23 episodes

A music interview show where Rock, Pop and Jazz intersect. We feature the tastemakers, artists and the figures who are shaping the future of our scene.

Ridgeway Radio Presents: On The Scene SFO Andrew Lion with Ridgeway Radio

    • Music
    • 4.8 • 8 Ratings

A music interview show where Rock, Pop and Jazz intersect. We feature the tastemakers, artists and the figures who are shaping the future of our scene.

    OTS SFO #020 with Levi Gillis

    OTS SFO #020 with Levi Gillis

     
    With several past episodes recorded from Seattle, we return to a previously unreleased conversation (2018) with saxophonist, improviser, and band leader, Levi Gillis.  Originally from Northern California, you could now find Gillis based in Los Angeles after having continued on his developmental journey from the University of Washington Jazz and Improvisation program, chaired by Cuong Vu (episode #007, Cuong Vu 4-Tet, Pat Metheny Group), to the CalArts MFA School of Music program.
     

     
    We begin our discussion in 2018, but conclude during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.  It is a study in contrast, or lack thereof, considering escalating social justice, economic disparity, and political divisiveness.
     

     
    However, we are not here to reflect solely on the state of our society, but rather to celebrate  Levi’s avant jazz/post rock outfit Hunter Gather.  Their Table and Chairs Records release, ‘Getting to Know You’, is a lush and up close and personal journey into delicate improvisation.  Evoking minimalism, americana, baroque, and vivid cinematic indie rock, this recording has won great praise.
     

     
    Furthermore, we explore Gillis’ collaboration with former Seattle cohorts, Mike Gebhart (drums), Carmen Rothwell (Bass), and Ray Larsen (Trumpet), as the Sky is a Suitcase.  As a side note, Larsen has a well-received 2020 release on Slow & Steady Records (based in the SF Bay Area founded by Steven Lugerner and Ross Eustis), entitled ’Songs to fill the air’.  The quartet’s open approach marks a key moment in Seattle’s avant-garde, improvisatory community.
     

     
    Finally, we return to 2020 as we learn the balance of being a long-distance member of the active Funk, Soul, and Classic R&B inspired large ensemble, The Dip.  Levi has been a longtime contributor to this (typically) touring favorite.  The Dip released a new EP of instrumental tracks in late 2020.
     

     
    Levi Gillis shares his experience as openly as his thoughtful and contemplative improvisation comes across in his playing.
     
     
    NOTE: Please excuse some of the microphone noise in the first part of the episode.  
     
     
    Tracks featured throughout Episode #020:
    I Want To Be an American - Hunter Gather - Getting to Know You I Want To Be an American - Hunter Gather - Getting to Know You Let Me Roll My Eyes - Hunter Gather - Getting to Know You Getting to Know You - Hunter Gather - Getting to Know You Swirlworld - The Sky is A Suitcase - Rain Rhythm plearn - The Sky is A Suitcase - Rain Rhythm Citrine - The Sky is A Suitcase - Rain Rhythm Within - Negative Press Project - SoFar Live, Vancouver, B.C. Ready To Go - The Dip Don’t Make Me Wait - The Dip Won’t Be Coming Back - The Dip - Won’t Be Coming Back EP Atlas - The Dip - The Dip Delivers Pay No Mind - Hunter Gather - Getting to Know You Believe You Me - Hunter Gather - Getting to Know You The Expatriot - Hunter Gather - Getting to Know You Spiderweb- The Dip - The Dip Delivers
     
    More Information:
    http://levigillis.com
    https://huntergatherband.bandcamp.com/releases
    https://theskyisasuitcase1.bandcamp.com
    https://thedip.bandcamp.com/album/the-dip-plays-it-cool
     

    • 1 hr 17 min
    OTS SFO #019 with Edward Simon

    OTS SFO #019 with Edward Simon

    A document of our time, as well as an exploration into a celebrated career, Venezuelan pianist and composer, Edward Simon joins us.  

    Now based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but long associated through his work with the all-star SF JAZZ Collective, Simon is celebrating over 30 years in music with his Ridgeway Records release, 25 Years. 

    His work has found him collaborating with prominent jazz, vocals, and chamber groups, such as Gretchen Parlato, Imani Winds, Mark Turner, David Binney, Scott Colley, and Brian Blade.  The latter of which includes celebrated trio recordings along with John Patitucci.  

