Music moves the soul in so many ways. It moves the spirit and inspires living beings to become one with the music. Argentinian Julieta Eugenio was just that person from a young age. She’s not entirely sure why. Her parents didn’t play an instrument though they played recordings around the house. As long as she can remember, music was in her life.
Her personal interest wasn’t piqued until she saw a piano when she was about five years old. It was like magic, Julieta recalls. She was visually pinned to the piano. That’s love at first site. Music grabbed her and it hasn’t let her go since. Later, when she was in middle school, when she joined the school band, Julieta nonchalantly selected a saxophone when presented with a choice of instruments. A tenor saxophone.
Julieta Eugenio hails from Argentina and now lives in New York city. She made this bold change in her life at 23 years old. Alone. No family or friends to accompany her. Julieta’s formal music studies began following high school in Buenos Aires at Conservatorio Manuel de Falla (Bachelor 2012) and the Conservatorio Nacional Lopez Buchardo (IUNA) where she studied jazz. In New York, Julieta attended Queens College where she studied jazz and performed in area clubs with the masters, including pianist Johnny O’Neal, David Kikoski and Pasquale Grasso.
The mental journey Julieta took was immense. She loves jazz and knew she had to take the leap, leaving the familiar settings and family, the beautiful landscape of Argentina, and the comfort of her home country to challenge herself in New York City. It seems, though, to be paying itself off as Julieta was recently recognized as one of the top ten emerging jazz talents by the Recording Academy in their online publication, “Grammys.” In 2017, Eugenio won the International Women in Jazz Competition as a member of the SIJ Trio, which she formed with pianist Sarah Slonim and bassist Inbar Paz. With her own trio, she won the DCJazzPrix 2022, a competition presented by the DC Jazz Fest.
I think we all know what it’s like to be somewhere new, far from home and vastly different from home. Thrust a global pandemic into this formula. That’s what Julieta had to face, alone in New York. Then, good fortune showed up. One of her beloved sisters decided to immigrate to New York for work, which saved Julieta. And those are her words describing the arrival of her sister. Jazz also saved her.
Thank you for listening to this podcast. Subscribing will make sure you’re one of the first ones to receive future episodes. Check out my website for other articles and photos. As usual, you will be treated to two complete tracks of music. These compositions will come from Julieta’s 2022 debut recording, Jump, which can be found on Greenleaf Music. Jazz Journalists Association president, Howard Mandel, gave the album a four-star rating in DownBeat Magazine. This features her trio with Julieta on tenor sax, Matt Dwonszyk on bass and Jonathan Barber on drums.
Upcoming episodes include saxophonist Roxy Coss, pianist Miki Yamanaka, who has a new album soon to be released, and harpist Brandee Younger. You can listen to this podcast on Spotify, Apple, Amazon and other streaming services. Thank you for listening.
Mais episódios de "Strictly Jazz Sounds-SJS"
Episode 16-Terri Lyne Carrington: Changing the Faces of Jazz
1:02:53Question: What would jazz music sound like if it had been born in a country without patriarchy; taught without bias and performed on a stage with radical inclusivity? That’s what jazz titan Terri Lyne Carrington says is the foundation behind Berklee College of Music’s Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice. Terri Lyne is the founder and artistic director of the Institute and a professor at Berklee, her alma mater. In this episode of Strictly Jazz Sounds, I spend time with Terri Lyne Carrington, getting deep into this question along with how to lift women and nonbinary individuals in this historically male dominated industry, creating a new bandscape that reveals the multitude of different voices in jazz. Terri Lyne is a drum major for women and nonbinary individuals in the jazz ecosystem. She’s also a highly successful drummer/percussionist, a bandleader, composer and producer, an artistic director of a couple of organizations, a writer with two books, and an educator. On Terri Lyne’s website, she displays many photos of the extraordinary