JAZZIZ Backstage Pass

JAZZIZ Backstage Pass

By Brian Zimmerman
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass offers you unparalleled access to your favorite jazz artists, writers and industry insiders. Get to know the personalities behind the music by coming "backstage" with host and JAZZIZ editor Brian Zimmerman.
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Carol Welsman & CD Giveaway
Carol Welsman is an internationally acclaimed singer and pianist whose expressive vocal styling and dynamic stage presence have captivated audiences around the world. With her new album Dance With Me, she makes her foray into Latin jazz.
33:52
July 31, 2020
Brian Bromberg Honors Jimi Hendrix
Brian Bromberg is a bass player whose career bridges straightahead jazz and fusion. His new album, Plays Jimi Hendrix, will be released on September 18, the 50th anniversary of Hendrix’s passing.
41:44
July 30, 2020
Miles Monday: Lenny White
Lenny was the drummer Miles Davis' famous 'Bitches Brew' sessions. Watch for the LIVE video on our Facebook feed! #MilesMonday
47:25
July 27, 2020
10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Keeping a Record Collection
Today we are joined by Jeff Coates, in-house analog expert for Pro-Ject Audio, to discuss some tips and tricks for keeping a record collection.
30:50
July 24, 2020
Good Vibes with Warren Wolf + Jazz News
Warren Wolf is an acclaimed vibraphonist from Baltimore, Maryland. His new album ‘Reincarnation’ pays tribute to his love for the R&B and soul hits that served as the soundtrack to his formative years in the 1990s. Plus, news of an exciting partnership between NASA and vocalist Gregory Porter. 
26:31
July 23, 2020
Viewer Call In Show: YOU Review Your Favorite Albums
In tonight’s episode, YOU get to review your favorite albums on air. [link will be provided in the chat once we go live] to join the show and we’ll discuss the albums you’ve been enjoying this month! ( please have your audio and video ready as our producer Geoff, will be able to see and hear once you join to make sure you are ready to come on the show!)
17:38
July 22, 2020
JAZZIZ Last Call: Talking Wes Montgomery with Guitarist Norman Brown
Norman Brown is a Grammy award-winning contemporary jazz guitarist who has sold over 2 million albums in his career. He has been called “one of the greatest, most articulate guitarists out there” by George Benson. His new album ‘Heart to Heart’ is due out August 7 on Shanachie Records.
43:09
July 20, 2020
JAZZIZ Last Call: Drummer Dave Weckl and Vocalist Clivia Tanisi
Dave Weckl is a Grammy-winning drummer who has performed with Chick Corea's Elektric and Akoustic Bands. Clivia Tanisi is an Italian-born vocalist who became a professional jazz singer at the age of 14. The husband and wife team will release a new EP, Love’s Way Back, on July 3.
48:38
July 17, 2020
JAZZIZ Last Call: Our Favorite Jazz Album Covers
As a preview of our upcoming “Art of the Album” issue, we’ll be sharing some of our favorite album covers. We invite you to do the same in the comments!
23:20
July 16, 2020
JAZZIZ Last Call: Talking Miles Davis & More with Vince Wilburn Jr.
Vince Wilburn Jr. is a drummer and the nephew of jazz legend Miles Davis. He’s also the bandleader of the progressive all-star ensemble The Miles Davis Electric Band, featuring alumni from Miles’ most iconic groups.
45:26
July 15, 2020
T.S. Monk on Discovering a Previously Unreleased Album by Thelonious Monk
T.S. Monk is a jazz drummer, composer and bandleader. He is the son of jazz pianist Thelonious Monk. An unheard recording of a 1968 high school performance the legendary jazz pianist, Palo Alto, is set for release by Impulse! Records on July 31.
51:03
July 14, 2020
Catching Up with Drummer Peter Erskine
In this episode of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass, we are joined by drum legend Peter Erskine. Known as a member of Weather Report and Steps Ahead, Erskine has appeared in over 500 albums and along with his work as a leader, has worked alongside many of the greats. In 1992, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music. To find out more about him, visit him online.
1:12:47
June 26, 2020
JAZZIZ Happy Hour: Gino Vannelli
Gino Vannelli is a Canadian rock singer and songwriter who had several hit songs in the 1970s and 1980s. His best-known singles include “I Just Wanna Stop”, “Living Inside Myself” and “Wild Horses”.
59:59
June 19, 2020
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Pat Coil
A conversation between JAZZIZ Publisher and Founder Michael Fagien and pianist Pat Coil, whose recording credits include  Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson, Carmen McRae, Trisha Yearwood, Ernie Watts, Michael McDonald, George Strait, Peter Cetera, Scott Henderson & Tribal Tech, Barry Manilow, Michael Feinstein, Kenny Rogers, Travis Tritt, and Woody Herman.
