Originally published on Fri March 22, 2013 1:02 pm
Canadian pianist, singer and songwriter Diana Krall grew up in a town called Nanaimo on Vancouver Island in British Columbia. Both her father (who collected jazz records and played a bit of stride piano) and her mother (also a pianist) encouraged her interest in jazz and exposed her to all of the great players. She began studying the piano at age 4 and had several small jazz groups while in high school.
When Chris Lightcap was a student in the Berkshires, he'd put his bass in his car and drive down the river to New York City, south on the Taconic to the Sawmill, over the Henry Hudson Bridge, up on a soaring bluff with a great view to the right of the New Jersey Palisades and George Washington Bridge and New York City coming up on the left. Right about there, Lightcap would ask himself, "What would it be like to live here?"
Stephan Crump's low-end theory will be familiar to fans of the world-renowned Vijay Iyer Trio, where Crump has discharged bass responsibilities for many years. Apart from his globetrotting and other sideman duties, he's also a composer, both for film and for his own bands. Of late, his best-known project has been the Rosetta Trio, featuring the dueling timbres of an electric guitarist and an acoustic foil.
Bassist Todd Sickafoose is heard often in two cities — his native San Francisco Bay Area and his adopted New York City. Ani DiFranco fans know his sound, too, as he worked with the singer-songwriter for the better part of a decade. In 2008, he released Tiny Resistors, a lushly textured record that put him on the map as a composer and bandleader. Swamped in horns and violin and twin guitars and rock rhythms, Tiny Resistors the band has become an expansive compositional outlet for Sickafoose.
If you ask saxophonist Charles Lloyd about his career in music, he'd start many decades ago, in the Memphis where he grew up and the Mississippi of his grandfather's farm. The South is where he absorbed the blues, picked up a saxophone and met the all-time great musicians who would shape his future course.
Originally published on Fri October 11, 2013 4:18 pm
As a child, singer Catherine Russell bounced on the knee of Louis Armstrong. Her father, Luis Russell, held the position of musical director for Armstrong, and her mother, Carline Ray, was trained at Juilliard and the Manhattan School of Music. It was only natural that Russell would choose a musical path for her own life.
Stacy Rowles once wrote a note to her father, pianist and composer Jimmy Rowles, stating: "Dear Dad, if you buy me a flugelhorn, I'll play the [expletive] out of it." Indeed she did, and she picked up singing, as well. A longtime mainstay on the Los Angeles jazz scene, Rowles worked with the all-female quintet the Jazzbirds, led by the late multi-instrumentalist Betty O'Hara, as well as the Jazz Tap Ensemble and the DIVA Big Band.