Thursday, November 16, 2023

Dischord @ Shfl

 A new survey of great/essential titles on the legendary Dischord label, published over at Shfl.

Thursday, September 07, 2023

Richard Davis

I'm hearing reports that Richard Davis has died. A musical titan and one of my biggest heroes in art. I just re-upped links to a 2010 radio tribute to him that my friend Russell Baker and I co-hosted on WKCR — see below. The show includes excerpts of a phone interview I conducted with Richard that year, in which he reflected on his work with Eric Dolphy, Van Morrison, Alan Dawson, Walt Dickerson, Bruce Springsteen and more.

He was such a lovely man, and his music will live forever.

Richard Davis - WKCR - I
Richard Davis - WKCR - II
Richard Davis - WKCR - III

Apologies for the poor audio quality of the interview segments — it was a phoner and I had to take what I could get. Hopefully those bits are still more or less intelligible.


And here's a second Richard Davis show, from later in 2010, that Russ and I co-hosted on WKCR, this time with Richard actually in studio with us. Per the format of WKCR's Wednesday night Musician's Show, he curated a fascinating selection of his more recent work, much of it unknown to me at the time, and offered his thoughts on the music and his collaborators during the breaks. 

Pardon the numerous and fairly arbitrary track divisions here — the CD-R I had this program stored on was formatted that way. But if you play it all in order, it should flow just fine. Enjoy!


 For more on Richard's role in the landmark Van Morrison album Astral Weeks, see this interview with producer Lewis Merenstein.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Peter Brötzmann interview, 2011

I'm reading reports that Peter Brötzmann has died. I haven't seen an official announcement, but his frequent collaborator Ken Vandermark has posted about it, which I'll take as confirmation of this terrible news.

I just want to say that his music has meant so much to me. He was a part of some of the most powerful sonic happenings I've ever heard live or on record. I've written a fair amount about him on this blog over the years. I was also fortunate enough to interview him a couple of times. The below is a conversation that originally ran on the Time Out New York blog in June of 2011, ahead of his appearance at the Vision Festival that year. I reached him via phone at home in Wuppertal, where he had recently performed, and he was so much fun to talk to — thoughtful, dryly funny and surprisingly warm. I'm posting this here for posterity, since it's long gone from the TONY site. 

Thank you for everything, Peter Brötzmann. 

Monday, May 01, 2023

'By Myself' rising

By Myself, the self-released unaccompanied solo LP by Abdul Wadud, is one of my favorite albums of all time, full stop. I'm thrilled that it's finally been reissued, and to have the opportunity to delve into the record and its story for The New York Times.

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Antti / Christian

A privilege to spend time — virtually and in-person, respectively — with two musicians I greatly admire:

-Antti Boman, mastermind of Demilich, a longtime obsession of mine, for Bandcamp Daily 

-Christian McBride, bassist and jazz ambassador extraordinaire, for the New York Times

Sunday, January 08, 2023


Proud to present an in-depth look at Emergency! by the Tony Williams Lifetime, via Pitchfork's Sunday Review. This record means a lot to me. Lifetime looms large in my ongoing Heavy Metal Bebop research — it's come up again and again in the various conversations I've had on the topic of the jazz/metal intersection. In some ways, it represents the birth of that concept: There was no jazz-rock, and then suddenly, with Emergency!, there it was*. 

Beyond its historical significance, the record also just completely kicks ass. I think a lot about the whole "musical time machine" question, i.e., what bygone act would you go back and witness if you had your pick. For me, lately, the original Lifetime — maybe at the October 1969 Ungano's run recalled by Herbie Hancock in the review — tops that list.

For a bit more on Lifetime, check out this John McLaughlin interview from a few years back.

*This phrasing is a bit hyperbolic. There were of course plenty of precursors. One I need to delve into more is Gary Burton — I found an interview where Tony specifically cited him as a genre-blending pioneer, and I've often heard Pat Metheny and Bill Frisell do the same. I don't know this body of work well, but I intend to remedy that!