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Preview: Mark Shilansky's Talking Music Podcast

Mark Shilansky's Talking Music Podcast

Published: Fri, 31 Aug 2012 05:43:44 +0000

Last Build Date: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:38:29 +0000


Episode 24: Les Harris Jr (the Harris family, part 1)

Fri, 31 Aug 2012 05:43:44 +0000

Mark interviews drummer extraordinaire Les Harris, Jr, where they just scratch the surface of Les's illustrious career playing with some of New England's and the World's finest jazz musicians, including local faves, vocal group "The Ritz."  Watch for Part II of this interview, where Mark talks to other generations of this musical family.  Songs featured, with Les on drums: "Perdido" (The Ritz - Movin' Up), "Serenade to a Bus Seat" (Trent Austin - Trumpet 102), "Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most" (April Hall - Room for Two), "Field of Greens" (Mark Kleinhaut, featuring Bobby Watson - A Balance of Light), "Basically Blues" (The Ritz - Movin' Up), "To You" (The Ritz - Flying), "Music In the Air" (The Ritz - The Ritz), "Pilot House Blues" (Tommy Gallant - piano, Jim Howe - bass), "Until I Met You (Corner Pocket)" - Paul Broadnax.

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Episode 23: The Forge

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 00:03:41 +0000

The Forge ( are a traditional Irish music group, of whom Brian O'Donovan (A Celtic Soujourn - WGBH) says "A new band shows up on the scene and immediately seems destined to make an impact.  The Forge are a bright new name in the American Irish music scene. Paying homage to their traditional roots while creating something new.”  The members, Maeve Gilchrist (harp, voice), Cara Francowicz (fiddle), Nicole Rabata (Irish Flute), and Anna Colliton (Bodhran) are all distinguished as soloists and side musicians on other projects across the musical spectrum, but decided at a session in the wee small hours at a music festival to become a group.  This was a very informational chat for me, as the Forge shed light on their embellishment and arrangement techniques.  Music featured includes selections from the group's website (Dever the Dancer, Sweet Rosemarie, The Blackbird, and  and a set made up of Bold Dougherty/Palm Sunday/The Legacy) plus a selection from Maeve Gilchrist's CD Song of Delight (called "Take off Your Coat") which I included to illustrate Maeve's harmonic invention and way of crafting an intro to a tune.

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Episode 22: Tom Hall

Tue, 22 May 2012 18:15:16 +0000

Mark interviews Saxophonist/Author/Composer/allaround Great Guy Tom Hall, about his Improvlive365 web show, and much more.  Musical selections include tracks from Session III (with Tom, Jeff Galindo, Marty Ballou), the Bruce Katz Band, and April Hall.

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Episode 21: April Hall

Thu, 10 May 2012 06:03:12 +0000

Mark talks to vocalist and songwriter April Hall, about her history of music-making, from her days at Berklee (eventually singing with Billy Joel, Rosemary Clooney, and Chaka Khan), to her solo records in the folk/pop and jazz idioms.  They talk about their awkward meeting, and Mark confesses some deep-seated resentment.  Music includes selections from April's CDs "Something Like That," "Fun out of Life," and the soon-to-be-released "Room for Two," which is comprised solely of DUO performances, and which will enjoy a CD release party at the Regattabar on June 2, 2012.

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Episode 20: The New York Voices

Tue, 17 Apr 2012 06:24:58 +0000

Mark has the distinct honor to interview the vocal group New York Voices!  Following in the footsteps of such groups as Lambert, Hendricks, and Ross, and the Manhattan Transfer, NYV serves up a blend of tight jazz harmonies, scat singing, and displays of virtuosity, emulating big bands and other instruments, along with an embrace of Pop, Soul, and Latin music.  Mark discusses the group's inception, some humorous and profound milestones in their career, changes in line-up and musical direction, and the group's present and future, including new projects and the opportunity for vocal students and educators to study with them this summer at the NYV vocal jazz camp at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.  Musical selections include "Darn that Dream", "Giant Steps," "The World Keeps You Waiting," "Loves Me Like a Rock," "Cecilia," and "Answered Prayers."  Check out more by the New York Voices on itunes and Amazon, and at their website

