Saxophonist Walter Smith III’s new album is called Twio. It features a program of standards played by Smith with bassist Harish Raghavan and drummer Eric Harland. Smith is on a half-dozen albums coming out in the latter half of 2018, several of which are discussed in the interview. He also talks about his time at Berklee and how that influenced his career; the impact of working with masters such as Roy Haynes and Terence Blanchard; and how an ice cream social led to a major change in his life. Learn more at waltersmith3.com.
Pianist Helen Sung‘s new album is Sung With Words, a collaboration with poet Dana Gioia that features both spoken word and also Gioia’s words set to music. In this interview, Sung talks about how they met and decided to work together; why she is constantly trying to learn new skills; her faith and how it impacts her music; and her upcoming projects. Learn more at helensung.com.
Concert Note: Catch the official release party for Sung With Words at The Jazz Standard in New York on Dec. 13, 2018. The band will be: Helen Sung (piano), Cecile McLorin Salvant (voice), Carolyn Leonhart (voice), John Ellis (saxophone), Ingrid Jensen (trumpet), Reuben Rogers (bass), Kush Abadey (drums), and Samuel Torres (percussion). Click for tickets.
Vibraphonist, educator and app developer Stefon Harris’s new album is Sonic Creed. In this interview, Harris discusses the responsibilities of his generation of musicians; how his album is an expression of the current state of African-American life in the U.S.; and why empathy is the focus of his life. Learn more at stefonharris.com.
Bassist Adi Meyerson grew up in Israel, discovered jazz in her late teens, got into a conservatory for upright bass a few months after picking up the instrument, and then made her way to the New School in New York. Six years after moving to the US, she’s released her debut album, Where We Stand, and is a busy player in the New York scene. Learn more at http://adimeyersonmusic.com.
This is the first bonus episode for Patreon subscribers! However, I’m releasing this one on the main feed so everyone can hear it and get an idea for what these will sound like. In this episode, writer, broadcaster and educator Richard Kamins talks about the album Freedom Suite by Sonny Rollins. You can read Richard’s excellent jazz reviews at http://steptempest.blogspot.com/.
If you want to hear more conversations like this about the albums people dig, please become a member today. It’s just $5 a month and you’ll get a bonus episode each month plus more free stuff. Thanks!