talent that she met through her musician father’s friends. You see her standing between drummers Roy Haynes and Tony Williams; Art Blakey is sitting on the floor next to Terri Lyne while she plays the drums; another has Buddy Rich next to her while she’s on the drums. Not your typical teenager’s hangout of friends nor upbringing experiences. She readily acknowledges her home environment was one of privilege and enriching for a young prodigy. Terri Lyne dedicates her life to reaching back to today’s young women and nonbinary individuals bent on changing the faces of jazz, on and behind the bandstand. We most certainly spend time on her 2023 Grammy winning album New Standards Vol. 1 on the CANDID label and the related book “New Standards Vol. 1: 101 Lead Sheets by Women Composers,” published by Berklee Press. Two tracks of music from the album are included in this episode. The personnel for the album: Terri Lyne Carrington-drums/percussion; Kris Davis-piano; Linda May Han Oh-bass; Nicholas Payton-trumpet; and Matthew Stevens, guitar. Uplifted Hearts by Shamie Royston; featuring Ravi Coltrane-tenor sax; Val Jeanty-electronics; Elena Pinderhuges-flute; Negah Santos-percussion; and Shadrack Oppong-spoken word. Throw It Away by Abbey Lincoln; featuring: Somi-vocal; Melanie Charles-vocal; and Negah Santos-percussion. Terri Lyne Carrington’s portfolio is extensive, bold, and rich. If you are unfamiliar with it, I encourage you to check it out and listen to her music in her discography. The next episode of Strictly Jazz Sounds will be in early 2024. I’m taking some medical time off until then. This is the first year of this podcast. Thanks so much to all my guests and to you for making this a great year for me. If you have not subscribed, do so. You’ll be one of the first to know when a new episode is released. Support live jazz wherever you are. Be safe. Steve Braunginn Thanks to CANDID Records for the music. Photo of Terri Lyne Carrington by Michael Goldman
Episode 15-Brandee Younger: Jazz Harp Meets Hip-Hop
46:27In jazz, two legendary harp musicians come to mind. Dorothy Ashby and Alice Coltrane. Now, there is a third musician whose image immediately erupts into focus. For harp artist, educator, and Grammy nominated musician Brandee Younger, both Ashby and Coltrane made a tremendous impact on her. And with her latest recording, Brand New Life, on Impulse Records, Brandee Younger embraces Ashby and her impact on the harp. I caught up with Grammy nominated harpist Brandee Younger at the Spoleto Jazz Festival in Charleston, North Carolina. This was a major opportunity for me to learn how the harp, this extraordinarily large instrument, can be used in improvisational jazz. I am unfamiliar with how to play the harp so talking with Brandee Younger was a good time to learn how she does it. And learning about her major influence, Dorothy Ashby was an extra for me. Brandee’s latest recording, Brand New Life, finds her embracing Ashby’s compositions and styles as she crosses genres on this album. Chicago producer, drummer and bandleader Mikaya McCraven produced this album, infusing hip-hop and R&B influences in this recording. Some of the artists include Mumu Fresh (Maimouna Yousef), rapper, bassist and singer-songwriter Meshell Ndegeocello and Blue Note recording artist and vibraphonist and bandleader Joel Ross. She was nominated for a Grammy in 2022 for Best Instrumental Composition for “Beautiful is Black” from her 2021 Recording Somewhere Different becoming the first black woman to do so. That same year she was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award and named winner of the DownBeat Critics Poll in the category of "Rising Star" Miscellaneous Instrument. In 2023 Brandee Younger won in Jazz Journalists Association annual recognition awards in the category Rare Instrument. Brandee's discography includes Somewhere Different (Impulse, 2021)-composition Grammy nominated; Force Majeure (International Anthem Recording Co.) 2021; Soul Awakening (Self-Released) 2019; Wax & Wane (Disk Union) 2016; Prelude (Self-released) 2011. Brandee Younger is currently on the teaching artist faculty at New York University and The New School College of Performing Arts. She also serves as Symphonic and Jazz Harp Artist in Residence at the Cicely L. Tyson Community School of Performing and Fine Arts. The photo of Brandee Younger is by Erin O'Brien.
