Anthony Braxton Interview

Source: Rolling Stone.

“He was totally creative,” Braxton says of the late Captain Beefheart. “His compositions were outrageously beautiful and original. His ensemble was really special. Some people talk of Captain Beefheart as a far-out rock musician, but when I think of Beethoven, Duke Ellington, [saxophonist] Paul Desmond and Frankie Lymon, I can easily put Captain Beefheart in with my heroes and heroines.”

At the moment, those heroes and heroines, drawn from a broad assortment of genres, are especially present in the mind of the 74-year-old composer and multi-woodwind master, who has spent the past half-century synthesizing the full spectrums of jazz, classical and beyond into a vast and complex multimedia universe that at this point can only really be classified as Braxtonia.

Vernon Reid Interview

Source: Heavy Metal Bebop.

In this series, I’ve spoken with many musicians who have a serious appreciation for heavy metal, and some who have plenty of experience playing it, but Vernon Reid is in another category altogether. He’s a genuine legend of the genre whose band, Living Colour, achieved household-name status with their 1988 debut, Vivid. Both before Living Colour and alongside it, the guitarist and songwriter has worked on the cutting-edge of jazz, playing with artists such as drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson and pianist Geri Allen, as well as in the project Spectrum Road, a tribute to the Tony Williams Lifetime that featured Jack Bruce, John Medeski and Cindy Blackman-Santana. In this episode, Vernon discusses the Decoding Society’s unique musical DNA, how he came to work with Jack Bruce, what makes the power chord essential to his musical arsenal, why the Mahavishnu Orchestra foreshadows Meshuggah and much more.

5049 Records Podcast Episode 210 – Melvin Gibbs 

Source: 5049 Records.

Melvin Gibbs is an extraordinary bass player who for the better part of the last four decades has been a key figure in the worlds of rock, jazz, funk and the New York avant-garde. An original member of the Black Rock Coalition and a veteran of bands led by Ronald Shannon Jackson, Sonny Sharrock, Henry Rollins and others, Melvin has led an incredibly varied and colorful career. Ahead of his appearance this Wednesday at the 2019 Vision Festival, Melvin stopped by to talk about his new project the God Particle, a collaboration with physicist and musician Stephon Alexander.

Opera: Wagner, Stockhausen, Braxton

Source: The New York Times.

In an interview, Kathinka Pasveer, one of Stockhausen’s partners and collaborators, and the musical director of “Aus Licht,” said that for him, “more and more, the music became the most important thing.”

That comfort with conceptual mystery as an organizing element has also had a strong influence on the American composer-saxophonist Anthony Braxton and his “Trillium” series of operas. When I interviewed Mr. Braxton earlier this year, he referred to Stockhausen as a hero, while also expressing his affection for Wagner. (By contrast, Ms. Pasveer said that the music of Wagner made Stockhausen “sick” — and that they once had to leave a performance of “Die Walküre,” after only 20 minutes.)

Myra Melford Profiled Regarding Stone Residency

Source: WBGO.

Pianist-composer Myra Melford isn’t one for dogmas. Whether she’s checking out the boogie-woogie of James P. Johnson, the fractured concepts of Cecil Taylor or Gnawa trance ceremonies in Morocco, openness guides the way she navigates life and music. Melford’s prolific output should now qualify her as a living jazz legend. (Take note, everyone on the NEA Jazz Master advisory committee.) At 62, she believes she’s just now peaking as an artist. Her most recent album, The Other Side of Air, was named one of the 50 Best Albums of 2018 by NPR Music. (Our own Nate Chinen put it near the top of his year-end best, at No. 2.)