Archive for the 'Jazz News' Category

May 6th 2014
Sexism in jazz

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast

Use the player above to listen to an audio version of this post.

jasoncrane_womeninjazz

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October 11th 2013
Jazz Messengers on The Jazz Session

Posted under Jazz News

bernie_blakey

Drummer Art Blakey would have been 94 today. Blakey is most famous for leading The Jazz Messengers, a band through whose ranks passed many of the great names in jazz. I’ve been fortunate to interview many former Messengers. Click on a name below to hear the interview. Oh, and the photo above is of my son Bernie in about 2004 or so, wearing a hat given to him by Art Blakey’s sister.

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September 10th 2013
The Jazz Session #422: Vijay Iyer, Mary Halvorson, Stephan Crump, Nicky Schrire & the Atlas preview

Posted under Bassists & Guitarists & Jazz News & Pianists & Podcast & Podcast New Season & Vocalists

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I’m celebrating my 40th birthday with four new mini-interviews. Vijay Iyer talks about Holding It Down, his new album with Mike Ladd; Mary Halvorson introduces her septet recording Illusionary Sea; Stephan Crump‘s Rosetta Trio is back with Thwirl; and Nicky Schrire discusses her duo album Space and Time. Plus, Brad Linde returns with a preview of the upcoming season of jazz at the Atlas in Washington, D.C.

NOTE: You can support The Jazz Session by buying these albums in the TJS Store. Thanks!

Atlas_Theater_shops_DC

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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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October 12th 2011
Video of yours truly, interviewed by the new JazzDIY

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast

I was recently interviewed by JazzDIY, a soon-to-be-launched online trade journal for the 21st century jazz musician. You can follow them on Twitter at @JazzDIY and bookmark their site at JazzDIY.com. Actually, I should say “our” site, because right after this interview I agreed to serve as a contributing editor for JazzDIY. We launch on Oct. 17. To tide you over until then, here’s some bonus footage from my five-part video interview.

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June 27th 2011
Undead Jazz Festival – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

Posted under Jazz News

It’s over. Four days of solid music with many outstanding performances. Last night, the Undead Jazz Fest was in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which gave me a lovely excuse to ride from my home in Sunset Park to Williamsburg via the NYC Greenway’s Brooklyn Waterfront section.

I saw a lot of great music last night. And for the three nights before that. One thing I found myself thinking (and then tweeting) was this: “Jazzers: Smile. Talk to the audience. Acknowledge applause after songs. You don’t have to ham it up. Just let us know you know we’re there.”

I didn’t make it through the whole night last night. I discovered partway through that I was jazzed out. Here’s what I captured in photos and tweets.

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“Nice bike ride from Sunset Park to #undeadjazz in W’Burg, where Bizingas is making it happen”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“Kirk Knuffke wailing his ass off with Bizingas”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“Ches Smith and his ‘stache laying down some Levon Helm swamp funk on Brian Drye’s tune ‘Puffer'”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“Marika Hues is grooving to a packed and happy house at Cubano Social. And yes, that’s Peter Lorre.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“Marika Hughes playing sparkling version of ‘No Dancing’ by Don Pullen/George Adams band”
“Marika Hughes playing a love song for Gil Scott-Heron (her biggest influence) and New York City.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“The stage at Cameo. We’re either about to see Jon Irabagon … or Yes in 1973.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“Jon Irabagon and Mike Pride at #undeadjazz”
“This club (Cameo) is lit like one of Peter Gabriel’s nightmares.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“Classic Claudia: Moran, Gress, Hollenbeck, Speed, Reichman”
“The Claudia Quintet has a very interesting timbral blend. It’s sometimes challenging to know who’s playing which notes.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“The Claudia Quintet is a very serious-looking band.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“Hollenbeck is a mountain of intricate sound. That metaphor doesn’t really work, but you get the idea.”
“Hollenbeck really is a monster drummer.”
“Ok, this ‘Be Happy’ tune must be ironically titled. Kick-ass tune, but nothing about it says ‘happy.'”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“Just chatted with Oliver Lake. Now checking out Bobby Previte’s band with Darius Jones.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 4 – June 26, 2011

“I was thinking about going home — feeling a bit jazzed out — but Previtte just pulled me back in.”

