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 www.myspace.com/andrewtheblacklamb.
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 kneebody.com.
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 www.jimmyamadie.com.
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 (tritonejazz.com). 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.
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 www.rolandvazquez.com.