43:45
June 15, 2020
Bassist Jimmy Haslip on Jaco, Fourplay, and Turning the Bass World Upside-Down
In this episode of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass, we are joined by influential and versatile bassist Jimmy Haslip. Known as a founding member of the jazz-fusion group the Yellowjackets, Haslip was also an early user of the five-string electric bass.
1:04:30
May 29, 2020
Saxophonist Boney James on His 'Solid' Reputation in Jazz
In this episode of JAZZIZ Daily Brunch, we are joined by four-time GRAMMY-nominated and multi-platinum saxophonist/composer Boney James, who will be releasing his new album, Solid, on June 12 via Concord Records.
48:51
May 24, 2020
JAZZIZ Daily Brunch: Al Di Meola
In today’s episode of JAZZIZ Daily Brunch, we are joined by Al Di Meola, who, for the past four decades, has been recognized internationally as a virtuoso of the highest order. The guitarist/composer is known for his work in jazz fusion and world music, bean his career as a guitarist in the group Return to Forever in 1974 and, between the ’70s and ’80s, released such critically and commercially successful albums as Elegant Gypsy and Friday Night in San Francisco. He recently released Across the Universe, which we featured on our list of ten albums out in March 2020 you need to know. This is his sophomore recording in tribute to The Beatles, whom he recognizes as a major influence that prompted him to start playing guitar.
56:46
May 2, 2020
JAZZIZ Track by Track: Raul Midon Reflects On His New Album 'The Mirror'
Raul Midon, the endlessly talented vocalist, guitarist and songwriter, walks us through his new album, The Mirror, track by track. The Mirror was released on March 13 on Mack Avenue Records. For more info, visit mackavenue.com or raulmidon.com. Thanks again to all of our sponsors. Links to products described in the podcast can be found here: Qobuz.com: qobuz.com/signup Mack Avenue Records: mackavenue.com Smoke Sessions Records: smokesessionsrecords.com The Master Sessions: themastersessions.com Nandan Gautam: nandangautam.com Vanquish Studios: vanquishstudios.com
55:30
March 18, 2020
10 Albums You Need To Know for February 2020
JAZZIZ Editors Matt Micucci and Brian Zimmerman discuss the 10 albums you absolutely must know for February 2020! This month's list includes new works by Pat Metheny, Christian McBride, Makaya McCraven, Kat Edmonson and more! Thanks again to all of our sponsors. Links to products described in the podcast can be found here: Qobuz.com: qobuz.com/signup Mack Avenue Records: mackavenue.com Smoke Sessions Records: smokesessionsrecords.com St. Lucia Jazz Festival: jazz.org The Master Sessions: themastersessions.com Morris Paul Kennedy: musicbymorris.net Cone of Confusion: coneofconfusion.bandcamp.com Nandan Gautam: nandangautam.com Wayne Wilkinson: waynewilkinson.com Vanquish Studios: vanquishstudios.com
45:12
February 29, 2020
Made in Miami: Snarky Puppy's Michael League on Why the GroundUP Music Festival Calls the Magic City Home
Bassist Michael League is co-founder of the genre-fusing jazz collective Snarky Puppy and the brains behind the band's homegrown label, GroundUP Music. For the past four years, he's also served as the Artistic Director of the label's namesake festival, the GroundUP Music Fest, whose 2020 edition took place in Miami Beach February 14-16. With a maximum capacity of roughly 2,000 people, GroundUP is like no other music fest you've ever experienced. It's intimate and wholeheartedly communal, so it isn't uncommon to bump shoulders with participating musicians as they rove the festival grounds alongside you. In addition to Snarky Puppy, performers for the fest included saxophonist Chris Potter, drummer Brian Blade, vocalist Cecile McLorin Salvant and one-time Doobie Brother Michael McDonald. JAZZIZ was onsite at the fest to take in the sights and sounds, we had the chance to sit down with League backstage to discuss the origins of the fest and plans for the future. 
23:17
February 21, 2020
JAZZIZ Not What You Think: Kirk Whalum
A gem from the vault, this episode of JAZZIZ Not What You Think features JAZZIZ Publisher Michael Fagien in conversation with world-class saxophonist Kirk Whalum. The interview took place in 2019 in advance of the release of Whalum's album Humanite, which would go on to become a "Critics' Pick" for Album of the Year in the Winter 2019-2020 issue of JAZZIZ. Faith, family and, of course, music are the topics of discussion. Enjoy this blast from the past. We'll see you next week with another fresh episode. 
