Mariel Roberts is a cellist who in recent years has become an essential participant in the international contemporary musical community. Born and raised in Denver CO, she studied at the Manhattan School of Music and leads an incredibly colorful career as a first call interpreter of works by todays most vital composers. She has worked with virtually every ensemble in NYC and continues to push boundaries with a series of solo recordings that push the language of the cello to the edge of insanity. Mariel is a gem and a great conversationalist.
For the past two decades multi-instrumentalist Marcia Bassett has been at the forefront of the underground noise and improv scene. Since her early days with the band Un she has amassed a prolific output with her bands Hototogisu, GHQ, and Double Leopards as well as collaborations with Samara Lubelski, Barry Weisblat and Andrew Lafkas. Under the name Zaïmph, her long-running solo project, she has just released the gorgeous and ambitious double LP “Rhizomatic Gaze” on Drawing Room Records. Marcia is a true underground hero and is a pleasure to speak with.
Drummer/multi-instrumentalist Weasel Walter is an intense and formidable figure in the world of underground music. Active since 1991, he has been touring and recording non-stop, amassing a staggering discography along the way. His long list of collaborators include Damon Smith, Henry Kaiser, Lydia Lunch, Marc Edwards and many many more. Next month Weasel is releasing the first record by his band the Flying Luttenbachers in many years, before taking the new lineup to Europe. Since starting this podcast in 2013, I have received more requests to have Weasel on than any other artist. Here we are.
Eric Wubbels is a a New York based composer and pianist who for the past several years has been co-director of the world renowned Wet Ink Ensemble. His music is intense, meticulous and an utterly thrilling listening experience. Eric has been awarded grants and fellowships from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, Chamber Music America, MATA Festival, Barlow Endowment, Jerome Foundation, New Music USA and others. He is a great cat with a lot of insight.
For episode 192 we are joined by Sarah Hennies, a percussionist and composer born and raised in Louisville KY, now living in Ithaca, NY. Her work is concerned with a variety of musical, sociopolitical, and psychological issues including queer & trans identity, love, intimacy, psychoacoustics, and percussion. She has performed around the world and her recent composition “Contralto” continues to see performances at a variety of venues and festivals including Bent Frequency (Atlanta), La Sobilla (Verona), Monday Evening Concerts (Los Angeles), MOCA Tucson, Time-Based Art (Portland, OR), and the Toronto International Film Festival’s Bell Lightbox Theatre. Sarah is as deep as they come and this is a good talk.
Darcy is composer and bandleader raised in Vancouver, based in Brooklyn NY. He studied with Bob Brookmeyer at the New England Conservatory and since the early 2000s has led his own big band, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society, an eighteen piece ensemble that focuses on his original compositions. The group has released several albums and their 2009 debut “Infernal Machines” was nominated for a grammy. This weekend Secret Society will be doing four sets at the Jazz Gallery in NYC and Darcy stopped by to talk about what he’s been up to.
For our final episode of 2018, the great Nels Cline returns for another go-round on the mics and it’s a home run. A true lifer, Nels is a musician who never sleeps. For our second talk, Nels and I discuss LA, vintage guitars, excess and a whole lot more. A great talk with one of the greatest cats around.
Ka Baird is a uniquely talented multi-instrumentalist from Illinois, now living in Brooklyn NY. A founding member of the avant/psych/folk ensemble Spires That In The Sunset Rise, she has spent the past few years with an intense focus on solo performance, resulting in her most recent release Sapropelic Pycnic. Ka is a true original and a delight to have over for a talk.
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.