Mike Brannon

Mike Brannon

"Without some discomfort there is no growth."

Witness an album like "Wide Open Spaces" and you'll know what this means. There's certainly no discomfort in listening to it. It’s an anthem to the restlessness that drives improvisational music to those unquantifiable, unexpected qualities that make it unique and alive, often surprising even its purveyors as they create it.

Michael Formanek is a musician/composer first and bassist by choice. Or as he said, "It chose me." He has had the fortu …

When Miles decided to come off a nearly seven year hiatus two decades ago to put together his "final" super band, a then unknown Bill Evans was chosen for the tenor/soprano chair as a foil to Davis' often-somber trumpet. As always, Miles was picky. It wasn't just anyone he'd allow to share his stage night after night. Though there are unreleased Columbia recordings throughout the mid 70's and into 1980, he went through quite a few lineups that were created for him to which he'd usually only list …
Steve Swallow may not be a household word, at least in most households, but if you've listened to contemporary jazz over the last thirty years, you've likely heard him on one side of the studio glass or the other. Swallow's not just a great and very unique electric jazz bassist but also a trusted producer of sessions which have included the likes jazz guitar icons Metheny, Scofield, Frisell and Goodrick. Beyond this, he is also an often covered composer in his own right (even pianist Bill Evans …
If you don't know drummer Danny Gottleib or you know him from only the earliest incarnations of the Pat Metheny Group, there's a lot you don't know about this talented, multi-faceted musician. Not complacent to rest on past laurels of any kind, Gottleib currently juggles percussion duties with more groups and ensembles than many work with in a lifetime, seeing it all optimistically, as a welcomed challenge. A rare attitude that pervades his work and beyond and which is carried to all who he come …
Sometimes a new face just seems to come out of the blue. A talent that wasn't there one moment and just then was the next. For Debbie Deane...it was the usual 10+ year 'overnight' success that just appeared to be instantaneous. Judging from those she chose to accompany her on her maiden voyage, she did it right though.

When she's not performing with her regular trio in Brooklyn or solo in NY or on the west coast, she writes (adding to the fifty odd originals she performs) and teaches mu …
Think of all the performers you know who've performed or recorded with Wayne Shorter, Pat Metheny, Gary Burton, Mike Stern, John Scofield and John McGlaughlin. Ok, what about adding Andy Summers, Enrique Iglasias and Stan Getz plus one who runs his own label for which he does his own solo piano and group recordings as well as records other like minded artists? To most musicians and many jazz fans he needs no introduction, it could be only one person: pianist Mitch Forman. Mike Brannon was fortun …
JazzReview.com: Can you discuss your original influences and what drew you to the drums?

Peter Erskine: I've wanted to play the drums as far back as I can recall. The first music that I can remember listening to included recordings my father had of Art Blakey, Henry Mancini, Tito Puente, Esquivel (!), Julie London, Les Baxter, Martin Denny (!) and the Stan Kenton Orchestra. I began taking drum lessons at the age of five, and my teacher introduced me to the drumming of Phill …
If you had to choose one living musician who has pioneered the current state and techniques of his instrument, championed jazz education and performed with most of the current crop of established, contemporary jazz artists (Chick, Metheny, Jarrett, Herbie) plus has 'discovered' and been instrumental in bringing up new leaders in his own bands (Metheny, Makoto Ozone, Tommy Smith, etc), that would be Gary Burton. First heard on record at 17 on the now legendary Columbia recording with country sess …
29.01.2011

Hit The Road Jack

Published in Concert Reviews

The tour supporting "That's What I Say: John Scofield Plays The Music of Ray Charles" is sort of a full circle journey for guitarist Scofield, as he's played the music since he was a child. And though Scofield has always been a soul/funk/blues aficionado, this is his first tribute effort of this kind and it is a classic. Some music is just universal and Charles left a long, deep legacy of groove, lyric and phrasing alike. None of this legacy or vibrancy is lost on this band. They channel

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