Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show

The Award-winning jazz podcast, hosted by Jeffrey Siegel.

Episodes

May 13, 2022 25 min

On his debut album, Balance, Berlin-based saxophonist Fabian Willmann pairs himself with two long-time friends and mentors to create a consistently fresh sounding and lyrical work. Willmann's clear tone on the tenor saxophone recalls the best eras of a Dexter Gordon or a Stan Getz, or even Wayne Marsh. The rhythmic meshing contributed by bassist Arne Huber and drummer Jeff Ballard is starkly modern. keeping things consistently ...

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Like many jazz musicians today, trombonist Nick Finzer's success has come from working in a number of different capacities over a long period of time. There are his recordings and performances as a leader, and again as a sideman; his teaching, giving lessons, owning and operating his own label, and writing instruction books,

In his first Music Business book, Create, Connect, Repeat,  Finzer reaches out to fellow musicians and u...

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April 22, 2022 38 min

Ah, Record Store Day!  This is the 15th year that the biannual event celebrates independent record stores, and increasingly popular vinyl records. There are a number of notable jazz releases seeing the light of day for the first time this Saturday, either as newly discovered works, limited edition or remastered vinyl. These include:

Dave Brubeck Trio - Live from Vienna 1967

Art Pepper - Art Pepper Meets the Rhythm Section

Max Roach...

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What can we say here that hasn't already been said about Charles Mingus, not one of a handful of true geniuses of the jazz world, but one of the towering figures in 20th century music as a whole. Having learned music and composition from classical figures, his career began in the groups of Louis Armstrong, Kid Ory and Lionel Hampton in the 1940's. His work would covered jazz history for another three decades, playing bebop ...

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Resonance Records, the top U.S. independent label for previously unreleased jazz treasures, will issue The Lost Album from Ronnie Scott’s, a  never-before-heard 1972 club performance by bassist/composer Charles Mingus’ powerful sextet, as a three-LP Record Store Day offering on April 23 (one day after what would have been Mingus’ 100th birthday). The album will be issued as a three-CD set and digital download on April 29.

The two l...

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April 15, 2022 61 min

It seems that most of the world’s religions have spring holidays. In fact, celebrating the beginning of spring may be among the oldest seasonal holidays in human culture. The earliest reference we have to such a holiday comes to us from Babylon, 2400 BCE. The city of Ur apparently had a celebration dedicated to the moon and the spring equinox which was held some time during our months of March or April.

For Christianity, today is G...

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Broadway musicals have been the source of many notable jazz standards, so it should come as no surprise that the DIVA Jazz Orchestra’s latest release is DIVA Swings Broadway. The 15-piece band, fast approaching its 30th year as a performing group, lends their seemingly boundless talents to nine songs, some well known, and others which dig deep into the Broadway Songbook.

DIVA was founded by Stanley Kay, one-time manager and relief ...

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Podcast 895 is Part Two of my conversation with the extraordinary Dave Douglas. In Part One, we focused on the inspiration for, then writing and recording of Secular Psalms, now available on his Greenleaf Music label. Created as part of the celebration of the 600th anniversary of the Ghent Altarpiece painting "The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb," Douglas and mostly European musicians recorded the spiritually uplifting music d...

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With the start of the month of April, Straight No Chaser begins a month long celebration of the life and music of Charles Mingus, one of the most important jazz performers, composers and personalities ever.

Six years ago I interviewed Kris Gabbard, the author of Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus  (University of California Press), who considered Mingus not just one of the most important figures...

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Dave Douglas, one of the most prolific writers, performers and recording artists in jazz today is also one of its widest-ranging stylists and important entrepreneurs. At the age of 59, his award-winning career includes more than fifty recordings as a leader, close to one hundred as a sideman,  and more than five hundred published compositions. In 2005 Douglas founded Greenleaf Music, a record label for his albums, sheet music, podc...