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Episode 19: Lisa Thorson

Sat, 24 Mar 2012 05:50:38 +0000

Lisa Thorson is a wonderful jazz singer and voice teacher and basically a Boston institution.  You need to hang with her and hear her perform to experience the true magnitude of her greatness, but satisfy yourself for now with this interview, where we talk about jazz pedagogy, our shared history, her journey through living with a debilitating injury, and much more.  Music includes Her Eyes - M.S. (James Pisano) from "Other Voices", Falling in Love with Love - Loesser (performance by Sheila Jordan), Do Nothin' til You Hear From Me - Ellington/Russell, arr. Shilansky, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - Arlen/Kohler, arr. Tim Ray, The Nearness of You - Washington/Carmichael, Resonance - Thorson/Bill Coon, Out to Sea - Harrell/Pyle (Lisa and Cho Yoon Seung), I Mean You - Monk, arr. Shilansky

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Episode 18: Live at the Lilypad with David Thorne Scott, Sarah Brindell, Mark Poniatowski, Dave Jamrog

Sat, 03 Mar 2012 16:21:14 +0000

We're BACK!  We did a live podcast interview/performance at the Lilypad, one of the area's best small performing venues, with one of the best pianos in town.  We interviewed my friend David Thorne Scott about his hometowns and his new CD.  We talked and jammed with the lovely and talented singer/songwriter Sarah Brindell.  We shared stories with bassist and composer Mark Poniatowski.  And we talked briefly but memorably with drummer (and recording engineer... he recorded the concert for this one!) Dave Jamrog about his new project Junktronique.

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Episode 17: Adrian Sicam

Wed, 17 Aug 2011 09:24:11 +0000

Adrian Sicam is a singer/songwriter/keyboardist who joins Mark in a car conversation en route to a function gig with their sometime musical home: the Hip Pocket Orchestra.  Ade and Mark discuss Ade's time at Syracuse University, the world of musical theatre, the legendary funk/spoken word band Neon Grandma (of which Adrian was a founding member), Star Island, Adrian's solo record "Hey Stranger," and the trials and tribulations of the living as an artist.  Music: "You Behave" (Shilansky), "Skylark" (Carmichael/Mercer, arr. Sicam/Shilansky), "I Cover the Waterfront", "Funky Lover" (Sicam, perf. by Neon Grandma), "So Low" (Sicam), "Jazz and Sushi" (Sicam), and "Change Your Mind" (Sicam)

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Episode 16: trumpeter/vocalist Christine Fawson

Sat, 02 Jul 2011 19:44:20 +0000

Christine Fawson plays trumpet and sings on her own projects and as the Alto in the group Syncopation.  She speaks her mind honestly, and doesn't tolerate B.S. from anyone, including her friends.  We discuss the Mormon faith (quite controversially, I might add), Women in Jazz, Berklee, and much more.  Visit her at  Episode Music: "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" (U2, as performed by Syncopation), Don't Fence Me in (Berlin, performed by Fawson), Invisible War (Julia Fordham, by Syncopation), Avalon (Fawson), Wonderful You (by Syncopation, music by Hiromi Uehara, Lyrics by Fawson), and "Betcha By Golly Wow" (Syncopation, words and music by Linda Creed and Thom Bell).

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Episode 15: Kate Schutt

Sat, 18 Jun 2011 06:02:40 +0000

Mark talks to singer/songwriter/guitarist Kate Schutt.  Originally from Pennsylvania, Kate spent time in Boston and then many years in Guelph, Ontario before settling in her current locale of NYC.  A slew of great recordings make up her body of work, including "No Love Lost" (the one Shilansky is on, also Shilansky-pal Dave Jamrog, w/string arrangements by Jeff Louie and a special appearance by Toni Lynn Washington), and "The Telephone Game," (featuring Orrin Evans, Terri Lynn Carrington, John Ellis) a project made in conjunction with the innovative Artistshare label.  Kate and Mark talk about all this, as well as studying Chinese, why someone would bail on Harvard to go to Berklee (!!?), the life of a self-managing/producing artist, and much more.  If you've heard other interviews with Kate (she has been making some major waves in the industry, including being featured on NPR's "Song of the Day"), this one is different, because in this one Kate addresses how she "left it all behind" and dropped out of the biz for a significant period of time, to do volunteer work, and she discusses this in moving detail.  Songs include: "The Moon Got Broken", "Our Legs are Burning," "Glamorous Life" (a Sheila E cover!), "You Can Have the Sky," and "Raining."

