Jazz New England features interviews with notable jazz artists and others from New England and beyond also reviews of festivals performances and jazz related musings.
Greg Abate: A New Album and some Local Rhode Island Gigs
I really like doing multiple interviews over time. This is my fifth interview with multi-reed player Greg Abate and the basic “who are you” and background questions are out of the way. This interview was recorded from a radio broadcast on WRIU in Kingston Rhode Island. He talks about his new album Road to Forever and provides commentary as we play some tracks. We also talk about his annual sextet gig at Chan’s, Channel One, traveling, teaching and his alto flute.
Music used in this podcast:
Damon Smith Talks About Improvisation, Composition and his Move to Boston
Jazz is a pretty small niche in the music industry and free improvisation and new music, often considered as jazz in this country is a very small subset indeed. Damon Smith has found a way to excel and thrive in a very small puddle. As well as being a virtuoso bassist, his Balance Point Acoustics label features a who’s who of musicians play in that genre.
Although I’ve been listening to improvised music for years my conversation with Damon opened up a whole new avenues for appreciation a whole new ways to think about sound and composition.
We talked about:
His recent move to the Boston area via Houston and San Francisco
Improvisation and composition
Bass and instrumental language
His work with Henry Kaiser
Music used in this podcast:
An interview with Bass player and Rhode Island native Dave Zinno, we talk about his recent album Chance Meeting with AGNZ, his trip to Brazil to record, his take on teaching and standards
A Treasury of Rhode Island Jazz and Swing Musicians
In November of 2016 I had the opportunity to have two interviews with the authors of A Treasury of Rhode Island Jazz and Swing Musicians, first on Tuesday morning on my WRIU radio show Jazz Explorer and again on that Thursday evening taping for the public access cable program State of the State. This podcast is adapted from the radio show, mostly because the sound quality was better but also because the interview on video for State of the State is available here.
The authors: Dennis Pratt who is a bassist and educator has played in Southeastern New England since the 1960s knows the circuit and many of the players well, Tom Shaker hosts a radio show on WICN in Worchester MA and teaches. He is also working on Do it Man a movie about the Celebrity Club, a jazz club in Providence in the mid 20th century.
The book is visually striking and features many vintage and unpublished pictures of jazz clubs and performers in Rhode Island. It is somewhat of a yearbook or a study in anthropology as well as a reference and is best dipped into over time.
Special thanks to Greg Abate for permission to use Filthy McNasty from his album Horace is Here.
Francisco Pais: Melodic and Sophisticated Modern Jazz from Newport
I had the pleasure in early October of this year to see the Francisco Pais Quintet play the Jamestown Arts Center. Although he has four albums out, his music is a new discovery to me even though he only lives across the bay in Newport, Rhode Island. The show was the first of a series of shows in New York, Rhode Island and western Massachusetts promoting his new album Verde.
A guitarist, singer and songwriter/composer Pais plays sophisticated modern jazz that is flavored with rock, blues, brazilian and the music of his native Portugal. The show focused on his instrumental works and his band (mostly from New York) had a chance to blow. The show closed with the premier of a video of his song Million Galaxies Away produced by Newport videographer Sky Sabin.
We talk about Verde, the video, his influences, and instruments. Unfortunately the show that we talk about at Sandywoods was canceled and is being rescheduled for early 2017.
Special thanks to photographer Erin X. Smithers for letting me use her work for this post. She has a wonderful blog with radio host Eric Jackson at: followthesoultrane.com
Million Galaxies Away video
Music Used in this Podcast:
Wadada Leo Smith Talks About His Work and America’s National Parks
This is the second time that I’ve had the chance to talk to Wadada Leo Smith. A trumpeter and composer, an early member of the AACM (Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians) and a distinctive and powerful voice in jazz and creative music for over 50 years.
Although his music is often described as Avant Garde it is rooted in the blues and has soul or as he would probably say it comes from the soul. He talks about his new album America’s National Parks not necessarily as the physical National Parks but as cultural and natural resources to be preserved and renew the nation. We also talked about his creativity, how he works and his upcoming projects.
Previous Wadada Leo Smith interview from April 2015