Interviews

INTERVIEWS

Jason Moran: Joyful Proclamations

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Jason Moran requires no introduction, either as an artistic alchemist or a spokesperson and educator. Moran has left an indelible mark on modern jazz and is now seated at one of the nation's most preeminent performing spaces--the Kennedy Center--as its artistic director for jazz. Already, his capacity for insight, humor, and innovation have launched a new era for the Center's jazz programming, defined in equal measures by careful regard for the music's history, a broad artistic view, and pointed political statements aimed at the center of American cultural assumptions. At the same time, Moran continues to transcend musical boundaries--and in ...

INTERVIEWS

Daniel Lanois: I Look for Commitment and a Lot of Heart and Soul

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Whenever I'm asked to name a list of Top 10 all time favorite records, the list slightly changes and shuffles every time. However, one of the most common denominators to those diverse lists is producer/musician Daniel Lanois. Often called a “studio wizard" or “studio magician," this producer has become renowned both for his proficiency in the studio and his gift for motivating and enabling people to reach new creative heights. Armed with an intuitive combination of emotions and technical proficiency, over the last 30 years he has been involved in some of the most ambitious and progressive new music as ...

INTERVIEWS

Billy Harper: A Life of Persistence and Improvisation

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On stage, Billy Harper puts his lips to the tenor saxophone, stands relatively erect and sings through his horn; a strong, angular, muscular sound. There little physical gesticulation, belying the effort it takes to express feelings and emotions through the instrument. But Harper's creative statements demand attention. Over the last few years, a lot of that energy is expressed on stage with the Cookers, a star-studded septet that has been burning up the scene, gaining fans and critical acclaim. Harper is blowing his best among comrades Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Donald Harrison and David ...

INTERVIEWS

Cecil McBee: Masterful, And Always Equipped

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Cecil McBee is one of the finest bass players on the scene, a status he's held among musicians for many years, even if the public is slower to pick up on the achievements of this 79-year-old musician extraordinaire. A natural, he was quick to connect with musicians in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. But helping him along the road to becoming a top-flight musician was a series of encounters where people would come asking for him. They were people he didn't know, but who would boost him to the next step, the next chapter. In each ...

INTERVIEWS

Sheila Jordan: Now's The Time

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Sheila Jordan, one of the last great jazz vocalists from the bebop era turns eighty six on 18 November. Happy Birthday Sheila! There's much to celebrate. The Pennsylvanian-born singer's remarkable life story has just been published--the first complete biography to cover Jordan's life and career in detail. Written by Ellen Johnson over seven years, Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) relates Jordan's life from her upbringing in real poverty and her first steps as a teenage bebopper in the late 1940s to her induction as an NEA Jazz Master in 2012. At various ...

INTERVIEWS

Hanna Paulsberg: Home Grown Concept

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Norwegian saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg is slowly but surely building a reputation as one of the brightest young jazz musicians to have emerged from Norway in recent years. Her debut at the head of the Hanna Paulsberg Concept, Waltz for Lilli (Ora Fonogram, 2012) introduced a composer/musician with strong melodic and rhythmic sensibilities and made a convincing case for the HPC as a quartet worthy of wider international attention. Paulsberg's quartet is arguably more inclined towards the American tradition than many of its Norwegian contemporaries but that didn't stop it wining the Young Nordic Jazz Comets competition in Stockholm ...

INTERVIEWS

Koichi Makigami Presents His Unique Musical Vision In The Stone

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At the end of October, Japanese vocal artist extraordinaire Koichi Makigami celebrates his unique, eclectic and often eccentric art during a week long residence at The Stone club in New York. Makigami will play with old comrades and some newer, like-minded musicians in a rare opportunity to present his band Hikashu in a different setting. In this interview Makigami speaks about the upcoming residence, Hikashu, his ongoing affiliation with John Zorn, founder of The Stone and the Tzadik label, and plans for the future. The interview was conducted through the kind assistance of Nori from the Hikashu ...



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