49 episodes

JazzTimes publisher Lee Mergner and jazz singer Rene Marie preview new music and talk about issues and trends in the jazz world.

JazzTimes Spins & Riffs Lee Mergner & Rene Marie

    • Music

JazzTimes publisher Lee Mergner and jazz singer Rene Marie preview new music and talk about issues and trends in the jazz world.

    #55: Eric Alexander on Harold Mabern, One for All, the road and his Ishimori tenor

    #55: Eric Alexander on Harold Mabern, One for All, the road and his Ishimori tenor

    Saxophonist Eric Alexander joins Lee on location at the Monterey Jazz Festival to sample cuts from his solo album “Second Impression,” from the One For All album “The Third Decade” and from Mike LeDonne & the Groover Quartet’s “That Feelin’.”  Eric describes his long musical and personal relationship with Harold Mabern, talks about how he stays sane on the road, and explains the genesis for his own tenor saxophone model with Ishimori. This episode sponsored by Inner Sanctum Audio.

    • 41 min
    #54: Kurt Elling on Branford Marsalis, Christmas Carols and Jon Hendricks

    #54: Kurt Elling on Branford Marsalis, Christmas Carols and Jon Hendricks

    On location at the Monterey Jazz Festival, vocalist extraordinaire Kurt Elling sits in with Lee to sing the praises of Branford Marsalis and his quartet, with whom Kurt has recorded the album "Upward Spiral" and has performed a lot. Kurt also talks about and previews his forthcoming holiday music album "The Beautiful Day" which features some unusual choices and which includes a duet with his daughter. Finally, Kurt and Lee talk about Jon Hendricks and the upcoming tribute to the influential vocalist at the Iridium in NYC.  This episode is sponsored by Inner Sanctum Audio.

    • 30 min
    #53: Marty Ashby, Bob Mintzer, New York Voices & the Legacy of MCG Jazz

    #53: Marty Ashby, Bob Mintzer, New York Voices & the Legacy of MCG Jazz

    Marty Ashby, executive producer of MCG Jazz in Pittsburgh, sits in with Lee to talk about the legacy of Manchester Craftsmen’s Guild as a catalyst for jazz in Pittsburgh and on the national scene. They spin cuts from Grammy-nominated albums from MCG Jazz by Bob Mintzer and New York Voices and they talk about the association of the performing arts center with artists like Dr. Billy Taylor, Dizzy Gillespie, Ray Brown, Monty Alexander and many others.  This episode sponsored by Inner Sanctum Audio.

    • 41 min
    #52: JD Allen, Jaimeo Brown, the roots of jazz, socio-political music and the legacy of Miles Davis

    #52: JD Allen, Jaimeo Brown, the roots of jazz, socio-political music and the legacy of Miles Davis

    Jazz writer Bob Blumenthal sits in with JT publisher Lee Mergner to spin cuts from albums by saxophonist JD Allen (“Americana” on Savant) and drummer Jaimeo Brown (“Work Songs” on Motema).  They talk about the real African-American roots of jazz music and the lost art of conceptual albums.  The two then riff on the legacy of Miles Davis. This episode sponsored by Inner Sanctum Audio.

    • 50 min
    #51: Renee Rosnes, Kenny Barron & Jazz Clubs of the Past

    #51: Renee Rosnes, Kenny Barron & Jazz Clubs of the Past

    Jazz writer Bob Blumenthal joins Lee to spin cuts from albums by two stellar pianists—Renee Rosnes and Kenny Barron.  Inspired by the JazzTimes cover story on Seventh Avenue South, a notorious NYC jazz club owned by the Brecker Brothers in the late 70s and early 80s, Bob and Lee riff on important nightclubs from the history of jazz. This episode is sponsored by Inner Sanctum Audio.

    • 40 min
    #50: Matt Wilson on family, loss and memory

    #50: Matt Wilson on family, loss and memory

    Drummer and bandleader Matt Wilson sits in with JT publisher Lee Mergner to spin cuts from his new album looking back on his life with his wife Felicia who died of cancer two years ago.  The album, Beginning of a Memory, features a band he calls Big Happy Family, comprised by the musicians from all his groups over the last 20 years.  Matt talked about the importance of family and how jazz musicians have become his extended family throughout his struggle to deal with his wife’s death.  This episode sponsored by Berks Jazz Festival.

    • 48 min

Customer Reviews

whistlecod ,

Uninsulated Jazz

Most jazz programs remain fairly rigidly within the world of jazz. There's nothing wrong with that; in fact it kinda makes sense, doesn't it? What's refreshing about 'Spins & Riffs,' though, is that hosts Lee Mergner and Renee Marie have a lot more on their minds than just jazz. Their musical tastes are far-ranging so, while they talk about jazz, they also talk about other genres of music and discuss how those genres can affect and compliment each other. They manage to put jazz into a broader musical context, which then places jazz in a broader social context. If a jazz lover really wants to 'spread the word' about the music he/she loves, that's the way to do it.

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