Interview with Allen Toussaint

I’ve always had great respect and admiration for New Orleans pianist, songwriter and producer, Allen Toussaint. In our conversation from 2007, he spoke about his hit records, life in the recording studios, the New Orleans piano tradition, Professor Longhair, the challenges of songwriting and producing and the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

Min Xiao-Fen at Bohemian Caverns

After my radio show tonight I stopped by Bohemian Caverns to catch the first set of pipa player Min Xiao-Fen. She played and sang classsical Chinese pieces, a kind of blues played on sanxian, and pieces by Monk (Ask Me Now), Ellington (Satin Doll interpolated with a Chinese song) and this version of All Blues by Miles Davis. Nice turnout for a Sunday night. Thanks to the Post Classical Ensemble for taking a chance on presenting this show.


Marilyn Mazur

She was born in New York and has lived in Denmark since the age of six. Happy birthday to drummer, composer, vocalist, pianist, dancer and bandleader, Marilyn Mazur. Here’s a clip I shot of her in action with Kjetil Bjornstad’s group at the 2010 Molde Jazz Festival.


Fifty Favorite Jazz Releases from 2011

Everyone seems to like lists this time of year. Here are my top fifty favorite jazz releases from 2011:

Favorite Jazz Releases 2011 (in no particular order)

Orrin Evans-Captain Black Big Band (Positone)

Kip Hanrahan-At Home In Anger (American Clave)

Wadada Leo Smith-Dark Lady of The Sonnets (TUM)

Vince Mendoza-Nights On Earth (Horizontal)

Anthony Wilson-Seasons (Goat Hill)

Rez Abbasi-Invocation (Enja)

Christian McBride Big Band-The Good Feeling (Mack Avenue)

Roy Haynes-Roy-Alty (Dreyfus)

Gretchen Parlato-The Lost and Found (Oblique Sound)

Sara Serpa-Mobile (Inner Circle)

Trio M-The Guest House (Enja)

Terri Lyne Carrington-The Mosaic Project (Concord)

Craig Taborn-Avenging Angel (ECM)

Miguel Zenon-Alma Adentro (Marsalis Music)

Ambrose Akinmusire-When The Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note)

Steve Coleman-The Mancy of Sound (PI)

Ron Carter’s Great Big Band (Sunnyside)

Charles Lloyd/Maria Farantouri-Athens Concert (ECM)

Ralph Alessi-Wiry Strong (Clean Feed)

Dave Douglas-Orange Afternoons (Greenleaf)

Michael Bates-Acrobat (Sunnyside)

Sonny Rollins-Road Shows Vol. 2 (Doxy)

Keith Jarrett-Rio (ECM)

Freddie Hubbard-Pinnacle (Resonance)

Chris Dingman-Waking Dreams (bwm)

Joe Fielder-Sacred Chrome Orb (Yellowsound)

Rudresh Mahanthappa-Samdhi (ACT)

Rene Marie-Black Lace Freudian Slip (Motema)

Kenny Werner-Institute of Higher Learning (Half Note)

Gilad Hekselman-Hearts Wide Open (Chant du Monde)

Tony Malaby’s Novela (Clean Feed)

Jerry Gonzalez-El Comando de la Clave (Sunnyside)

Nicole Mitchell-Awakening (Delmark)

Arturo O’Farrill Latin Jazz Orchestra-40 Acres and a Burro (Zoho)

Randy Brecker-The Jazz Ballad Song Book (Half Note)

Tyshawn Sorey-Oblique-1 (PI)

Gerald Wilson-Legacy (Mack Avenue)

Jacob Karlzon 3-The Big Picture (Stunt)

Warren Wolf-Warren Wolf (Mack Avenue)

Tom Harrell-The Time of the Sun (HighNote)

Ben Williams-State of Art (Concord)

Roseanna Vitro-The Music of Randy Newman (Motema)

Karrin Allyson-‘Round Midnight (Concord)

Nguyen Le-Songs of Freedom (ACT)

James Farm (Nonesuch)

Joe Lovano-Bird Songs (Blue Note)

JD Allen-Victory (Sunnyside)

Fabian Almazan-Personalities (Biophilia)

Søren Kjærgaard/Ben Street/Andrew Cyrille-Femklang (ILK)

Lee Konitz/Brad Mahldau/Charlie Haden/Paul Motian-Live at Birdland (ECM)