30:52
February 11, 2020
10 Albums You Need To Know for January 2020
Our first 10 Albums You Need To Know list for 2020 starts the year off on a high note, featuring new works by piano wunderkind Joey Alexander, guitarist Jeff Parker,  New York "cave music" trio Moon Hooch and the legendary Wayne Shorter with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra. Hear who else made the list in our first and only episode to feature co-host Matt Micucci's terrible Matthew McConaughey impression!
31:51
January 27, 2020
Benny Benack III Has A Lot of Livin' To Do
Joining the show for our first podcast of 2020 is trumpeter and vocalist Benny Benack III. At just 28 years old, Benny has an old soul, a quick mind and a big heart, and his music reflects both his love for the jazz tradition and his ear for the modern sound. His new album, A Lot of Livin' To Do, is due out January 24. 
1:03:33
January 10, 2020
Confidentially L.A. with Aubrey Logan
Our guest on the podcast today is trombonist and vocalist Aubrey Logan. Aubrey is a frequent guest of Scott Bradlee's Postmodern Jukebox and is currently on the road with saxophonist Dave Koz as part of his Summer Horns tour. She has just released a new album on Resonance Records, Where The Sunshine Is Expensive, a musical chronicling of her relocation from Seattle to Los Angeles.
1:01:23
December 26, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Track by Track with Bria Skonberg
Trumpeter, vocalist and composer Bria Skonberg joins the podcast to walk us through her latest album, Nothing Never Happens, track by track. We'll hear some backstory about each song, then listen to an excerpt in a whole new context. Peek inside the mind of one of the most forward-thinking trumpeters on the scene courtesy of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass. 
44:37
December 20, 2019
Special Holiday Edition: Christmas with Jonathan Butler
On this special holiday edition of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass, guitarist and vocalist Jonathan Butler joins the podcast to discuss his new album, Christmas Together, which was released on October 4 on Mack Avenue Records. The album is a festive affair,  featuring contributions from Dave Koz, Keiko Matsui, Kirk Whalum and other musicians he counts as friends. Butler also tells about his holiday traditions as a kid -- he grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, which meant he celebrated Christmas in the summer! -- and shares some of his favorite Christmas recipes and gift ideas. 
13:57
November 27, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Tucson Jazz Fest Headliner Grace Kelly
Joining the JAZZIZ Backstage Pass podcast today is the incredibly talented and eminently fashionable saxophonist Grace Kelly. Now, even if you don’t Grace Kelly by name, you’ve probably heard her before. She's performed with keyboardist Jon Batiste on The Late Show with Steven Colbert and was also among the performers at President Barack Obama’s first inauguration. She was also something of a protege of the late saxophone master Phil Woods. The two even released a joint album together, The Man with the Hat, in 2011, when she was just 20 years old. More recently, Kelly was awarded the top prize in the John Lennon Songwriting Competition for her original song "Feels Like Home" featuring Elliott Skinner. (Her win, it should be mentioned, came in the Country Music category, a testament to her amazing versatility.) Kelly also happens to crush it in the social media game. She’s posting music videos all the time, including, most recently, a mash-up of Billie Elish’s “Bad Guy” with Michael Jackson’s “Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough,” featuring bassist Nik West. Her most recent album is Go Time: Live in LA. Our conversation was sponsored by the Tucson Jazz Festival, which runs from January 10 through 20 in various locations around Tucson. Kelly will appear at the festival on January 12, sharing a double bill with Aubrey Logan of Postmodern Jukebox and Dave Koz’s Summer Horns. For tickets and more info visit tucsonjazzfestival.org
59:19
November 22, 2019
10 Albums You Need To Know for November 2019
In this week's episode, JAZZIZ online editor Matt Micucci joins Backstage Pass host Brian Zimmerman to review the 10 Albums You Need To Know for November 2019! Also discussed in this podcast: gnarly beards, college film majors, jazz bagpipes and more! Here's the full list of albums discussed in this episode: Bria Skonberg, Nothing Never Happens (self-released) Release date: November 1 Jeff Goldblum and the Mildred Snitzer Orchestra, I Shouldn’t Be Telling You This (Decca) Release date: November 1 Jon Batiste, Chronology of a Dream: Live at the Village Vanguard (Verve) Release date: November 1 Keith Jarrett, Munich 2016 (ECM) Release date: November 1 Dave Douglas, Engage (Greenleaf) Release date: November 8 Kyle Eastwood, Cinematic (Jazz Village) Release date: November 8 David S. Ware, Théâtre Garonne, 2008 (AUM Fidelity) Release date: November 15 Marius Neset and London Sinfonietta, Viaduct (ACT) Release date: November 22 Bobby Watson, Vincent Herring, Gary Bartz, Bird at 100 (Smoke Sessions) Release date: November 29 Various Artists, If You’re Going to the City: A Tribute to Mose Allison (Fat Possum) Release date: November 29 Feature photo of Bria Skonberg by Dario Acosta
49:08
November 19, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Marcus Hubbard of The Soul Rebels
Trumpeter Marcus Hubbard, a New Orleans native now based in Houston, is a veteran member of The Soul Rebels, a brass band fusing sounds from trad-jazz to N’awlins funk to contemporary trap music. The Soul Rebel’s new album, Poetry In Motion, is available now on Mack Avenue Records. In this episode, we talk about the making of the new album, the history and current role of brass bands in New Orleans culture, the musicality of Metallica and the best place for catfish in The Big Easy.
49:55
November 8, 2019
JAZZIZ Not What You Think: Harry Connick Jr.
Joining JAZZIZ Publisher Michael Fagien on the podcast today is pianist, singer, actor and talk show host Harry Connick Jr. Connick's new album, True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter, pays tribute to one of the most iconic Great American Songbook composers of all time. In October, Connick was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in recognition of 30 million albums sold, 13 No. 1 jazz albums, three Grammys and two Emmys. Hear about all that in more in today's episode.
23:57
November 1, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: 10 Albums You Need To Know for October 2019
JAZZIZ editors Brian Zimmerman and Matt Micucci are back again with another episode of 10 Albums You Need To Know, this time for the month of October. This month's list is scary good, featuring new music from guitarist Bill Frisell, saxophonist Kirk Whalum, pianist Hiromi and vocalist Harry Connick Jr. Plus, Matt coins a new catchphrase and shares his creepy Halloween plans. We also remember our favorite Jack Black and discuss whether calling someone a good dancer counts as libel. (We get crazy, folks. What else can we say?) Here's the complete list of albums discussed in this podcast: Bill Frisell, Harmony (Blue Note) Release date: October 4 Chick Corea, Trilogy 2 (Concord Jazz) Release date: October 4 Hiromi, Spectrum (Concord Jazz) Release date: October 4 Kirk Whalum, Humanité (Artistry) Release date: October 11 Spyro Gyra, Vinyl Tap (Amherst) Release date: October 11 Jan Garbarek and The Hillard Ensemble, Remember me, my dear (ECM) Release date: October 18 Kenny Barron and Mulgrew Miller, The Art of Piano Duo – Live (Groovin High) Release date: October 18 Roberto Fonseca, Yesun (Mack Avenue) Release date: October 18 Carmen Lundy, Modern Ancestors (Afrasia) Release date: October 25 Harry Connick Jr., True Love: A Celebration of Cole Porter (Verve) Release date: October 25
48:47
October 24, 2019
JAZZIZ Not What You Think: Becca Stevens
Becca Stevens is a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist who has made a career of testing the limits of her musical identity. Her unique artistic vision, cultivated across four albums as a leader, draws from a variety of genres, from jazz to Irish folk to indie-rock. Stevens' latest leader project is the five-track EP WONDERBLOOM, which is due out in November. A full-length album of the same name is set to follow in March. On it, the North Carolina-bred, Brooklyn-based artist promises that she will once again "[defy] all expectations, this time dreaming up a groove-heavy, dance-ready sound infused with elements of pop and funk and R&B." If it is anything like her previous albums, WONDERBLOOM will also serve as a showcase for Stevens' precise and penetrating lyricism. As she has proven across her own albums and through collaborations with Snarky Puppy, David Crosby, Esperanza Spalding and Jacob Collier, Stevens is the kind of songwriter who creates deep connections with her listeners through clear, honest language and profoundly simple melodies. In this episode, she discusses the making of her new album with JAZZIZ Publisher Michael Fagien.
56:04
October 18, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Actor Michael Imperioli on Jazz, Creativity and Co-Hosting the JFA Loft Party
Joining the podcast today is actor, writer, director and longtime jazz fan Michael Imperioli, best known for his role as Christopher Moltisanti on the HBO hit series The Sopranos, for which he won an Emmy in 2004. Imperioli's other onscreen credits include award-winning movies Goodfellas, Bad Boys, Lean on Me and Last Man Standing, as well as the Spike Lee productions Malcolm X, Jungle Fever and Summer of Sam, which he co-wrote and co-produced. In 2018, Imperioli published his first novel, The Perfume Burned His Eyes, which chronicled the life of a Queens teenager who moves with his broken family to Manhattan and goes on to befriend Lou Reed, a luminary of the 1970s downtown New York rock scene. Imperioli is an avid admirer of that historic musical era in New York City, and an enthusiastic champion of rock and roll in general. But he's also a passionate jazz fan and an active member of the Jazz Foundation of America, an organization that provides financial support, housing assistance and disaster relief to musicians in need. On October 19, he'll return to his duties as co-host —along with actor Danny Glover — of the Jazz Foundation of America's Loft Party in New York City, a concert benefiting JFA's lifesaving programs. It will feature performances by Wyclef Jean and The Pharoah Sanders Quartet, along with a tribute to Miles Davis' Bitches Brew and a celebration of New Orleans icons Dr. John, Dave Bartholomew and Art Neville. The drum legend Roy Haynes will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award. If you're in the area and would like to support, you can buy tickets online at jazzfoundation.org. In this episode, Imperioli talks about the records that brought him to the jazz flame, his total infatuation with Charles Mingus and Ron Carter and the time he smoked a joint with Gil Evans outside the jazz club Sweet Basil.