    We spoke with Edward about his two-disc career retrospective, as well as his newly announced role as Associate Artistic Director with the Ridgeway Arts organization (a producer of this podcast).
    At the time of our conversation, the country was several months into the shelter-in-place effects of COVID-19; where musicians in particular were some of the first to lose prevalent sources of their financial living.  Along with renewed light shone on familiar issues of racial injustice, the black lives matter movement, and escalated political divisiveness, it was only natural that some discussion swayed into addressing the systemic indignities more often directed towards people of color in the U.S.; implicitly, and/or overtly.
    Tracks featured throughout Episode #019:
    Impossible Question - Edward Simon - 25 Years Pathless Path - Edward Simon - 25 Years Aguantando - Edward Simon - 25 Years Triumphs - Edward Simon - 25 Years Govinda - Edward Simon - 25 Years Fiestas - Edward Simon - 25 Years Lover’s  Park - Edward Simon - Steel House Simplicity - Edward Simon - 25 Years Alma Llanera (Part 2)- Edward Simon - 25 Years Pere - Edward Simon - 25 Years What if… - Edward Simon - 25 Years Gracias La Vida - Edward Simon - 25 Years Navigator - Edward Simon - 25 Years Ericka - Edward Simon - 25 Years More Information:
    https://www.edwardsimon.com

    • 1 hr 27 min
    OTS SFO #018 with Romain Pilon

    OTS SFO #018 with Romain Pilon

    Another archived discussion, this time with a jet lagged (at the time of meeting in March of 2018) Romain Pilon.  The french guitarist began his journey in Southeastern France at the base of the Rhone Alps; now Paris based.

    A Parisian in New York for a short while, he preceded his big apple residency with matriculation through Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
    Credited as performing with Christian Scott, Esperanza Spalding, Warren Wolf, and Lionel Loueke, Pilon also has a number of recordings under his leadership featuring key collaborations with modern saxophone colossi Seamus Blake, Ben Wendel, and Walter Smith III.

    While the conversation preceded, a collaboration with Jeff Denson and Brian Blade yielded the trio recording, 'Between Two Worlds' released on Ridgeway Records in 2019.  Much of which features Pilon's masterful and subtly sophisticated compositions.

    We speak with Romain about his formative years, alumni friendships, performance highlights, and his series of mini-lessons as found on YouTube and Instagram.

    Much of the music featured throughout the episode is culled from Romain Pilon's 2018 release, 'Copper' that was released shortly before our meeting.
    Tracks featured throughout Episode #018:
    Four Moons - Romain Pilon - Copper Poppish - Romain Pilon - Copper Bibou - Romain Pilon - Copper Triptych (for Cėleste) - Romain Pilon Trio+Ben Wendel & Walter Smith III The Quiet Ones - Romain Pilon - Copper Azur - Jeff Denson | Romain Pilon | Brian Blade - Between Two Worlds Trippin - Romain Pilon - Copper Jumping at Shadows - Romain Pilon Trio+Ben Wendel & Walter Smith III More Information:
    https://www.romainpilonguitarist.com
    https://www.youtube.com/user/RomainPilon/

    • 1 hr 2 min
    OTS SFO #017 with [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba Part 2 of 2

    OTS SFO #017 with [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba Part 2 of 2

    While much has changed in society since this archived discussion from 2018 with [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba, we still manage to cull through some of the more universal aspects of creative and musical development, philosophical themes, and the deeply inspiring sources of Baba’s imaginative compositions and arrangements.
     

     
    As you may have learned from Part 1 of our two-part discussion with Baba (Part 1 a more recent 2019 conversation), she is a violinist, violist, composer, and improviser, based in Los Angeles, California.  She has asserted herself as a prolific contributor throughout many musical categories such as original improvisatory, jazz, classical, folk, pop, avant-garde, chamber, and experimental styles; a veteran performer with  groups such as Similar Fashion, Ya Ya, Gregory Uhlmann Ensemble, Istambul, Thelonious Monkey, and Vardan Ovsepian Chamber Ensemble (or VOCE).
     

     
    As before, most significant to our conversation today, is Baba’s role as the Composer and Director of theBabaOrchestra, a 17-Piece Big Band that performs her award winning original instrumental compositions.   
     

     
    In this exchange we will be examining her work conducting the intricate and dense rhythmic voice of the large group and the collection of pieces she released as 'Another Ride on the Elephant Slide'.
     

     
    Here, we get to know the [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba from 2018 in conversation.
     
    Tracks featured throughout Episode #017:
    Zaa'tar - theBABAorchestra - Another Ride on the Elephant Slide 144 - theBABAorchestra - Another Ride on the Elephant Slide The Myth of Sisyphus, Movement No. 1 - theBABAorchestra - Another Ride on the Elephant Slide The Myth of Sisyphus, Movement No. 2 - theBABAorchestra - Another Ride on the Elephant Slide Zaa'tar - theBABAorchestra - Another Ride on the Elephant Slide t.i.m.e. - the immediate measure (of) energy - theBABAorchestra - Another Ride on the Elephant Slide The Myth of Sisyphus, Movement No. 1 - theBABAorchestra - Another Ride on the Elephant Slide t.i.m.e. - the immediate measure (of) energy - theBABAorchestra - Another Ride on the Elephant Slide One Moment Here - Similar Fashion - Portrait of  Portrait of James Turrell - Similar Fashion - Portrait of  Myra's Fortune - Similar Fashion - Portrait of  More Information:
    https://www.laurenelizabethbaba.com
    https://thebabaorchestra.bandcamp.com
    https://similarfashion.bandcamp.com
     

    • 1 hr 12 min
    OTS SFO #016 with [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba Part 1 of 2

    OTS SFO #016 with [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba Part 1 of 2

     
    At first listen, theBABAorchestra works immediately to enlighten the percipient that LA Jazz is not all studio polish, R&B, and smooth.  In fact there are many examples that disavow that notion, but [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba’s 17-Piece experimental big band is particularly visceral and thematic in its through-composed and improvised moments.
     
