Archive for August, 2010

August 30th 2010
The Jazz Session #195: Andrew Lamb

Posted under New Orleans & Podcast & Saxophonists

Two weeks after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Andrew Lamb’s trio went into the studio to record a response, the album New Orleans Suite (Engine Studios, 2005 & 2010). Now that album has been remastered and reissued to mark the fifth anniversary of the storm and the engineering disaster that flooded New Orleans. In this interview, Lamb talks about his personal connections to New Orleans; the experience of making the record in the days immediately after the storm; and why he feels musicians have a responsibility to make music that talks about social and political issues. Learn more at

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August 26th 2010
The Jazz Session #194: Shane Endsley of Kneebody

Posted under Bands & Podcast & Trumpeters

For more than a decade, Kneebody has been making music that’s hard to classify and harder to resist. Their new album is You Can Have Your Moment (Winter & Winter, 2010). In this interview, trumpeter Shane Endsley talks about the band’s different approach to recording the new album; the complex series of musical cues the band uses to arrange music live onstage; and how the combination of Theo Bleckmann and Charles Ives led to a recording relationship with the Winter & Winter label. Learn more at

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August 23rd 2010
The Jazz Session #193: Jimmy Amadie

Posted under Pianists & Podcast

Pianist Jimmy Amadie has recorded seven albums, despite being able to play for just a couple hours every few months as a result of severe problems with his hands. On his most recent record, Kindred Spirits (TP Recordings, 2010), Amadie is joined by Lee Konitz, Joe Lovano and Lew Tabackin, among others. In this interview, Amadie talks about the long road back to playing; his subsequent battle with cancer; and his desire to have his music judged against the master musicians of the genre. Learn more at

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August 19th 2010
The Jazz Session #192: Gene Bertoncini

Posted under Guitarists & Podcast

Gene Bertoncini

Here’s an interview I recorded in 2007 with guitarist Gene Bertoncini. This is what I said about him back then:

Raised in the Bronx, Bertoncini began his musical education at an early age, encouraged by his parents. He studied architecture at Notre Dame before deciding on a life of music. That decision was a smart one — Bertoncini has since performed with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra, the Benny Goodman Sextet, Tony Bennett, Buddy Rich, Wayne Shorter, Burt Bacharach, Michel LeGrand and many others. He’s also on the faculty at the Tritone Jazz Camp ( All the selections in this show are taken from Bertoncini’s recording Acoustic Romance (Sons of Sound, 2003), featuring drummer Akira Tana and bassist Rufus Reid.

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August 16th 2010
The Jazz Session #191: Roland Vazquez

Posted under Composers & Drummers & Podcast

Roland Vazquez explores a series of historical and philosophical ideas through the medium of music on The Visitor (RVCD, 2010). In this interview, Vazquez talks about his former and current large ensembles; the programmatic elements underlying the compositions; and why he decided to do something — or rather not do something — for the first time on this album. Learn more at


August 12th 2010
The Jazz Session #190: David Torn

Posted under Guitarists & Podcast

torn small

Here’s an interview from the early days of The Jazz Session with guitarist David Torn. This is what I had to say about him back then:

He’s a film composer whose music you’ve heard in Friday Night Lights, Believe In Me, and The Order. He’s also contributed tones and textures to films like this year’s Best Picture winner, The Departed, and the 2000 hit Traffic. Before his film days, he was known for daring musical collaborations on albums such as Cloud About Mercury (ECM, 1987). And he’s worked as a guitarist and/or producer for everyone from David Bowie and David Sylvian to John Legend and Tori Amos. David Torn has returned to ECM after two decades for prezens (ECM, 2007), an adventurous record that features Tim Berne, Craig Taborn and Tom Rainey. Learn more at

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August 9th 2010
The Jazz Session #189: Eric Hofbauer

Posted under Guitarists & Podcast

Eric Hofbauer is using the solo guitar to explore American identity on a trilogy of albums that began with American Vanity (Creative Nation Music, 2004) and continues with American Fear (Creative Nation Music, 2010). In this interview, Hofbauer talks about the pop tunes he covers on this record; how he uses improvisation to lead to composition; and why he started Creative Nation Music. Learn more at and at Creative Nation Music’s site.


August 5th 2010
The Jazz Session #188: Pharez Whitted

Posted under Podcast & Trumpeters

It’s been 14 years since trumpeter Pharez Whitted last released an album, a drought he’s now ended with Transient Journey (Owl Studios, 2010). In this interview, Whitted talks about the changes in his life that led to the new recording; what it meant to grow up in a family where everyone played an instrument or sang; and why he decided early on to teach as well as play. Learn more at

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August 3rd 2010
A poem about musicians I never saw play

Posted under Poetry

Over at my poetry blog, I just posted a poem called “I never heard Buddy Bolden say a goddamned thing” about many of the musicians I never had a chance to see in person. The text is there along with an audio version.

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August 2nd 2010
The Jazz Session #187: David Weiss

Posted under Podcast & Trumpeters

Trumpeter David Weiss and his band Point Of Departure explore music from the late 1960s on their new record, Snuck In (Sunnyside, 2010), recorded live at Jazz Standard in New York. In this interview, Weiss talks about the little-known Detroit composers who wrote some of the songs on the new record; why he chose to cover other people’s music on this recording; and how he found the impressive roster of talent in Point Of Departure. Learn more at

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