42:35
October 10, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Jacky Terrasson Breaks Free from the Comfort Zone
Joining host Brian Zimmerman on the podcast today is pianist Jacky Terrasson. Born in Germany to an American mother and French father, Terrasson has been a force in modern jazz since his rocket-propelled arrival on the scene in 1993. That year, two major achievements set him on a rapid path to success: the first was winning the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Piano Competition. The second was recording his self-titled major-label debut with Blue Note Records. Blue Note has remained a home for Jacky for nearly three decades, and just last month, he released his 12th album for the label. Simply called 53, the album is meant to reflect his truest self as seen from the distance that only experience can provide. With all original music, the album features three different trios comprising some of Jacky's closest musical partners and a few new collaborators. We talk to Jacky about the making of the new album as well as the monumental influence pianists like Bud Powell, Keith Jarrett and Ahmad Jamal on his life. We also discuss his lifelong passion for fine food, his new foray into acting and why the nickname that has hung around him for so long — "the piano player of happiness" — doesn't make him all that happy.
42:25
October 4, 2019
10 Albums You Need To Know: September 2019
In this episode of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass, host Brian Zimmerman is joined by JAZZIZ online editor Matt Micucci to discuss the 10 Albums You Need to Know for September 2019 And this one's a real treat, featuring previously unreleased material from Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong and John Coltrane! That, plus new albums from Herb Alpert, George Coleman and Chrissie Hynde of The Pretenders. Joining us on this very special episode is Matt Micucci's dog, Chloe.
45:42
September 20, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Around the World with Chick Corea
Today's guest is internationally acclaimed, 22-time Grammy-winning pianist Chick Corea, one of the most recognizable artists in modern jazz. JAZZIZ spoke with Chick backstage before his performance at the Concord Jazz Festival in Concord, California, where he and the members of his newly assembled Spanish Heart Band performed selections from their most recent album, Antidote. The album, released in July, finds Corea returning to one of his longest-held musical passions: the music of Spain. It was a genre he began to explore in his early days as a pianist growing up in Boston, and one that he would continue to hone throughout his prolific career as a leader and collaborator alongside other legends such as Miles Davis, Paco De Lucía and Herbie Hancock. Fans of Corea will instantly recognize some of the material on Antidote, which includes reworkings of classic tunes like "Armando's Rhumba" and "Duende" from his previous Latin-tinged albums My Spanish Heart and Touchstone. We talked to Chick about the making of the new album and his long-harbored obsession with Spanish music. And, because Chick is such a relentless globetrotter — the day before his Concord set, he had just flown in from Europe; a few days later, he would be leaving for Japan — we ask him about his favorite international destinations and travel tips. Let's take it backstage.
28:40
September 6, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Dave Koz Salutes the Greatest Horn Sections in Pop
Joining host Brian Zimmerman on the podcast for this episode is contemporary jazz saxophonist Dave Koz, whose new album Summer Horns II: From A to Z, is a salute to the greatest horn sections in rock and pop history. It’s an extension of his first Summer Horns project from 2013, which featured hip arrangements of classic tunes by Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, Chicago, Stevie Wonder and many more. In this podcast, we ask Dave to talk about his favorite horn sections of all time and what makes them so special. We also discuss the recent release Lost Koz, which collects previously unissued tracks from throughout Dave’s career, as well as his Dave Koz & Friends At Sea cruise events. Dave has such a warm personality and is such a great storyteller that it wasn’t a minute into our conversation before we were finding common ground. Among our other big similarities: we’re just a couple of Jewish guys who happen to love classic Christmas music. We talk about that, too. You’re going to like what you hear. If you’d like to help us spread the word about JAZZIZ Backstage Pass, write us a review on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. Thanks!
