Talking with Andy Reiss

When I first moved to Nashville, there was a guitarist I kept hearing people in the jazz scene talk about in the most glowing of terms: Andy Reiss.  It was hard to find Andy playing in a ‘typical jazz setting’, although the first time I heard Andy was in an ensemble with George Tidwell at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.  Lots of people were humming about the Western Swing band Andy played in every week at the Station Inn: The Time Jumpers. I didn’t realize then that Western Swing = jazz, so it took my stupid self some time before I got hip to the band, but boy am I glad that I did (their weekly spot is now at 3rd and Lindsley). Last week Andy …

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Talking with Alex Graham

Dr. Alex Graham moved to Nashville in the summer of 2011 to become the Assistant Professor of Saxophone at Belmont University.  Beyond teaching a studio of around 15 commercial and classical saxophone students, Alex also directs a big band and both of the jazz combos. A clip of ‘You Make Me Feel Brand New’ from his CD “Brand New” on Origin Records   Dr. Graham will be the featured guest at this Sunday’s Nashville Jazz Workshop Jam Session.  Last week Alex and I grabbed lunch at Tequila’s and spoke a lot about the jazz scene in Nashville: how it’s viewed, how it’s going, and where it’s headed.  Here are some excerpts from that conversation. EC:  What were your first impressions of the jazz scene in …

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Talking with Steve Herrman, part 2

Here’s the second half of the recent conversation with Steve Herrman.  After talking about the benefits of Nashville’s location, we got off topic discussing our very happening lunch at Jamaica Way – curried goat for Steve and bbq soy for me.  Eventually Steve steered our ship back onto track.   SH: So I started really getting into the R&B scene – you know we would play a lot of festivals and I started hearing about the Muscle Shoals thing and Stax and listening to all that music I hadn’t been all that familiar with before. EC: Is that when you first got in touch with Jim Horn? [the horn section leader for the Kenny Chesney band] SH: Yes actually Delbert brought him out when we …

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Talking with Steve Herrman

If you’re heavily into the Winter Jazz Fest this week, I’d say the chances are good that you’ve never heard of the trumpet player Steve Herrman, even though the chances that you’ve heard his playing are strong, particularly if you’ve ever listened to Kenny Chesney or Delbert McClinton, among others.  Steve is well-known and very highly regarded in Nashville’s music scene as a session trumpet player.  But fear not if “session trumpet player” is an unfamiliar term – it was to me when I first moved here. Earlier this week Steve and I sat down to lunch where we spoke about that very term, as well as the idea that ‘jazz’ is a dirty word (and not just in the BAM sense), and how his …

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