5049 Records Podcast Episode 99 – Liberty Ellman 

Source: 5049 Records.

Born in New York and raised in San Francisco, Liberty Ellman is a wonderful guitarist who has been making a name for himself in contemporary jazz circles for the past twenty years. He has worked closely with an array of modern luminaries including Henry Threadgill, Vijay Iyer, Butch Morris and Tyshawn Sorey. In 2015 he released a new trio recording, his first nine years. For this talk Liberty takes me through his upbringing in a musical home, collaboration, working as a guitarist and much more.  A good talk with a good guy. Liberty Ellman

5049 Records Podcast Episode 98 – Matt Hollenberg 

Source: 5049 Records.

Born and raised in Philadelphia and now based in Brooklyn, Matt Hollenberg is an extremely talented and inventive guitarist.  He plays in the bands Cleric, John Zorn‘s Simulacrum and his newest project, Shardik.  For this talk, Matt tells the history of Cleric, getting the opportunity to work with musical heroes and the importance of creating context for one’s work.

David Smooke Interview


Peabody Conservatory professor David Smooke is also a composer and performer. He has a new album out called Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death on New Focus Recordings, with upcoming release events in Brooklyn and San Francisco. That album title alone was enough to make us crave to know more.

Daniel Levin Profiled and Interviewed


Cellist Daniel Levin has been a major presence on the New York scene for nearly two decades as an active bandleader and as an innovative sideman. His quartet has been active since 2001, having released an incredible eight records, the most recent of which, Live at Firehouse 12, will be released later this month on Clean Feed. His new solo record, Living, will appear on Smeraldina-Rima later in the Spring. Daniel plays in a duo with bassist Henry Fraser at Downtown Music Gallery on January 8, at 7 pm. He is also embarking for Norway later in January to play duo concerts there with violist Mat Maneri as well as a duo concert with Torbjörn Zetterberg in Stockholm on February 10, before the three of them join vibraphonist Matt Moran in Munich to kick off an extensive European tour with the quartet.

5049 Records Podcast Episode 97: Brandon Lopez

Source: 5049 Records.

Brandon Lopez is my kind of dude. He’s a young bass player, who attended the New England Conservatory and since 2013, has been living and gigging regularly in New York City. He’s got a sick sense of humor and an even sicker musicianship to match. For this talk, we discuss his upbringing in a cemetery, his non-traditional musical education, new methods of musical distribution and a whole lot more. A good talk with a great cat, who you’ll be hearing more from for years to come.Brandon Lopez

Kamasi Washington Interviewed and Profiled

Source. The New York Times.

Kamasi Washington began this year literally hobbled: After breaking an ankle on tour in Europe, he followed doctor’s orders and canceled a series of shows. Still, that pause hardly slowed the onrushing momentum that Mr. Washington, a commandingly charismatic tenor saxophonist and bandleader, has gathered since the release of his momentous debut, “The Epic.”

That aptly titled triple album — a horizon-scanning jazz opus girded with funk and soul — was one of the biggest stories in music in 2015. Mr. Washington spent much of this year carrying its message forward, both in legacy settings, like the Newport Jazz Festival, and places where a jazz musician can rarely be found, like Coachella.

Wadada Leo Smith Interview

Wadada Leo Smith

Source: The New York Times.

The trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith made not one but two of this year’s standout jazz releases. “America’s National Parks,” a suite on two discs, features his Golden Quintet, made up of longtime associates like the pianist Anthony Davis and the drummer Pheeroan akLaff. “A Cosmic Rhythm With Each Stroke” is a duo session with another colleague, the pianist Vijay Iyer, inspired by the art of the Indian modernist Nasreen Mohamedi.

The albums are sonically and temperamentally distinct, but they both have something to say about transformation, which Mr. Smith, a longtime member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, considers central to his work.