Rippingtons Interview and Review

Modern Art by the Rippingtons featuring Russ FreemanShannon West recently interviewed Rippingtons main man Russ Freeman at the SmoothViews site. Check out Freeman’s thoughts on composing, painting, balancing new songs with the classics when touring, what may be his favorite saxophone performance on a Rippingtons recording, and more. Shannon also reviewed the new Rippingtons recording Modern Art, saying “these are tight, short, melodic songs that give the musicians a lot of room to breathe and take some fascinating twists and turns along the way.”

I posted samples of two tracks from Modern Art last month. Check out that Try It Out Tuesdays post!

Marcus Miller Interview

Marcus from Marcus MillerJohn Luciano recently interviewed Marcus Miller for the site. Marcus talks about his new release, titled Marcus in the U.S., how he got his sound, the jazz industry today, and what’s coming up.

You can catch Marcus recorded live playing with Herbie Hancock, Joni Mitchell, DJ C-Minus, and others on Yahoo! on April 1. Herbie plays songs from River: The Joni Letters and his classic, signature songs including “Rockit!”

Interview: Marcus Miller

JL: Marcus, first of all, thank you for taking the time to speak with me this afternoon about your latest recording, Marcus. How do you decide when it’s time to enter the studio to record a new project?

MM: Well, for me, because I’ve got so many things going on, the way I decide to start a new one is when I’m finished with the last one. It takes me so long to finish a project because I’m doing movies, I’m all over the world, on the road, so I really have to start early, and it takes me about a year to put it all together.

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Interview: Four 80 East

This interview with Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace of Four80East was conducted by Sean Miller for his radio program Jazz Pulse.

Four80East was conceived by Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace in their Toronto-based studio as a departure from the commercial pop music that the duo had more typically produced. Radio airplay of their song “Eastside” led to the successful U.S. debut of the band’s first outing The Album in 1997. One decade later, Four80East has evolved from a studio project into a full-fledged band with performances planned throughout the states in summer of 2008. The band’s latest recording, En Route, was released in 2007.

Sean Miller: We’re talking with Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace of Four80East about the new release En Route. You’ve both experienced change as of late with both a new label home and a new recording studio. Is the title of the new disc meant to reflect upon these changes?

TG: Originally Rob thought maybe “Forthcoming” might make a decent title for the new record but I didn’t think it had enough punch to it. So we batted around a bunch of ideas and I thought the thing that sort of separated us this time around is that we’ve been doing live shows and we’re trying to get on the road with this. Besides all the other changes that have happened in our lives — we’ve got a bunch of kids between the two of us now and we’ve got a new studio location — the record industry sure has changed since Round 3 so we’ve had to change our course and direction in the business. I think En Route sort of captured that feeling we were having at the time we finished the record.

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Beyond the Sound Barrier from the Wayne Shorter Quartet

I can’t do a better job of describing or promoting Wayne Shorter’s latest release, Beyond the Sound Barrier, than this new interview with the man by Bill Milkowski at at the Abstract Logix site. What more can be said of the incredible abilities of Shorter and his quartet of Danilo Perez, John Patitucci, and Brian Blade? Pick up what is likely to win next year’s Best Contemporary Jazz Grammy (beating Metheny’s longform The Way Up) on the Verve label in stores today.