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Episode 14-Roxy Coss: Students Are the Music
1:27:01For tenor saxophonist, composer, bandleader, educator and artist Roxy Coss, jazz education is everything. When we talked in July, she and her husband, saxophonist, educator and composer, Lucas Pino, just returned from their week-long session as co-directors of the Brubeck Jazz Summit, (yes, that Brubeck-Dave Brubeck) a week-long intensive emersion of jazz education and performance for talented students worldwide. To participate, young people must have exceptional capacity. To teach, your credentials must be superior. In this episode, Roxy Coss shares her deep thoughts and intense feelings about two of her major passions: jazz education and creating an environment in the jazz ecosystem that values women and nonbinary individuals. Roxy also reveals a more personal side of herself as we talk about the socio-political-pandemic choked environment that has embraced our nation since 2016 and how these have influenced her compositions in all her recordings as a group leader. Roxy founded WIJO-Women in Jazz Organization in July 2017, a collective of over 500 professional jazz musicians and composers who identify as women or gender non-binary. WIJO is largely a New York-based organization, but it has made connections to other individuals and groups nationally and internationally to address the many inequities in the jazz music industry. Roxy currently serves as its president. It has various programs including a popular mentorship program, WIJO Mentors. It also sponsors concerts and jam sessions. In Roxy’s music education career, she had numerous outstanding opportunities since she was five years old. She actually composed at an early age when she was in third grade, writing her first award-winning composition in a city-wide contest called “Reflections.” Later, she attended Garfield High School (alumnae/i include Ernestine Anderson, Quincy Jones and Jimi Hendrix), a rich and fertile place for Roxy’s jazz education. She was a member of the Garfield HS Jazz Band when they set a record in 2003 and 2004. It is the only band to win the first-place trophy in two consecutive years in the highly competitive Essentially Ellington contest. The band also placed first in 2009 and 2010. Roxy is also a winner of the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award. It is no wonder, then, that Roxy currently serves on the Jazz Education Network (JEN) Board of Directors and is a Jazz Faculty member at the prestigious Juilliard School. Roxy’s discography includes her self-titled recording, Roxy Coss, which is a self-released album (2010), Restless Idealism (Origin, 2016), Chasing the Unicorn (Posi-tone 2017), The Future is Female (Posi-tone 2018), Roxy Coss Quintet (Outside in Music 2019), and Disparate Parts (Outside in Music 2022). Roxy plays the same instrument she’s had since 2018, a P. Mauriat. There are two tracks from Roxy’s latest album, Disparate Parts, thanks to Roxy and the record label, Outside in Music. The Lineup includes: Roxy Coss, saxophones; Miki Yamanaka, piano/Rhodes; Alex Wintz, guitar; Rick Rosato, bass; and, Jimmy Macbride, drums. Obviously, you’ve found this podcast, but I want you to know that you can find my podcast on Apple, Spotify, Amazon Music/Audible, Player FM, and iHeartRadio. Subscribe on my website and you will be one of the first to know when the next episode is released. Thanks for listening. Photo of Roxy Coss by Desmond White.
Episode 13-Miki Yamanaka: Living Her Dreams
1:15:04Japanese jazz pianist Miki Yamanaka, born and raised in Kyoto and Kobe Japan, now resides in New York City with her drummer husband Jimmy Macbride. Her upcoming album, Shades of Rainbow is set to drop on September 8. Excitement explodes in Miki during this hour-long interview with this jubilant pianist who is a mainstay at New York’s prime jazz clubs for emerging talent, Smalls and Mezzrow, both found in the West Village in Greenwich Village in the lower west side of Manhattan. Miki’s been a New York resident since 2012. She did her graduate work at Queens College in Jazz Performance 2014-2015. Her street education occurred in New York City jazz clubs and concert halls before the COVID pandemic, performing with the likes of Antonio Hart, Peter Bernstein, Nicole Glover, Joe Farnsworth, Tivon Pennicott, Roxy Coss, Mark Turner and Fred Hersch. But all of that came to a grounding halt in March 2020 as COVID wiped the streets clean, leaving all jazz musicians jobless and at home with nobody to play with. This required