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June 26th 2011
Undead Jazz Festival – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

Posted under Jazz News

I got home from Day 2 at about 2 a.m. on June 25, and at 9 p.m. the same day I was back for more music, still in Brooklyn, but this time even closer to my house. I like this trend and would recommend that all future jazz festivals occur in Sunset Park.

Here’s my recap of the evening in photos and tweets. (You can follow my live tweets from the festival — and on other days, too — at http://twitter.com/jasondcrane and http://twitter.com/jazzsesh. This is a selection of the photos I took. The full album is here. And by the way, if you’re enjoying these recaps, The Jazz Session could use your help.

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Sylvie Courvoisier and Mark Feldman: post-apocalyptic chamber music.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Matt Wilson’s drums, pre-magic”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“@mattwilsonjazz delivers his promised ‘erotic press rolls'”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Skate park love with @mattwilsonjazz”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Devotion”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Matt Wilson is easily one of the deepest, most soulful musicians I’ve ever heard.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Darius Jones bringing the cosmic soul to Littlefield”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Darius Jones Trio now sounding like the vanguard of the armies of Mordor”
“Adam Lane is a badass.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“This is like the soundtrack to Shaft Vs. Cthulu”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Darius just dedicated this tune to ‘Billy.’ Holiday? Hart? Drummond? Bragg? (I’m kinda hoping for the last one.)”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Elliot Sharp performing … or leading a meditation retreat.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Dean Bowman giving a solo gospel clinic in a darkened skate park. A sentence I never thought I’d type.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Dean Bowman now whistling more than one pitch at a time. Throat whistling?”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“30 seconds in and I already love this bouncing, joyful performance by Anthony Coleman”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Satoshi Takeshi looks like he’s playing his drums in zero gravity”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“If Monk had written tunes while falling down a spiral staircase, they’d sound like Anthony Coleman’s music. Really digging it.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Electro-acoustic happy trance music from Mountains. Nice. Way too loud.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“David S Ware starting with a declamatory sopranino call. Darius Jones listens from a few feet away.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“The #UndeadJazz Fest: For Anyone Who’s Ever Wanted To See David S Ware Play Solo In A Skate Park By Candlelight.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“You got your jazz in my dub! You got your dub in my jazz! Jamie Saft at Littlefield”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“RT @darylshawn Wasn’t expecting to see Larry Grenadier tonight (w/Jamie Saft and his beard) #undeadjazz / Me either. He sounds great.”
“On second thought, it’s not that surprising to see Larry Grenadier playing dub music. After all, he lives in Kingston.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Never heard – or heard of – drummer Craig Santiago. He’s the bomb. Dub drumming ain’t easy, but he makes it sound that way.”

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 3 – June 25, 2011

“Jeff Lederer now joining Jamie Saft’s New Zion Trio. Saft: ‘It’s in E-flat.’ Lederer: ‘Let’s do it.'”

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June 25th 2011
Undead Jazz Festival – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Posted under Jazz News

This post is dated June 25, which is accurate because the show didn’t start until after midnight. But it was worth the wait. The format was a round robin. Dean Bowman sang solo, then was joined by Charlie Burnham. Then Dean left and Erik Friendlander played with Charlie. Then Charlie left … you get the idea. Here is one photo from each combination, in the order in which they appeared.

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Invocation: Dean Bowman, solo

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Charlie Burnham and Dean Bowman

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Erik Friedlander and Charlie Burnham

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Erik Friedlander and Elliot Sharp

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Chris Lightcap and Elliot Sharp

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Chris Lightcap and Brian Chase

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Brian Chase and Darius Jones

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Darius Jones and Jamie Saft

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Kirk Knuffke and Jamie Saft (I couldn’t fit them both in the shot because of where I was sitting.)

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Kirk Knuffke and Chris Speed

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Jim Black and Chris Speed

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Jim Black and Dave King

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Dave King and Marco Cappelli

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Chris Dingman and Marco Capelli

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Chris Dingman and Eivind Opsvik

From Undead Jazz Fest – Day 2 – June 25, 2011

Eivind Opsvik solo — The End!

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March 17th 2011
One million downloads!

