Archive for May, 2009

May 28th 2009
TJS teams up with the Tanglewood Jazz Festival

Posted under Jazz News & Site Updates & Tanglewood Jazz Festival

You may remember that last year I recorded several interviews at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival in my hometown of Lenox, MA: Eddie Daniels, Jo Lawry and Spencer Day. This year I’m going back in a much bigger way. Here’s the press release that the Tanglewood Jazz Festival organizers put out today:

Tanglewood Jazz Festival and The Jazz Session Partner

For the first time, the Tanglewood Jazz Festival welcomes Jason Crane and The Jazz Session to the Jazz Shop Tent where Jason will conduct live interviews with artists, ticket holders and others that will be taped for broadcast on his popular interview program (

What’s more, The Jazz Session just announced a new partnership with Allabout that will feature the broadcasts on its home page. is the leading and longest running jazz music website, attracting both enthusiasts and industry professionals while reaching nearly one million unique visitors per month.

“Jason Crane and I have worked together for several years and closely aligning our two properties makes perfect sense as we move forward,” said Allaboutjazz founder and publisher, Michael Ricci. “AAJ already publishes weekly interviews and including The Jazz Session on our roster will raise the entertainment value at the website and further add to our already impressive coverage of jazz.”

Crane said “on The Jazz Session, we focus on the music and the stories behind the music and we let the musicians do most of the talking.” Crane has taped interviews for later broadcast at the Tanglewood Jazz Festival in the past, but this is the first time he will have a dedicated spot in the Jazz Shop Tent and the public is invited to listen in.

“I’m thrilled to be returning to the Tanglewood Jazz Festival,” said Crane. “This is a top-notch festival in one of the most beautiful settings on the East Coast. It’s a very intimate festival, too, which is perfect for getting to know — and interact with — the artists.”

The Jazz Shop Tent is located near the Hawthorne Tent where the Jazz Café artists perform. Jason will be there throughout the day conducting interviews and there will be a small seating area for people to observe.

“I’m really looking forward to having The Jazz Session with us throughout the weekend,” said Dawn Singh, Senior Project Coordinator of the jazz festival. “Jason is a real professional, he’s great to work with, has enormous expertise and is well regarded by the musicians. It’s an excellent partnership all the way around.”

The Tanglewood Jazz Festival kicks off on Friday, September 4, at 6:30 with alto saxophonist, Benny Reid, followed at 8:00 by “An Evening with Paquito d’Rivera.” For more info, go to

For tickets and information, visit the Tanglewood Web site. And here’s the link to my coverage of last year’s festival.

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May 25th 2009
The Jazz Session #59: Gary Burton

Posted under Podcast & Vibraphonists


Jason Crane interviews vibraphonist Gary Burton. After three decades, Burton reunited with Pat Metheny and Steve Swallow — and added drummer Antonio Sanchez — to record Quartet Live! (Concord Jazz, 2009), an album celebrating the music of the original Gary Burton Quartet. Originally conceived as a one-time-only performance at the Montreal Jazz Festival, the band quickly realized that the music was worth exploring again. Burton talks about the new quartet, his projects with Chick Corea and Makoto Ozone, and his “semi-retirement.” And be sure to visit for even more interviews and reviews about Burton’s new recording.

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May 20th 2009
Article: Jo Lawry at All About Jazz

Posted under Jazz Writing

My latest article for All About Jazz is a transcription of my interview with vocalist Jo Lawry.

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May 18th 2009
The Jazz Session and All About Jazz announce new partnership

Posted under Jazz News & Site Updates


I’m thrilled to announce the launch of a new partnership with All About Jazz, the world’s most visited jazz Web site. AAJ founder Michael Ricci and I have been working together for several years now, with AAJ hosting transcriptions of the interviews that appear on The Jazz Session.

Now we’ve decided to combine forces. That means The Jazz Session will be featured on the home page at We’ll also be working together to visit festivals on behalf the new TJS/AAJ partnership, starting this summer with the Tanglewood Jazz Festival and others. The idea is to conduct interviews right in front of the crowds who come to see the artists. Then we’ll bring these interviews to you after the festivals.

We’re also launching a widget for The Jazz Session that will allow you to display the latest episode right on your blog or Web site. I’ll be mentioning the blogs and sites that do this on episodes of the show, and also linking to them from this site. So if you decide to link to The Jazz Session, please let me know at

For more information on the new partnership, and for instructions on adding the widget to your site, please read the press release.

