Archive for June, 2012

June 28th 2012
The Jazz Session #385: Pete Zimmer

Posted under Drummers & Podcast

Drummer Pete Zimmer’s new album is Prime Of Life (Tippin’ Records, 2012). It features George Garzone on saxophone, Peter Bernstein on guitar and Peter Slavov on bass. In this interview, Zimmer talks about swing — what it means to him and how he approaches playing it; the primacy of sound in his selection of bandmates and in his own playing; and the differences between being a leader and a sideman. Learn more at and follow him on Twitter at @PeteZimmer.

NOTE:: This is Pete’s second time on the show. He was originally on episode #10 (!) way back in 2007. Listen to his first appearance.

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June 25th 2012
The Jazz Session #384: Brian Settles

Posted under Podcast & Saxophonists

Washington, D.C. saxophonist Brian Settles’ most recent album is Secret Handshake (Engine Records, 2011). In this interview, recorded in Maryland, Settles talks about his decision to take a break from the jazz scene years ago to work on his craft; why he relocated from New York back to his native Washington; his working band; and what he hopes for the future of his music. Learn more at and follow him on Twitter on @briansettles.

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June 21st 2012
The Jazz Session #383: Janel and Anthony

Posted under Cellists & Guitarists & Podcast

Janel and Anthony’s new album is Where Is Home (Cuneiform, 2012). In this interview, cellist Janel Leppin and guitarist Anthony Pirog talk about how they found each other and realized they should start a band; the sonic landscapes they create live and in the studio; and how they move past just the sound of a guitar and a cello. Learn more at and follow them on Twitter at @janelandanthony.

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June 18th 2012
The Jazz Session #382: Jeff Cosgrove

Posted under Drummers & Jazz Or Bust Tour & Podcast

Drummer Jeff Cosgrove’s debut album, featuring his band Motian Sickness, is For The Love Of Sarah (Grizzley Music, 2011). In this interview, recorded in Shepherdstown, WV, on the “Jazz Or Bust” Tour, Cosgrove talks about making a life in music when you’re not in a major metropolitan area; how he decided on the bluegrass sound that characterizes Motian Sickness; his relationship with Paul Motian; and how he uses grants to bring major artists to Shepherdstown. Learn more at and follow him on Twitter at @MotianSickness.

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June 14th 2012
The Jazz Session #381: Harris Eisenstadt

Posted under Drummers & Podcast

Harris Eisenstadt’s two new records are Canada Day III (Songlines, 2012) and Canada Day Octet (482 Music, 2012). In this interview, Eisenstadt talks about expanding existing quintet music to octet form; the evolution of the Canada Day band and what its longevity allows him to do as a composer; and the life of a touring musician. Learn more at and follow him on Twittter at @HEisenstadt.

Concert Note: Eisenstadt has two CD release parties this weekend in NYC. The Canada Day III release event is on June 16, 2012, at Cornelia Street Cafe. The Canada Day Octet event is on June 17 at the Red Hook Jazz Festival.

Note: This is Eisenstadt’s second appearance on The Jazz Session. Listen to our 2010 conversation.

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June 11th 2012
The Jazz Session #380: Barry Kernfeld

Posted under Authors & Bloggers & Jazz Or Bust Tour & Podcast

Kernfeld on saxophone. (Photo: Pennsylvania Library Association)

Barry Kernfeld is the author of Pop Song Piracy: Disobedient Music Distribution since 1929 (University of Chicago Press, 2011); The Story of Fake Books: Bootlegging Songs to Musicians (Scarecrow, 2006); and What To Listen For In Jazz (Yale University Press, 1995). He may be most well known as the editor of both editions of the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, a massive undertaking that sought to define the major players, instruments and theories of jazz around the world. In this interview, Kernfeld talks about his early years in San Francisco during the height of the rock explosion; his move to Cornell in the 70s and the unexpectedly progressive atmosphere he found there; how he came to edit the New Grove Dictionary of Jazz and the response to its first edition; and his subsequent investigations of song piracy and fake books. Learn more at

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June 10th 2012
AUM Fidelity Celebrates 15 Years

Posted under Jazz News

The AUM Fidelity record label is celebrating 15 years in the business. Here’s an oral history of the label in the Village Voice:

“The Oral History Of AUM Fidelity: Steven Joerg’s DIY Avant-Garde Label Celebrates Its 15th Anniversary”

I’ve interviewed quite a few AUM Fidelity artists over the last couple years. Here they are:

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June 7th 2012
The Jazz Session #379: Vernon Reid

Posted under Guitarists & Podcast

Guitarist Vernon Reid’s new album with Jack Bruce, John Medeski and Cindy Blackman-Santana is called Spectrum Road (Palmetto Records, 2012). Reid is the founder of the band Living Colour and of the Black Rock Coalition. He’s a skilled improviser whose history with jazz goes back several decades to New York’s downtown music scene. He’s also the co-host, with comedian W. Kamau Bell, of the Field Negro Guide to Arts & Culture. In this interview, Reid talks about how John Coltrane’s “My Favorite Things” drew him into improvised music; the parallel development of improvisation in rock and jazz; the dangers of musical influence; and the decade-long conception and making of Spectrum Road. Learn more at and follow him on Twitter at @vurnt22.


June 4th 2012
The Jazz Session #378: Judith Kay

Posted under Guitarists & Jazz Or Bust Tour & Podcast & Vocalists

Guitarist and vocalist Judith Kay has made a career for herself in Arden, an artists community near Wilmington, DE. In this interview, Kay talks about her love of Brazilian music; her time studying arranging with Manny Albam; why she decided to stay in Delaware; and why she feels it’s important to sing the melody the way the composer wrote it. Learn more at

This interview was conducted as part of my “Jazz Or Bust” tour.