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Schaap, Phil [Van Noorden, Philip Van Loon Guybo Schaap ]locked

  • Gary W. Kennedy

(b New York, April 8, 1951). American disc jockey and record producer. His father, Walter Schaap, a scholar and a translator of French jazz texts, collaborated in 1937 with Hugues Panassié and Charles Delaunay in creating a bilingual jazz periodical, Le jazz hot. In 1970 Phil Schaap became an announcer for Columbia University’s radio station WKCR; later he also worked at the radio stations WBGO and WNYC and had a syndicated program, “Jazz Session.” This radio work is characterized by his encyclopedic and anecdotal knowledge of the material he plays; he is especially known for his daily WKCR program “Bird Flight,” on which he discusses and plays recordings by Charlie Parker. Schaap organized jazz performances at the West End Café in 1980. He has taught at the New School for Social Research and at Princeton University, and he has written liner notes for new and reissued recordings.

As a record producer Schaap has been involved in tape vault research, the restoration of archived materials, and the production and packaging of material to be reissued. In this capacity he strives for the best possible sound and incorporates such ancillary material as alternate and incomplete takes, or assorted studio chatter, within the chronological presentation of originally released material. Though this exhaustive approach generally reflects contemporaneous trends in jazz issues, and has been much praised, it has also engendered some criticism, particularly following Schaap’s reorganization of Duke Ellington’s classic Columbia LP Ellington at Newport 1956 and for his work on other Ellington reissues, notably in the decision to include a snippet of Mahalia Jackson cursing before her performance of Come Sunday, on the album Black, Brown and Beige.


  • J. C. Katz: “Phil Schaap ’73: One-man Jazz Radio Movement,” Columbia College Today (1986), fall, 24
  • B. Ratliff: “With a Mind for Facts and a Soul for Jazz,” New York Times (5 Oct 1996)
  • J. Hoffman: “Public Lives: Jazz Detective Unravels an Ellington Puzzle,” New York Times (19 May 1999)