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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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January 10, 2016 Show: James Blood Ulmer

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Photo: James “Blood” Ulmer at the 2014 Vision Festival. | Joyce Jones. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Some Rights Reserved.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, January 10, 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 composer, guitarist and Blues man James Blood Ulmer, who is one of the artists lined up to be featured during the 2016 Winter Jazz Festival. This program will close out our series focusing on the festival, which starts on January 13.
 

 
James “Blood” Ulmer is one of the few exceptions — an outside guitarist who has forged a style based largely on the traditions of African-American vernacular music. Ulmer is an adherent of saxophonist/composer Ornette Coleman’s vaguely defined Harmolodic theory, which essentially subverts jazz’s harmonic component in favor of freely improvised, non-tonal, or quasi-modal counterpoint. Ulmer plays with a stuttering, vocalic attack; his lines are frequently texturally and chordally based, inflected with the accent of a soul-jazz tenor saxophonist. That’s not to say his sound is untouched by the rock tradition — the influence of Jimi Hendrix on Ulmer is strong — but it’s mixed with blues, funk, and free jazz elements. The resultant music is an expressive, hard-edged, loudly amplified hybrid that is, at its best, on a level with the finest of the Harmolodic school.
 
Ulmer began his career playing in funk bands, first in Pittsburgh (1959-1964) and later around Columbus, OH (1964-1967). Ulmer spent four years in Detroit before moving to New York in 1971. He landed a nine-month gig at the famed birthplace of bop, Minton’s Playhouse, and played very briefly with Art Blakey. In 1973, he recorded with the ex-John Coltrane drummer Rashied Ali and his Quintet on the Survival label. That same year, he hooked up with Ornette Coleman, whose concept affected Ulmer’s music thereafter. The guitarist’s recordings from the late ’70s and early ’80s exhibit a unique take on his mentor’s aesthetic. His blues and rock-tinged art was, if anything, more raw and aggressive than Coleman’s free jazz and funk-derived music (a reflection, no doubt, of Ulmer’s chosen instrument), but no less compelling from either an intellectual or an emotional standpoint. In 1981, Ulmer led the first of three record dates for Columbia, which helped to expose his music to a wider public. Around this time Ulmer began an association with tenor saxophonist David Murray, bassist Amin Ali, and drummer Ronald Shannon Jackson. As the Music Revelation Ensemble, this intermittent assemblage (with various other members added and subtracted) would produce a number of intense, free-blowing albums over a span of almost two decades.
 
Ulmer’s work has varied in quality over the years. In 1987, with the cooperative group Phalanx (George Adams, tenor sax; Sirone, bass; and Rashied Ali, drums), Ulmer drew successfully on the free jazz expressionism that made his name. His ’90s recordings with the Music Revelation Ensemble showed him still capable of playing convincingly in that vein.
 
Ulmer dug deeply into an investigation of the blues as the century turned. First he recorded Memphis Blood: The Sun Sessions with guitarist Veron Reid both performing and producing. The album also starred veteran Ulmer sideman Charles Burnham on violin. In 2003, Ulmer issued No Escape From the Blues, recorded at Electric Lady studio. A thoroughly psychedlic funky take on the genre, Reid and Burnham were present in the same roles once more, and old friend Olu Dara stopped in to contribute as well. In 2005, Blood released Birthright, on Joel Dorn’s Hyena label. It is easily his most intimate recording. Completely solo in the studio (Reid once again produced), it contains ten orignals and two covers of classic reportoire and takes Blood’s blues journey to an entirely new level.
 
Bio adapted from Allmusic.
 
Ulmer will take the stage during the first of the marathon nights at the Winter Jazz Festival on Friday, January 15, 9:00 p.m. at the New School Auditorium, 66 West 12 Street.
 
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.
 
The 2016 Winter Jazz Fest runs from January 13-17 at several locations in Greenwich Village. See the full schedule and artist lineup at their website. Head on over to our blog for previews, our annual cheat sheet to selected acts, and a full review when it wraps up.
 
Web Extras
 
Watch Ulmer perform live at the 2015 Skopje Jazz Festival.
 

 
Watch Ulmer perform “Are you Glad to be in America” live.
 

