Archive for January, 2010

January 31st 2010
Grammy winners on The Jazz Session

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast

Congratulations to all the folks who won Grammy awards during the afternoon ceremony today, including the following former guests on The Jazz Session:

Here’s the rest of the list of the awards given out thus far in the jazz category.

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January 28th 2010
Jazz writing: Noel Freidline

Posted under Jazz Writing & Podcast

My latest mini-profile for the Island Packet newspaper on Hilton Head Island, SC, is about pianist Noel Freidline. Here’s the opening:

Noel Freidline was first exposed to jazz in the usual manner: via National Geographic.

Wait a minute, National Geographic?

“My mom was briefly a member of the National Geographic album club back in the late ’70s,” Freidline said. “One of the albums they sent her that she did not actually order was a compilation album of Dixieland jazz. One day, when I was about 11 or 12, I found the album and put it on. I was fascinated. Shortly thereafter a neighbor gave me a Dave Brubeck album called ‘Time Out.’ He was probably the only person in my little hometown of Clearwater, Kan., who even knew who Dave Brubeck was. Now I was hooked.”

Read the rest of the article.

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January 28th 2010
The Jazz Session #138: Mike Reed

Posted under Drummers & Podcast

Drummer Mike Reed is a mainstay on the Chicago music scene, both as a performer and a presenter. Reed and his band People, Places & Things have a new album called About Us (482 Music, 2009). It’s part of a trilogy showcasing the past, present and future of the Chicago scene. In this interview, Reed talks about the sometimes overlooked cultural contributions of the “third coast;” why he decided to record this trilogy; and how he went about finding the compositions and musicians he’s featuring in his current work. Learn more at mikereedmusic.com.

You’ll find even more hard bop from Chicago on this week’s Night Lights from WFIU: “Chicago Calling: Unsung Heroes of the City’s Hardbop Scene.”

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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January 25th 2010
The Jazz Session #137: Matthew Shipp

Posted under Pianists & Podcast

“To me, music is an occult alphabet of frequencies and vibrations that are transmitted on an instrument.” So says pianist Matthew Shipp, whose new solo piano recording, 4D (Thirsty Ear, 2010) comes out on January 26. In this interview, Shipp talks about the joy of solo piano; the lessons he learned from David S. Ware and Roscoe Mitchell; and the origins of music itself. Learn more at www.matthewshipp.com.

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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January 21st 2010
The Jazz Session #136: James Weidman

Posted under Pianists & Podcast

Pianist James Weidman is well known as an accompanist to some of the most heralded singers of our time, from Abbey Lincoln to Cassandra Wilson. In recent years he’s travelled the world as a member of Joe Lovano’s band. On his new CD, Three Worlds (Inner Circle, 2009), Weidman leads an eclectic ensemble of improvisers through his own creative compositions. In this interview, Weidman talks about his early decision not to be pigeonholed; why he usually writes music away from the piano; and his recent trip to play jazz in Moscow. Learn more at www.jamesweidman.com.

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

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January 18th 2010
The Jazz Session #135: Amy Cervini

Posted under Podcast & Vocalists

Vocalist Amy Cervini is one of a handful of jazz singers who are successfully taking their repertoire from outside the Great American Songbook. On Cervini’s new album, Lovefool (Anzic Records, 2009), she tackles everything from the Cardigans to Depeche Mode to Nellie McKay and makes it all work. In this interview, Cervini talks about how she chooses her repertoire; the response of jazz and pop fans to the music she sings; and how she’s managed to build both performing and artist management careers. Oh, and she’s having a baby, too. Learn more at www.amycervini.com.

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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January 14th 2010
The Jazz Session #134: Marty Ehrlich

Posted under Clarinetists & Podcast & Saxophonists

Marty Ehrlich is everywhere. Since moving from St. Louis to New York in 1978, Ehrlich has established himself as both an in-demand sideman and a leader with a distinct and multi-faceted musical vision. His CD Things Have Got To Change (Clean Feed, 2009), finds Ehrlich leading his Rites Quartet through a program of music written by, or inspired by, saxophonist Julius Hemphill, with whom Ehrlich played. In this interview, Ehrlich talks about his pan-stylistic approach to composition; the influence of the St. Louis scene on his own playing and on New York; and how he approaches the distinct roles of sideman and leader. Learn more at www.martyehrlich.com.

