Percussionist William Winant has played with everyone from John Cage to John Zorn, Sonic Youth to Mr Bungle, Steve Reich to Iannis Xenakis. If anyone can be described as the Zelig of experimental music, it’s Willie. For this talk, the maestro swings by to talk about his path from a teenager playing trap kit in Los Angeles to performing at the Ojai Festival with Pierre Boulez. We also talk his work as a college instructor, studying gamelan in Indonesia, the recording of “Disco Volante” and a whole lot more. An essential talk with a technician of the sacred.
They don’t make them like Jay Campbell every day. A young and virtuosic cellist, raised in Berkeley CA, Jay has worked closely with Pierre Boulez, Elliott Carter, Matthias Pintscher, John Adams, Kaija Saariaho, and countless others from his own generation. His close association with John Zorn resulted in the 2015 release ofHen to Pan (Tzadik) featuring all works written for Campbell, and was listed in the New York Times year-end Best Recordings of 2015. Since 2016 Jay has been a member of the world renowned JACK Quartet. Today’s talk is a good one and covers a lot of ground.
For episode 186, the fabulously talented and all around good dude, Brian Marsella swings by for a wide-ranging conversation that covers a lot of ground, from dealing with death, to touring in the United States, growing up in Philadelphia and making music in the 21st century. A veteran of the bands of Cyro Baptista and John Zorn, Brian has recently released a series of powerful, smoking records and that highlight his skills as a piano player and a band leader. This is a good one.
Wendy Eisenberg is a tremendously talented and original guitarist who grew up in Maryland and now lives in Western Mass. She was a founding member of Birthing Hips and most recently has released a powerful trio recording on Tzadik with Ches Smith and Trevor Dunn. Her playing is intense, focused and completely unique. This is a great talk with someone who you will be hearing from for a long time.
Sam Weinberg is among the most active of New York’s newest generation of improvisers. He’s worked extensively with Ben Bennett, Jaimie Branch, Sandy Ewen and Weasel Walter. He leads and co-leads W-2 (with Chris Welcome), BLOOR (with Andrew Smiley and Jason Nazary), Maestro Day (with Henry Fraser and Joe Moffett). Most recently he’s been focusing on solo saxophone performance as well as sound collage and musique concrete. Today’s a good talk with a thoughtful musician.
For episode 183 one of my favorite cats, Jon Irabagon, returns to the run the voodoo down. Increasingly prolific and tireless in his pursuit of creative expression, Irabagon is one of the most colorful and hardest working dudes around. He’s a recent father and just released yet another recording of adventurous sounds. For this talk, we cover a lot of ground from making records to the Me Too movement, jazz elder culture to sustaining long standing musical relationships. A great talk with a great cat.
Clifford Allen is a lifelong listener and collector of all musics extreme. With a deep knowledge of jazz, particularly from Ayler on, he has written for publications such as Signal To Noise, Paris Transatlantic, Bagatellen, the New York City Jazz Record, Point of Departure, Burning Ambulance and Tiny Mix Tapes among many others. An enthusiastic historian, he has also written liner notes for several records by artists such as Burton Greene, Ingrid Laubrock and Charles Tyler. Recently he co-produced and assembled liner notes for Michael Cosmic "Peace In The World"/Phill Musra "The Creator Spaces" 2LP/2CD reissue (NowAgain).
A mainstay of the Lower East Side, saxophonist Paul Shapiro has played on hundreds of records with artists as diverse as John Zorn and Jay-Z, David Byrne and Michael Jackson. He has a huge and rich tenor sound and has released four deeply soulful records on Tzadik’s Radical Jewish series, all of which feature killer bands playing Paul’s original compositions. Paul came over just two weeks ago for a lively conversation on a day when there was a lot of construction in my building. Please forgive the noise!
Stuart Bogie is a hell of a guy and a damn fine saxophonist. Incredibly active in the Brooklyn scene, he has been a member of Antibalas since 2001 and was the featured soloist in the Bill T. Jones Broadway production of Fela!. He’s recorded extensively with bands the Arcade Fire, Iron & Wine, TV on the Radio and many many more. He leads the band Superhuman Happiness, who release their new album “Beacon” this Friday, 10/19, on Yeggs Records. This is a great talk with a great dude.