    The conductor/composer/arranger of its namesake, [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba is a violinist, violist, and improviser living in Los Angeles specializing in performing and composing creative improvised music as well as jazz, classical, folk, avant-guarde, chamber, pop, and experimental styles.
     

     
    Inspired by Baba’s family immigration story, hailing from Syria and Greece, she introduces us to Marigold- a piece that was commissioned by Los Angeles Jazz Society through a 2018 New Note Artist Award and premiered in concert at 2018 Angel City Jazz Festival at Ford Theater, Los Angeles, CA.
     

     
    As her website informs, Marigold was recorded live in the studio – a 45-minute un-doctored real-time performance – presented as a long-form suite in 4 continuous movements; representing the nature of Marigold’s conception as “a loop – no beginning or end – exploring through-composition + improvisation and continuing the search to conceptualize time + music + existence – understanding that the past, present, and future are simultaneous experiences.”
     
    This all being a direct reaction to Baba exploring her own family’s journey, and what it means to confront the bravery, heartache, ambition, and  reinvention of the immigration experience.  A story that carries parallels for many families in our diverse, multi-cultural nation, that offers a promise of fulfilling dreams for those arriving at its shores, but not always acknowledging the sacrifice that can weigh heavily on the elders who took on that expedition; either by choice or necessity.
     

     
    An immersive listening experience is recommended on its own with Marigold.  In the meantime, [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba speaks with OTSSFO about her research, creative exploration, and emotional mining that led to its result.
     
    NOTE: This is Part 1 of a 2-Part conversation with [Lauren] Elizabeth Baba.  The first is our more recent discussion regarding 2019’s release of Marigold.  While, Part 2 is comprised of an archived discussion pertaining to more of Baba’s creative and musical development, upbringing, and insights into theBABAorchestra’s 2017 release, Another Ride on the Elephant Slide.  Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon.
     
    Tracks featured throughout Episode #016:
    Marigold - theBABAorchestra - Marigold More Information:
    https://www.laurenelizabethbaba.com
    https://thebabaorchestra.bandcamp.com

    • 37 min
    OTS SFO #015 with CLAUDIO PUNTIN

    OTS SFO #015 with CLAUDIO PUNTIN

    March 2020
    What unusual times we all find ourselves in.  With what started as a world away (COVID-19), now at everyone’s doorstep, the music community faces uncertainties similar to many other service-oriented vocations.  While live in-person performance to audiences of size are curtailed, we can still learn about the different ways our creative sisters and brothers are expressing for the sake of social justice, humanity, and beauty.

    OTSSFO kicks off its new season with an archived discussion from several years ago with German based Swiss-Italian clarinetist Claudio Puntin.  Widely known as a member of the trio “Ambiq”as well as an ECM Records alumnus, Claudio is a versatile instrumentalist with eclectic collaborations that range from ambient, electronic, and avant-garde, to orchestral, jazz, and swing.  He has worked with notable creators/performers such as Hermeto Pascoal, Fred Frith, Skuli Sverresson, WDR Big Band, Jeff Denson, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Insa Rudolph and the Sepiasonic band.

    An intensely passionate personality about improvisation and technical proficiency, Claudio gives us a glimpse into his uniquely European viewpoint and experience with collaborators.

    An award-winning jeweler, he has translated this skill set into innovative designs surrounding mouthpieces for clarinet and bass clarinet- something that perhaps our reed playing constituency will find of particular interest.
    We discussed all of the above, while Claudio was visiting, educating, and performing on a rare trip to the San Francisco Bay Area. 

    Tracks featured throughout Episode #015:
    Stoma (Main Theme) - Claudio Puntin - Stoma Aroma – Claudio Puntin w/Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra Die Herrmannsschlacht (Kiefer Exhibition 2010) The Mother – Ambiq - Ambiq Aroma – Claudio Puntin w/Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra Ephemera – Ambiq - Ambiq Paris – Sepiasonic - Sepiasonic Variation On a Point of View - Jeff Denson & Claudio Puntin - Two Þeysireið – Claudio Puntin, Geròur Gunnarsdóttir – Ylir Myttoprill – Ambiq - Ambiq More Information:
    http://www.puntin.de
    http://ambiqmusic.com
    https://www.ecmrecords.com/catalogue/143038751622
    https://arjunamusic-records.bandcamp.com/album/sepiasonic
     

    • 1 hr 20 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
8 Ratings

8 Ratings

Nancy Salcedo ,

OTS SFO #010 with Hristo

Thank you, Andrew. Very provocative listen!