inventiveness. Taking the cue from friend and fellow jazz pianist Emmet Cohen, Miki began to assemble ensembles in hers and Jimmy’s Harlem apartment and stream her show “Miki’s Mood” on the internet. Perhaps not as successful as “Live at Emmet’s Place” it became a place where Miki, Jimmy and friends could play and jam once more and make a little money. In 2015 she was one of three pianists selected to participate in “Betty Carter’s Jazz Ahead”, an intensive composition residency at the Kennedy Center. She earned her Master of Music degree from Queens College, receiving the Sir Roland Hanna Award. Recently, Miki was one of ten new talent identified by The Academy (Grammy) as top emerging jazz talent. Shades of Rainbow is Miki’s fourth release, her second for Vancouver-based record company, Cellar Music. Her debut release, Miki, was also from Cellar Music. Her previous two recordings, Human Dust Suite and Stairway to the Stars can be found on the Outside in Music label. You can find this episode on all of the major podcast streaming providers. Support live jazz. Support women in jazz. Subscribe to be one of the first to receive SJS podcasts, news and information. Photo by Martina DaSilva. Thanks for listening. Steve Braunginn
Episode 12-Julieta Eugenio: Music is Magic
1:00:21“Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.”— Lao Tzu Music moves the soul in so many ways. It moves the spirit and inspires living beings to become one with the music. Argentinian Julieta Eugenio was just that person from a young age. She’s not entirely sure why. Her parents didn’t play an instrument though they played recordings around the house. As long as she can remember, music was in her life. Her personal interest wasn’t piqued until she saw a piano when she was about five years old. It was like magic, Julieta recalls. She was visually pinned to the piano. That’s love at first site. Music grabbed her and it hasn’t let her go since. Later, when she was in middle school, when she joined the school band, Julieta nonchalantly selected a saxophone when presented with a choice of instruments. A tenor saxophone. Julieta Eugenio hails from Argentina and now lives in New York city. She made this bold change in her life at 23 years old. Alone. No family or friends to accompany her. Julieta’s formal music studies began following high school in Buenos Aires at Conservatorio Manuel de Falla (Bachelor 2012) and the Conservatorio Nacional Lopez Buchardo (IUNA) where she studied jazz. In New York, Julieta attended Queens College where she studied jazz and performed in area clubs with the masters, including pianist Johnny O’Neal, David Kikoski and Pasquale Grasso. The mental journey Julieta took was immense. She loves jazz and knew she had to take the leap, leaving the familiar settings and family, the beautiful landscape of Argentina, and the comfort of her home country to challenge herself in New York City. It seems, though, to be paying itself off as Julieta was recently recognized as one of the top ten emerging jazz talents by the Recording Academy in their online publication, “Grammys.” In 2017, Eugenio won the International Women in Jazz Competition as a member of the SIJ Trio, which she formed with pianist Sarah Slonim and bassist Inbar Paz. With her own trio, she won the DCJazzPrix 2022, a competition presented by the DC Jazz Fest. I think we all know what it’s like to be somewhere new, far from home and vastly different from home. Thrust a global pandemic into this formula. That’s what Julieta had to face, alone in New York. Then, good fortune showed up. One of her beloved sisters decided to immigrate to New York for work, which saved Julieta. And those are her words describing the arrival of her sister. Jazz also saved her. Thank you for listening to this podcast. Subscribing will make sure you’re one of the first ones to receive future episodes. Check out my website for other articles and photos. As usual, you will be treated to two complete tracks of music. These compositions will come from Julieta’s 2022 debut recording, Jump, which can be found on Greenleaf Music. Jazz Journalists Association president, Howard Mandel, gave the album a four-star rating in DownBeat Magazine. This features her trio with Julieta on tenor sax, Matt Dwonszyk on bass and Jonathan Barber on drums. Upcoming episodes include saxophonist Roxy Coss, pianist Miki Yamanaka, who has a new album soon to be released, and harpist Brandee Younger. You can listen to this podcast on Spotify, Apple, Amazon and other streaming services. Thank you for listening.