Back in 2013, shortly after the podcast began, Matthew Shipp came by for what became the most talked about episode in the whole series, and now he’s back. Having gotten the biographical information covered in our first talk, today’s episode is me and Matt chewing the fat. One of the most prolific and engaging personalities in contemporary jazz, Matt brought along some great stories for our second sit down.
Born in Brooklyn, raised in the south of France, Leila Bordreuil is a classically trained cellist whose work sits at the intersection of improvisation, noise and sound art. Based ion Brooklyn since 2012, she has worked closely with Michael Foster, Zach Rowden, Lea Bertucci and Weasel Walter. This conversation was just recorded last week as Leila gets ready to premiere a new piece at Issue Project Room this Wednesday!
No one does it like Krakauer! An absolute virtuoso on the clarinet, David Krakauer is a scholar, traveler, story teller and much more. Born and raised in New York City, he studied closely with Leon Russianoff. He was a founding member of the Klezmatics and released the very first record in the Tzadik Radical Jewish series. Today is a good one that covers a lot of ground and history with the undisputed maestro of the klezmer clarinet. You’re gonna dig this.
Today is a good one. Originally from Massachusetts, trained at the New England Conservatory and based in Brooklyn for the last fifteen years, Brandon Seabrook is a true original. Equally adept at the electric guitar as he is at the banjo, his playing is intense, complex, intricate and completely over the top. He's worked closely with artists such as Peter Evans, Jessica Pavone, Anthony Braxton, Nels Cline Cooper-Moore and Mary Halvorson. He leads his own bands, Die Trommel Fatale, Seabrook Power Plant, Needle Driver and most recently, the Brandon Seabrook Trio featuring Daniel Levin on cello, and Henry Fraser on bass. Brandon is deeply funny and original cat. We need more Brandon Seabrooks.
After an intense period of emotional upheaval, saxophonist Josh Sinton decided to take a break from music this past January. He cancelled all shows, departed social media and has been laying low. He stopped by 5049 chihuahua compound last month to talk about what he's been up to and what led to the break. I love this dude.
For episode 174, we are joined once again by one of my favorite musicians around, Ben Goldberg. His first appearance on the podcast back in 2014 remains one of my favorites and for our second conversation, he once again offers a lot of insight.
Brooklyn based and Houston raised, Sandy Ewen has been incredibly active for the past several years as an improviser with an idiosyncratic approach to the guitar that is all her own. She's worked closely with Maria Chavez, Weasel Walter, Damon Smith and Tom Carter. Her language for guitar is incredibly evocative and tactile. She is a wonderful addition to the New York scene as well as a delightful person to spend an afternoon with, talking about a broad range of topics.
Composer/saxophonist/educator/electronic musician stays busy, very busy. He's a scholar and a gentleman. Raised in Taipei, he originally moved to the United States to study electrical engineering at Princeton, before getting bitten by the experimental/contemporary music bug. He's studied with Anthony Braxton, Alvin Lucier and Milton Babbitt and has performed his own work all over the world at the Kitchen, SF MOMA, STEIM and many more. He's a solid and thoughtful music maker and his wide interests seem to only broaden with time and experience.
At age 41, Detroit native Ben Hall has already done more than most people do in a lifetime. He's a talented drummer and has worked closely with many of today's greatest improvisers such as Joe Morris, Bill Dixon, Nate Wooley and Don Dietrich. He holds an MFA from Columbia in sculpture and has shown his work all over the world. He curates and maintains the Bap-Tizum website,the world’s largest online Black American spiritual collection and is the owner/operator of Broken Research Records. If that wasn't enough, he is also a talented chef/restaurant owner who's progressive business practices offer a shining light to an industry not commonly associated with strong personal ethics. Ben is quite simply one of the most extraordinary people around and I wish this conversation could have gone on for days.
For episode 169 my dear friend and long-time collaborator Brian Chase returns to the podcast to talk about his newest venture, Chaikin Records. Recorded in the work-in-progress recording studio in his Brooklyn basement, Brian talks me through the idea to start his own label, his grandfather for the he named the label, his long-running project Drums & Drones and much more. As a special treat, Brian demonstrates a piece for Drums & Drones. There's no one better than Brian.