19:23
August 30, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Poncho Sanchez Re-imagines Coltrane in a Latin Light
JAZZIZ was recently on the scene in Concord, California, to take in the 50th annual Concord Jazz Festival,  a showcase for some of the phenomenal artists signed to the Concord Jazz label. Rising stars like vocalist Jazzmeia Horn and Esperanza Spalding were a joy to behold, but equally entertaining were the many Concord Jazz veterans, such as keyboardist Chick Corea and Dave Koz. But when it comes to Concord artists, no one has been involved with the label longer than the legendary percussionist and vocalist Poncho Sanchez, a true pioneer of Latin jazz. Born in Texas in 1951, Poncho’s career took off in the mid-1970s when he was asked to join the world-famous Latin jazz ensemble led by vibraphonist Cal Tjader. Poncho performed with him until Tjader’s untimely death in 1982. A year later, Poncho began a relationship with Concord Records that has lasted to this day, one that has resulted in more than two dozen recordings, a Grammy Award and several Grammy nominations. On his latest project, Trane’s Delight, Poncho celebrates the life and music of the iconic saxophonist John Coltrane. Due out September 20 via the Concord Picante subsidiary, Trane’s Delight is a love letter from one musical pioneer to another, as the Latin Jazz legend pays homage to one of his earliest and most indelible influences. The album arrives just in time for the late tenor titan’s 93rd birthday on September 23. Sanchez’s performance at the Concord Fest featured material from the new album, much of which was arranged with Sanchez’s musical director, trombonist Francisco Torres. In a wide-ranging conversation, we discussed the monumental influence that Coltrane had on his life, as well as the innate Latin aspects of Coltrane’s playing. If you’d like to check out all of the amazing Concord releases coming out right now, visit their website at concord.com.
19:40
August 23, 2019
Steven Van Zandt of The E Street Band, 'The Sopranos' and 'Lilyhammer'
 This week, we take you “backstage” with actor, broadcaster, political activist and rock and roll icon Steven Van Zandt. Steven is best known as the guitarist in the E Street Band, where serves as the right-hand man to The Boss, Bruce Springsteen. But he also generated widespread acclaim for his longtime role on The Sopranos, on which he played Silvio Dante, right-hand man to another boss, Tony Soprano. Others know him as the frontman from groups such as Southside Johnny and the Asbury Dukes or Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul. His latest project is the TV show Lillyhammer, in which he plays Frank Tagliano, a New York mob boss who relocates via witness protection to Lillyhammer, Norway. Van Zandt was also the producer and one of the writers for the show, which was the first original series produced by Netflix. It aired for two seasons starting in 2012.   Recently, music from the show was released on CD and streaming in two volumes. The first volume is a collection of jazz standards and originals written and arranged by Van Zandt, and the second volume collects rock and roll, Norwegian folk music,  funk and other musical odds and ends. The albums feature Steven’s latest band, Little Steven and the Interstellar Jazz Renegades, and Steven was generous enough to join us from New York — sitting in traffic no less— to talk about the new project. We also cover his love of Miles Davis, his friendship with Springsteen, his role in helping to end apartheid in South Africa and that famous Sopranos ending. 
40:49
August 22, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: 10 Albums You Need to Know for August 2019
 In this episode of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass, host Brian Zimmerman is joined by JAZZIZ online editor Matt Micucci to discuss the 10 Albums You Need to Know for August 2019,featuring new releases by drum legend Jimmy Cobb, rising star vocalist Veronica Swift, Brazilian jazz icon Eliane Elias and straightahead jazz sensation James Carter.   Also discussed in this episode: Irish accents, the dangers of driving-while-jazzing and what it would be like to fly coach class through the Twighlight Zone. You’re not going to want to miss this one, folks. 
50:44
August 16, 2019
Pianist Monty Alexander Plays Monk with a Reggae Twist
 Monty Alexander is a Grammy-nominated artist whose virtuosic skill at the keyboard and vibrant personality have been packing concert halls around the world for decades. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1944, Alexander moved to the States as a teenager and has since become an American jazz hero, having played alongside luminaries of the genre like Milt Jackson, Ray Brown, Quincy Jones, Frank Sinatra and others. But he still holds Jamaica dearly in his heart.  His vast discography, which reaches back to 1964, showcases a repertoire spanning a broad range of jazz and Jamaican musical expressions  — the American songbook and the blues, gospel and bebop, calypso and reggae. His latest album is Wareika Hill: RastaMonk Vibrations, a delightfully imaginative, unique and compelling interpretation of the music of Thelonious Monk. It’s been described as a “mind-boggling collective of classic Monk songs infused with a sensibility that melds the worlds of Jazz, Ska and Reggae into a unique melting pot of Monk with a twist.” It’s due out August 23 on MACD Records. In this episode, Monty tells about his childhood in Jamaica and discusses the immense influence that Jamaican musicians made on jazz. He also shares some of his favorite reggae artists and tells about the time he was discovered by Frank Sinatra in a small bar in Miami — while playing piano for a Frank Sinatra impersonator. Listen via the player above. 
