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Jon Batiste & Michael Lee Firkins Interviews

25 Oct

Jon Batiste

t2m jon batiste

He and his band, named “Stay Human,” do just that, and they just released a breakout album entitled “Social Music.” When you watch video clips of him on the streets, or listen to his album, it’s music without borders or labels, but with integrity. I caught up with Jon in San Francisco in the middle of a very hectic tour

Michael Lee Firkins

michael lee firkins t2m

He first gained attention as the “next big thing” in instrumental rock with his impressive guitar skills.  On his just released album “YEP” on the Magna Carta label, he puts his singer/songwriter skills on display, backed up by the legendary Chuck Leavell (Rolling Stones, John Mayer, Allman Brothers), and Matt Abts and Andy Hess of Govt. Mule.

Listen to, or download these interviews here


Keith Carlock, Wayne Krantz, Michael Landau, Jimmy Herring & Etienne Mbappe Are The Ringers

20 Feb


Listen to my extended interview with The Ringers, the first interview of the band. Jimmy Herring is of course known from Widespread Panic, Aquarium Rescue Unit, the Allman Brothers Band, Keith Carlock and Wayne Krantz from Steely Dan and their work with Tal Wilkenfeld, and Michael Landau from his work with people like Michael Jackson, Miles Davis, Pink Floyd, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell a.m.m.

They are just about to start their first tour, listen in here

UPDATE  Feb, 20th, 2013

I noticed a bunch of traffic to coming from   Wasn’t familiar with the site so I checked it out and found myself watching and listening to The Ringers first concert via Ustream.  They now have audio files (MP3 & FLAC) posted for download. Or you can stream online here.

Hard to imagine these guys only had a couple of days to rehearse.  Essentially this should be considered a jam session, but what I heard gave every indication that this could indeed be something grand.  Keith Carlock was spectacular, as was Etienne Mbappe.  If they were doing straight ahead blues, or standards something like this would be a snap, but that’s not who these guys are.  It’s scary to think how good this could get if, given their busy schedules, they have a chance to play together often.

If you’re on the East Coast you don’t want to miss this — amazing.

West Coast “Cool Jazz” – Whites Guys Can Jump

7 Dec




Time Cover - Dave Brubeck

There is no denying it, without Africans jazz, blues, and rock & roll would not exist. Given the history of racism in America it’s easy to understand why some black musicians resented whites playing jazz.

Although Louis Armstrong was the first jazz musician to make the cover of Time, the choice of Dave Brubeck as the next jazz musician to receive this honor certainly bruised some feelings. Continue reading

Rocket In My Pocket — hKT

25 Nov

Rocket In My Pocket is the latest album from the hKT, a trio that represents the best of the vibrant Hamburg music scene.

Boris Netsvetaev (piano, keyboards), Philipp Steen (double bass, electric bass), and Kai Bussenius (drums) are three prodigious talents, who, despite extensive formal training, haven’t lost their connection to youth culture.

On this album they seamlessly weave a sound that incorporates elements of traditional jazz, retro fusion,  a bit of funk, and classical music.  The result is appealing to jazz fans with discerning tastes, but it’s also accessible to non jazz listeners. They are compositionally strong with emotional depth and considerable range, and as soloists they combine impressive skills with inventiveness and tasteful restrain.

I’m particularly impressed by their moodier pieces: “A Sketch in Dark Colours”, “Tekla”, “The Incredible Atmo”, “Desert Sun.”

 Michael Bailey, a senior writer at All About Jazz, has kindly shared his first impression with Jazzamatazz:

The jazz piano trio is a ministry unto itself.  The most durable of formats, the trio’s perimeter has been expanded in recently by Medeski, Martin and Wood, The Bad Plus and Soulive.  The Russian-led, German trio, Hammer Klavier Trio, takes the trio a step further with a classically-infused, harmonically-centered offering, Rocket In My Pocket.  

Pianist and composer Boris Netsvetaev conjurs a dozen rhythmically and melodically challenging originals for bassist Phillip Steen and drummer Kia Bussenius to cut their considerable chops on. Netsvetaev does this with a variety of keyboards without every losing the piano ambiance. “Desert Sun” sports a Fender Rhodes buffered by electronics.  “Suicide Train” is angular and precisely composed to take advantage of Bussenis’ dead time in odd meters. Steen plays a fine solo, arco, on “The Incredible Atmo,” rounding out a fine modern trio recital.  Michael Bailey


Talkin’ Blues, Bluegrass & More with Jimmy Herring

14 Nov

Check out my interview with Jimmy Herring in All About Jazz and also my First Impressions look at his latest album Subject To Change Without Notice (Abstract Logix, 2012)

Barbara Dennerlein in 3D playing B3

3 Oct

To see the above clip in 3D you will need a pair of these

This clip is part of my latest Talkin’ Blues interviews on All About Jazz, the Internet’s most popular jazz website.  Click on the photo below to see more clips.

Don’t Miss Jazz Near You

27 Sep

Don’t you hate it when you read a review of a great concert you didn’t know about and wish you would have seen? Now a really useful website delivers what’s happening in jazz near you:

Jazz Near You in a Nutshell

Jazz Near You is a network of 200 jazz websites and counting. We aggregate and deliver all kinds of content from events and venue listings to news, articles, photos to what’s hot in your area. It’s also a tremendous advertising opportunity for a venue or presenter to reach readers in their hometown.

How Jazz Near You Works

Once you land on, the website determines your location and presents you with local information. The goal is to keep you informed on who is playing where and when in your area. If you travel, you can change your city and show the destination city’s event guide.

Check it out