Bonus to Episode 11-Jon Irabagon: Always Moving Forward
44:36Welcome to the Bonus recording of Episode 11. More stories to tell by Jon Irabagon. The recording by the group, Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Blue, the note-for-note recreation of Miles Davis' classic album is “A work of conceptual jazz art,” writes Bandcamp. The listening public’s response varied considerably but suffice it to say that Jon as well as his bandmates had to deal with substantial internet rage, including death threats. But not to let that totally color the experience, Jon says there were many positive emails about the recording and the process. The way Jon tells the story details a tale that will live on for ages. This bonus track also includes Jon Irabagon recounting the many years it took for him to transcribe most of the recorded solos of sax giants John Coltrane and Julian “Cannonball” Adderley. We talk about his recording Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics, which we both consider as perhaps his best work largely because of with whom he records. The personnel on this album are phenomenal: Luis Perdomo, piano, Yasushi Nakamura, bass, Rudy Royston, drums, and Tom Harrell on trumpet. And, of course, Jon Irabagon is on alto sax. This is one helluva recording, we both agreed. I did not think our conversation would have been complete without touching base about Jon’s good friend Sylvain Rifflet from Paris with whom Jon recorded two outstanding albums, Perpetual Motion and Rebellion(s). And if you wondered what is in Jon’s future, he gives a full accounting of where he’s moving forward. So, buckle up for this ride. Jon Irabagon, a tale of tales. Music: The Cost of Modern Living (Behind the Sky, Irabbagast Records, 2015) 6:02 Jon Irabagon-tenor saxophone, Luis Perdomo-piano, Yasushi Nakamura-bass, Rudy Royston-drums The Bo’ness Monster (Dr. Quixotic’s Traveling Exotics, Irabbagast Records, 2018) 6:40 Jon Irabagon- tenor saxophone, Luis Perdomo-piano, Yasushi Nakamura-bass, Rudy Royston-drums, Tim Hagans-trumpet
Episode 11-Jon Irabagon: Always Moving Forward
1:09:25Episode 11- Jon Irabagon: Always Moving Forward Jon Irabagon is always driving ahead whenever he wants to make a statement with a new recording. With his saxophones facing forward, Jon’s bold and articulate improvisations draw on his singular drive to create a pathway for the future of jazz. He draws on the forces of the hand-chosen musicians, each becoming a lifelong ally in the music business. Jon is first-generation Filipino American, and the father of two girls. Jon is influenced more by the individualistic philosophies and accomplishments of the Chicago-based organization, the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, or AACM. These mixed complex-compositional ensembles, highly influenced by the works of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman, and Albert Ayler, are the basis for Jon’s work but it’s the future of this music that he seeks to play, not the rehashing of the music of the past. Jon Irabagon ’s life story begins in Chicago, the town of the tenor sound. It was in high school in the Chicago north suburbs when he was driven to seek out the music of the tenor titans: John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins and an alto titan, Sonny Stitt. After earning a Bachelor of Music from DePaul University, Jon went on to earn a Master of Arts from the Manhattan School of Music and then post-graduate studies at Julliard. In 2008 Jon went on to win the Thelonious Monk Saxophone Competition and years later the Philippine Presidential Award. Jon prefers to look ahead, seeking the future of the music, of the sound of jazz. For him, it’s all about what’s next. This is the main driving force for him. He’s fortunate to have a gaggle of musicians with whom he can play the music. Furthermore, Jon has his own label, Irabbagast Records which gives him a label to publish music that may be considered more challenging to other commercial labels. Jon also accommodates his friends who are true to the music and the sound they prefer to play. In this episode we hear story after story about Jon and his music, his family, the creation of a record label so he can have a place to record his music, spreading the music as an instructor, and when Jon went to stay with