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Catching Up With

Less formal than our standard interviews with a focus on an artist's recent recording project or tour.


Steely Dan's Jon Herington and Jim Beard

Read "Steely Dan's Jon Herington and Jim Beard" reviewed by Mike Jacobs

In memory of Jim Beard, this article was first published at All About Jazz on July 6, 2017. While keyboardist / producer Jim Beard and guitarist Jon Herington are both solo recording artists with long and varied careers that straddle jazz, rock and beyond, they may be best known these days for being longtime members of Steely Dan's current touring band. They have also been close friends for nearly 40 years. They sat down for a conversation as ...


Hermon Mehari: American Jazz, Eritrean Echoes

Read "Hermon Mehari: American Jazz, Eritrean Echoes" reviewed by Nicholas F. Mondello

Award-winning trumpeter, composer and educator Hermon Mehari is a modern day Renaissance Master. Born in the United States of Eritrean parents who were refugees, Mehari has brilliantly crafted a musical presence and branding that melds American jazz and its deep traditions with Eritrean overtones. A true visionary, Mehari has recorded a handful of highly-acclaimed albums, including Asmara (Komos Records, 2022) hosts a live radio show, teaches and tours worldwide as both leader and sideman. He currently resides in Paris, France. ...


Veronica Swift: Breaking It Up, Making It New

Read "Veronica Swift: Breaking It Up, Making It New" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Easily on track to become the “Streisand-in-the-mosh-pit" of her restless generation, singer and urban changeling Veronica Swift likes to shake things up and keep things moving. Especially her music. Especially on an album that bears her name. Veronica Swift, her latest. “I want to inspire people to fight against the forces that curb our creativity" she says without fear of failure, as All About Jazz spent a few minutes talking to and catching up. All About Jazz: ...


Ralph Lalama: A Disciple, Not a Clone

Read "Ralph Lalama: A Disciple, Not a Clone" reviewed by Lionelle Hamanaka

Ralph Lalama has absorbed the great legacy of the masters while carving his own name on the jazz tree. His distinguished career has seen him play with many jazz greats. The Pennsylvania-born, New York-based tenor saxophonist has found his own sound with an incisive style that reflects the spirit of our times. The son of a steelworker, Lalama was raised in a musical family. His work has gained recognition throughout the jazz world and is living proof that the American ...


Fred Hersch: Alive... And Kicking

Read "Fred Hersch: Alive... And Kicking" reviewed by Jiaowei Hu

Few musicians have shaped jazz with such elegant, instinctive, and intimate variations as Fred Hersch. Constantly. Over four decades, life's ups and downs have not stopped him from coming back, time and again, to performing live. No word other than “alive" can be more suitable for the pianist, and it is no coincidence that he chose it to title his album Alive at the Village Vanguard (Palmetto Records, 2023), where he creates special chemistry with vocalist Esperanza Spalding. This live ...


Cecil Young: On Coming Home

Read "Cecil Young: On Coming Home" reviewed by Paul Rauch

The long journey home holds special meaning for all those that brave the elements of their past, and engage them with the clear identity of the present. This is certainly the case for New York-based trumpeter Cecil Young as he sets autumn flight for his native Seattle to perform at the newly founded Seattle Jazz Fellowship. The jazz non-profit, a response to the loss of the city's local jazz clubs, grew out of the isolation of the pandemic, and is ...


Soul Survivor: Lou Donaldson Keeps the Bop Flame Alive

Read "Soul Survivor: Lou Donaldson Keeps the Bop Flame Alive" reviewed by C. Andrew Hovan

This article was first published at All About Jazz on November 2001. Now in his 75th year, Lou Donaldson counts among the few remaining jazz luminaries of the bebop era still active on the international scene. When I recently sat down to talk with him by phone from his home in Florida, Donaldson had just returned from tours in England, Italy and Greece. The ebullient alto man was then set to fly to New York the following Monday ...


Makaya McCraven: In The Moment to In These Times

Read "Makaya McCraven: In The Moment to In These Times" reviewed by Rob Garratt

Makaya McCraven needs a coffee--fast. It's 4pm and he's crashing. It will be his third of the day. His first caffeine hit, consumed on stage six hours earlier, was a chemical necessity; McCraven was drinking at a nearby Irish pub until the early hours and nearly missed his early morning panel talk appearance alongside fellow percussion luminaries Antonio Sanchez and Nate Smith. Something tells me it won't be his last cup before bedtime--at 10:30 tonight the multi-hyphenate musician will present ...


Rhythms Meet Algorithms: Sparks Fly When Jazz Musician Oded Tzur Partners With Engineer Vansh Makh

Read "Rhythms Meet Algorithms: Sparks Fly When Jazz Musician Oded Tzur Partners With Engineer Vansh Makh" reviewed by David Bruggink

Jazz and mobile apps may not be typically mentioned in the same breath, but saxophonist Oded Tzur, celebrated by All About Jazz for a string of albums merging jazz with Indian classical music, is changing that perception. Vansh Makh, a Bay area-based engineer, joined forces with Tzur to create Timeseer, described as “the first and only HiFi Indian classical music app." Timeseer offers a distinctly visual approach to rhythm, portraying complex musical patterns through accessible geometric designs. Devotees ...


Jonathan Barber: Blazing Forward

Read "Jonathan Barber: Blazing Forward" reviewed by K. Shackelford

Jonathan Barber is a force to be reckoned with. Pulling out a drum solo with just one high hat, making it an artful and meaningful rhythm to the composition at hand with intentional rhythmic sonority is rare. Yet this is one example of the ways that Jonathan Barber pulls out a surfeit of ideas from his drum set, which is a distinctive feature of his musical caginess. He's also taking jazz into a futuristic, digimodernism path. Recently, Barber ...

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