 
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 12/27/15 Show: Winter Jazz Fest/ Julian Lage

Julian_Lage
Photo: Julian Lage. | Mike Bouchard via Flickr. Creative Commons CC BY-NC-ND 2.0, Some Rights Reserved.
 
The next show will air on Sunday, December 27, 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 composer and guitarist Julian Lage, who is one of the artists lined up to be featured during the 2016 Winter Jazz Festival held in January. This program is a second in the series that Suga’ will focus on the 2016 Winter Jazz Festival.
 

 
Julian Lage is somewhat of a child prodigy — playing his instrument at the age of five and performing in public a year later. Shortly thereafter, Lage began playing with such renowned artists as Carlos Santana (when he was only eight years old!), Pat Metheny, Kenny Werner, Toots Thielemans, Martin Taylor, and David Grisman, among others, resulting in Lage being the subject of the 1997 Academy Award-nominated documentary film Jules at Eight. In addition to performing, Lage has recorded as a duo with Grisman (the 1999 release Dawg Duos), and contributed a fine cover of “In a Sentimental Mood” with Martin Taylor and David Grisman, to the 2000 compilation Acoustic Disc: 100% Handmade Music, Vol. 5. Lage has also appeared at numerous jazz concerts/festivals, including the St. Louis Jazz Festival, the Monterey Jazz Festival, and the San Francisco Jazz Festival, and even performed at the 2000 Grammy Awards. In 2009, Lage released his debut solo album, Sounding Point, on Emarcy. The album was widely celebrated as the arrival of a new and authoritative voice on the instrument.
 
This was followed by the concept offering Gladwell in 2011. He fronted a quintet that featured bassist Jorge Roeder, tenor saxophonist Dan Blake, cellist Aristides Rivas, and drummer/percussionist Tupac Mantilla.
 
Lage switched labels for the 2013 Free Flying release on Palmetto Records. It was recorded in duet with pianist Fred Hersch.
 
The duo format apparently agreed with Lage, though its focus shifted a bit. In 2014 he issued two such albums; the first was Avalon with guitarist Chris Eldridge. Produced by the Milk Carton Kids’ Kenneth Pattengale, it contained bluegrass, folk, jazz, and classic pop standards; the pair called it a “love letter to the acoustic guitar.” In late November, Room, with fellow jazz guitarist Nels Cline, appeared on Mack Avenue. Its focus was on a range of material, from intricately composed and complex works to free and spontaneous improvisations.
 
Lage’s most recent release is a solo guitar recording titled World’s Fair on Modern Lore Records in February 2015. Many of these selections will be played during his set as he opens for Channeling Coltrane: Rova’s Electric Ascension during the closing evening of the Winter Jazz Festival on Sunday, January 17.
 
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.
 
The 2016 Winter Jazz Fest runs from January 13-17 at several locations in Greenwich Village. See the full schedule and artist lineup at their website. The next Suga’ show will feature our final installment of artists at the festival with guitarist James “Blood” Ulmer. Head on over to our blog for previews, our annual cheat sheet to selected acts, and a full review when it wraps up.
 
Web Extras
 
Watch Lage perform live at the 2012 Winter Jazz Fest.
 

 
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 2/8/2015 show: Marc Ribot

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Photo: Marc Ribot at the 2015 Winter Jazz Fest.| Hank Williams. Creative Commons licensed. Some Rights Reserved.

The next show will air on Sunday, February 8, 2014 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 an interview with guitarist Marc Ribot. You can hear a short preview below.

Marc Ribot (pronounced REE-bow) was born in Newark, New Jersey in 1954. As a teen, he played guitar in various garage bands while studying with his mentor, Haitian classical guitarist and composer Frantz Casseus. After moving to New York City in 1978, Ribot was a member of the soul/punk Realtones, and from 1984 – 1989, of John Lurie’s Lounge Lizards. Between 1979 and 1985, Ribot also worked as a side musician with Brother Jack McDuff, Wilson Pickett, Carla Thomas, Rufus Thomas, Chuck Berry, and many others.

