Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Drive Time and Yard Work Listening

I seem to spend a lot more time in the car lately and, more and more, there's not music playing on my iPod.  If it's my wife and I on a longer trip, we laugh at "Wait! Wait! Don't Tell Me" or get serious with an audio track from "Bill Moyers' Journal."

When it's just me, I find the interviews on Jason Crane's "Jazz Session" to be quite satisfying listening. Over the past several years, Crane (pictured left) has chatted with jazz greats such as Sonny Rollins, Chico Hamilton, Sam Rivers and Marian McPartland and introduced audiences to The Respect Sextet, arranger/composer Dave Rivello and saxophonist Darius Jones (among many other young and lesser-known players.) A musician himself, Crane is rarely in awe of his subject (at least, he does not fawn all over them) and asks quite probing and relevant questions.  One can download the shows for free by going to www.thejazzsession.com or through iTunes.  It's worth your time.

I have written in the past about Josh Jackson and WBGO-FM's "The Checkout."  The show gets stronger all the time - for example, Thanksgiving week's segment included interviews with Maria Schneider, John Hollenbeck and David Berger, composers all and leaders of large ensembles.  As with Crane's program, one meets all kinds of musicians and hears many examples of modern jazz.  It, too, is available on iTunes and you can listen online at www.wbgo.org/thecheckout/. WBGO streams its jazz programming online and there's lots to choose from - go to www.wbgo.org where you can eyeball the offerings.

New Orleans is well-known as the birthplace of jazz and one hears great examples all the time through the efforts of Wynton Marsalis, pianists Tom McDermott, Dr. John, Marcus Roberts, Allen Toussaint, and clarinetist Dr. Michael White.  The Crescent City has an active improvisational music scene and you can check out live mp3s by going to openearsmusic.org/.  Trombonist/composer Jeff Albert (picture courtesy of Zach Smith) founded the weekly improvised and creative music concerts known as the Open Ears Music Series, and now co-curates the series along with Justin Peake and Dan Oestreicher. If you're in New Orleans, you can find the music on Tuesday nights in the upstairs room of the Blue Nile on Frenchmen St. Yes, the music does not conform to what you might expect from that part of the music world but it's often quite involving and frequently exciting.  This site is all music and I often listen to it working in the yard or around the house.

Enjoy the holidays!  Thanks for reading!

Here's some fine new music from the Rob Garcia 4 "Perennial" CD, released on the BJU Records label and featuring West Hartford native Noah Preminger on tenor saxophone and the impressive young pianist Dan Tepfer. Garcia is the drummer and composer with Chris Lightcap on acoustic bass.

Joe-Pye Weed (mp3)

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