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One of the benefits we get as jazz listeners from the inactivity in recording and releasing of music due to the COVID-19 pandemic is the backlog of exciting music that is now coming out. Trumpeter Avishai Cohen describes his album as the outcome of a “two-year meditation.” He had been sitting with the main motif of Naked Truth since the start of Covid, and used the layoff to follow that melody to its inevitable conclusion, an 8 par...

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Nourished by the abundant creative energies of the scene in his native Chicago, drummer and composer Kabir Dalawari has developed a unique musical on his vibrant debut  album, Awareness. Dalawari fronts a talent-packed quartet with altoist Kyle Brooks, pianist Eric Arroyo and bassist Matt Ulery for a set of original pieces brimming with rhythmic animation, melodic richness and bristling interactivity.

Dalawari approaches music in p...

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Quentin Angus has received national and international recognition for winning three ASCAP 'Young Jazz Composer Awards', five Downbeat Magazine Awards in the 'Composition' and 'Soloist' categories. The State of Things  is his third album as a leader.

He carefully chose his collaborators for the album, choosing the topnotch drummer Nate Smith as the core of his band. Pianist Can Olgun and bassist Desmond White...

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Since the 1991 release of his debut album A Guitar Thing, featuring Benny Green, Cecil Brooks III and Lonnie Plaxico, guitarist Ron Jackson has steadily built a robust reputation as a sideman and solo artist. Standards and My Songs is his ninth title as a leader on his independent label Roni Music, the logical follow-up to his. Standards and Other Songs. The seven-string guitar player  put together  a topnotch trio, with Ben Wolfe ...

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Matt Slocum’s latest work is a long-form suite, performed by one of the best quartets I’ve seen put together in some time. Slocum, the drummer and composer of the songs on With Love and Sadness (Sunnyside Records), originally planned for a trio, but decided the music called for a fuller sound. The resulting group – Walter Smith III on saxophone, Taylor Eigsti on piano and Fender Rhodes, Larry Grenadier on bass and Slocum on drums –...

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It's been seven years since Tel Aviv-based saxophonist-composer Eli Degibri has released an album of original music. However, that drought ends this week with the release of his deeply personal album of tunes, Henri and Rachel.

Recorded on March 9, 2020, days before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, Henri and Rachel is Degibri’s first album of original music since 2015, when he recorded Cliff Hanging, which earned a 5-star re...

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In Part One of this two-part conversation,  Bill Summers explained the long path he has followed to learn the art and the history of Bata, placing him firmly in a thousand plus year history of percussionists. We talked about Forward Back, his new project with his longtime friend Scott Roberts, a way to blend spiritual music with the sounds of the modern western world, especially hip-hop. That EP, Yellow Flowers, was released recent...

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Years ago, the study of percussion led Bill Summers to a particular ceremony in Brooklyn, where he was introduced to the rich history of religious, spiritual drumming by vocalist Leon Thomas. The path led him to Cuba, where he studied with a venerated master, immersed in a spiritual drum fraternity (Anya) that took him all the way back. He innately recognized the origin, the source, the foundation of all rhythm.

Learning the histor...

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March 1, 2022 65 min

Les Bon Temps Rouler!

It's Mardi Gras time in New Orleans, and this year the parades and parties are in full swing. So if you're not in the Big Easy to sample the music, food and fun, here's an hour plus of music to get you in the swing of things:

Kermit Ruffins - "Drop Me Off in New Orleans"

Marcus Roberts - "New Orleans Blues"

Cyril Neville - "New Orleans Cookin'"

The Hot 8 Brass Band - ...

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Self-titled albums are typically introductory statements reserved for an artist’s first release. In the case of trumpeter/keyboardist Rick Braun, it took until his 30th anniversary as a solo recording artist.to release Rick Braun – a stylistically eclectic, ultra-soulful/funky and exotica-tinged collection of 10 new songs.

While put into the box we call “smooth jazz” for years, Braun stylistically has been closer to his musical her...

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