March 2nd 2015
The Jazz Session #446: Akua Dixon

Posted under Cellists & Podcast


Cellist Akua Dixon has just released a self-titled solo album that features arrangements she’s written for a variety of ensembles and occasions, but never had the chance to record. In this interview, Dixon talks about her career as a performer and arranger, going all the way back to the band at the Apollo; the traditional and innovative ways she arranges for string quartet; the shameful lack of African-American musicians in American orchestras today; and her time playing with many musical giants, including Max Roach. Learn more at


February 24th 2015
The Jazz Session #445: 8th Anniversary Retrospective!

Posted under Podcast


The Jazz Session turns eight today! To celebrate, I’ve put together a look back at eight years of the show, featuring interviews and music by many past guests, including: John Abercrombie, Carl Allen, Jen Baker & Kyoko Kitamura, Gene Bertoncini, Terence Blanchard, Don Byron, Ron Carter, Jimmy Heath, Janel & Anthony, Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp, Steve Kuhn, Jo Lawry, Gene Ludwig, Marian McPartland, Nadje Noordhuis, Laurie Pepper, Sonny Rollins, Gerald Wilson, and more.

February 16th 2015
The Jazz Session #444: Peter Apfelbaum

Posted under Drummers & Pianists & Podcast & Saxophonists


Peter Apfelbaum’s latest release is an EP by his new band Sparkler called I Colored It In For You. In this interview, Apfelbaum talks about bringing the groove back to jazz; his upbringing in Berkeley; playing with Don Cherry; and his approach to composition and to leading bands. This interview features music by Sparkler, plus a tune from Apfelbaum’s upcoming solo album on Loove Arts and music by his New York Hieroglyphics band. Learn more at

February 9th 2015
The Jazz Session #443: Rudresh Mahanthappa

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists


Saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa’s new album is Bird Calls (ACT, 2015). The album was inspired by the music of Charlie Parker, although Mahanthappa composed original music rather than play Parker’s tunes. In this interview, he talks about the reasoning behind that choice; how hearing Charlie Parker affected him as a teenager; and why the best tribute to Bird is to not play his music. Learn more about Rudresh Mahanthappa at


January 20th 2015
The Jazz Session makes #2.

Posted under TJS In The News

For the first time ever, a jazz publication acknowledged the existence of The Jazz Session, just 442 episodes, 8 years, and nearly 3 million downloads after it began. It’s a start. Next year, the Oscars! (Thanks to Martin Porter for the photos and for letting me know this even happened.)

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September 15th 2014
The Jazz Session: Radio Edition

Posted under Site Updates & TJS In The News


Tune in Fridays from 9-11 a.m. ET for The Jazz Session: Radio Edition. Listen in State College, PA, on The Lion 90.7 FM , or online at The show is live and I’m not archiving it, but you can find playlists here.

August 29th 2014
The Jazz Session #442: Bob Sneider

Posted under Guitarists & Podcast


Originally from Boston, guitarist Bob Sneider has called Rochester, NY, home for years. He’s built an impressive career, beginning in Chuck Mangione’s band and then through his work at the Eastman School of Music and as the leader of his own ensembles. In this interview, Sneider talks about why he didn’t go to a conservatory and how he ended up as a professional musician anyway; many of the A-list musicians he’s played with over the years; his work at the Rochester International Jazz Festival; how teaching new guitarists helps him stay at the top of his game; and the rhythm section with whom he’s played for years. Learn more at

JOIN The Jazz Session and support the creation of more episodes. Just $5/month! Visit

July 28th 2014
The Jazz Session #441: Kevin Hays

Posted under Pianists & Podcast


Pianist Kevin Hays has been part of the jazz scene for decades now, playing as a leader and also as a sideman with folks like Sonny Rollins, Benny Golson, Chris Potter and many others. In this interview, Kevin talks about his career; his time off the scene in Santa Fe and how it changed his life and his playing; and his current crowdfunding project to record an album with his New Day Trio.

SUPPORT Kevin’s new album! Please visit to donate toward the recording of Kevin’s new record. Thank you.

JOIN The Jazz Session and support the creation of more episodes. Just $5/month! Visit

June 9th 2014
The Jazz Session #440: Max Johnson

Posted under Bassists & Podcast

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Bassist Max Johnson is a busy man. In demand on New York City’s bluegrass scene, he’s also part of several bands focusing on improvised music. In this interview, Johnson discusses three recent albums: Big Eyed Rabbit (Not Two, 2014), The Prisoner (NoBusiness, 2014), and The Invisible Trio (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2014). He also talks about the influence of his drummer father; how he became involved in bluegrass; and why he nearly quit school because of one person but decided to finish because of another. Learn more at

CONCERT TONIGHT: Max is playing in New York tonight, June 9th 2014 at 11:00 pm at the McKittrick Hotel, 530 W 27th St. The show is free, and features Thomas Heberer on trumpet, Michael Attias on alto saxophone, Ingrid Laubrock on tenor saxophone, Max Johnson on bass and Ziv Ravitz on drums.

JOIN The Jazz Session for $5 a month here. Your membership gets you free mp3s and helps me get to NYC to record more interviews. Thanks!

June 2nd 2014
The Jazz Session #439: Giacomo Merega

Posted under Bassists & Podcast


Electric bassist Giacomo Merega‘s two newest projects are both trio recordings: The Surface Of An Object (Rudi Records, 2014) and Crows And Motives (Underwolf, 2014). In this interview, Merega talks about expressing the concept of “surface” in music; why he chose the electric bass and how he is crafting his own sound; free improvisation versus composition; graphic scores and whether seeing them changes one’s appreciation of a piece of music; and his concert series. Learn more about the series on its Facebook page and at the Prospect Range site.

JOIN The Jazz Session for $5 a month here. Your membership gets you free mp3s and helps me get to NYC to record more interviews. Thanks!

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