Interview with Astor Piazzolla

Just in time for my Astor Piazzolla birthday celebration broadcast today, I found this aircheck buried deep in my closet. It’s from a program we did nearly 30 years ago when Piazzolla was about to bring his new sextet to the Warner Theater. The 3rd voice is one of my listeners Roberto Cucullu, who knew far more about Piazzolla than I did (he also brought a lot of rare Piazzolla recordings he’d collected over the years). Good memories. I miss Astor Piazzolla, who would have turned 97 today.

 

Before & After: Steve Wilson

Steve Wilson

By Larry Appelbaum

 

Multi-instrumentalist and educator Steve Wilson is busier than ever these days. He’s got his own group and has appeared on more than 150 recordings from duets to big bands. In addition to being a much-in-demand clinician, Wilson teaches at Virginia Commonwealth University, the City College of New York and the Juilliard School. His most recent release as a leader was Live in New York: The Vanguard Sessions (Random Act), and his next vinyl-only release Sit Back, Relax, & Unwind (J.M.I.) is due out later this year.  We carved out some focused listening time at the Watergate Hotel prior to Maria Schneider’s Orchestra sound check at the Kennedy Center.

 

 

 

Nate Smith

“Bounce Parts I & II” from Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere (Waterbaby Music). Smith, drums; Kris Bowers, keyboard; Fima Ephron, electric bass; Jeremy Most, guitar; Jaleel Shaw, alto saxophone; Chris Potter, tenor saxophone. Recorded in 2014.

 

Before: [10 seconds in] I love it already. Continue reading

Interview with Maria Schneider

On April 12, 2016, I interviewed composer, arranger and bandleader Maria Schneider during her weeklong residency at the Library of Congress. We discussed her creative process, how she met and began working with Gil Evans, artists rights in the digital marketplace, crowdfunding and commissions, her setting of poems by Ted Kooser and her collaboration with David Bowie.

Interview with Jacob Collier

On Oct. 2, 2016, in the midst of his first American tour, British singer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter and producer Jacob Collier stopped up to WPFW-FM for a bit of a chat on my radio program. We discussed a number of issues including his relationships with Stevie Wonder and Quincy Jones, his wildly popular YouTube videos,  artist rights in the digital world and how he created his recently released debut recording “In My Room” entirely in his room at home.

Interview in Danish Newspaper

IMG_5357I was recently interviewed about the state of jazz by culture journalist Bjarke Due Gunslev for the Danish newspaper Information. For reasons of space, he only used a few quotes in the final piece. I’ll now post below the entire interview we did in English via email, then at the bottom is the final article in Danish.

 

 

– Are there in your opinion criteria that has to be met for it to make sense to define a piece of music as jazz? 

For me, there are traditions you can point to, or trends that emerge over time, but there’s no checklist or rulebook that says jazz must conform to one theory, aspect, formula or principle, and I’m glad there isn’t. That would be boring; the sort of thing rigid, humorless people dwell on. You might say such an attitude goes against the sprit or soul of jazz. Or, to borrow a term from the moldy figs of the 1960s, that paint-by-numbers approach is “anti-jazz.”

 

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