Missy Mazzoli is an incredibly gifted and prolific composer/performer who has been living in New York since 2006. A Pennsylvania native, her music has been performed all over the world by the Kronos Quartet, eighth blackbird, pianist Emanuel Ax, Opera Philadelphia, LA Opera, New York City Opera, the LA Philharmonic, JACK Quartet, cellist Maya Beiser, and others. She is a deeply thoughtful and inventive composer whose work is marked by clarity of vision and depth of experience. For this talk we go way back, starting with her early days at the piano, her introduction to riot grrrl all the way up to the present. This is a good talk.
Andrew Barker is a true original. Originally from Georgia, he has been living and working in New York City since 1997. In 1994 he co-founded the Gold Sparkle Band with Charles Waters and has been pursuing a life of creative music ever since. For this talk we go back to Georgia, his first days in New York and the work he's been doing with his most recent project, Barker Trio. Good shit.
Luke Stewart is a Washington DC based bass player who is quickly making a name for himself as a remarkable multi-tasking multi-instrumentalist. Originally from Mississippi, Luke keeps busy with a wide variety of activity from solo electronic music to collaborations with Brandon James Lewis and Heroes Are Gang Leaders, as well as writing about jazz for the website that he helped establish, CapitalBop. He also hosts “Jam Session: The Vibes Edition” on WPFW-FM every Wednesday at midnight. Luke is a thoughtful and dynamic musician from whom you will be hearing a lot in the coming years.
Based in Brooklyn, Shayna Dulberger is a bass player who has been collaborating with many of NYC's most prominent free jazz musicians since she moved here in 2005. Her early records include bands with Darius Jones, Ras Moshe, Jonathan Moritz and William Parker. Most recently she has been preforming with Chaser, a band that features Ava Mendoza & Oran Canfield as well a collaboration with her husband Chris Welcome, Hot Date. Aside from performing she currently teaches music in a private school in queens and is a trained Suzuki bass teacher.
Cooper-Moore is a legend of free music. Originally from Virginia, He has been living in New York City, on and off, since the 1970, working closely with artists such as David S. Ware, William Parker, Susie Ibarra and Chad Taylor. A true innovator, in addition to piano, he plays a variety of self invented and built instruments. Cooper-Moore is also an educator and has been a mentor to many of creative music's most daring instrumentalists. This conversation took place this past March on a bitter cold day and I am delighted to be able to share it with you all.
Chuck Bettis has been living and working in New York City since 2002. Originally from the DC, he grew up going to hardcore shows, integrating himself into the underground world of DIY shows and home recordings. His primary instruments are electronics and throat and he has a long history of collaboration with artists like Mick Barr, Matmos, Ikue Mori and Mike Pride. On today's show we go back to Chuck's early days in DC to how he became a member of NYC's downtown scene to how he began making music with laptops to his newest project with Brandon Seabrook. This is a great talk with one of the sweetest musicians around.
For episode 111, it is a tremendous honor and pleasure to welcome one of the greatest musicians of the past fifty years, Bill Frisell. In addition to being one of the most important and vital guitarists of his generation, Bill Frisell is also one of the kindest and most humble people that we've ever had on the podcast. For this episode Bill takes me back to his childhood studies of the clarinet in Denver to becoming the house guitarist of ECM Records, to his days in Naked City, to his recent return to New York City. Bill is an absolute genius and mensch and this is a wonderful conversation that I am beyond psyched to present.
Brian Chase is one of the greatest musicians that I know and he is also one of my best friends. I love this sweet cat. He is perhaps best known for his work with the band the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and for the past several years, has been interacting deeply with many of New York's greatest improvisers, from Zeena Parkins to Anthony Coleman, Susie Ibarra to Alan Licht. For this talk, we go back to Long Island to Brian's first encounters with the drums, listening to his grandfather play the concertina and his very Long Island Bar Mitzvah. As a special treat, we preview a track from our upcoming duo record "Sutures" at the end of the episode. BRIAN CHASE!!!!
Eli Keszler is a wonderful and utterly unique composer, percussionist and visual artist. He studied music at the New England Conservatory and has performed with Joe McPhee, Anthony Coleman and Oren Ambarchi and many others. For this conversation we discuss Eli's early days as a jazz head, his immersion into the world of visual art, improvisation and much much more. This is a great conversation, the kind of talk that was the impetus for this podcast. Enjoy.
MV Carbon is a cellist/multi-media artist who has been active in broad range of creative activity since the mid 90s, including film, sound art, installations and clothing design. She has toured frequently with her band Metalux in addition to collaborating with some of the greatest musical thinkers of the last fifty years, including Tony Conrad and Charlemagne Palestine. For this conversation we talk veganism, Chicago, Tony Conrad, what happens after you die and a whole lot more. This is a good one.