Posted under Jazz News & Site Updates

Wow. Just … wow. Within the last few minutes, The Jazz Session hit one million downloads.

I’m just blown away. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

And if you’d like to keep the show going for another million downloads, please become a member.

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December 2nd 2010
Grammy nominees on The Jazz Session

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast

Several artists who’ve appeared on The Jazz Session were nominated for Grammy awards this year. Congratulations to all the nominees.

Best Jazz Instrumental Album, Individual or Group

Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album

Best Latin Jazz Album

A complete list of Grammy nominees is available at Grammy.com.

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November 14th 2010
The Jazz Session’s “100 By 300” campaign

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast & Site Updates

The Jazz Session is launching a new membership campaign — “100 By 300” — with the goal of reaching 100 members by the 300th show. For the cost of a couple cups of (admittedly expensive) coffee each month, you can keep The Jazz Session going for years to come. Visit the Join page and become a member for as little as $10 a month or $110 a year. Thank you for your support! And thanks especially to the people who have already joined.

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October 2nd 2010
Photos: Yosvany Terry at The Jazz Gallery

Posted under Jazz News

I went with my sister to see Yosvany Terry’s band at The Jazz Gallery in Manhattan tonight. We both loved it. Here are the photos I took:

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September 15th 2010
Sonny & Ornette II?

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast

Keith just posted the following in the comments section of my Rollins recap:

I attended the book signing in manhattan last nite (9/14) for the new book Saxophone Colossus: A Portrait of Sonny Rollins beautiful, great photos by john abbot, text by bob blumenthal.

i got a chance to ask sonny at the signing if there was a chance that he & ornette might arrange to perform together. sonny’s reply–“we’re looking into it “.
jazz gossip scoop of the year?

Thanks, Keith!

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September 10th 2010
Review: Sonny Rollins 80th Birthday Concert

Posted under Jazz News & Jazz Writing & Podcast


Let me say right off that this isn’t really a review. More of an impression of a very special episode of Sonny Rollins in concert. Also, I didn’t take any notes, so I can remember what I remember and that’s it. Caveat, uh, you. (UPDATE: See the comments section for song titles provided by an audience member with a much better memory.) (UPDATE 2: Peter Hum posted an article that includes the full set list.)


The Beacon is a gorgeous venue. The sound was excellent and the ornate decorations lent the evening the feel of a big-city gala. I think that atmosphere was also helped by the fact that this was a big-city gala. The place was stuffed with famous jazz and arts folks. I sat between jazz writer Larry Blumenfeld and poet Steve Dalachinsky. Behind me was multi-instrumentalist Jonathan Batiste (of the New Orleans Batistes) and up several rows in front was saxophonist Jimmy Heath. Steve Dalachinsky and I both thought we saw the poet Yusef Komunyakaa, but we weren’t 100% sure. Anyway, the list goes on.


Sonny opened the show with the night’s “core” band: Russell Malone on guitar, Bob Cranshaw on bass, Kobie Watkins on drums (hear him on TJS #132) and Sammy Figueroa on congas. They played two tunes, the second of which was “Global Warming,” one of my favorite of Sonny’s calypso tunes. Then the parade of special guests began.

First up was trumpeter Roy Hargrove, looking modern and dapper in a tight black suit, fedora, white shirt, narrow black tie and big sneakers. Roy opened up with “I Can’t Get Started” on flugelhorn and then he and Sonny played a second tune together (no, I can’t remember which tune) that featured a lot of trading fours. In fact, probably too much trading fours. At one point Roy just started playing the head and they went out. All very good-natured and fun to watch.

The next guest was guitarist Jim Hall, with whom Sonny recorded some of his seminal albums when, as Sonny said in his introduction, “I was a very young boy.” Hall seemed fairly tentative on the guitar, even for someone famous for often understated playing. Sonny started an unaccompanied version of “In A Sentimental Mood” and Hall began to play along, quickly realizing that he and Sonny were nowhere near in tune. So Sonny added a repetitive tuning note to his solo, Hall tuned his guitar, the crowd laughed, and Hall picked up where Sonny left off, finishing with his own unaccompanied take on “In A Sentimental Mood.” There was also a second tune (nope, can’t remember it).