his in-laws in South Dakota at the beginning of the pandemic lockdown intending an eight-week stay and winding up living with them for eight months, spending countless hours playing to the canyons, and so much more. The stories insistently pique your interest. So, strap yourself in for this ride. This will be the opening episode, complete with two tracks of music. There is a bonus episode that completes the full episode. The interview weaves great tales and the music wraps it all up tightly. In the opening episode you will find this music. Thanks to Jon Irabagon for all the music. Please remember to subscribe if you haven’t already. The music tracks in Episode 11 include the following and with the noted personnel: Anchors (Outright! Innova Recordings, 2008) 8:27 Jon Irabagon-alto saxophone, Russ Johnson-trumpet, Kris Davis-piano, Eivind Opsvik-bass, Jeff Davis-drums Mammoth (Rising Sun, Irabbagast Records, 2022) 11:59 Jon Irabagon-tenor saxophone, Adam O’Farrill-trumpet, Matt Mitchell-piano, Chris Lightcap-electric bass, Dan Weiss-drums When you’re done with this episode, listen to the bonus episode complete with more music. Enjoy the conversation with Jon Irabagon, the sax player who’s always looking forward. Here on Strictly Jazz Sounds. Thanks for listening. Steve Braunginn
Episode 10-Yonathan Avishai: Music Is Life
51:57Yonathan Avishai and I met in a conference room at Bexley Public Library in the village of Bexley in Columbus, Ohio. He was bright, friendly, and alert despite his long flight the day before. Yonathan is an Israeli-born French resident. His flight took him over six time zones, from France to New York and then to Columbus. This was a visit arranged by A Tribe for Jazz, a nonprofit organization here that is focused on improving the legacy of jazz. Having Yonathan Avishai in Columbus was a good thing, for both Yonathan and Strictly Jazz Sounds. This is the 10th episode of Strictly Jazz Sounds, and I’m pleased you are listening to this podcast. I have a conversation with Yonathan Avishai during a visit to my town, Columbus, Ohio where he gave a solo performance and met with A Tribe for Jazz. He set aside some time for us to talk about his career as a jazz pianist, the importance of sharing his music with his community, with local people who want to connect through his music. What I learned about him was that Yonathan holds fast to the idea that music should be rooted in people’s lives. He’s not just a musician that gives concerts and shows. He spends many of his days as a music therapist. He says he feels that his music should be shared with the people in his community, with people who need the music beyond the stage or the club. “Music is life” says Yonathan. Yonathan Avishai strongly feels that his music should be accessible to all who want to enjoy it, especially young students. He’s very passionate about this yet, talking with him you wouldn’t know as he’s so soft spoken and reserved. His playing style reveals this as well. Yonathan reminds me of John Lewis, better known for his piano work and composing with the Modern Jazz Quartet. It’s the minimalistic style that attracts Yonathan to John Lewis. For Yonathan, the real joy is found in the music of the “masters.” His passion is in the “dance” and the “party” of the sounds of Louis Armstrong, J.P. Johnson, and Jelly Roll Morton. The gleam in his eyes reflected Yonathan’s excitement for the music of 100 years ago, founded and created by these masters as well as Mary Lou Williams and Scott Joplin (whose music can only be found on piano rolls). He says the thrill of the music goes beyond the notes. “It’s the feeling about being alive.” Yonathan’s latest recording, Joys and Solitudes, is on ECM records. He doesn’t have an extensive discography, but he is better known for the duos, trios and quartets he’s been a part of with fellow Israeli trumpeter Avishai Cohen (Naked Truth, Playing the Room, Cross My Palm With Silver and Into the Silence). Just a reminder that you can subscribe to Strictly Jazz Sounds. You will receive a notice in your email whenever a new episode is ready, and a new article is published on my website. You can listen to Strictly Jazz Sounds on Facebook, Spotify, Apple, Amazon, and other sites where podcasts are available.
Episode 9-Laura Ann Gentry: Destination? Jazz of course!
