Overpass By Marc Johnson

Marc Johnson was born in Nebraska in 1953, and he grew up in Texas. By age 19, he was working professionally with the Fort Worth Symphony, and while at North Texas State University, he played & recorded with fellow student Lyle Mays. After graduating he toured & recorded with Woody Herman, before becoming, at the age of 25, the bassist with the Bill Evans Trio, following in the footsteps of masterful players including Scott La Faro, Gary Peacock and Eddie Gomez. Mr. Johnson’s many recording credits since then include discs with Michael Brecker, Bob Brookmeyer, Gary Burton, Jack DeJohnette, Eliane Elias, Peter Erskine, Bill Frisell, Stan Getz, Joe Lovano, Lyle Mays, Pat Metheny, Ben Monder, Paul Motian, Enrico Pieranunzi, & Wolfgang Muthspiel, among other visionaries. His first ECM recordings were with his own Bass Desires quartet, who released 2 important albums, Bass Desires & Second Sight. The bassist subsequently recorded for the label as a member of John Abercrombie’s trio and appears on the guitarist’s discs including Cat’n’Mouse & Class Trip. He has also contributed to ECM albums by guitarist Ralph Towner (Lost and Found), pianist John Taylor (Rosslyn), saxophonist Charles Lloyd (Lift Every Voice) and bandoneón master Dino Saluzzi (Cité de la Musique). Leader dates have included Shades of Jade and Swept Away – both featuring Eliane Elias, Joe Lovano, & Joey Baron, with John Scofield also appearing on Shades. Overpass, recorded in January and February 2018 at Nacena Studios, in São Paulo, was produced by Marc & Eliane Elias and is set to be released on 8/27 on ECM Records. With Overpass, recorded in Brazil in 2018, Mr. Johnson makes a decisive & intriguing contribution to ECM’s solo bass recordings. It is an album that takes note of that tradition and Marc has said that Dave Holland’s Emerald Tears was among the solo recordings that fired his imagination almost half a century ago and builds upon it in a personal & imaginative way.

I had the opportunity to catch up with Mr. Johnson about some of the ins and outs of the new album, Overpass. We dissect a couple of the tunes to get that feeling of being inside the music, as well as the process by which the album was put toGether. A Solo double bass album, this music while some may be familiar by name, provides me, as a listener and a sharer a chance to see/hear….feel the same differently. I invite you into that same feeling by checking out our conversation, but also by finding the tunes on this album, that do the same for you.

Liv Warfield Is All That And More


Liv Warfield began building her legend, in of all places, Portland, Oregon. Despite having no formal background in singing, she gained the respect of local superstars and became an icon in her own right. While she takes cues from musical influences like Nina Simone, Etta James, Sade, Tina Turner, & Mary J. Blige, Liv has carved out a style all her own, which can best be described as “alternative soul with a lil’ bit of Rock ‘n’ Roll.” In 2006, she self-released her debut album “Embrace Me.” By 2009, she caught the eye of the one-and-only Prince and ultimately joined his group the “New Power Generation.”

imaGe used w/permission from LiV

After touring for several years & soaking up as much knowledge as she could from the ultimate music mentor, Liv made her big splash on the national scene in 2014, 1st as a featured artist for Vh1’s “You Oughta Know” campaign, and then with the release of her major label debut album “The Unexpected,” which was executive produced by Prince. What followed were show-stopping performances on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “The Late Show with David Letterman,” and “The Arsenio Hall Show;” a 2014 Soul Train Music Award & nominations for two others; a BET Best New Artist Award nomination; & high-profile cosigns from Lionel Richie, Cindy Lauper, & Nancy Wilson of HEART. That same year, Warfield’s performance closing out Essence Fest was hailed as one of the most memorable after shows at the New Orleans House of Blues. In 2015, the accolades only kept growing, w/Liv and the NPG Hornz being named one of the top 10 bands to see at the Montreux Jazz Festival in Switzerland. It’s no wonder she has left celebrities like Letterman declaring it’s time to “cancel show business!”

Fast forward a little closer to this moment today and the release of Prince’s Welcome 2 America certainly reminded me of just how much Liv has been instrumental in bringing a special joy to my ear, my heart and my radio proGram. I had the true pleasure of catching up with Liv about the music of Welcome 2 America being released out to the world, working with Prince and the trust & education that comes with it. We spend some time talking about the great new and fresh-feeling music being released very very soon with Joon Moon and how yet another music page is being turned with this effort. I am a true believer that Liv can turn as many musical pages as as can be held in the library. There are stores we share, there is some poetic waxin’ and of course there is the “So…how did you come to the attention of Prince?” was definitely run through. Although, Liv Warfield may be synonymous with the work she has done with a true one-of-a-kind, there is a reason this visionary of life’s art chose her to be on the “team”. Because of this unique dubbing by a king, I am not one to keep this chat only abut the music. Liv and I talk about the person, not just the powerhouse of an artist that she is and I think when you are done getting to know her, you’ll see why I believe now is the time for all of us to Liv better!

