The Jazz Session #184: Bryan Murray of Bryan And The Haggards

When one thinks of free jazz, one of the first names that springs to mind is that of Merle Haggard. And so, it’s perfectly natural that saxophonist Bryan Murray would have assembled a band to play free versions of Haggard’s songs. The result is the very engaging Pretend It’s The End Of The World (Hot Cup, 2010). In this interview, Murray talks about the inspiration for the record and how the band made the songs work in such a different context. Learn more at

The Jazz Session #180: Matt White of Fight The Big Bull

Guitarist Matt White and his band Fight The Big Bull are part of the creative music scene in Richmond, Virginia. Their new album All Is Gladness In The Kingdom (Clean Feed, 2010) features the playing and arrangements of Steven Bernstein, perhaps best known for his band Sex Mob. In this interview, White talks about the surprisingly fertile Richmond scene; how he came to work with Bernstein; and why a song from The Band ended up on the new record. Learn more at And be sure to listen to Dean Christesen and Matt White as they provide audio commentary for the entire album at the RVA Jazz site.

The Jazz Session #111: Diverse


The band Diverse consists of students from the University of Missouri at Kansas City. They all study with saxophonist Bobby Watson. They won a contest that included a recording contract with Origin Records, and the result is Diverse (Origin, 2009), a well-crafted selection of original music. In this interview, trumpeter Hermon Mehari talks about how the band got started; why they ended up playing some tunes in the contest that were written the same day as the performance; and what comes next now that they’ve made a record and opened for Roy Haynes. Learn more at

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