BA Podcast 64: Pi Recordings 

Source: burning ambulance.

As you probably know by now, a typical episode is based around an interview with an artist. But Pi Recordings is such an important label when it comes to the kind of music covered on Burning Ambulance – I mean, Roscoe Mitchell, who’s released music on Pi both as a solo artist and with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, was the first ever guest on this show – that I thought it was important and worthwhile to have these guys on to discuss 20 years of the label.

I’ve been listening to their releases pretty much since the beginning – the first titles I heard were The Year of the Elephant, by Wadada Leo Smith’s Golden Quartet, and Organic Resonance, a live duo album by Wadada and Anthony Braxton, and The Meeting, a reunion album by the Art Ensemble of Chicago. I was at one of the Art Ensemble’s performances at the New York jazz club Iridium that was recorded for the live double CD Non-Cognitive Aspects of the City; we talk about that record a little bit in the show. I haven’t heard every record they’ve put out, but I’ve heard at least half of them, and I’ve written about a ton of them for Bandcamp Daily, for Stereogum, for The Wire, for Burning Ambulance, for Jazziz, and probably other places as well. And I’ve known Seth and Yulun personally for years. I’ve run into them at the Jazz Gallery or at the Vision Festival or in record stores, and we’ve always gotten along and I’ve always enjoyed talking to them, and I think that feeling comes through in this conversation.