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Sunday 11/12/2017 Show: Bill Frisell

PhotoBill Frisell @ the 2010 Moers Festival | © Michael Hoefner. Some Rights Reserved by creator. Creative Commons CC-NC-BY-ND.

The next show will air on Sunday, November 11, 2017 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.orgThis broadcast features an interview with guitarist and composer Bill Frisell, who’s the subject of filmmaker Emma Franz‘s new film Bill Frisell: A Portrait, which screens on Wednesday, November 15, as part of the DOC NYC Film Festival. We’ll also have a short chat with Franz about the film.

Born in Baltimore, Bill Frisell played clarinet throughout his childhood in Denver, Colorado. His interest in guitar began with his exposure to pop music on the radio. Soon, the Chicago Blues became a passion through the work of Otis Rush, B.B. King, Paul Butterfield and Buddy Guy. In high school, he played in bands covering pop and soul classics, James Brown and other dance material. Later, Frisell studied music at the University of Northern Colorado before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied with John Damian, Herb Pomeroy and Michael Gibbs. In 1978, Frisell moved for a year to Belgium where he concentrated on writing music. In this period, he toured with Michael Gibbs and first recorded with German bassist Eberhard Weber. Bill moved to the New York City area in 1979 and stayed until 1989. He now lives in Seattle.

“When I was 16, I was listening to a lot of surfing music, a lot of English rock. Then I saw Wes Montgomery and somehow that kind of turned me around. Later, Jim Hall made a big impression on me and I took some lessons with him. I suppose I play the kind of harmonic things Jim would play but with a sound that comes from Jimi Hendrix”, Frisell told Wire. Frisell also lists Paul Motian, Thelonious Monk, Aaron Copland, Bob Dylan, Miles Davis and his teacher, Dale Bruning, as musical influences.

Bill recorded his first two albums as a leader on ECM, both produced by Manfred Eicher. Subdued and lyrical in nature, In Line, the first of the ECM recordings, employed both electric and acoustic guitars in a series of solos (including some overdubbing) and duets with bassist Arild Andersen. Second was Rambler, featuring Kenny Wheeler, Bob Stewart, Jerome Harris and Paul Motian.

After 22 years of a fruitful relationship with Nonesuch records dating from the late ’80’s, Frisell has embarked on an exciting new chapter with the Savoy Label Group. For his first album for the label, Beautiful Dreamers features a trio Eyvind Kang on viola and Rudy Royston on drums. The material consists of a number of Frisell originals plus interpretations of such classic songs as “It’s Nobody’s Fault But Mine”, “Tea for Two”, “Goin’ Out of My Head”, “Keep on the Sunnyside” and a rousing rendition of Benny Goodman’s “Benny’s Bugle”.

Frisell’s third album for Okeh/Sony is the Grammy-nominated When You Wish Upon a Star, a project that germinated at Lincoln Center during Frisell’s two-year appointment as guest curator for Lincoln Center’s Roots of Americana series. It features Frisell with vocalist Petra Haden, Eyvind Kang (viola), Thomas Morgan (bass) and Rudy Royston (drums) performing Frisell’s arrangements and interpretations of Music from Film and Television.

Frisell’s latest release is a duet with Thomas Morgan on ECM titled Small Town.

(Bio adapted from Frisell’s website)

We will open the program with an announcement from Blues Woman and former Suga’ guest Alexis P. Suter with an announcement about a November 21 benefit concert at BB King’s to help Hurricane Maria survivors.

This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Bill Frisell: A Portrait opens on December 6 at IFC Center in New York City. Keep an eye on the film’s Facebook page for additional screenings.

Bill Frisell will be at the Jazz Standard from December 7-10. See his website for additional dates and appearances where you live.

Web Extras:

Watch Frisell’s trio in this 2017 live clip from Buenos Aires.

Watch Frisell play with drummer Ginger Baker and bassist Charlie Haden in this live clip from 1993.

Watch Frisell with saxophonist John Zorn and Naked City in this live clip.

Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

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Sunday 11/13/2016 Show: Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary

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Photo: John Coltrane. Courtesy of DOC NYC.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, November 13, 2016 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast features interviews with DOC NYC Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos and veteran documentarian John Scheinfeld, who is behind the film Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary. The NYC premiere of Chasing Trane will screen on the closing night of DOC NYC, which takes place from November 10-17, 2017.
 

 
Saxophonist, composer and tireless innovator John Coltrane expanded the frontiers of the jazz idiom, introducing elements from musical traditions the world over. From his magnum opus A Love Supreme to his magical cover of “My Favorite Things,” Coltrane always pushed his music to search deeper and farther. That he accomplished everything he did before his death at age 40 is at once heartbreaking and inspiring.
 
In Chasing Trane, veteran documentarian John Scheinfeld (The U.S. vs. John Lennon) explores the life and work of this singular artist. The film makes inspired use of archive materials, animated murals, readings of Coltrane’s own words by Denzel Washington and a wealth of new interviews. The list of participants is catnip for music lovers: jazz elder statesmen Wayne Shorter, Sonny Rollins and Reggie Workman; rock legends Carlos Santana and John Densmore; and younger artists such as Common and Kamasi Washington. Scheinfeld also speaks with critic Ben Ratliff, philosopher Cornel West and Coltrane fan Bill Clinton. Their testimonies are eloquent, but there are moments when they fall speechless, reminding us that such powerful music touches something that is beyond words.
 
We will also spend a moment with DOC NYC Director of Programming Basil Tsiokos. Find out more about DOC NYC and get the schedule at their website.
 
Film summary adapted from the DOC NYC website.
 