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Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few

Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Fewfully explore moments of the past, present, and, yes, even the future. The new album Cosmic Transitions is a Five-part suite that addresses interpersonal relationships during a Retrograde period. The recording of this project took place on September 23rd, 2020 at Rudy Van Gelder‘s legendary studio where greats like John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson, and many other great musicians expressed what they felt in those moments. Isaiah Collier is a Chicago/Brooklyn based multi-instrumentalist, composer, arranger, curator, activist, motivational speaker & educator. He is probably most known for his work as a saxophonist, and drummer with this group. His sound/approach is drawn from the influences of John Coltrane, Roscoe Mitchell, Wayne Shorter, Ari Brown and Gene Ammons and he has shared the stage with many distinguished artists—Chance The Rapper, Lewis Nash, Waddada Leo Smith III, Junius Paul, James Carter, Rene Marie, Marquis Hill, Bennie Maupin, Rudy Van Gelder, Angel Bat Dawid, Kahil El’Zabar and many more. He is one of many bright stars from Chicago and will bring the Chosen Few to Madison on June 12th for two shows at Cafe Coda as part of the Madison Jazz Festival.

Isaiah Collier & The Chosen Few are heading into the festival on the heels of a fresh new music release. A release filled with a wide range of human emotions and musical possibility, Cosmic Transitions was crafted with the full intention to awaken those who hear it. Each part of the Suite weaves into the next. Not for the faint of heart, the album sets out to be a timestamp for before and after. Enjoy the journey. And enjoy our conversation about the upcoming event (who will be making the moments with us),the creation of these newest sonic adventures and the giving of and beyond the music.

DQB Heading To Madison

Dirk Quinn is the guitarist for the jazz/funk band that coincidentally bears his name. Based out of the beautiful city of Philadelphia, the Dirk Quinn Band (DQB) travels extensively throughout the US and Canada e=where they are met with smiling faces and ready to groove bodies. Utilizing over a decade of steady performing, they have developed a unique and in the now style – one that appeals to a wide variety of music listeners with a wide array of fans always seen in attendance at their events. It is the band’s infectious energy and interplay along with great melodic sensibilities, rhythmic experimentation and an accessible modern edge, keeps the Dirk Quinn Band as a mainstay atop any list of all that jazz and funk improvisations at its most engaging. I have been a fan of their musical creations for a long time, personally.

I had the chance to catch up with the four cats that’ll be heading to Madison at Garver Feed Mill on June 9th to tear things up and bring those good feelings. We got into what people in Madison can expect from this foursome as they get prepared for an evening of in the moment groves that can twist and turn on a dime. The main theme seems to be “That Feel good energy”. Speaking of feeling good….we had to talk about their latest release “The Milton” and find out how the new music came toGether during some of these crazy times. I’ll be honest, I didn’t know all four cats were gonna join the call, but it was a great chance to feel their energy as individuals, and listening to them talk about what song off the new album they’d choose to build a radio setlist out of was fascinating. I think it was for them too. Check out our chat, checkout the band live and hey, check out all the years worth of music the DQB has put out just for you.

Brood X and Joseph Yoon

My pal Joseph Yoon is pretty cool. His mission is to raise appreciation and awareness for edible insects through delicious, educational, and creative programming. His work has been featured on the Smithsonian Channel, New York Times, NPR, Boston Globe, Washington Post, Live with Kelly and Ryan, and Forbes, as he and his colleagues help explain why the United Nations endorses edible insects to address food security and sustainability. He strives to introduce edible insects and normalize them in America as a sustainable source of protein with broad applications that can be found in your pantry, eaten as a snack, and beautifully plated by chefs. A couple years back, I had Joseph on the program to talk about how he goes about his mission. It’s impressive to say the least. We also discussed an event he was part of here at the University of Wisconsin, where I got to be a part of an incredible spread of deliciousness. This time around, we did remind folks of the mission but we mostly wrapped our heads around Brood X. Brood X, otherwise known as the great cicada hatching of 2021, is starting to happen now as soil temperatures in some parts of America move closer to 64F which is the trigger, according to scientists, for trillions of the insects to push up to the surface and into the world to mate. It is an absolutely amazing 17-year-life cycle for the heaps of bugs, who form different broods emerging at different times- all after remaining underground for almost their entire lives before briefly emerging to mate and then die. Brood X is the group of cicadas that spread over tracts of the north-east of the US, including New York & Washington, as well as parts of the Midwest & West Virginia. And… there is so much more to the entire story.

Joseph and I get deep into the entire Cicada scene as part of this amazing Brood X happening. We get into the hunt, the love and respect of the living beings and the ways to prepare and enjoy this nutritious and amazing insect. To Joseph, this is way more than just a cool thing to do (which there is no argument from me that it truly is way cool), this is something that is going on globally for so many right reasons and how do we turn the page in places that still see the “bugs” as mere pests. One of the many things I dig about Joseph is how the whole thing for him has such an artistic twist to it, from the selections of foods, to the accompanying additions of an meal , to the beings themselves and how they live their lives. You can hear the love of the creatures, the love of what Joseph is doing – just listen to him talk about all the possibilities with each part to the cicada’s lifecycle. This is a guy with the passion I think we need! For me, I was super excited to touch on the “chorus” of cicadas during our conversation as well and when you grab an earful, you’ll hear what cool thing he and Grammy nominated saxophonist Jay Rodriguez are up to.

Cicada Nymph Spring Salad w/asparagus, peas, red onions, chilis, garlic, butter, lemon, mint.

Famous Yet? Ivan FUNKBOY Bodley

Funkboy aka Ivan Bodley is a bass player and music director for the stars. He has performed with 50 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees and counting. He has been musical director for Sam Moore (Sam & Dave), Martha Reeves & the Vandellas, The Shirelles, The Crystals, The Tokens and has performed with Sting, Elvis Costello, Temptations, Solomon Burke, Ben E. King, Percy Sledge, Eddie Floyd, Rufus & Carla Thomas, Bo Diddley, Buster Poindexter, Uptown Horns, Paul Rodgers, Wynonna Judd, and David Foster. Funkboy is a magna cum laude graduate of the Berklee College of Music and an inductee into the New York Blues Hall of Fame. To date, he has traveled to 29 countries around the world and played to audiences of up to 82,000 people in performance settings ranging from jazz duos to 150-member symphony orchestras. Appearances include Carnegie Hall (featured soloist with the Rock Concerto), Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize (with Cracked Ice led by Crispin Cioe), 12 Broadway shows including “Rock of Ages,” “Spider-Man,” “Hedwig & the Angry Inch,” “Kinky Boots,” “Fun Home,” and “Ain’t Too Proud,” Obama Inaugural Ball featured in the Barry Levinson documentary “Poliwood,” Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, Today Show, Emeril Live, Imus in the Morning, Charlie Rose, Live with Regis & Kelly, New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival, Istanbul State Symphony and Israel Symphony Orchestras. So you can see that this Funkboy is a FunkMAN of the world.

All the above happenings come with more stories than one could imagine. Luckily for us, Funkboy has put many of them down into his new book: “Am I Famous Yet? Memoir of a Working-Class Rock Star”. I had the opportunity to catch up with him recently to garnish a little insight into some of the types of tales told within the pages (the ones he shares will certainly tease you into wanting a little more). He tells stories of circles being complete in a way where they seem drawn by fairy dust and an incredible gig, for two. That’s right…Just two people. Not only is this a page turning, but it is a head-shaer as well, people never stop amazing and I am thankful we had FUNKBOY’s keen observational skills taking notes. We also dissect his new tune (and first of hopefully many) on Color Red Music called “Crab Walk” and find out what it was like creating the music during a wacky time in the world.

Talkin’ Garage A Trois With Skerik

Garage A Trois return in the form from which they were born 22 years earlier with a new studio album, Calm Down Cologne, on RPF Records. Comprised by guitarist friends of the proGram, Charlie Hunter, saxophonist Skerik and drummer Stanton Moore, OG GAT released their debut album Mysteryfunk to wide acclaim in 1999. The band evolved over the years in various configurations before eventually going dormant following its 2011 album, Always Be Happy, In 2019, the original 3 piece line-up reunited for a handful of shows. This would lead to an afternoon recording at Stone Gossard’s Studio Litho in Seattle, right across the street from where the band was playing a sold out, three night run at Nectar Lounge. Ace engineer Randall Dunn was invited to document the proceedings and captured the resulting album in one magical session. Dunn later took the tracks to AVAST! Recording Co. for mixing. With all but a few edits on the beginnings and ends of performances, Calm Down Cologne presents the music as it was played in the studio that day. The story about the album title might be that legendary underground Seattle artist Rick Klu gave Skerik the idea when he was describing a bouncer having to use some ‘calm down cologne’ on an unruly patron. I have been sprayed once or twice myself I think.

I had the chance to dive deep into the new music with Skerik. We talk about the creation of these mind-opening, ass-shaking tunes and how music – this music is the best thing they can do and capture this music in the now moment. This translates so beautifully when this band is live and amazingly, onto this record. We also got into some of the new music is is making with True Loves on Color Red Music, and recent music with Nels Cline. SAY WHA????? Skerik is also cool enough to build a setlist of things around one of the new tracks on Calm Down Cologne….click into find out what he choose.

Praying For Enemies with Joy Harjo

In her first new recording in a decade, Joy Harjo – the first Native American named Poet Laureate of the United States – digs deep into the indigenous red earth and the shared languages of music to sing, speak and play a stunningly original musical meditation that seeks healing for a troubled world – “I Pray for My Enemies”, released on Sunyata Records March 5. Collaborating with producer/engineer Barrett Martin on this unique new album, Joy brings a fresh identity to the poetry & songs that have made her a renowned poet of the Muscogee Creek Nation & one of the most authentic and compelling voices of these times. “The concept for I Pray for My Enemies began” says Harjo, “with an urgent need to deal with discord, opposition. It could have been on a tribal, national or a personal level. I no longer remember. The urgency had a heartbeat and in any gathering of two or more, perhaps the whole planet, our hearts lean to entrainment – that is, to beat together.” Latin Grammy-winning producer, composer and founding father of the historic Seattle music scene, Barrett Martin brings a new dimension to Harjo’s unique sound-world – her words and music spoken, sung and explored in a vibrant mix of classic instrumental sounds. Harjo and Martin describe it as “funkified spoken word” inspiring “elegant jazz, urban soul, and inner city, reservation grit.” She sings and speaks her poetry, as well as playing saxophone and flute, on an album she describes as “very much of-the-moment.” Martin holds it all together with drums, upright bass, keyboards & production duties. He assembled an all-star band to explore Harjo’s work, featuring Peter Buck (R.E.M.) on electric guitar & feedback; Mike McCready (Pearl Jam) on electric guitar solos; Krist Novoselic (Nirvana) on acoustic guitar; and Rich Robinson (Black Crowes) on electric guitar solos. Additional players include renowned Iraqi oud master Rahim Alhaj; trumpeter Dave Carter & percussionist/backing vocalist Lisette Garcia. Joy’s stepdaughters sing harmony vocals, and her husband Owen Sapulpa plays surdo drum on the album. Joy defines songs and poems as distinctly different expressions, & both are featured in the 16 tracks that make up the album. Her words & music, older & newer, get a fresh new identity here. Some of Harjo’s defining poems appear here – “An American Sunrise,” “Fear,” “Running” & “Remember” – refracting her own experience as a Native American woman of her culturally defining generation. “Calling the Spirit Back,” from an early collection of Harjo’s poems, and the new song “How Love Blows Through the Trees” – written when COVID-19 reached her home in Tulsa, OK – echo the suffering of a world experiencing a pandemic.
Joy Harjo is the author of several books of poetry, plays, children’s books. In May, The Library of Congress will release Living Nations, Living Words: an Anthology of First Peoples Poetry: and in September a memoir Poet Warrior, A Call for Love and Justice, Oprah Winfrey recently picked her anthology of Native American poetry for her book club. Her many honors include the Ruth Lily Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Poetry Foundation; the Academy of American Poets Wallace Stevens Award; PEN USA Literary Award and many others. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and is a founding board member of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation.