The Jazz Session hits 200,000 downloads

On the very same day that The Jazz Session announced its new partnership with All About Jazz, the show hit 200,000 downloads. I’m so proud of the show and grateful to all of you for supporting it. This is a true labor of love for me, and I hope it shows in the interviews.


May 18th 2009
The Jazz Session hits 200,000 downloads

Posted under Jazz News & Site Updates


On the very same day that The Jazz Session announced its new partnership with All About Jazz, the show hit 200,000 downloads. I’m so proud of the show and grateful to all of you for supporting it. This is a true labor of love for me, and I hope it shows in the interviews.

And trust me — this is just the beginning. TJS and AAJ have big plans for the future, so stay tuned and tell a friend.

Thanks again for making The Jazz Session a success!

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May 18th 2009
The Jazz Session #58: Hugh Masekela

Posted under Podcast & Trumpeters


Jason Crane interviews trumpeter Hugh Masekela about his 2009 album Phola (Times Square Records). The album finds Masekela in a quieter, more reflective mood — a decision he credits to producer Erik Paliani. Despite the more reserved surroundings, Masekela’s flugelhorn playing is as intense as ever. In the interview, Masekela discusses Miriam Makeba, music as a political force, and why he doesn’t play for fun.


May 18th 2009
Article: Biographical sketch of pianist Hiromi

Posted under Jazz Writing


My latest article for the Island Packet newspaper on Hilton Head Island is a biographical sketch of Japanese jazz pianist Hiromi.

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May 15th 2009
Jazz gets a boost in Pittsfield, MA

Posted under Contest & Jazz News

I was born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, as were my mother and grandfather and many of my other relatives. I call Lenox, MA, home, but Pittsfield is close to my heart, too. That’s why I was happy to see this story in the Berkshire Eagle:

Fostering city jazz
By Benning W. De La Mater, Berkshire Eagle Staff
Friday, May 15

PITTSFIELD — The local jazz scene just got a boost from its friends.

The people behind the Pittsfield City Jazz Festival have formed a new, nonprofit organization with the goal of growing jazz education and offering more live jazz performances.

Berkshires Jazz, Inc., will kick off its founding on July 2 with a concert at the First United Methodist Church featuring the American Jazz Repertory Orchestra.

Edward Bride, president of the organization, said the goal is to give birth to a new generation of jazz fans.

“Jazz is America’s only indigenous art form, and we don’t want it to disappear,” he said. “It allows for freedom of expression, group thinking and collaboration. It gives students a foundation of music that appreciates improvisation.”

You can read the rest of the article at the Berkshire Eagle site.

I recorded my interview with Barbara Dennerlein at last year’s Pittsfield CityJazz Festival. This year the festival features guitarist Frank Vignola and some pianist named Brubeck*. With any luck, they’ll be on future episodes of The Jazz Session. Congrats to the folks at Berkshires Jazz in Pittsfield for supporting this great music!

*Yes, I know who Dave Brubeck is.

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May 13th 2009
Article: Transcript of my interview with David Sanborn

Posted under Jazz Writing

My newest article for All About Jazz is a transcript of my interview with saxophonist David Sanborn.

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May 11th 2009
The Jazz Session #57: ECM Touchstones Series

Posted under Podcast


Jason Crane interiews Steve Lake of ECM Records about the Touchstones series, ECM’s reissue series of classic recordings in new packaging at affordable prices. Lake has been with the label since the earliest days and has seen ECM grow into one of the world’s most respected music labels. In this interview, Lake discusses the history of ECM, and also talks about individual recordings from Paul Bley, Jack DeJohnette, Paul Motian, Colin Walcott and others.


May 4th 2009
The Jazz Session #56: David Sanborn

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists


Jason Crane interviews saxophonist David Sanborn. Sanborn is one of the few jazz players whose name is known even outside the jazz world. It’s fitting, then, that he’s using his new album Here & Gone (Decca, 2008) to bring a lesser-known jazz saxophonist into wider awareness. Here & Gone celebrates the music of Hank Crawford, a saxophone player and the principal arranger for the Ray Charles “little big band” of the 50s and 60s. Crawford’s playing had a huge impact on Sanborn, and Sanborn repays the favor with this thoughtful and soulful tribute.