Rolling Stone points out that “Guitarist Marc Ribot helped Tom Waits refine a new, weird Americana on 1985’s “Rain Dogs”, and since then he’s become the go-to guitar guy for all kinds of roots-music adventurers: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss, Elvis Costello, John Mellencamp.” Additional recording credits include Soloman Burke, Neko Case, Diana Krall, Beth Orton, Marianne Faithful, Arto Lindsay, Caetano Veloso, Laurie Anderson, Susana Baca, McCoy Tyner, The Jazz Passengers, Medeski, Martin & Wood, Cibo Matto, Jamaaladeen Tacuma, James Carter, Vinicio Capposella (Italy), Auktyon (Russia), Vinicius Cantuaria, Sierra Maestra (Cuba), Alain Bashung (France), Marisa Monte, Allen Ginsburg, Madeleine Peyroux, Sam Phillips, and more recently Joe Henry, Allen Toussaint, Norah Jones, Akiko Yano, The Black Keys, Jeff Bridges, Jolie Holland, Elton John/Leon Russell and many others. Ribot frequently collaborates with producer T Bone Burnett, most notably on Alison Krauss and Robert Plant’s Grammy Award winning “Raising Sand” and regularly works with composer John Zorn.

Ribot has released over 20 albums under his own name over a 35-year career, exploring everything from the pioneering jazz of Albert Ayler with his group Spiritual Unity (Pi Recordings), to the Cuban son of Arsenio Rodríguez with two critically acclaimed releases on Atlantic Records under Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos. His avant power trio/post-rock band, Marc Ribot’s Ceramic Dog (Pi Recordings), continues the lineage of his earlier experimental no-wave/punk/noise groups Rootless Cosmopolitans (Island Antilles) and Shrek (Tzadik). Ribot’s solo recordings include Marc Ribot Plays The Complete Works of Frantz Casseus (Les Disques Du Crepuscule), John Zorn’s The Book of Heads (Tzadik), Don’t Blame Me (DIW), Saints (Atlantic), Exercises in Futility (Tzadik), and his latest Silent Movies released in 2010 on Pi Recordings was described as a “down-in-mouth-near master piece” by the Village Voice and has landed on several Best of 2010 lists including the LA Times and critical praise across the board. 2013 saw the release of “Your Turn” (Northern Spy), the sophomore effort from Ribot’s post-rock/noise trio Ceramic Dog, and 2014 saw the monumental release: Marc Ribot Trio Live at the Village Vanguard (Pi Recordings), documenting Ribot’s first headline and the return of Henry Grimes at the historical venue in 2012 already included on Best of 2014 lists including Downbeat Magazine and NPR’s 50 Favorites.

Ribot has performed on scores such as “The Kids Are All Right,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Walk The Line (Mangold),” “Everything is Illuminated,” and “The Departed” (Scorcese).” Marc has also composed original scores including the French film Gare du Nord (Simon), the PBS documentary “Revolucion: Cinco Miradas,” the film “Drunkboat,” starring John Malkovich and John Goodman, a documentary film by Greg Feldman titled “Joe Schmoe,” a feature film by director Joe Brewster titled “The Killing Zone”, and dance pieces “In as Much as Life is Borrowed”, by famed Belgian choreographer, Wim Vandekeybus, and Yoshiko Chuma’s “Altogether Different”. Marc is also currently touring his live solo guitar score to Charlie Chaplin’s “The Kid”, which was commissioned by the NY Guitar Festival and premiered Jan 2010 at Merkin Hall, as well as a program of new arrangements of classic Film Noir scores commissioned by the New School Noir Arts Festival 2011.

Ribot is currently touring with several projects including the Marc Ribot Trio, a free jazz group featuring legendary bassist Henry Grimes and Chad Taylor on drums, his power trio Ceramic Dog with bassist Shahzad Ismaily and drummer Ches Smith, the Philly soul meets the harmolodics of Ornette Coleman’s The Young Philadelphians with Jamaaladeen Tacuma and Calvin Weston, and with Caged Funk, a project of funk arrangements of John Cage’s music featuring Bernie Worrell of Parliament Funkadelic fame.

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.

Ribot will be appearing at the Village Vanguard on February 11, 13, and 15th with a variety of ensembles, including John Zorn.

