A document of our time, as well as an exploration into a celebrated career, Venezuelan pianist and composer, Edward Simon joins us.
Now based in the San Francisco Bay Area, but long associated through his work with the all-star SF JAZZ Collective, Simon is celebrating over 30 years in music with his Ridgeway Records release, 25 Years.
His work has found him collaborating with prominent jazz, vocals, and chamber groups, such as Gretchen Parlato, Imani Winds, Mark Turner, David Binney, Scott Colley, and Brian Blade. The latter of which includes celebrated trio recordings along with John Patitucci.
We spoke with Edward about his two-disc career retrospective, as well as his newly announced role as Associate Artistic Director with the Ridgeway Arts organization (a producer of this podcast).
At the time of our conversation, the country was several months into the shelter-in-place effects of COVID-19; where musicians in particular were some of the first to lose prevalent sources of their financial living. Along with renewed light shone on familiar issues of racial injustice, the black lives matter movement, and escalated political divisiveness, it was only natural that some discussion swayed into addressing the systemic indignities more often directed towards people of color in the U.S.; implicitly, and/or overtly.
Tracks featured throughout Episode #019:
Another archived discussion, this time with a jet lagged (at the time of meeting in March of 2018) Romain Pilon. The french guitarist began his journey in Southeastern France at the base of the Rhone Alps; now Paris based.
A Parisian in New York for a short while, he preceded his big apple residency with matriculation through Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.
Credited as performing with Christian Scott, Esperanza Spalding, Warren Wolf, and Lionel Loueke, Pilon also has a number of recordings under his leadership featuring key collaborations with modern saxophone colossi Seamus Blake, Ben Wendel, and Walter Smith III.
While the conversation preceded, a collaboration with Jeff Denson and Brian Blade yielded the trio recording, 'Between Two Worlds' released on Ridgeway Records in 2019. Much of which features Pilon's masterful and subtly sophisticated compositions.
We speak with Romain about his formative years, alumni friendships, performance highlights, and his series of mini-lessons as found on YouTube and Instagram.
Much of the music featured throughout the episode is culled from Romain Pilon's 2018 release, 'Copper' that was released shortly before our meeting.
Tracks featured throughout Episode #018:
Tracks featured throughout Episode #017:
What unusual times we all find ourselves in. With what started as a world away (COVID-19), now at everyone’s doorstep, the music community faces uncertainties similar to many other service-oriented vocations. While live in-person performance to audiences of size are curtailed, we can still learn about the different ways our creative sisters and brothers are expressing for the sake of social justice, humanity, and beauty.
OTSSFO kicks off its new season with an archived discussion from several years ago with German based Swiss-Italian clarinetist Claudio Puntin. Widely known as a member of the trio “Ambiq”as well as an ECM Records alumnus, Claudio is a versatile instrumentalist with eclectic collaborations that range from ambient, electronic, and avant-garde, to orchestral, jazz, and swing. He has worked with notable creators/performers such as Hermeto Pascoal, Fred Frith, Skuli Sverresson, WDR Big Band, Jeff Denson, the Minneapolis Symphony Orchestra, Insa Rudolph and the Sepiasonic band.
An intensely passionate personality about improvisation and technical proficiency, Claudio gives us a glimpse into his uniquely European viewpoint and experience with collaborators.
An award-winning jeweler, he has translated this skill set into innovative designs surrounding mouthpieces for clarinet and bass clarinet- something that perhaps our reed playing constituency will find of particular interest.
We discussed all of the above, while Claudio was visiting, educating, and performing on a rare trip to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tracks featured throughout Episode #015:
We're back! Well, we actually never went away, but instead took a rather long pause.
We have much to share with you in respect to guests we were able to connect with since we last left off. So we have plenty to catch you up on!
Take a listen and we'll fill you in.
As you get through the episode, we also bring you some small detail about several of the more recent Ridgeway Records releases. This is something that we intend to periodically check-in on with you.
Jeff Denson | Romain Pilon | Brian Blade - Between Two Worlds
Never Weather - Blissonance
Negative Press Project - withIN
Tracks featured throughout Episode #014: