The Jazz Session #49: Sonny Rollins

Jason Crane interviews saxophonist Sonny Rollins. He’s just released Road Shows Vol. 1 (Doxy Records, 2008), a compilation of live performances spanning 20 years. Gary Giddins calls it “one of the finest Sonny Rollins albums ever released.” In this interview, recorded on Election Day 2008, Sonny talks about everything from the prospect of an Obama presidency and the crisis of global warming to the mystery and beauty of jazz improvisation.


The Jazz Session #48: Marcin Wasilewski

Jason Crane interviews Polish pianist and composer Marcin Wasilewski. His new recording, January (ECM, 2008), features his own compositions alongside those of Gary Peacock, Carla Bley, Ennio Moricone and … Prince. Wasilewski’s trio is very much a part of the new European piano trio renaissance, featuring inventive material played democratically.


CONTEST! The Marcin Wasilewski Trio starts a U.S. tour on November 1 in Seattle, with stops in San Francisco, LA, Chicago, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Baltimore and Columbus. I’ve got two tickets to Marcin’s show at the Jazz Bakery in LA on Monday, November 3. To win, be the first person to send an e-mail to with “Marcin” in the subject line. Listeners who have won in the past 30 days need to sit this one out. Everyone else — good luck!

The Jazz Session #47: Satoko Fujii

On the new episode of The Jazz Session, I interview pianist and composer Satoko Fujii. Fujii has released four new recordings in 2008, her 50th birthday year. These records find her with her New York trio; on accordion in the avant-folk-jazz group of her husband, trumpeter Natsuki Tamura; in a quartet with some of Japan’s most talented improvising musicians; and in a second trio with both American and Japanese musicians. Far from slowing down in her middle years, Fujii seems to be pushing herself even more relentlessly, searching for new and exciting ways of expressing her musical ideas.

Listen to the show.