52:01What’s the difference between a producer of an event and a promoter? I’ve often wondered about that when it comes to producing or promoting a music community event or a jazz concert. Cincinnati, Ohio resident and Jazz Alive Executive Director Laura Ann Gentry set the record straight for me on Strictly Jazz Sounds, your conversation about all things jazz. In episode 9 of Strictly Jazz Sounds, I spend time with Laura Ann Gentry, president of LAG (Laura Ann Gentry) Productions, LLC. She’s a producer and promoter and has been for more than 24 years. She produces and promotes jazz events in a variety of settings in the greater Cincinnati, Ohio, northern Kentucky, and southeast Indiana area, the tri-state area. Laura Ann Gentry, who has an easy laugh, is a passionate, humorous, and interesting storyteller of her adventures and misadventures as an African American woman producing jazz events. It is not an easy world for a woman, let alone an African American woman in what has long been considered a man’s game. She tells a story of losing her shirt on her first production that featured saxophonist Javon Jackson and NEA Jazz Master, now deceased organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. And as an African American woman doing this work, there’s a challenge that Javon Jackson, also Jazz Studies Director at the Jackie McLean Inst. at the University of Hartford, spells out for her. It’s a rough path to blaze for a woman, let alone an African American woman. He actively mentored her early on in her journey. Fortunately, Laura had her backup skills of accounting, her other full-time job. She was able to cover the loss and learn a big lesson. Laura Ann Gentry puts in some serious time, all day, every day. Her drive and passion put her in the forefront of presenting women jazz musicians in the tri-state area. Laura pursues the proliferation of jazz with purpose. And if that’s not enough, she is involved in jazz education as a board member of the Jazz Education Network. Everyone needs to learn about jazz and its cultural value. Laura spoke very plainly that jazz education should be available for all ages. The source of Laura’s passion is truly from home. Like so many people, she was exposed to music through her parents and grandparents, the place where all sorts of music wafted through the air. She could not escape it if she tried. Her love of jazz was born at home.
Episode 8-Brian Blade: The Beat That Keeps On Coming
59:152022 was a banner year for drummer Brian Blade. Nine recordings were released with Brian as a leader, co-leader, or side-player that year. As the year was coming to a close, I began to compile my list of “Best Jazz of 2022”. It was then that I realized that Brian had been a very busy man during the last few years. My curiosity was spiked about this. I wanted to talk to Brian about this prolific output of music but, you see, I had already interviewed him in 2022, twice. But, hey, I wanted to find out more about his incredible list of recordings. We begin exploring the nine releases with the Life Cycles recording that paid tribute to Bobby Hutcherson. It was recorded by this little-known sextet that mostly played in underground night clubs in Manhattan in 2001 with some appearances at festivals around the country. This latest album by Life Cycles was recorded in 2018 by a reassembled group with a couple of additions to the original band. So, on this eighth episode of Strictly Jazz Sounds, Brian Blade and I have our third conversation in a year. The initial focus of this podcast was to be Brian’s latest released recording by a band he co-led in 2001, Life Cycles. The recording was saluting NEA Jazz Master, vibe and marimba artist Bobby Hutcherson with Life Cycles 1&2: Now & Forever: Honoring Bobby Hutcherson. But a few months had passed since this conversation took place and Brian just released another recording, Mama Rosa. Brian Blade has had a life well lived and he’s only 52 and still rolling! He’s a multi-Grammy-award winning drummer, group leader, record label founder and owner. He’s recorded and performed with a list of artists too long to list here, but I shall list some very notable ones: Wayne Shorter, Chick Corea, Christian McBride, Joshua Redman, John Patitucci, Brad Mehldau, Danilo Perez, Joni Mitchell, and Emmylou Harris. What is wonderful about this conversation, different from the last two, is learning more about Brian as a person as well as a musician, an artist. And learning about what’s behind some of the recordings and bands he’s created with people like the late maestros Wayne Shorter and Bobby Hutcherson, as well as the great drummer Joe Chambers, and his relationship with singer songwriter and pianist Norah Jones. Spoiler alert-Brian Blade plays guitar. And he played it with Norah Jones who was not playing piano. She was on drums. _________________________________________________________________The music you hear on this podcast is from the Life Cycles album: “Now “ by Bobby Hutcherson and Gene McDaniels and “Forgotten Memories” by Myron Walden. The Life Cycles personnel include: Brian Blade, drums; Jon Cowherd, piano; Myron Walden, saxophone; Doug Weiss, bass; John Hart, guitar; Monte Croft, vibes/vocals; and, Rogerio Boccato-percussion. BTW, you’ll hear a dog on this episode, as well. I invite you to subscribe so you are alerted to future episodes and articles written by me as well as events and information I want to pass on to you. I am looking for sponsors so please consider it and email me at strictlyjazzsounds.com. I’m interested in your feedback. I always need to improve what I’m doing. And, finally, support live jazz wherever you are. Thanks for listening.