For episode 107, it is my great honor to speak with trumpeter, bandleader and composer Frank London. Since the 80s Frank has been at the forefront of the klezmer revival, a stalwart of the downtown scene of improvisers and a scholar of Jewish history. For this talk Frank takes me back to his early days in Long Island, his hippy days in Boston to his work with his seminal band, the Klezmatics. This is a conversation that I have wanted to happen for a long time and I am delighted to finally be able to share it.
Lester St. Louis is a young cellist & composer who you will be hearing a lot from in the coming years. Born in Queens, he has been living in Brooklyn since he was seventeen, immersing himself in the city's music scene. He has performed with Joe Morris, Dre Hocevar, Chris Pitsiokos and others, has presented several solo concerts, programs a music series in Brooklyn and for the past several years has managed the Lower East Side venue Spectrum.
Since the early 90s, Susie Ibarra has been one of the most exciting and compelling composer/performers to come through the world of New York experimental music. As a drummer, there is really no one like her, a top notch improviser who turns her kit into a fine tuned orchestra. She's worked closely with Ikue Mori, John Zorn, Sylvie Courviosier, David S. Ware and many more and continues to inspire drummers all over the world. For this talk, Susie takes me back to her upbringing in Texas, where as a teenager she opened for the Flaming Lips, her early days in New York, and much much more.
James Ilgenfritz is a bass player and composer who has been living in New York City since 2003. He is also one of the first musicians that I met and played with upon my arrival. He has worked closely with Lukas Ligeti, Elliott Sharp, Anne Gosfield and more. Since his move to New York he has also been incredibly active as a curator and organizer. For this talk, we go back to the first few years in New York, as well as the challenges that James faced from 2008-2013, his newest work with his label Infrequent Seams and much much more.
Aaron Siegel was born in Maryland, educated in Michigan and has been living in New York City since 2001. He has studied with Alvin Lucier, Ron Kuivila, Anthony Braxton and Bunita Marcus among others. In addition to composing and leading his own ensembles, since 2011, he has co-lead Experiments In Opera, with whom he has produced over 30 new operatic works since its founding in 2011. Aaron is a multi-faceted composer/performer, a unique individual and great guy.
Based in New York, Tim Berne is a prolific band leader and saxophonist who has been a central figure in the city's creative jazz scene for over forty years. Since the very beginning, his work has been marked by intense creativity, soulfulness and a dogged spirit of independence. Among the many bands that he has lead over the years are Blood Count, Hard Cell, Paraphrase, Big Satan and others. On a recent Saturday, during an intense snow storm, I visited Tim at his home in Brooklyn, where we discussed his personal history, the current state of the NY jazz scene, his two new releases on Screwgun Records and a whole lot more. As an added bonus, today's episode features a twenty five minute mini episode with pianist Matt Mitchell, discussing his new recording of interpretations of Tim Berne tunes for solo piano.
Originally from the Bay Area, Miya Masaoka is a multi-faceted composer/performer who has been making a mark on the international music scene for the past three decades. Her main instrument is the koto and her work sits comfortably at the intersection of composition and improvisation, instrumental virtuosity and technological investigations. She has worked closely with Bang On a Can, Zeena Parkins, Pamela Z and Larry Ochs, among many others. She is a true original and I am delighted to share this conversation.
For our 100th episode we get into it with guitarist, writer, college professor, David Grubbs. David is a veteran of bands Gastr del Sol, the Red Krayola and Bastro. He has worked with Pauline Oliveros, Tony Conrad, Nate Wooley and many more. In addition to his musical output, he is a published author and is a tenured professor at Brooklyn College. For this talk, David takes me back to his early days in Louisville, his time in Chicago in the 90s, his work as an educator and the process of writing his new book.
Born in New York and raised in San Francisco, Liberty Ellman is a wonderful guitarist who has been making a name for himself in contemporary jazz circles for the past twenty years. He has worked closely with an array of modern luminaries including Henry Threadgill, Vijay Iyer, Butch Morris and Tyshawn Sorey. In 2015 he released a new trio recording, his first nine years. For this talk Liberty takes me through his upbringing in a musical home, collaboration, working as a guitarist and much more. A good talk with a good guy.
Born and raised in Philadelphia and now based in Brooklyn, Matt Hollenberg is an extremely talented and inventive guitarist. He plays in the bands Cleric, John Zorn's Simulacrum and his newest project, Shardik. For this talk, Matt tells the history of Cleric, getting the opportunity to work with musical heroes and the importance of creating context for one's work. A good talk.