Tag Archives: Charles Mingus

Ep. #278: Jane Bunnett

Jane Bunnett is a world-renowned jazz musician and composer who lives in Toronto, Ontario. A Juno award winner and Grammy award nominee, Bunnett is a highly accomplished saxophonist and piano player well known for her incorporation of Cuban music and collaborations with Cuban musicians; her 1991 album, Spirits of Havana, is considered one of the greatest jazz records ever. Her group, Jane Bunnett and Maqueque, release their new album, Oddara, is out October 14 via Linus Entertainment and will be touring throughout Canada and the U.S. between September and November. Bunnett will be appearing at the Guelph Jazz Festival on September 16, as part of Song Everlasting, an all-star tribute to the late pianist, Don Pullen. Jane and I met on the terrace of her Toronto home recently to discuss raccoons, spices, the evolution of a rooming house in Parkdale, where goes the neighbourhood, chains, the Gardiner Expressway, the stupid annual Toronto Air Show, Yours to Discover, attending five different Toronto high schools after attending a free school, painting and clarinet, street tough, music in the family and a new house with a piano, sister Sarah, the youngest kids don’t seem to matter as much, big brother’s music collection, piano lessons and bailing, too much playing and jazz, off she went to San Francisco, Charles Mingus, The Colonial Tavern, Don Pullen, improvisation and the flute, Toronto’s New School of Music and Howard Spring, “Nostalgia in Times Square,” snobby record store employees, Toronto’s underappreciated history as a jazz mecca, Claude Ranger, Mark Miller, ahistorical, a range of instruments, the social aspect of music, Mexico and Cuba, discovering greatness in Santiago de Cuba and Havana in 1982, the great percussionist Guillermo Barreto, her partner and collaborator Larry Cramer, the stories behind her all-female Cuban group Maqueque and their new album Oddara, David Virelles, the spirit and fiery energy of a little girl, NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, remembering Don Pullen, In Dew Time, Ajay Heble, the esteemed ensemble playing this tribute, Howard Johnson and Saturday Night Live, the Maqueque song, “Dream,” and that was that.

Related links: janebunnett.com guelphjazzfestival.com vishkhanna.com

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Ep. #114: Nat Baldwin of Dirty Projectors

Nat Baldwin is a talented double-bassist, singer, and songwriter who originally hails from the state of New Hampshire but lives in Maine. Baldwin is a skilled musician who studied with jazz and improvised music giant Anthony Braxton and, for the past decade, he has been a member of the Brooklyn, NY band, Dirty Projectors. In 2011 Baldwin released People Changes, his second solo album, and this year brings us its captivating, lovely follow up, In the Hollows, which is available now via Western Vinyl. Baldwin has a couple of shows in Massachusetts later this month and he plays The Monarch in Toronto on July 24, Casa del Popolo in Montreal on July 25, and Guelph’s Hillside Festival on July 26. Here, Baldwin and I talk about Love Lane, training for a marathon you can’t run and making music, an injured achilles’ heel, losing control of your physicality, the late, American middle/long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine, Nat’s long history of connecting athletic iconography with the music he makes, running rhythms, process-oriented parallels between bands and basketball teams, learning how to play music at 18, running/reading/music regimens, underground literature networks, Barry Hannah, Blake Butler, Lindsay Hunter, Amelia Grey, the song “Cosmos Pose” and bodybuilding, death, playing in a wedding band, Nat’s dad’s band Ben Baldwin and the Big Note, Ray Charles, seeing the Moonbeams sing the national anthem at Celtics games at Boston Garden, Larry Bird, visiting French Lick Indiana and Larry Bird Boulevard, getting into Charles Mingus, Ornette Coleman, Charlie Haden, Cecil Taylor, Albert Ayler, Anthony Braxton, and other jazz heroes, loaning William Parker a dodgy bass amp, losing interest in music, double bass and voice songs, what’s new with Dirty Projectors and David Longstreth’s writing habits, the song “Knockout,” and then we cross the finish line.

Related links: westernvinyl.com/artists/natbaldwin.html vishkhanna.com


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