The Jazz Session #400: Donald Brown

The Jazz Session celebrates 400 episodes with pianist, educator and former Jazz Messenger Donald Brown. This interview was recorded at Brown’s home in Knoxville, TN, during the first part of the “Jazz Or Bust” Tour. In this interview, Brown talks about his early days in Memphis; why writing music has always been important to him; his R&B roots; the injuries he sustained through improper technique and how they’ve affected his career; and his forthcoming recording project.

Note: Except for the first track, the music in this interview comes from Brown’s 2008 recording Fast Forward To The Past (Space Time Records). The first track is from a compilation called Tenors & Satin: The Knoxville Jazz Session.

The Jazz Session #399: Evan Cobb

Woodwind player Evan Cobb’s 2011 CD Falling Up was recorded in the town he calls home, Nashville. In this interview, Cobb talks about his unlikely move to Nashville; the city’s jazz scene; the importance of playing multiple horns; how he knew he was ready to put out a record; and the effect of Nashville itself on his writing. Learn more at evancobbjazz.com and follow him on Twitter at @evancobbjazz.

The Jazz Session #398: Rahsaan Barber

Nashville saxophonist Rahsaan Barber’s most recent album is Everyday Magic (Jazz Music City, 2011). In this interview, Barber talks about deciding to establish his career in his hometown, even after living in New York; the jazz scene in Nashville and how he sees it evolving; and why there was never a chance that he and his brother Roland would become accountants. Learn more at rahsaanbarber.com and follow him on Twitter at @rjbsax.

The Jazz Session #397: W.O. Smith Music School

Named after a pioneering African-American musician and educator (that’s W.O. Smith playing bass on Coleman Hawkins’ original “Body And Soul” recording), Nashville’s W.O. Smith Music School “makes affordable, quality music instruction available to children from low-income families. We transform lives through music.” In this interview, Executive Director Jonah Rabinowitz talks about the school’s origins; the mission it serves and the unique way it affords to offer its services; and the ambitious fundraising and community involvement that led to the school’s current state-of-the-art facility. Learn more at wosmith.org.

The Jazz Session #396: Denis Solee

Woodwind player Denis Solee has been a mainstay in the Nashville Studio scene since the early 1970s, recording with everyone from Ray Charles and Stan Getz to Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks. In this interview, Solee talks about how Nashville has changed since his arrival; what a lifetime in the studios has meant for his career as a jazz player; and why repairing horns reminds him of drag racing.