Tonight I interviewed saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa about his forthcoming album Bird Calls. The album comes out on Feb. 10. It features Matt Mitchell on piano, Francois Moutin on bass, Rudy Royston on drums and Adam O’Farrill on trumpet. You’ll hear the interview soon on The Jazz Session. On Wednesday I’m going to interview Peter Apfelbaum. And then Akua Dixon next week. And then…lots more people.
Jason Crane interviews saxophonist David Sanborn. Sanborn is one of the few jazz players whose name is known even outside the jazz world. It’s fitting, then, that he’s using his new album Here & Gone (Decca, 2008) to bring a lesser-known jazz saxophonist into wider awareness. Here & Gone celebrates the music of Hank Crawford, a saxophone player and the principal arranger for the Ray Charles “little big band” of the 50s and 60s. Crawford’s playing had a huge impact on Sanborn, and Sanborn repays the favor with this thoughtful and soulful tribute.
Jason Crane interviews vibraphonist James Westfall, bassist Dan Loomis and drummer Jared Schonig, known collectively as The Wee Trio. Their first record, Capitol Diner Vol. 1 (Bionic Records, 2008) features original music, jazz standards … and Nirvana. The trio explores the music they love through the lens of collective improvisation, and the results are fresh, fun and worth repeated listening. Find out more at theweetrio.com.
Jason Crane interviews the members of the trio Fly: bassist Larry Grenadier, drummer Jeff Ballard and saxophonist Mark Turner. Fly is very much a collective effort — the group operates with a leaderless philosophy in which everyone contributes equally. As a result, the trio has come up with some fresh and exciting sounds as they try new combinations and new ways to balance their respective instruments. All three musicians are very much in demand as sidemen, too. A full transcript of this interview is available at AllAboutJazz.com.
Jason Crane interviews organist Barbara Dennerlein about her pipe organ recording Spiritual Movement No. 2 (Bebab Records, 2008). The album was recorded at one of Germany’s most famous churches in front of a very appreciative audience. In this interview, recorded before a concert in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Dennerlein discusses jazz on the pipe organ; why organists should use their feet; and how she adapts to the challenge of seldom having her own instrument on stage.
THE JAZZ SESSION #52: MARILYN CRISPELL. Jason Crane interviews pianist Marilyn Crispell about her album of solo piano pieces, Vignettes (ECM, 2008). Crispell made an early name for herself with Anthony Braxton, and she’s since amassed an impressive list of recordings that include composed and freely improvised pieces. In this interview, Crispell talks about the nature of improvisation, the particular challenges of solo playing, and the joys of Woodstock, NY.