I had the complete honor of catching up with Joy about this brand new release and we dive into the seed to flower tale. How she got to work with Mr. Martin and the key of the rhythm. All the words above speak the truth about Joy, but to get a true sense of this album and how it sounds and more importantly feels, is up to you. Go hear, go feel.

Triptides Bring Out Alter Echoes

With a sound oscillating between psychedelic pop and space rock, Triptides’ album Alter Echoes channels both The Byrds at their most hallucinogenic and Pink Floyd at their most cosmically composed while creating something immediate and new. These are some heady, sun-drenched psych-pop-type sounds that guarantee to open new paths within you, and bring a easy cool feeling over you. The band has established itself as a preeminent part of the new wave of L.A. psych music. With Alter Echoes they pull away from the pack, thanks to the quality of their songwriting, performance and production. The Los Angeles based band is led by multi-instrumentalist Glenn Brigman, and with drummer Brendan Peleo-Lazar and bassist/guitarist Stephen Burns. Triptides’ Alter Echoes will be released on limited vinyl and digital / streaming platforms on March 19th via Alive Naturalsound Records.

I had the chance to catch up quick with Glenn Brigman of Triptides to dive a little deeper into the uplifting sounds created on ‘Alter Echoes”. We get into the path from start to finish, the growth of the music and Glenn builds a set around one of the tracks off the record with some other wild artists and tunes. EarGrab the conversation but make sure to get an earful of this album.

All Exce$$ With Danny Zelisko

When concert promoter Danny Zelisko says, “I’ve got some stories to tell,” he isn’t kidding. His remarkable new book, ALL EXCE$$ Occupation: Concert Promoter, takes you both backstage & on stage with music’s top stars, recounting his incredible five-decade career in which he has produced over 10,000 concert events throughout the country. Along with his vivid, insightful and highly entertaining recollections, Danny shares an eye-popping array of never-before-seen photos from his personal archives that might have readers thinking he’s a rock ‘n’ roll Zelig: There’s stories & shots of him with Alice Cooper, Willie Nelson, Roger Waters, Aerosmith, the Grateful Dead, members of Led Zeppelin and The Doors, Herbie Hancock, Jeff Beck, Kris Kristofferson, Chuck Berry, Jon Bon Jovi, Tony Bennett, Muddy Waters, Genesis, Tina Turner, Billy Idol, Bruce Springsteen, U2, Billy Joel, Bob Seger, James Brown, John Prine – as they say, the list goes on and on.
In addition, Danny chronicles his lifelong love of sports, his passion for collecting memorabilia/autographs, and some of the incredible friendships he formed while in his pre-teens with giants such as Chicago Cubs shortstop/first baseman Ernie Banks and Chicago Bears stars Brian Piccolo & Gale Sayers. He also talks about his first impressions & situations that followed with concert business legends Bill Graham & Shep Gordon, who went on to be his close friends and mentors throughout his career. What message does he hope readers will take away from the book? “Anything & everything is possible,” he says. “I want to inspire people, whatever they want to do, they can do it. You see a picture of me with Robert Plant or Muhammad Ali, and you might think, how did this guy get there? That’s the story I tell. And it can happen to you, too. You just have to believe in yourself & never quit.”
How does a starry-eyed Midwestern kid go on to become one of the biggest concert promoters in history? Danny details his rise from scrappy beginnings to overseeing iconic stadium shows. “A lot of people have no idea what a concert promoter actually does, so that’s something else I hope people take away from the book,” he says. “There’s the great times – hanging out with the stars, the fun, the partying – but there’s awful times, too. And there’s the work. My team and I are responsible for every aspect of putting on a show. Without the great people who have supported these promotions, day in and out, I could never have done it. They are the stars behind the scenes”.
At its heart, ALL EXCE$$ Occupation: Concert Promoter is a tale of friendships. His longtime pal & baseball legend Kirk Gibson wrote the book’s Foreword in which he describes the author as “the straw that stirs the drink.” “I’m very fortunate to have made such incredible friends,” Zelisko says. “I think a big reason for that is because I’m always very honest with the people I deal with. I can admire them and worship what they do, but I deal with them straight and tell them the truth. I think that’s how you last in the business, and it’s how you maintain relationships.”

I had the chance to catch up with Danny about this book of tales, some you might expect, some you might not. But the journey feels maGical when I put myself in his shoes through the pages. Hear what he has to say about it here:

ALL EXCE$$ Occupation: Concert Promoter is available at dzplive.com, you can also get it from Kindle, Amazon and Amazon Print on Demand. Additionally, a limited number of first-edition signed copies are available to benefit NIVA’s Save Our Stages (to support music industry employees affected by COVID-19).

