his favorite, he did sprinkle it in from time to time (which we appreciated!) and was a passionate advocate for his favorites. Ed was a trailblazer with fellow WJZZ hosts such as Cliff Coleman, Calvin Euseary, Rosetta Hines, Dorian Pasteur, Bobby Bass (whose family owned the station), WDET hosts such as Faruq Z. Bey, Kim Heron, Steve Blount, Kim Hunter, Judy Adams, Jim Gallert, Rudy Tucich, Kofi Natambu, Ali Mohammed, Leonard King, Ozzie Rivera, John Sinclair, and others.
We salute and honor Ed Love and thank him for his extensive contributions to expanding the knowledge and love of jazz in Detroit and around the globe.