Jason Crane interviews David Torn, a man of many talents. He’s a film composer whose music you’ve heard in Friday Night Lights, Believe In Me, and The Order. He’s also contributed tones and textures to films like this year’s Best Picture winner, The Departed, and the 2000 hit Traffic. Before his film days, he was known for daring musical collaborations on albums such as Cloud About Mercury (ECM, 1987). And he’s worked as a guitarist and/or producer for everyone from David Bowie and David Sylvian to John Legend and Tori Amos. David Torn has returned to ECM after two decades for prezens (ECM, 2007), an adventurous record that features Tim Berne, Craig Taborn and Tom Rainey. Learn more at DavidTorn.net.
Jason Crane interviews saxophonist Wayne Escoffery about his life and his new album, Veneration (Savant, 2007). Escoffery was born in London and moved to New Haven, Connecticut as a child. He sang in a boys choir and then got introduced to the saxophone. Choosing the latter, Escoffery moved into the orbit of legendary saxophonist Jackie McLean, eventually attending McLean’s Artist Collective and his jazz program at the Hartt School of Music. In addition to his own band, Escoffery currently performs with the Mingus Big Band, Tom Harrell, Ben Riley’s Monk Legacy Septet and in a band with his wife, singer Carolyn Leonhart. Find out more at EscofferyMusic.com.
Jason Crane interviews pianist Misha Piatigorsky. Misha fled with his family from Russia during the height of the Cold War and ended up in New Jersey. A classically trained pianist, he discovered jazz and fell in love with the music, ending up at Rutgers studying with Kenny Barron. He won the 2004 Thelonious Monk Composers Competition. He’s also the pianist and musical director for singing legend Mark Murphy. Mishaâ€™s new trio with bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Ari Hoenig is a fusion of hip-hop grooves with his non-traditional jazz compositions. Their new record is Uncommon Circumstance (MISHAMUSIC, 2007). Find out more at mishamusic.com.
Jason Crane interviews Japanese pianist Toru Dodo. Born in Tokyo, Dodo started playing piano at age 4, then gave up his dream of concert piano for the economics department at Tokyo’s Meiji University. He found jazz at Meiji, and eventually came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music. Since moving to New York City in 1998, Dodo has released three CDs and performed with Kenny Garret, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Ruth Brown and Terumasa Hino. His new album is Dodo 3 (Jazzcity, 2006). Find out more at torudodo.com.
Jason Crane interviews French guitarist Francis Jacob. Jacob’s career has taken him around the world: France, Switzerland, Boston, Brazil, Paris and now New York. Along the way, he’s picked up a gift for improvisation and a taste for West African music. On his new CD, Side By Side (2006), he combines his many influences and creates two albums in one — the same tunes, played by two wonderfully different bands. Find out more at FrancisJacob.com.