Loud Apartment’s System Breakdown

NYC-based funk art collective Loud Apartment has released their new album, aptly titled ‘System Breakdown’, produced by Bill Laswell and created at Orange Music in West Orange, New Jersey. This is Loud Apartment’s 2nd studio album & the first with the current lineup. Their unique NYC fusion of funk, soul & rock with Latin, reggae, dub & hip hop influences is inspired by growing up on the old upper west side. The band debuted in 2012 with their ‘Get Up Get Down’ LP, which was mixed by Mr. Laswell & featured Dr. Bernie Worrell* (P-Funk/Talking Heads), who also appeared with them for live performances at Galapagos Art Space, Drom, & Public Assembly in NYC. Their sound embodies the intersection of culture that is New York City, loose enough to give room for improvisation & extended grooves. Created by musician & technologist Nevaris A.C., the band’s current lineup includes legendary musician/producer Bill Laswell on bass, turntablist DJ Logic*, multi-instrumentalist Peter Apfelbaum* (flute/sax), guitarist Will Bernard, drummer Lockatron, and Nevaris (voice, percussion, keyboards). “System Breakdown” refers to the collapse of the systems meant to protect citizens during a time like is being experienced right now. Access to healthcare. Access to a vital financial lifeline after the collapse of the live music industry during the pandemic. The album also takes aim at the incompetence & negligence of the current administration in the first 2 songs. The band began recording ‘System Breakdown’ in January 2020, before the Covid-19 pandemic. Once it hit New York City, recording was halted & Nevaris began writing new lyrics that reflected his anger at the current administration. The band returned to the studio in the summer of 2020 to finish the album, including the new material, giving the record a more political tone.

I had the chance to catch up with Nevaris A.C. to dive ear first into the creation of the album and the way this current (and what I consider a mind-bending MVP group) lineup came toGether and some of the things working with people like trailblazers like Bill Laswell and Bernie Worrell brought to his creative spirit and creation approach. We talk about the current situation here in the States and how that was influential when wrapping this project up and we find out which songs Nevaris A.C. would choose off the new album if he was taking over for me in the studio. Get this record into your earholes!

Josh Werner’s Mode For Titan

Raised in Milwaukee, Josh Werner was a private student of Richard Davis. In 1996, he moved to New York and attended the New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music program. His years of recording and performing with top-tier and cutting-edge artists has made an imprint on his identity and place in music history. He is also a frequent collaborator of Bill Laswell via such projects as Method Of Defiance and Bass invaders. On October 9th, Josh dropped his album ‘Mode For Titan’, a solo bass offering that is grounded in minimalist beauty and co-produced Mr. Laswell. This stunning collection of tracks is being released via Laswell’s label M.O.D. Reloaded. This album proves that the bass is a melodic and ambient force in its own right. Writing on and for the bass, Josh explores new dimensions of composition and improvisation, and effortlessly moves through sonic textures, all without a conventional rhythm section, he explores novel instrumental territory, including the sitar bass, seven-string and fretless bass. Over the years, Josh has made quite a name for himself working in a variety of styles, most notably in dub, experimental rock, hip hop and jazz. His work with Ghostface Killer, CocoRosie, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Cibo Matto, PopCaan, James Brandon Lewis, Matisyahu, Sly and Robbie, Wu Tang Clan and TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe has cemented his status as a low-end heavyweight.

I had the chance to catch up with the program’s friend, Josh Werner about this new project. We get into the beGinnings of the album, we talk about how the roots set into the ground of the songs and while a wide array of influences is heard on his compositions, it’s the introspective creative focus that guides. Simplicity, beauty and space are constant in this journey, and the rich colors of Mr. Laswell’s sonic translations are the compass. So, we get into how creating the entirety of the album with someone like Mr. Bill Laswell took the album to where it calls home. I think when you get your whole person wrapped around the experience of this collection of feelings, you’ll find where it fits into your home too. As of October 9, the ‘Mode For Titan’ LP is available on CD and digitally everywhere, including Apple Music, Amazon and Spotify. It can also be obtained directly from the label via Bandcamp.

Angelheaded Hipster & Marc Urselli

Marc Urselli writes, produces and records artists from all over the world. He also composes music for TV and film and does sound design for commercials. Marc was born in Switzerland and raised in Italy. His musical education began with studying the piano at age twelve. At age seventeen he opened his first commercial recording facility in Italy. He later moved to New York City where he began, and continues to work at the legendary recording studio EastSide Sound as the resident Chief House Engineer. In 2005 he participated in the recordings of “Strength” by Roy Hagrove‘s project RH Factor which was nominated for Best Contemporary Jazz Album and in the same year he also participated in the recordings of Lila Down‘s album “Una Sangre (One Blood)”, which won a Latin Grammy Award for Best Folk Album. Additionally, in 2006 Marc won two Grammy Awards (Best Instrumental Rock Performance & Best Instrumental Pop Performance) for his work engineering and mixing the entire Capitol/EMI album “American Made, World Played” album by Les Paul & Friends (featuring Sting, Joss Stone, Eric Clapton, Jeff Beck, Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards, Buddy Guy, Bon Jovi’s Richie Sambora, Goo Goo Dolls’ Johnny Rzeznick, ZZ Top, Sam Cooke, Aerosmith’s Joe Perry, Simply Red’s Mick Hucknall and many more). Marc also does and has done live sound for artists such as Eliane Elias, John Zorn, Laurie Anderson, Lou Reed and others.

AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T.Rex

The genius and pioneering influence of Marc Bolan’s T. Rex – 2020 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee and one of the great rock musicians of all time – will be celebrated with AngelHeaded Hipster: The Songs of Marc Bolan and T.Rex, out September 4 on BMG. The collection features 26 songs culled from Bolan’s vast body of work released as T.Rex and Tyrannosaurus Rex from 1968-77. A wide-ranging cast of wizards and cosmic dancers have joined together to reimagine Bolan’s work – sometimes in radical fashion – resulting in a collection that is less tribute than bold new work. Featuring some of Bolan’s greatest songs, including, ‘Jeepster’, ‘Bang A Gong (Get It On)’, ‘Ride A White Swan’, and beyond/deeper. AngelHeaded Hipster was lovingly created by the late great leGend, Mr. Hal Willner, who passed away on April 7 from COVID-19. The acclaimed music producer, who “for nearly four decades bent and shaped the dimensions of almost-popular music” (New York Times), produced albums for artists including Lou Reed, Marianne Faithfull, and William S. Burroughs, and concept albums drawing upon the music of Thelonious Monk, Kurt Weill, vintage Disney films and others. He also produced concert events exploring the work of such subjects as Leonard Cohen, Allan Sherman, Neil Young, Edgar Allan Poe, and Tim Buckley, and served as the Saturday Night Live sketch music producer for nearly 40 years. After his passing, many of the artists who knew Mr. Willner best posted tributes to his singular spirit, including Elvis Costello, Bono, Tom Waits, and Nick Cave, who praised his “limitless imagination” adding “Hal was our visionary, our ringleader, always working against reason itself, armed with a deep love and bottomless knowledge of music.” Mr. Willner, who referred to AngelHeaded Hipster as his ‘White Album’, was eager for everyone to hear these beautiful songs and to start thinking about Bolan and T. Rex again. This album is a testament to Hal’s spirit.”

I had the honor of catching up with Marc about this latest project. How it went from Mr. Willner’s vision to his ear, the depth of the songwriter, not just the rocker that Marc Bolan obviously was and we talk about some of the challenges/highlights while getting into the nooks and crannies of the diverse roster of artists that came together for this “concept” album. This is one of those releases that belong on everyone’s playlist.

Bromberg Plays Hendrix: Remastered

A half century after his tragic death, Jimi Hendrix remains cemented in place near the top of anyone’s list of the greatest rock guitarists of all time. So why would anyone decided to pay tribute to the iconic axe-man on a full album without a single guitar? The virtuosic bassist and world-renowned producer Brian Bromberg tackled that audacious challenge on his 2012 album “Bromberg Plays Hendrix”, a blistering homage on which Bromberg’s fretless and piccolo basses stand in for the original’s fleet fretwork. Joined only by the in-demand drummer Vinnie Colaiuta, Bromberg summoned a whirlwind of sound from his four- and five-string arsenal to craft a smoldering set of classics in keeping with Hendrix’s exploratory spirit. A decade after its recording, the album remains dizzying in the virtuosity and visceral power of its musicianship and passion. Brian was happy with the original version of the CD, but after a big studio upgrade and new equipment he wanted to jump back into the project and do a remix/remaster to make the project sound as good as he felt it deserved to sound. On September 18, 2020 a newly remixed and remastered edition will be released digitally by Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Music Group.

I had the complete honor of discussing the newly remixed and remastered edition of this epic album with Mr. Bromberg. We got into how the original ideas took shape to make this sort of thing a reality. The absolutely attempt to not try and sound like Jimi Hendirx…because…well…how could anyone, nevermind a bass player. We dive into the heart and soul of how these songs work from the perspective of a listeners, the players behind them as well as someone like me, who likes to get it into people’s ears for the first time. When you or I listen to these songs, there will be that sense of familiar with a head twist to the different, I think it only adds to the already greatness of the music we know and allows something that has been there for us through so many days, into us in a newly imagined way. And With that, Mr. Bromberg and I talk a bit about the changes that were made in his new state of the art studio to make an album you already want to crank up, worthy of going to 11 or 12 on the volume knob. Wee…turn it up man. And what is this about a holiday album…just listen all the way through our chat to find out.

Swallow Tales With Steve Swallow

Friend of the proGram, John Scofield celebrates the music of his friend and mentor Steve Swallow in an outgoing and spirited recording, aply titled “Swallow Tales” – made in an afternoon in New York City in March 2019. John was a 20-year-old student at Berklee when he first met and played with bassist Swallow, and they have continued ever since, in many different contexts. “I love these songs”, says Scofield of the selection of Swallow compositions explored here – a broad range including tunes that have become standards, as well as some lesser-known works. The rapport between Scofield and Swallow is evident in every moment. John: “Sometimes when we play it’s like one big guitar, the bass part and my part together.” Behind the drum kit, Bill Stewart is alert to all the implications of the interaction. “What Bill does is more than ‘playing the drums,'” Scofield says. “He’s a melodic voice in the music, playing counterpoint, and comping, while also swinging really hard.” The guitarist himself plays with fire and invention throughout: “These two giants bring out the best in me.” Swallow’s compositions, John notes, “make perfect vehicles for improvisation. The changes are always interesting – but not too interesting! They’re grounded in reality with cadences that make sense. They’re never just intellectual exercises, and they’re so melodic. They’re all songs, rather than ‘pieces’. They could all be sung.”

