Archive for February, 2011

February 28th 2011
The Jazz Session #244: Nicholas Urie

Posted under Composers & Podcast

Nicholas Urie’s new album, My Garden (Red Piano Records, 2011), features his settings of the poems of Charles Bukowski. In this interview, Urie talks about his identification with Bukowski, who, like Urie, spent much of his life in Los Angeles; the challenges of setting Bukowski’s non-lyrical poems; and the even greater challenge of getting the rights to use Bukowski’s work in the first place. Learn more at

NOTE: Nicholas asked me to mention the members of the band because we didn’t name them during the interview. I said I’d put their names in the intro or the outro to the show, but of course I forgot. So here they are: Christine Correa (voice); Jeremy Udden, Douglas Yates, Kenny Pexton, Brian Landrus (woodwinds); Albert Leusink, Ben Holmes, John Carlson (trumpets); Alan Ferber, Max Siegel (trombones); Frank Carlberg (piano); John Hebert (bass); Michael Sarin (drums); Nicholas Urie (conductor).

Tracks used in this episode: Winter: My 44th Year; Round And Round; Lioness; My Garden; Slaughterhouse; Finality.

NOTE: Listen to Nicholas Urie’s 2009 appearance on The Jazz Session.

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February 24th 2011
The Jazz Session #243: Grant Stewart (TJS 4th Anniversary Show!)

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists

The Jazz Session started four years ago today with episode #1 — an interview with saxophonist Grant Stewart. Four years, 243 episodes and 930,000 downloads later, The Jazz Session is still going strong. In the introduction to this show, I take a moment to thank all the people who’ve made it possible, before welcoming my guest…

Grant Stewart returns to help celebrate the fourth anniversary, and to talk about his new record, Around The Corner (Sharp Nine, 2010). In this interview, Stewart discusses the idea of excellence versus the trend toward originality; talks about his recent trips around the world to play jazz; and outlines his own approach to playing the saxophone and what fulfills him as an artist. Learn more at

Tracks used in this episode: Get Happy; The Scene Is Clean; I Waited For You; That’s My Girl; Something’s Gotta Give.

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February 21st 2011
The Jazz Session #242: Ralph Bowen

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists

Saxophonist Ralph Bowen returns with Power Play (Posi-Tone, 2011), his third CD in as many years. In this interview, Bowen talks about why he enjoys writing his own music; the importance of his bandmates in creating the right studio environment; and the lessons he learned from his time with Horace Silver. Learn more at

Tracks used in this episode: K.D.’s Blues; Drumheller Valley; My One And Only Love; Two-Line Pass; The Good Sheppard; Bella Firenze.


February 17th 2011
The Jazz Session #241: Hank Shteamer on Henry Threadgill

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists & Writers

Music writer and musician Hank Shteamer talks about Mosaic’s new Henry Threadgill boxed set, The Complete Novus & Columbia Recordings of Henry Threadgill & Air, for which Shteamer wrote the liner notes. In this interview, Shteamer talks about the two-decade period covered by the set; the amazing variety of Threadgill’s bands and compositions; Threadgill’s infectious humor; and how Threadgill differs from other musical iconoclasts. Get the boxed set at Mosaic’s site, and read more of Hank Shteamer’s writing at his excellent blog, Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches.

Tracks used in this episode: Card Five: Open Air Suit; Come Carry The Day; Salute To The Enema Bandit; Paille Street; Noisy Flowers; Sweet Holy Rag.

NOTE: Listen to Henry Threadgill on The Jazz Session talking about his Zooid project.

NOTE 2: A poem inspired by one of the tracks on the Mosaic boxed set: “Threadgill’s birds”


February 16th 2011
I know I can’t be the first person to have made this joke

Posted under Jazz Writing

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February 14th 2011
The Jazz Session #240: No BS! Brass (Reggie Pace)

Posted under Bands & Trombonists

No BS! Brass hails from Richmond, VA, and they don’t sound like any brass band you’ve ever heard. Their new album, No BS! (2010), features their special blend on horns, funk and metal attitude. In this interview, co-founder Reggie Pace talks about the birth of the band; his own growth as an arranger and writer over the course of the band’s three albums; and the burgeoning music scene in Richmond. Learn more at

Tracks used in this episode: Brass Scene Kidz; Dr. Wily; Khan!!; Representing; Bad Sake Drunk.

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February 10th 2011
The Jazz Session #239: Jerome Sabbagh

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists

Saxophonist Jerome Sabbagh teams with guitarist Ben Monder and drummer Daniel Humair on I Will Follow You (Bee Jazz, 2010). In this interview, Sabbagh talks about the formation of this trio; his varying approaches to composition; and how his diverse musical choices make him difficult to label but more content as a player. Learn more at

Tracks used in this episode: I Will Follow You; Monolith; The Clown; Comptine; Rahan; Come With Me; More; La Fee Morgane; Saloon.

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February 7th 2011
The Jazz Session #238: Bizingas (Brian Drye)

Posted under Bands & Podcast & Trombonists

Trombonist Brian Drye leads a band of first-call New York players on the album Bizingas (NCM East, 2010). In this interview, Drye talks about the mischievous origins of the band’s name; his free-form approach to structuring the music on the album; and why he gravitates toward non-standard instrumentation. Learn more at

Tracks used in this episode: Tagger; Money Market; Sifting; TMT; Iluminum; Untitled Moog Anthem.

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February 3rd 2011
The Jazz Session #237: Rodrigo Amado

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists

Portuguese saxophonist Rodrigo Amado’s new album, Searching For Adam (Not Two, 2010), features Taylor Ho Bynum, John Hebert and Gerald Cleaver. In this interview, Amado describes how he chose his bandmates without having played with them before; talks about his decision to record freely improvised music; and tells the story of the amazing transformation of the jazz scene in Lisbon and Portugal. Learn more at

Tracks used in this episode: Newman’s Informer; Waiting For Andy; Renee, Lost In Music; Sunday Break.

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