The Jazz Session #88: Ellis Marsalis

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Ellis Marsalis is more than the father of four famous sons. He’s an acclaimed pianist and educator in his own right, and his musical history has covered a lot of ground. Homecoming (ELM Records, 2009), his new CD, is a mix of old and new, combining a reissue of 1985 duet session with saxophonist Eddie Harris, and new music recorded in 2009 with fellow New Orleanian pianist Jonathan Batiste. In this interview, Marsalis talks about how his time in the Marines helped build his piano chops; how he got his gig with trumpeter Al Hirt; and what makes New Orleans “fertile ground” for a jazz musician. Find out more at EllisMarsalis.com.

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The Jazz Session #86: Jason Marsalis

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Drummer Jason Marsalis turns to the vibraphone on his new record, Music Update (ELM Records, 2009). In this interview, Marsalis talks about the reason he chose to focus on the vibes; the process by which he recorded the drum ensemble tracks on the CD; and his view of the current state of recovery in New Orleans. Find out more at JasonMarsalis.com.

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The Jazz Session #71: Terence Blanchard

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Jason Crane interviews trumpeter Terence Blanchard. A standard-bearer for his home city of New Orleans, Blanchard turns his musical spotlight on the positive changes that have occurred since Katrina with his new CD, Choices (Concord Records, 2009). In this wide-ranging interview, Blanchard talks about the cultural rebuilding of New Orleans, the ability of music to stand up in the face of tragedy, and his dedication to the growth and maturation of the musicians he employs. Find out more at TerenceBlanchard.com.

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The Jazz Session #62: Jeff Albert

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Jason Crane interviews trombonist Jeff Albert about his new album, Similar In The Opposite Way (Fora Sound, 2009). Albert is one of the leaders of the creative music scene in New Orleans, and his Open Ears Music Series helps provide a home for experimental and free music in the Crescent City. In this interview, Albert talks about the Frenchman Street scene, his Chicago-New Orleans connection, and the cultural condition of post-Katrina New Orleans. Find out more at jeffalbert.com.

Show #9: Victor Goines

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Jason Crane interviews saxophone and clarinet player Victor Goines. Goines has made quite a name for himself with such seminal groups as the Wynton Marsalis Septet and the Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra. In addition to touring the world with the those bands, he’s also an accomplished leader in his own right, and the director of the jazz program at Juilliard in New York. Goines has a new CD called New Adventures (Criss Cross, 2006).