I had the honor of chatting with Mr. Steve Swallow about the way this album (out now on ECM Records), came together, from start to finish. We get into the way the three “generations” got to the working part of this piece of art. Talking with Mr. Swallow was a learning reminder of how things are born into change. Hearing him talk about how he had to wear a bassist hat rather than the person who brought these tunes into the world originally was just thrilling. Hearing a little of that mentor pride is his voice as he speaks about the way Mr. Scofield goes after it when making music, especially this music was equally ear-opening for me. As someone who loves to share these sounds with others and weave them into little neighborhoods over the airwaves, it is moments like this, getting a little mind-time with the artist(s) that reminds me why pushing those buttons and twisting those knobs is an important part of getting the entire story out there on behalf of these creators. Take a moment, and be in the room with Mr. Swallow and I.

Talking Change With Wadada Leo Smith

Trumpeter, multi-instrumentalist and composer Wadada Leo Smith is one of the most boldly original and influential artists of his time. Transcending the bounds of genre or idiom, he distinctly defines his music, tirelessly inventive in both sound and approach, as “Creative Music.” For the last five decades, Smith has been a member of the legendary AACM collective, pivotal in its wide-open perspectives on music and art in general. He has carried those all-embracing concepts into his own work, expanding upon them in myriad ways. Throughout his career, Smith has been recognized for his groundbreaking body of work. A finalist for the 2013 Pulitzer Prize in Music, he received the 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award and earned an honorary doctorate from CalArts, where he was also celebrated as Faculty Emeritus. In addition, he received the Hammer Museum’s 2016 Mohn Award for Career Achievement “honoring brilliance and resilience.” In 2018 he received the Religion and The Arts Award from the American Academy of Religion. Smith has released more than 50 albums as a leader on labels including ECM, Moers, Black Saint, Tzadik, Pi Recordings, TUM, Leo and Cuneiform. His diverse discography reveals a recorded history centered around important issues that have impacted his world, exploring the social, natural and political environment of his times with passion and fierce intelligence. His recent recording is 2019’s Rosa Parks: Pure Love, an Oratorio of Seven Songs. His 2016 recording, America’s National Parks earned a place on numerous best of the year lists including the New York Times, NPR Music and many others. Smith’s landmark 2012 civil rights opus Ten Freedom Summers was called “A staggering achievement [that] merits comparison to Coltrane’s A Love Supreme in sobriety and reach.” Writing about Smith’s 2017 album Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk in the New York Review of Books, Adam Shatz notes: “For all the minimalism of his sound, Smith has turned out to be a maximalist in his ambitions, evolving into one of our most powerful storytellers, an heir to American chroniclers like Charles Ives and Ornette Coleman.”

This Legendary composer and trumpeter is now featured on Deerhoof’s new live album To Be Surrounded By Beautiful, Curious, Breathing, Laughing Flesh Is Enough, available as a Bandcamp exclusive from July 3rd, 2020 via Joyful Noise Recordings. Deerhoof is in peak form on the album, which culminates in a thrilling five-song collaborative set with Mr. Smith as part of New York City’s Winter Jazzfest at Le Poisson Rouge. All album proceeds will benefit Black Lives Matter. We get into the making of the music and how the feelings of it translate from then to now, but also how the live set transforms moments in time and brings the listener to that ten, right now. We get deep into the movement and making real change. REAL CHANGE. Whether it’s the man, the music, that band or the movement, this all works so well for that change and I hope this conversation helps lead you to a new space in time, toGether.

Check out the album here.

Big Smoke With Five Alarm Funk

Five Alarm Funk is a horn-powered, percussion-fueled sonic and visual assault. Over seventeen years of hard funking the band has burned up stages on four continents, released six studio albums and received two Juno Award nominations. And this ride isn’t about to slow down, they just released their 7th studio album, Big Smoke today. The eleven tracks get right to the roots of what Five Alarm Funk is all about: epic, intense arrangements, heavy groove and a ton of fun. For all the honing of their studio craft, the the groups epic live shows is still what defines the band. The sweat-drenched concerts are infused with an intense spirit of fun that breaks down barriers between band and audience and moves both into a manic dance party. Wild costumes, props, and choreography complement the seriously tight arrangements and genre-mashing grooves. That live show has taken Five Alarm Funk on dozens of North American coast to coast tours, performing at over 100 festivals in the last three years alone. The band has also begun to break ground abroad, with performances in Taiwan, Mexico, and a performance for international peacekeeping forces in Mali.

I had a chance to catch up with drummer, vocalist, and band leader Tayo Branston to talk about this latest release, Big Smoke out now on Ropeadope Sur. We get into the seed to flower of the new collection of tunes, how it came to have both the leGend, Bootsy Collins and Leo P of Too Many Zooz appear on the record and what’s the what as we await a clearer path through this current pandemic. To me, as we find ourselves in a new world, this is just the type of sound and groove to help us all meet on the virtual funk bridge and “shake that thang” a bit.

Rolling Stone: Life And Death Of Brian Jones

Dudeski/Chip Baker Films is proud to announce the official release date of their latest project “Rolling Stone Life and Death of Brian Jones”, a Danny Garcia film. It is the first documentary about the founder and original leader of The Rolling Stones. Rolling Stone Life and Death of Brian Jones is the 5th acclaimed music documentary for Spanish filmmaker Danny Garcia. His other releases include “The Rise and Fall of The Clash”; “Looking for Johnny”, about New York Dolls guitarist Johnny Thunders; “Sad Vacation”, a film chronicling the final months in New York City of the Sex Pistols bassist Sid Vicious & his girlfriend Nancy Spungen and Danny’s most recent release “Stiv: No Compromise, No Regrets” about Stiv Bators, legendary frontman of the iconic Ohio band the Dead Boys and The Lords of the New Church.