This program is hosted, engineered, produced, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
 
Chasing Trane will be shown at 7 PM on Thursday November 17 at the SVA Theater in Manhattan as part of the 2016 DOC NYC Festival
 
Web Extra
 
Watch the trailer for Chasing Trane.
 

 
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 2/21/2016 Show: Mavis Staples Documentary/ Jessica Edwards

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Photo: Mavis Staples | All Rights Reserved.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, February 21, 2015 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast will feature an interview with director and producer Jessica Edwards, who will discuss her latest feature titled Mavis!, which screens at Village East Cinema for only ONE WEEK on February 19 through February 25. We will also connect the generations of message music with a brief discussion with composer, vocalist, producer and curator Toshi Reagon.
 

 
Mavis! is the first feature documentary on gospel/soul music legend and civil rights icon Mavis Staples and her family group, The Staple Singers. From the freedom songs of the ’60s and hits like I’ll Take You There in the ’70s, to funked-up collaborations with Prince and her recent albums with Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, Mavis has stayed true to her roots, kept her family close, and inspired millions along the way.
 
Featuring powerful live performances, rare archival footage, and conversations with friends and contemporaries, MAVIS! reveals the struggles, successes, and intimate stories of her journey. At 75, she’s making the most vital music of her career, winning Grammy awards, and reaching a new generation of fans. Her message of love and equality is needed now more than ever.
 
Toshi Reagon will curate a fifth year of the Women’s Jazz and Blues Festival at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, New York Public Library on Mondays in March during Women’s “Herstory” Month.
 
 
Bio adapted from the Mavis! Film website.
 
This program is engineered, produced, hosted and edited by Joyce Jones.
 
Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.
 
Web Extras
 
Watch the trailer for the Mavis! documentary film.
 

 
Hank Williams is assistant producer for Suga’ in My Bowl and produces the weekly “On the Bandstand” segment as well as running the show’s website and blog, where he has reviewed several jazz festivals. His writing has also appeared in Left Turn magazine and American Music Review. He teaches at Lehman and Hunter colleges in the City University of New York system.

Sunday 7/12/15 Show: Nina Simone

Nina_Header

The next show will air on Sunday, July 12, 2015 from 11:00 PM – 1:00 AM Monday Eastern Standard Time on WBAI, 99.5 FM in the NYC metro area or streaming online at wbai.org. This broadcast will feature an interview with filmmaker Liz Garbus; the writing of poet Pamela Sneed; and a conversation with Nina Simone’s brother, educator, bandmate and once manager Sam Waymon. We have included Mary Phillips, Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies at The City University of New York (CUNY)-Lehman College to discuss Black Power Feminism in relation to Simone’s political significance.

This show will use Garbus’s documentary film What Happened, Miss Simone? as a springboard to discuss Simone’s life, art, and politics and expand on what’s in the film.

Born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Carolina on February 21st, 1933, Simone’s prodigious talent as a musician was evident early on when she started playing piano by ear at the age of three. Her mother, a Methodist minister, and her father, a handyman and preacher himself, couldn’t ignore young Eunice’s God-given gift of music. Raised in the church on the straight and narrow, her parents taught her right from wrong, to carry herself with dignity, and to work hard. She played piano – but didn’t sing – in her mother’s church, displaying remarkable talent early in her life. Able to play virtually anything by ear, she was soon studying classical music with an Englishwoman named Muriel Mazzanovich, who had moved to the small southern town. It was from these humble roots that Eunice developed a lifelong love of Johann Sebastian Bach, Chopin, Brahms, Beethoven and Schubert. After graduating valedictorian of her high school class, the community raised money for a scholarship for Eunice to study at Julliard in New York City before applying to the prestigious Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia. Her family had already moved to the City Of Brotherly Love, but Simone’s hopes for a career as a pioneering African American classical pianist were dashed when the school denied her admission. To the end, she herself would claim that racism was the reason she did not attend. While her original dream was unfulfilled, Eunice ended up with an incredible worldwide career as Nina Simone – almost by default.

To survive, she began teaching music to local students. One fateful day in 1954, looking to supplement her income, Simone auditioned to sing at the Midtown Bar & Grill on Pacific Avenue in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Word spread about this new singer and pianist who was dipping into the songbooks of Gershwin, Cole Porter, Richard Rodgers, and the like, transforming popular tunes of the day into a unique synthesis of jazz, blues, and classical music. Her rich, deep velvet vocal tones, combined with her mastery of the keyboard, soon attracted club goers up and down the East Coast. In order to hide the fact that she was singing in bars, Eunice’s mother would refer to the practice as “working in the fires of hell”, overnight Eunice Waymon became Nina Simone by taking the nickname “Nina” meaning “little one” in Spanish and “Simone” after the actress Simone Signoret.

When Nina Simone died on April 21, 2003, she left a timeless treasure trove of musical magic spanning over four decades from her first hit, the 1959 Top 10 classic “I Loves You Porgy,” to “A Single Woman,” the title cut from her one and only 1993 Elektra album. While thirty-three years separate those recordings, the element of honest emotion is the glue that binds the two together – it is that approach to every piece of work that became Simone’s uncompromising musical trademark.

By the end of her life, Simone was enjoying an unprecedented degree of recognition. Her music was enjoyed by the masses due to the CD revolution, discovery on the Internet, and exposure through movies and television. Simone had sold over one million CDs in the last decade of her life, making her a global catalog best-seller.

Bio excerpt courtesy of www.ninasimone.com.

Show engineered, produced, hosted, and edited by Joyce Jones. Listen for our On the Bandstand segment with NYC metro area appearances of Suga’ guests at the end of the first hour with Associate Producer Hank Williams.

Web Extras

Watch the trailer for the Liz Garbus documentary film What Happened, Miss Simone?

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