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.

The Jazz Session #18: Jason Moran

Jason Moran

Jason Crane interviews pianist Jason Moran at the 2007 Rochester International Jazz Festival. Moran came to play with two bands — his own Bandwagon and Don Byron’s Ivey Divey trio. Moran’s most recent CD is Artist In Residence (Blue Note, 2006), an album composed mostly of Moran’s commissioned works. Moran talks about philosopher Adrian Piper, pianist Jaki Byard, and his new commission to create a multimedia piece inspired by Thelonious Monk’s 1959 Town Hall concert. Find out more at JasonMoran.com.

Show #6: Misha Piatigorsky

misha small

Jason Crane interviews pianist Misha Piatigorsky. Misha fled with his family from Russia during the height of the Cold War and ended up in New Jersey. A classically trained pianist, he discovered jazz and fell in love with the music, ending up at Rutgers studying with Kenny Barron. He won the 2004 Thelonious Monk Composers Competition. He’s also the pianist and musical director for singing legend Mark Murphy. Misha’s new trio with bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Ari Hoenig is a fusion of hip-hop grooves with his non-traditional jazz compositions. Their new record is Uncommon Circumstance (MISHAMUSIC, 2007). Find out more at mishamusic.com.

Show #5: Toru Dodo

dodo small

Jason Crane interviews Japanese pianist Toru Dodo. Born in Tokyo, Dodo started playing piano at age 4, then gave up his dream of concert piano for the economics department at Tokyo’s Meiji University. He found jazz at Meiji, and eventually came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music. Since moving to New York City in 1998, Dodo has released three CDs and performed with Kenny Garret, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Ruth Brown and Terumasa Hino. His new album is Dodo 3 (Jazzcity, 2006). Find out more at torudodo.com.

Show #2: Luis Perdomo

perdomo small

Jason Crane interviews pianist Luis Perdomo. Since coming to New York from his native Venezuela, Perdomo has blossomed as a player. As a student at the Manhattan School of Music and at Queens College, he studied with pianists Harold Danko and Sir Roland Hanna. As a professional musician, he’s played with Ray Baretto, Ravi Coltrane, Miguel Zenon, Dafnis Prieto, and Timbalaye, to name a few. Perdomo’s adventurous new record is Awareness (RKM Music, 2006). It features his working trio of Hans Glawischnig on bass and Eric McPherson on drums, and on several tracks, an expanded group with bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Nasheet Waits. Find out more about Luis Perdomo at LuisPerdomoJazz.com.