43:15
August 3, 2019
10 Albums You Need to Know for July 2019
In this episode, JAZZIZ Backstage Pass host Brian Zimmerman is joined by JAZZIZ online editor Matt Micucci to present the 10 Albums You Need To Know for July 2019, featuring new records by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, saxophone icon Houston Person, former Béla Fleck and Flecktones member Jeff Coffin and trumpeter Kenyatta Beasley. We’ve also got the debut jazz album from Steven Van Zandt of the E Street Band. Also discussed in this wide-ranging podcast: Montreal’s finest poutine, the legacy of João Gilberto and Matt’s new catchphrase. Happy listening, everyone.
43:35
July 19, 2019
Gwilym Simcock of the Pat Metheny Quartet
We’re switching things up this week. Sitting in the host chair for this episode of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass is Michael Fagien, the founder and publisher of JAZZIZ Magazine. And he’s brought with him a very special guest. Gwilym Simcock is one of the best jazz players to come out of the U.K. in recent years, a winner of the prestigious Mercury Prize and the first musician of a jazz background to be named a BBC First Generation Artist. In February, he released a new solo piano album called Near and Now on ACT Music. Recorded at his home in Berlin, the album serves as an intimate showcase for Simcock’s musical style, which blends highly narrative compositions with vivid, exploratory improvisations. When he’s not playing shows with his own group, he’s on tour with legendary guitarist Pat Metheny, holding down the piano chair alongside Linda May Han Oh on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums. Michael talks about what it was like to work in such an iconic jazz ensemble and so much more.
44:33
July 13, 2019
Jamie Cullum Reinvents Himself...Again
 On this episode of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass, host Brian Zimmerman engages in a frank and wide-ranging discussion with pianist and vocalist Jamie Cullum, the best selling U.K. jazz artist of all time. It has been five years since the release of Jamie’s previous album, Interlude, and nearly 20 since the release of his first recording, Heard It All Before, for which he pressed just 500 copies. Now he’s out with a brand new record called Taller. It was released June 7 on Blue Note Records, and in many ways, it’s stylistic reinvention for the 39-year-old Grammy-nominated musician, fusing genres from his past and carrying with it a deeply personal message.   Cullum said the title came from an aspect of his relationship with his wife, the actress and writer Sophie Dahl. Cullum stands about 5 feet 5 inches; his wife is 6 feet tall. The title track of the album is all about measuring up emotionally and intellectually and how real stature has nothing to do with height at all. Thematically, the disc is far-reaching yet profoundly deep, with songs touching on social media, Brexit and the anxiety inherent in all creative projects. JAZZIZ spoke to Jamie via telephone while he was in London. And like all good Londoners, we pick up the conversation talking about — what else? — the weather.
36:31
June 28, 2019
10 Albums You Need To Know: June 2019
  In this episode, JAZZIZ Backstage Pass host Brian Zimmerman is joined by JAZZIZ online editor Matt Micucci to present the 10 Albums You Need To Know for June 2019, featuring new records by best-selling U.K. jazz artist Jamie Cullum, former Earth Wind & Fire frontman Philip Bailey and not one but two jazz harpists. And as a podcast exclusive, we even include a new flamenco album from piano master Chick Corea. Also discussed in this wide-ranging podcast: bad haircuts, balloon twisting and a hypothetical Justin Bieber jazz album. 
45:53
June 14, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Joel Ross
Even if you’re a casual jazz fan, it would be hard to ignore the buzz around Joel Ross. Just 23 years old, the vibraphonist recently released his debut album as a leader, KingMaker, and it’s already being hailed by jazz and pop critics alike as one of the best albums of the year. It’s a smart and self-assured statement, full of hypnotic grooves and intricate melodic structures. But the fact that it was released on the legendary Blue Note Records makes it a first impression for the ages.  In joining Blue Note, Ross becomes part of a storied lineage of vibraphone players that includes Milt Jackson, Bobby Hutcherson and Ross’ own mentor, Stefon Harris. Elite as that company may be, Ross is eager and equipped to join it. He possesses boundless skill and imagination, and he’s the type of artist who can push the music forward from the inside, merging tradition with innovation in an effort to arrive at someplace new yet familiar. 
35:15
May 27, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: 10 Albums You Need to Know for May 2019
 Welcome to another episode of JAZZIZ Backstage Pass. This week, we bring you the 10 Albums You Need to Know for May 2019, featuring new titles by vibraphone phenom Joel Ross, DJ-producer Flying Lotus, trumpeter Theo Croker and vocalist Camila Meza. In the episode, we also discuss co-host Brian Zimmerman’s recent trip to Australia for the International Jazz Day All-Star Global Concert, imaginary songs from Irving Berlin’s long-lost vault and why Bill Evans makes for an odd soundtrack at the gym. 
