Steve Kuhn (51:47)
Steve Kuhn's new album, Mostly Coltrane (ECM, 2009), pays tribute to John Coltrane, with whom Kuhn worked for several weeks in the early 60s. In this interview, Kuhn talks about Coltrane, the Lenox School of Jazz, his composing methods, and the support he received early on from Bill Evans. He also discusses the sacrifices he made in pursuit of his musical vision.
Avery Sharpe (42:11)
Bassist Avery Sharpe's album, Autumn Moonlight (JKNM Records, 2009), is an exploration of the piano trio by a man who played bass in one of the most famous such trios in recent memory, that of McCoy Tyner. In this interview, Sharpe talks about why he likes to perform in the trio format, how he chose between insurance adjusting and the bass, and the night he left Art Blakey for McCoy Tyner.
Nicholas Urie (32:11)
Nicholas Uries fascinating album, Excerpts From An Online Dating Service (Red Piano, 2009) combines lyrics taken from online dating sites with complex and creative music for a large band. Citing Kurt Weill as a major influence, Urie has made an album that explores what Weill might have been like if he'd had a Facebook account.
Bill Anschell and Brent Jensen (40:35)
The new album by pianist Bill Anschell and saxophonist Brent Jensen, We Couldn't Agree More (Origin, 2009) is a duet session. In this interview, Anschell and Jensen talk about how the album came to be, the particular qualities of duet playing, and the question of standards versus new music.
Gene Ludwig (37:28)
Gene Ludwig tossed a coin to decide whether to be an engineer or a musician. With that out of the way, Ludwig came on the scene in the late 1950s and has made a living playing the organ ever since. Hes been in the bands of Sonny Stitt and Arthur Prysock, and has played opposite everyone from Dizzy Gillespie to Cannonball Adderley. The musical samples in this interview are from Ludwig's recording Hands On (Blue Leaf Records, 2003).
Terence Blanchard (36:57)
A standard-bearer for his home city of New Orleans, trumpeter Terence Blanchard turns his musical spotlight on the positive changes that have occurred since Katrina with his new CD, Choices (Concord Records, 2009). In this wide-ranging interview, Blanchard talks about the cultural rebuilding of New Orleans, the ability of music to stand up in the face of tragedy, and his dedication to the growth and maturation of the musicians he employs.
Carl Allen (42:34)
Carl Allen and Rodney Whitaker have just released their second CD for Mack Avenue Records, titled Work To Do. Allen has been on the jazz scene since joining Freddie Hubbard's band in college, and hes served as the mentor for many jazz musicians, most notably Christian McBride. In this interview, Allen talks about why he and Whitaker chose the music they did for the new CD, his relationship with McBride, and whether the academy can replace the bandstand.