Archive for October, 2009

October 30th 2009
The Jazz Session #103: John Abercrombie

Posted under Guitarists & Podcast


John Abercrombie returns with Wait Till You See Her (ECM, 2009), another album of gorgeous, tuneful music from his quartet, featuring Mark Feldman on violin, Joey Barron on drums, and new band member Thomas Morgan on bass. In this interview, Abercrombie talks about how subtle movements in the audience impact a performance; the label “chamber jazz” and whether it applies to his band; and his role as the evil Donald Dastardly in the radio drama Harry Lovett, Man Without A Country, which also featured the voices of John Surman and Jack DeJohnette. Learn more at (On a personal note, John was on The Jazz Session #3, back when no one had ever heard of this show. I’m grateful for his early support of The Jazz Session, and it’s very gratifying to have him back here 100 episodes later.)

If you’d like to purchase this album, you can support The Jazz Session by buying it via the link below:

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October 28th 2009
The Jazz Session #102: John Surman

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists


John Surman is a composer with a broad and multi-hued musical palette. He’s written for everything from solo saxophone to string quartet to choir with organ to contemporary dance. On Brewster’s Rooster (ECM, 2009), Surman reunites with longtime musical partners Jack DeJohnette and John Abercrombie (accompanied by bassist Drew Gress) for a quartet album that explores group interplay. In this interview, Surman talks about finding a place in his music for his disparate influences; why he writes for many types of ensembles; and why he doesn’t play in the U.S. more often. Learn more at

If you’d like to buy this album, you can support The Jazz Session by purchasing it via the link below:

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October 27th 2009
ECM CD-A-Day Giveaway this week!

Posted under Contest

I’m giving away five copies of ECM’s new compilation CD Anniversary Waltz. To enter, just send an email to with “ECM” as the subject line (no quotation marks). I’ll draw one winner at random each day, Monday-Friday. Good luck!

Winners thus far:

  • James from Boise, ID
  • Robert from Silver Spring, MD
  • David from Oakland, CA
  • Carlos from Stockholm, Sweden
  • Mark from Homer Glen, IL

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October 27th 2009
Popdose: Joni Mitchell, Jazz Musician

Posted under Popdose


My newest column for is an exploration of three Joni Mitchell albums from the late 70s — Hejira, Mingus, and Shadows and Light. The piece looks at Mitchell’s use of both jazz musicians and jazz language on these recordings.

Read the article: Joni Mitchell, Jazz Musician

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October 26th 2009
The Jazz Session #101: Cyminology

Posted under Podcast & Vocalists


Cymin Sawamatie was born in Germany to Iranian parents, and that mix of cultures informs the music of her band, Cyminology. On their third CD, and their first for ECM, Cyminology (ECM, 2009), the quartet explores the poetry of Rumi, Hafiz and Forugh Farrokhzad, combining these disparate poetic influences with a rich palette of composed and improvised music. In this interview, Samawatie talks about her culturally rich upbringing; the nature of her compositions; and why Cyminology can’t play in Iran. Learn more at

If you’d like to buy this album, you can support The Jazz Session by purchasing it via the link below:

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