42:05
May 10, 2019
Tierney Sutton Takes Jazz to the Movies
 In this episode, JAZZIZ Backstage Pass host Brian Zimmerman sits down with Tierney Sutton, an eight-time Grammy-nominated jazz vocalist who has received a “Best Jazz Vocal Album” nomination for every project she has released in the last decade. Her latest project is the album Screenplay, on which the Tierney Sutton Band sets their sights on the wide-ranging panorama of film music. The ambitious 19-track project is being released in five installments.  The first was released in February and features the music of Alan and Marilyn Bergman. The second dials in on film music from 1939 to 1945. 
35:54
April 29, 2019
10 Albums You Need to Know: April 2019
Join JAZZIZ Editors Brian Zimmerman and Matt Micucci as they discuss the 10 albums you need to know for April 2019, featuring new titles by Norah Jones, Wynton Marsalis, Kendrick Scott Oracle, Mark Guiliana and more!
41:41
April 13, 2019
JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Steve Davis – The Last Jazz Messenger
 Trombonist Steve Davis has been a member of some of the most prestigious ensembles in jazz: Chick Corea’s Origins, the Jackie McLean Sextet, Benny Golson’s New Jazztet, the Christian McBride Big Band and the all-star collective One For All. But his biggest claim to fame may be that he was the last musician ever to be hired into Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. He even appeared on that legendary group’s final studio album, 1990’s One for All. Now, nearly 30 years later, Davis has released a new album, Correlations, on which the all-star trombonist has assembled a powerhouse group all his own. Released March 8 on Smoke Sessions Records, the album finds Davis at the helm of a new, multi-generational sextet that is packed with talent and loaded with potential. In this episode, we talk to Davis about the new CD and what he learned from leaders like Blakey and McLean (Hint: don’t hog the solo spotlight, but do wear the right jacket to the gig).
38:47
March 29, 2019
10 Albums You Need to Know: March 2019
In this podcast, JAZZIZ Backstage Pass host Brian Zimmerman is joined by online editor Matt Micucci to discuss the 10 Albums You Need to Know for March 2019. The full list of albums is below. To read the text version of this feature, click here. 
42:20
March 17, 2019
Emmet Cohen Links Jazz's Past and Present
 Emmet Cohen is a young pianist with a broad vision of jazz. He’s committed to what he calls the intergenerational transfer of artistic knowledge, history, and traditions. To that end, he’s embarked on a recording project he’s dubbed the “Masters Legacy Series,” a celebratory set of recordings and interviews honoring legendary jazz musicians.  He serves as both producer and pianist for each album in the series. And he’s just 28 years old.
28:07
February 28, 2019
Joe Lovano Is at Home on ECM
 Tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano may be best known for his long-running tenure at Blue Note Records, the label he’s called home since 1991. But within the same span, he’s also been a vital presence on the German label ECM, founded by renowned producer Manfred Eicher. It’s a relationship that stems back to 1981, when Lovano first appeared on drummer Paul Motian’s album Psalm. In the years since, the saxophonist would perform on albums by ECM luminaries like John Abercrombie, Steve Kuhn and Marc Johnson, but to this point, he has never recorded an ECM album under his own name.  That all changed on January 25, when ECM releases Trio Tapestry, a new album featuring Lovano in the leader role alongside pianist Marilyn Crispell and drummer Carmen Castaldi.  
29:15
February 28, 2019
Snarky Puppy's Mike "Maz" Maher
 Mike “Maz” Maher is a founding member of the Grammy-nominated band Snarky Puppy, a group that, since its beginnings in 2004, has made it its mission to smash genre walls and steer jazz in new directions. In 2016, Maz released the album Idealist on Snarky Puppy’s homegrown label GroundUP Music. It features his new band, also called Maz, and is bursting with influences from jazz to funk to indie-rock to pop. It also found him exhibiting a talent few fans knew he had: singing. 
32:16
February 28, 2019
10 Albums You Need to Know: February 2019
 In this podcast, JAZZIZ Online Editor Matt Micucci joins host Brian Zimmerman to discuss the 10 Albums You Need to Know About for February 2019. You may have come across this list as an article on our website, but we’re presenting it here — for the first time ever — as an audio podcast. Now you can hear these incredible albums yourself. Join us as we discuss and listen to new works by Chris Potter, Wadada Leo Smith, Keiko Matsui, Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom and more! 
40:56
February 14, 2019