The Jazz Session #24: Miroslav Vitous

Miroslav Vitous

Jason Crane interviews bassist Miroslav Vitous. Vitous came to the U.S. in 1966, and quickly became part of the New York jazz scene. He was a founding member of Weather Report along with Wayne Shorter and Joe Zawinul. Vitous played on the landmark trio session Now He Sings, Now He Sobs (Blue Note, 1968) with Chick Corea and Roy Haynes. Vitous’s new album is Universal Syncopations II (ECM, 2007), the sequel to his critically acclaimed Universal Syncopations (ECM, 2003). The album features trumpeter Randy Brecker, woodwind player Bob Mintzer, drummer Gerald Cleaver and many others.

TJS Cause of the Month: VH1 Save The Music Foundation

Every month, The Jazz Session asks you to take a little of your hard-earned cash and give it to folks who need it. This month’s cause:

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving elementary school children of all backgrounds and, diversities. In its capacity as a public charity, the Foundation operates in affiliation with, but separately from, VH1 the cable music channel.

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation provides a unique service in its efforts to improve the current state of education. The Foundation works directly to support only music education programs and does not provide any money to the school or school district. Instead, The Foundation provides complete band, string, keyboard, or guitar programs to benefiting schools. It is our belief that by providing instruments and not funding, our contribution will be used for its intended purpose: the restoration of public school music programs.

Please help these folks do what they do by visiting their Web site. Thanks!

The Jazz Session #23: Rick Parker

Rick Parker

Jason Crane interviews composer and trombonist Rick Parker. Parker’s most recent album with the Rick Parker Collective is Finding Space (WJF Records, 2006). It was named one of the top CDs of 2006 by Michael Ricci, publisher of All About Jazz. Parker sees himself as a composer first, trombonist second. His passion for writing shows on Finding Space, an album of original music by Parker (plus one number by drummer Kyle Struve). Parker won an ASCAP Young Composer Award for the album’s second track, “Nervous Energy.”

The Jazz Session #22: David Witham

David Witham

Jason Crane interviews keyboardist and composer David Witham. Witham is George Benson’s musical director, a gig he’s held down for more than 20 years. His resume includes everyone from Michael Brecker and Eddie Harris to k.d. lang, Jose Feliciano and Paul Anka. On his new album, Spinning The Circle (Cryptogramophone, 2007), Witham assembles an all-star cast from across the musical spectrum to play primarily his own compositions.