Archive for April, 2010

April 29th 2010
The Jazz Session #164: Henry Threadgill

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists

Multi-instrumentalist and composer Henry Threadgill has always followed his own particular muse, and his new album, And This Brings Us To, Vol. 1 (Pi Recordings, 2009), is no different. In this interview, Threadgill discusses the musical language he’s developed, and the demands it places on the musicians who play with him; why he constantly searches for new ways of writing and playing; how cell phones and other digital technology are changing the way we interact with music and with each other; and the changes in the New York scene since the days when he arrived in the city. Learn more at www.pirecordings.com/artist/Henry_Threadgill.

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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April 26th 2010
Tonight (4/26): Come see me read in Albany, NY

Posted under Thoughts


This poster says 7:30 p.m., but it starts at 8 p.m.

I’m the featured poet tonight at Poets Speak Loud at 8 p.m. at the Lark Tavern, 453 Madison Ave. in Albany, NY. It’s an open mic, too. Sign-up starts around 7, so bring your own work along. I’ll be reading from my just-released book, Unexpected Sunlight (FootHills Publishing, 2010). Hope to see you there!

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April 26th 2010
The Jazz Session #163: Sonny Rollins

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists

“Jazz is as relevant today as the yearning of people to be free.” That’s how Sonny Rollins describes the state of the music in this interview, recorded in late 2009 during his European tour. He also talks about his early decision to choose music over painting; his choice from his earliest days to record controversial songs such as “The House I Live In;” and his theory about why the world is full of strife. Learn more at www.sonnyrollins.com.

The music in this interview comes from the Sonny Rollins album Roadshows, Vol. 1. 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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April 22nd 2010
The Jazz Session #162: Charles Evans

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists

Baritone saxophonist Charles Evans and his longtime friend, pianist Neil Shah, recently released Live At Saint Stephens (Hotcup, 2009), a duet recording that showcases Evans’ amazing tone and inventive compositions. In this interview, Evans discusses his focus on the bari sax; his relationship with Neil Shah and how it impacts their music; and his plans for … bass fishing. Learn more at charlesevansmusic.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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April 19th 2010
Buy my book!

Posted under Thoughts

My first collection of poetry, Unexpected Sunlight, is now available. The poems talk of love, family lost and found, music and musicians, and scenes from everyday life. These poems were written between 2006 and 2009. I’m thrilled to be able to share them with you.

You can read poems from the book (and other poems I’ve written) at jasoncrane.org. The book is now available in the store at my site.

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April 19th 2010
The Jazz Session #161: Samuel Blaser

Posted under Podcast & Trombonists

On Pieces Of Old Sky (Clean Feed, 2009), Swiss trombonist Samuel Blaser explores space and spectral harmony to great effect. In this interview, Blaser discusses the challenges of leaving space in music; his Swiss roots and how moving to New York changed his life; and several upcoming projects, including his jazz take on the music of Monteverdi. Learn more at samuelblaser.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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April 15th 2010
The Jazz Session #160: Matt Lavelle

Posted under Clarinetists & Podcast & Trumpeters

One of the things that makes Matt Lavelle uncommon is that he doubles on trumpet and bass clarinet, as you’ll hear on his album The Manifestation Drama (KMB, 2009). In this interview, Lavelle talks about his own growth as a musician; why he started playing bass clarinet; and his fascinating friendships with swing-era veteran Hildred Humphries, jazz icon Ornette Coleman, and long-lost jazzman Giuseppi Logan. Learn more at www.myspace.com/mattlavelle.

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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April 12th 2010
The Jazz Session #159: Stanton Moore

Posted under Drummers & New Orleans & Podcast

Drummer and New Orleans native Stanton Moore is a busy man, whether with his bands Galactic and Garage a Trois or as a solo artist. He’s just released a trio CD called Groove Alchemy (Telarc, 2010), which is also the name of the companion instructional DVD and book, all of which explore funk drumming. In this interview, Moore talks about the legacy of drummers Jabo Starks, Clyde Stubblefield and Zigaboo Modeliste; why he decided to explore funk drumming in depth with this new project; and the experience of recording the album at Levon Helm’s studio in Woodstock, NY. Learn more at www.stantonmoore.com.

Moore also talks about the important work of Defend The Coast and Gulf Restoration Network, two organization dedicated to repairing the man-made damage to the wetlands along the Gulf Coast. Please give these organizations your support.

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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April 8th 2010
The Jazz Session #158: Erik Telford

Posted under Podcast & Trumpeters

Trumpeter Erik Telford finds a balance between the electric and the acoustic on his new CD, Kinetic (EJT Music, 2009) and on his 2-CD/DVD set Live At The Hideout Theatre. In this interview, Telford talks about making music in Austin, TX; the evolution of his musical concept over time; and his band’s success in appealing to a younger audience. Learn more at www.ejtmusic.com.

[Full disclosure: I wrote the liner notes for Kinetic.]

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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April 5th 2010
The Jazz Session #157: Fred Ho

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists

Baritone saxophonist and composer Fred Ho made Celestial Green Monster (Mutable Music, 2010) because he thought he’d be dead soon. Ho’s amazing fight against multiple instances of cancer, and his lifelong pursuit of social justice and musical adventure, informs much of the music on his new album. In this interview, Ho talks about making music while fighting cancer; his passion for large ensembles; and how he chooses to make a political statement through instrumental music. Learn more at www.bigredmediainc.com.

If you’d like to buy this album, you can support The Jazz Session by purchasing it via this link: Fred Ho: Celestial Green Monster

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April 2nd 2010
Matthew Shipp — chapter and verse

Posted under Jazz Writing & Pianists & Podcast

I saw pianist Matthew Shipp in concert last night (April 1, 2010) in Troy, NY, as part of a series put on by the Sanctuary for Independent Media and the Arts Center of the Capital Region. It was a powerful and relentless show, and it inspired a poem called Gravity, which you can read at jasoncrane.org.

If you want to hear more from Matthew Shipp, he was my guest on The Jazz Session recently.

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April 1st 2010
The Jazz Session #156: Joe Locke

Posted under Podcast & Vibraphonists

Vibraphonist Joe Locke’s For The Love Of You (E1 Music, 2010) combines film music, pop music and Locke’s original compositions into an organic whole stamped with Locke’s unmistakable ear for melody and feel for rhythm. In this interview, Locke talks about finding vocalist Kenny Washington; his distinctive approach to arranging for his bands; and one possible explanation for the physicality of his live performances. Learn more at www.joelocke.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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