This is the second time I’ve had the opportunity to interview Dan Moretti a man of many projects. His current one being the reunion of Brazilia and a 20th anniversary live performance at Chan’s in honor of the 1996 album. Out of print, 100 copies of the CD have been pressed for the occasion.
We also talk about his recent tour in Asia with Nile Rogers and recording in Italy with Piccola Orchestra La Viola. In the 1980s he co-founded Celebration Sound a recording studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and has recorded 17 albums to this point.
This is the 25th interviews that I have posted on Jazz New England it is also the fourth time that I’ve interviewed Greg Abate in the course of two years. His current album Kindred Spirits Live at Chan’s recorded with Phil Woods and the Tim Ray trio was released at the end of January. He has been working on his third recording for Whaling City Sound since the end of last summer.
I always enjoy talking to Greg. He is very gracious with his time and although he tours the United States and Europe regularly he still plays local venues when he is home in Rhode Island.
The recording of this podcast was an experiment. I have heard Greg mention Main Street Coffee in East Greenwich, RI before and I live only a short walk from there. Sometimes interviews can be stiff and awkward so I thought it might be good idea to sit and relax and have a cup of coffee and see where the conversation led. I recorded the conversation with my iPhone using a recording app with good noise cancellation. The sound came out pretty well and only needed a minimal amount of equalization. The interview went well too. The only problem being that the conversation was maybe too relaxed and I had edit to find the more focused parts of the conversation for the podcast.
We talked about writing music, Greg’s sextet performance, touring in the UK and his musical favorites and influences.
The sextet gig that We talk about has passed. We also talked about the reunion of Dan Moretti in Brasilia featuring Greg Abate which will take place April 9th at Chan’s in Woonsocket, RI.
Newvelle Records is a new vinyl only record label Launching in the spring of 2016. Using a curated subscription model the first years crop of six albums includes such artists as Jack DeJohnette, Noah Preminger, Frank Kimbrough, Ban Alison & Don Friedman. A series of albums for 2017 is already in the planning stages.
I expected my interview with co-founder Elan Mehler to be all about business and marketing demographics. Instead we had a long conversation about finding an economic vehicle to create a high quality product and empower artists. Artists retain the ownership of the masters and may release them later as they see fit after a waiting period.
A KIckstarter Campaign is underway for the first years pressings here.
There are few individuals who have had as large a role in shaping the history of Jazz in the latter part of the 20th century as Jack DeJohnette. He was a member of the AACM in Chicago and played with Charles Lloyd, Bill Evans and Miles Davis in the 1960s. He has had a musical conversation with Keith Jarrett that has lasted for over 40 years.
In 2016 he will be releasing a new vinyl only solo piano album. A new trio album with Ravi Coltrane on sax and Matt Garrison on bass will also be out next year.
The release celebration of Greg Abate’s live album Kindred Spirits was supposed to reprise the original event where it was originally performed, at Chan’s in Woonsocket, Rhode Island featuring Phil Woods and the Tim Ray Trio. It will now go on as a quartet. Three weeks before the release Mr. Woods announced his retirement from music for health reasons followed yesterday by his death.
Greg sat at a piano and talked about Phil Woods, writing music, his next album and his career in general.
Jon Irababon has two very different new albums. On Behind the Sky he shows off his skills and compositions in a more mainstream direction featuring Tom Harrell on several tracks. Inaction is an Action is an exploration of the solo sopranino saxophone and is in a much more avant gard vein. The juxtaposition of the two in a dual release covers much more area than either of them could alone showing off a versatile musical personality.
Jon has the virtuosity and vision to be a defining saxaphone figure of the twenty-teens. He is a regular member of: Mostly Other People Do the Killing, Barry Altschul’s 3dom Factor, The Dave Douglas Quintet, The Mary Halvorson Octet and more.
A Coloradan by way of Virginia and New York Josh Maxey has released nine albums in the last three years. Celebration of Soul released in August is his tenth.
The organ trio is the chosen vehicle for his guitar voice. He plays jazz infusing the feeling and power of the blues. His influences include John Coltrane and Jimmy Page and although he plays songs he loves to smear them together into extended suites.
Most of the interviews I do are over Skype and some over the telephone. I’ve interviewed Phil Haynes twice before and I always end it with “If you ever get up this way you’re welcome to be on my radio show”. This summer he finally made it up to Rhody and took me up on it. Multiple interviews with an artist are great. They are relaxed and make it easier to get into the meat of a conversation.
I’ve deliberately tried not to over edit this to keep the ambience of the radio show. Phil tells great stories and we laugh. We talk about solo drumming and recording in a large resonant room. He tells the story of the Corner Store a practice and rehersal space “and so much more” in Brooklyn that morphed into his label Corner Store Jazz.
On the air we played rough mixes of the upcoming Free Country. There are some edits included in the podcast and Phil waxes poetic about their meaning and resonance.
Prehistoric Jazz is what Eric Hofbauer calls his deconstructions of modern classical music as he transmogrifies it into jazz. He is not content to simply reharmonize and jazzify the pieces that he chooses he reassembles them from their DNA as he likes to put it. He is also a member of the free improvisation group Bolt.
This interview was recorded in April 2015 in a practice room in Fine Arts Building at the University of Rhode Island. It was wonderful to be able to interview someone in person and to be able to respond and develop a dialogue. Because I was able to record with mics in a controlled environment this is also the best sounding interview that I’ve ever done.
We talked about the Prehistoric Jazz series, the spiritual in jazz, humor in jazz and how he gets a sound that is an extension of himself.
One of the great pleasures of preparing for my interview with jazz drum virtuoso Brian Blade was going back and rediscovering some of the great music that he has played on with other artists over the years. (Check out St. Thomas from Joshua Redman’s Spirit of the Moment album)
Last month he played in Europe with Wayne Shorter and before that he was in Japan with John Patitucci. He also has a recent album with Ron Miles and Bill Frisell, Circuit Rider. Weather he is playing with A list jazz artists or with his own group the Brian Blade Fellowship his credo is “Serve the Music”. The group has developed it’s own distinctive sound that is evocative of the American landscape.
The Fellowship Group will be recording live on August 21st at the cooperatively run Columbus Theatrein Providence. The performance will be followed by a Talkback the following day led by WGBH host Eric Jackson.
This interview was recorded on August 10th and originally broadcast on WRIU in Kingston RI on August 11th.