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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January 13th 2010
Jazz + basketball = link love

Posted under Podcast & TJS In The News

My recent interview with basketball writer Nathaniel Friedman is getting some exposure on the Interwebs. It will help to know that Nathaniel Friedman’s pen name is Bethlehem Shoals:

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January 11th 2010
The Jazz Session #133: Michael Kaeshammer

Posted under Pianists & Podcast & Tanglewood Jazz Festival & Vocalists

Pianist and vocalist Michael Kaeshammer has spent more than a decade making music that’s both fun and smart. He draws on everything from James P. Johnson and Fats Waller to contemporary pop music on his new album, Lovelight (Alert Music, 2009). In this interview, recorded at the 2009 Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Kaeshammer talks about the nature of showmanship; how he came to love the early stride piano masters; and why New Orleans has become an important source of inspiration for his music. Learn more at kaeshammer.com.

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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January 7th 2010
The Jazz Session #132: Kobie Watkins

Posted under Drummers & Podcast

Drummer Kobie Watkins got his start in the world of gospel music in Chicago. He branched out into playing with guitarist (and Sonny Rollins sideman) Bobby Broom. That relationship led to Watkins himself joining Rollins’ band. Watkins has just released his debut album as a leader, Involved (Origin, 2009). In this interview, Watkins talks about the album as a snapshot of one point in his musical life; his audition for Sonny Rollins; and what playing every night with a living legend has taught him. Learn more at www.kobiewatkins.com.

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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January 6th 2010
Jazz writing: John Pizzarelli

Posted under Jazz Writing

Here’s a short profile of John Pizzarelli I wrote for the Island Packet newspaper on Hilton Head Island, SC:

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January 5th 2010
Listener requests for guests on The Jazz Session

Posted under Podcast & Site Updates & Survey

Here are the responses to the survey question, “If you could book one artist for The Jazz Session, who would it be?” These are in the order received, and there are certainly duplicates. If the person has already been a guest on the show, I’ve noted that in bold type with the show number after their name. And for everyone else: I’m workin’ on ’em!

(Two notes: 1. This post has a “Continue Reading” link partway through. Click on that link for the full list. 2. If you’re reading this at thejazzsession.com, you’ll see an alphabetical list of all the past guests on the left side of the page. Click on any name to hear the interview.)

  • Tom Harrell
  • Kurt Rosenwinkel
  • Pat Metheny
  • Miles Davis! Hehe … seriously, though … I can’t think of anyone – and actually appreciate learning abuot new folks rather than just hearing from folks I already know!
  • Julian Lage – TJS #94
  • Jeremy Davenport
  • I’m afraid I’ll say one who has already been done!
  • Carla Bley
  • John Scofield
  • One? In a perfect world, Wayne Shorter. But you do such a great job with artists that deserve more recognition, such as Joe Fonda, Mario Pavone, Vinny Golia, John Hollenbeck, etc
    Hollenbeck is booked!
    Continue Reading »

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January 4th 2010
The Jazz Session #131: Chris Potter

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists & Tanglewood Jazz Festival

Saxophonist Chris Potter’s new album, Ultrahang (ArtistShare, 2009), is an exploration of groove and melody. In this interview, recorded before Potter’s performance with Dave Holland at the 2009 Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Potter talks about how a middle-class kid in Columbia, SC, ended up liking Chicago blues; why he looks first to please himself with the music he makes; and how rhythm breaks down barriers with an audience. Learn more at www.chrispottermusic.com.

EVENT: Chris Potter’s Underground (Adam Rogers – guitar, Craig Taborn – Fender Rhodes and Nate Smith – drums) will be at the Village Vanguard this week from Jan. 5-10. More information is available at villagevanguard.com.

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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January 1st 2010
The Jazz Session #130: Nathaniel Friedman

Posted under Authors & Bloggers & Podcast

Before he began writing about basketball at freedarko.com and in FreeDarko presents The Macrophenomenal Pro Basketball Almanac: Styles, Stats, and Stars in Today’s Game, Nathaniel Friedman wrote about jazz. In this interview, he discusses the “basketball=jazz” meme; a popular jazz album that many people lost their virginity to; and the need to turn sports into art. Learn more at freedarko.com.

If you’d like to buy Nathaniel Friedman’s book, you can support The Jazz Session by purchasing it via the link below:

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