Announcement: Suga’ in My Bowl’s live event–Who Owns Music?–lands the Raw Space in Harlem at 2031 Adam Clayton Powell Boulevard (between 121-122nd Sts.) on Wednesday February 18th 2015. Bassist William Parker, Grammy nominated vocalist René Marie, Jazzmobile and WBGO Radio’s Sheila Anderson, writer/poet Quincy Troupe, and saxophonist/Sista’s Place musical director Ahmed Abdullah converge to answer the question of who owns music and what that means for the future of jazz. It’s a WBAI fundraiser and entry is $15 at the door or a $25 pledge including a year’s WBAI membership! More details on the site soon, but save that date!

Web Extras:

Read our review of the 2015 Winter Jazz Fest with coverage of Ribot and the Young Philadelphians on our blog.

Read the info on the Content Creator’s Coalition mentioned by Marc Ribot on tonight’s show and Zoe Keating’s fight against Google/YouTube’s attempt to strongarm musicians with their new policies.

Watch the Ribot Trio with Henry Grimes and Chad Taylor live in London.



Watch Ribot and the Young Philadelphians tear the roof off the sucka’ live at the 2015 Winter Jazz Fest!



Watch Ribot and Caged Funk live in this short clip from European TV.

Sunday, 3/9/14 Show: Catherine Russell

catherine russell bring-crop_sm

The next show will air on Sunday, March 9th, 2013 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. During this installment, Suga’ in My Bowl covers the second of four women in different areas of this music during its four weeks of broadcasting in Women’s History Month. This week’s guest is vocalist, guitarist and mandolin player Catherine Russell.

Catherine Russell is a native New Yorker, born into musical royalty. Her father, the late Luis Russell, was born in Panama, emigrated to New Orleans and then New York City, becoming a legendary pianist/bandleader/arranger/composer, and Louis Armstrong’s long-time collaborator and musical director. Her mother, Carline Ray, was a pioneering bassist/guitarist/vocalist and holder of advanced degrees from Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music, who performed with International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Mary Lou Williams, and Ruth Brown. Not surprisingly considering her pedigree, Catherine Russell is a one of a kind musician and vocalist. A graduate of American Academy of Dramatic Arts, Catherine has toured the world, performing and recording with David Bowie, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, Jackson Browne, Michael Feinstein, Levon Helm, Paul Simon, Rosanne Cash, Carrie Smith, and many others.

Since the 2006 release of her debut album, Cat, on Harmonia Mundi’s World Village label, Catherine Russell has been making new fans and friends.

Three acclaimed and chart topping albums have followed. Her sophomore release in 2008, Sentimental Streak, was helmed by Grammy winning producer/multi-instrumentalist Larry Campbell, winning a prestigious German Record Critics Award.

Her third album, Inside This Heart of Mine released in 2010, contains gems from the 1920’s through the Present, from the likes of Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Louis Armstrong, Peggy Lee, Maxine Sullivan, Wynonie Harris, Howlin’ Wolf, Rachelle Garniez, and Catherine’s dad, Luis Russell. Inside This Heart of Mine showcases the ever-deepening interpretive wiles of Catherine Russell’s ripe, honey-dipped alto as she personifies the living heart and proud history of each song.

Strictly Romancin’, released in 2012, is a paean to natural attractions; to a lover, an art form, and to one’s family heritage. Our faithful heroine explores love’s foibles, failures, and bliss, from amorous to humorous, embodying the lost art of song savvy, inhabiting the lyric, and allowing each melody to shine. On this 14 song collection, this ever soulful jazz/blues vocalist takes us on a journey; from Harlem dance hall, to Parisian Café, to Store Front Church, to New Orleans Gin Joint, to Uptown Cabaret, blurring distinctions between the carnal and the eternal, in a musical tour de force.

Ms. Russell has performed on three continents, and been a hit on major Jazz Festivals including, Montreal, Monterey, Newport, North Sea, Bern International, Charlie Parker, JazzAscona, Rochester, Detroit International, Tanglewood, Lotus World Music, Panama, I Love Jazz – Brazil, and at sold out shows at premier venues like The Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., Sculler’s in Boston, The Dakota in Minneapolis, Yoshi’s in San Francisco, Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, and The Pasadena Pops in Los Angeles.

