On the new episode of The Jazz Session, Jason Crane interviews pianist Misha Piatigorsky. Misha fled with his family from Russia during the height of the Cold War and ended up in New Jersey. A classically trained pianist, he discovered jazz and fell in love with the music, ending up at Rutgers studying with Kenny Barron. He won the 2004 Thelonious Monk Composers Competition. He's also the pianist and musical director for singing legend Mark Murphy. Misha's new trio with bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Ari Hoenig is a fusion of hip-hop grooves with his non-traditional jazz compositions. Their new record is Uncommon Circumstance (MISHAMUSIC, 2007).
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.