Following Hall’s set, the entire band left the stage, leaving Sonny there alone. He brought out bassist Christian McBride and someone he said “showed up unannounced,” drummer Roy Haynes. Can I just say that Roy Haynes is easily the baddest human being alive? He looked better than anybody in the Beacon — dressed to kill, walking cool, shades, a shiny suit and a great smile to the audience. The trio played a ballad that featured a typically high-energy solo from Roy. Then they went into a medium-tempo blues (a famous one, too, but I still can’t recall what it was). This dragged on a bit too long, and Sonny walked up to the mic while the rhythm section was playing and said, “I’ve been told there’s someone here who wants to say ‘happy birthday’™ to me, and he’s got a horn. I wish he would come out right now.” Sonny kept soloing while all three musicians looked offstage, waiting.

Then Ornette Coleman walked out on stage. The place went, if I may use a technical term, batshit crazy. Everybody on their feet, yelling, screaming. Ornette soloed, then he and Sonny traded, which pushed Sonny into a more free place than at any other time during the show. It was wonderful. At that point, the band was Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Roy Haynes and Christian McBride. More than 240 years living up there on stage.

Everybody but Ornette came out for a rousing version of “St. Thomas” featuring strong solos and interplay between Sonny and Roy Hargrove. The fifth standing ovation and it was over.

I felt very, very lucky to be there.

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September 7th 2010
Happy Birthday, Sonny Rollins!

Posted under Jazz News & Saxophonists

Sonny Rollins turns 80 today. Sonny has been on The Jazz Session twice:

Sonny will be at the Beacon Theatre in New York this Friday for a special 80th birthday concert with Jim Hall, Roy Hargrove, Christian McBride and more. More information at www.sonnyrollins.com. I’ll be there!

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July 15th 2010
Gene Ludwig, 1937-2010

Posted under Jazz News & Obituaries & Organists

Organist Gene Ludwig passed away on July 14, 2010. I didn’t know him well, but he was a guest on The Jazz Session in August, 2009, and we spoke several times in person and by phone and email. Gene and his wife Pattye were extremely kind to me and to everyone with whom I saw them interact, particularly during Gene’s performance last year in Schenectady, NY. My thoughts are with Pattye and with their families at this time.

Gene’s Schenectady gig inspired a poem that appears in my book, Unexpected Sunlight. You can read the poem at jasoncrane.org.

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June 26th 2010
The Jazz Session hits 600,000 downloads!

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast & Site Updates

The Jazz Session just hit 600,000 downloads! Thanks for all your support. If you’d like to help keep the show going, please consider donating using the button on the left side of this site.

4 Comments »

February 11th 2010
Coming up on The Jazz Session

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast

Coming up on The Jazz Session over the next couple months: Jason Parker, Chris Kelsey, Harris Eisenstadt, Erik Deutsch, Chad Taylor, John Hollenbeck, Roger Kellaway, Sam Sadigursky, Brandon Seabrook, Lionel Loueke, Dave Rempis & Frank Rosaly, Frank Kimbrough, John Ellis, Orrin Evans, Joe Locke, Tyshawn Sorey, Fred Ho, …Erik Telford, Stanton Moore, Matt Lavelle … and more!

Crazy, right?

1 Comment »

February 9th 2010
Brilliant

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast

Many thanks to Chris Rich of the blog Brilliant Corners for including The Jazz Session right at the top of his site.

If you’re not familiar with Chris, you should be. He blogs frequently and fearlessly about jazz as an art form and as a business, and I always find his take on the music refreshing and original. Chris also goes out of his way to build a community of jazz fans, musicians and writers, and that’s important work.

Back in November, Chris asked me to participate in his occasional profile series. Here are the results.

So thanks, Chris. The jazz world is better with you in it.

UPDATE: This short post prompted some nasty comments, which is too bad. But it also prompted an interesting post from Chris Rich, which is good.

16 Comments »

January 31st 2010
Grammy winners on The Jazz Session

Posted under Jazz News & Podcast

Congratulations to all the folks who won Grammy awards during the afternoon ceremony today, including the following former guests on The Jazz Session:

Here’s the rest of the list of the awards given out thus far in the jazz category.

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