In 2012, she won a Grammy Award for her appearance as a featured artist on the soundtrack album for the HBO TV series Boardwalk Empire. In 2013, Russell was heard prominently on the soundtrack for the movie Kill Your Darlings, starring Daniel Radcliffe as a young Allen Ginsberg.

Catherine’s 5th album, Bring It Back was released on February 11, 2014 on the Jazz Village label, a new imprint from Harmonia Mundi. With her new album, Russell digs deeper into a rich vein of musical treasures. Mining collaborations between her legendary father, Luis Russell, and the great Louis Armstrong, Russell brings along the same team from her two previous chart-topping albums. Gems from the Jazz Age and Swing Era performed with new arrangements for 10 piece orchestra, blend seamlessly with reinventions sourced from Blues icons Esther Phillips, Al Hibbler, Wynonie Harris, and Little Willie John.

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.

Show produced, engineered, edited, and hosted by Joyce Jones.

Web Extras:

Information on the 1948 musicians’ strike is on Wikipedia and in a longer article in the Wall Street Journal (may require a WSJ subscription).

Sunday 12/15 Show: Pat Metheny

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Pat Metheny. Photo credit: Flickr user Steevithak/ Creative Commons licensed.

Reminder: Suga’ in My Bowl now airs weekly on WBAI, except for the last Sunday of the month! Please update your calendars, pass the word on to friends, and share on social media if you like the show.

The next show will air on Sunday December 15, 2013 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 installment of the program will feature an encore presentation of a 2010 interview with the incredibly versatile guitarist, composer, and bandleader Pat Metheny. It’s a fund drive special, so we’ll be offering the interview and one of Metheny’s CDs as as thanks for a pledge to the station.

Pat Metheny was born in Kansas City on August 12, 1954 into a musical family. Starting on trumpet at the age of 8, Metheny switched to guitar at age 12. By the age of 15, he was working regularly with the best jazz musicians in Kansas City, receiving valuable on-the-bandstand experience at an unusually young age. Metheny first burst onto the international jazz scene in 1974. Over the course of his three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton, the young Missouri native already displayed his soon-to-become trademarked playing style, which blended the loose and flexible articulation customarily reserved for horn players with an advanced rhythmic and harmonic sensibility – a way of playing and improvising that was modern in conception but grounded deeply in the jazz tradition of melody, swing, and the blues. With the release of his first album, Bright Size Life (1975), he reinvented the traditional “jazz guitar” sound for a new generation of players. Throughout his career, Metheny has continued to re-define the genre by utilizing new technology and constantly working to evolve the improvisational and sonic potential of his instrument.

Metheny joined us via telephone for an hourlong wide-ranging interview before a rare week-long stint at New York’s Blue Note with bassist Larry Grenadier. Metheny talks about his use of electronics in music, the art of improvisation, his innovative Orchestrion releases and tours, his stint teaching at the prestigious Berklee College of Music as a teenager, and much more. We’ll play excerpts of the interview and music from the entire spectrum of his incredibly prolific career.

What's.It.All.About.Pat.MethenyWe’ll also share cuts from his 2010 What’s It All About solo release, which we’ll be offering along with a copy of the full interview for people who donate to WBAI. All About Jazz‘s Nenad Georgevski calls it “an essential record” in his positive review, noting that “Metheny impresses more with subtlety and melodic logic than with firecrackers. In the end, he has made a record that can lure the listener into emotional spaces that enchant, seduce and delight.”

Please join us and help keep this listener-supported experiment alive. WBAI. Donate to WBAI or pledge for the CD set if you can, but be sure to join us for Suga’ in My Bowl’s latest musical trip!

See the full track list and info on What’s it All About on Allmusic.

Engineered and Produced by Joyce Jones. Hosted by Arts Producers Joyce Jones and Hank Williams.

Web extras:

Watch Metheny play a solo version of “Into the Dream” with the Pikasso 42 string guitar.



In memory of the recently deceased guitar great Jim Hall, watch them perform together live with (former Suga’ guest) bassist Christian McBride.

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