Film Background:

In the mid 1960s, Brian Jones emerged as “the face” and poster boy of the Bohemian Swingin’ London scene, topping the charts with The Rolling Stones and dating model/actress Anita Pallenberg. However, his excessive lifestyle and his reputation as “the original bad boy of Rock & Roll” was to cost him dearly. As the scene descended into the acid ridden year of 1967 so did Brian. Targeted by the authorities and media, he spiraled out of control, losing both Anita and the respect of the Stones. Two years later, Brian was found at the bottom of his swimming pool, the verdict: death by misadventure. During the last 50 years many theories have emerged, claiming that Brian was murdered and that it was covered up at high level, as this film discovers – the evidence for this is extremely compelling.

I had the chance to catch up with filmmaker, Danny Garcia about the project to get a sense of what prompted him to want to revisit the mysteries and confusion behind the death of Brian Jones. There is so much more to this film than that, but after watching the film, my eyes and ears have been opened up in a much different way. If you’re into the Stones, music culture, mystery and questioning authority….might I suggest you find a way to check it out. The film was released June 12th, 2020 on DVD by MVD Entertainment Group and will be available thru the following streaming services: Amazon/Dish Network/Films Media Group/Google Play/Night Flight/Sling/Xbox/Vimeo

Here is a link to the film’s trailer

Sister Dynamite with Alice Bag

Alice Bag is a singer/songwriter, musician, author, artist, educator and feminist. Alice was the lead singer and co-founder of the Bags, one of the first bands to form during the initial wave of punk in Los Angeles. The Alice Bag Band was featured in the seminal documentary on punk rock, The Decline of Western Civilization. Alice went on to perform in other groundbreaking bands, including Castration Squad, Cholita, and Las Tres. She is the author of the critically acclaimed books ‘Violence Girl’ and ‘Pipe Bomb For the Soul.’ Her self-titled 2016 debut album received critical acclaim and was named one of the best albums of 2016 by AllMusic. Her second album, Blueprint, was named one of the Best Albums of 2018 by NPR and the Los Angeles Times. Her 3rd album, Sister Dynamite, was released in April 2020.

I had the honor of checking in with Alice about this brand new album, Sister Dynamite on In The Red Recordings. We get into the creation of, the inspirations behind the sound (including how working with friends of the program, Fea helped direct some of the way she hoped her band could produces/create/be the sounds. That part of the conversation with someone that certainly helped open my musical mind was/is a real treat to get to be apart of. We touch on the who she is right now, and how the others can “eat it” if they don’t like it. As I was letting he know how I think this was a perfect time to release these songs (I meant these songs have great meaning to a listener in THESE moment of THIS now), she put me in my place reminding me that she cannot go out and tour them and get the scene of the music into people’s faces. Madison would love to have her back as soon as possible, I am sure of it. Listen in to find out what song off the new album she’d choose to build a setlist off of and what other bands she’d likely add to that set. I even sneak in a mention of Madison’s own The Hussy and Woodstock NYs The Bobby Lees. Did I mention, LEGEND?

Sister Dynamite, cover art by Gronk. 2020 In The Red Records

Flyin’ Right With Zev Feldman of Resonance Records

Resonance Records is a non-profit jazz record label with a mission. Devoted to preserving jazz & discovering the rising stars of tomorrow. Resonance is a division of the Rising Jazz Stars Foundation, a California 501(c)3 non-profit Corporation created to discover the next jazz stars – passionate, brilliant musicians from around the world. We assist and support them through recording, performance opportunities, and distribution of their art. Every Resonance CD or Video DVD is produced without compromise, to create and preserve our artists’ jazz legacy. Resonance Records was founded in 2007 by George Klabin. Klabin, with over two decades of experience as a producer and audio engineer, has recorded a full spectrum of jazz heavyweights for a wide variety of major labels. These include Dexter Gordon, Bill Evans, James Moody, Illinois Jacquet, Keith Jarrett, Albert Ayler, Charles Lloyd, the Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Big Band and many more. As owner of the legendary New York recording studio Sound Ideas, Klabin was the overseer of sessions for top stars like James Brown and Quincy Jones as well as pure jazz giants such as Sonny Stitt, Tommy Flanagan and Archie Shepp. Today, they are releasing a teaser from the 2019 Nat King Cole boxed set, “Straighten Up and Fly Right – The Best of Hittin’ the Ramp: The Early Years (1936-1943)”. This Best-of-the-Box digital compilation includes 21 tracks including one a previously-unissued transcription version of “This Side Up” not on the boxed set. 15 of these 21 songs have never been available digitally before in any version.

I had the chance to reconnect with my pal Zev Feldman of Resonance Records about this latest treasure from Resonance. We get into the original 7 CD/10 LP boxed set and some of the efforts of the team that went into its creation and how that helped pump of this latest “Best Of” compilation that comes out today. We discuss the mission of Resonance as a company and the work that he is charged with taking care of (it sounds like my dream job BTW). I am always happy to hear as much as I can (whether in the music or in the story-telling) about Wes Montgomery, so we talk a bit about a couple of projects surrounding him and a few other artists associated with the great work on Resonance. And not only that, but Zev was kind enough to clue us in to some new projects and strategies, sure to please all music lovers out there.