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Episode 14: Greg Holt

Mon, 30 May 2011 03:28:06 +0000

Mark interviews bassist/educator Greg Holt, on a drive to a gig (the cars get a little noisy, so adjust your volume accordingly...sorry).  Topics include their work with Syncopation, Celia Slattery, and Allyssa Jones among others, as well as Greg's teaching at Boston Arts Academy, Mark's strange hostility toward the Lydian Chromatic Concept, what happens when your house burns down, and the insular world of the Boston Pops.  Music selections: "Getaway" - Syncopation, "It's Not Me" - Allyssa Jones, "Chinese Café/Unchained Melody" - Celia Slattery, and "Wonderful You" - Syncopation.

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Episode 13: Taylor Haskins

Mon, 23 May 2011 03:35:45 +0000

Mark talks at LENGTH to trumpeter/composer Taylor Haskins.  It's a long one, but DEAL WITH IT!! We had a lot of ground to cover as we've known each other for about 22 years or so.  Listen to it on a long drive or across a couple different commutes... We discuss our shared history, Taylor's original music and sideman work with people like Dave Holland, Richard Bona, and Guillermo Klein.  Musical selections: "Lovefool" from my Join the Club CD, Taylor's "You Have Everything You Need" (from Wake Up Call), "Biorhythm" (from Metaview), "Here is the Big Sky" (from the brand new Recombination), and Tay's cover of Tom Waits' "Johnsburg, Illinois" (from American Dream).  Caution: We talk some politics, musical and otherwise, throughout... please comment and converse; we respect your opinion if it differs from ours, and we may wind up agreeing to disagree.  Enjoy the music, in any case.

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Episode 12: Kate McGarry

Tue, 10 May 2011 19:21:42 +0000

Mark talks with jazz singer Kate McGarry about her journey through the world of music, from Cape Cod to L.A. to NYC to North Carolina.  Nominated for a Grammy award for her CD "If Less is More, then Nothing is Everything," Kate performs her heartfelt original music and profoundly personal renditions of songs from the "Great American Songbook" as well as covers of music by Joni Mitchell, Peter Gabriel, and the Cars (!).  Music excerpts: "Chelsea Morning" (Joni Mitchell) from the CD "Show Me," "You Don't Have to Cry" (Steven Stills) from "If Less is More...", "The Target (Kate McGarry) from the CD of the same name, and "Gypsy in My Soul" (Jaffe/Bolland).

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Episode 11: ESP part 2: Sandi Hammond

Mon, 25 Apr 2011 00:25:12 +0000

Mark continues his conversation with the members of the vocal group ESP, talking with Singer/Songwriter Sandi Hammond about rock musicals (and Michael Wartofsky), famous ex-boyfriends, the problem of bullying, and her life as a teacher, songstress, and now jazzer. Music: Sandi's "Gloomy Girl" from the CD Rubbergirl, and "The Pleasure is Back" from the CD "This Summer Night."

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Episode 10: ESP Vocal Trio (Emily Browder, Patrice Williamson, Sandi Hammond) Part I

Tue, 19 Apr 2011 04:55:48 +0000

In the first of a two part interview with his pals and collaborators ESP Vocal Trio (Emily Browder Melville, Patrice Williamson, Sandi Hammond) Mark discusses the group's ongoing Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for its new CD recording, and also their shared histories, vocal technique, ex-boyfriends and girlfriends, Michael Bublé, New England Conservatory, and more.  Music in this episode: "Monument" (Shilansky), excerpts from Lukas Foss' "Griffelkin" (featuring Emily with Kendra Coulton), "Celia" (Patrice singing this Bud Powell tune), "Apple Brown Betty" (ESP singing an original tune, from a live gig at Wellesley), and "In for the Evening"(Shilansky).

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Episode 9: Julie Hardy, jazz singer and more

Wed, 30 Mar 2011 14:28:26 +0000

In a return from an unintentional hiatus, Mark talks to jazz vocalist, composer, and educator Julie Hardy.  Through her teaching at the New School and City College in NYC, and her performance and composition of jingles and other commercial music, she supports her jazz and indie pop songwriting habit.  We discuss shared experiences (including some traumatic ones), teachers, the jazz world, and why being able to sound like Katy Perry can be a good thing.  Episode music: "On the Rave" (Shilansky), "No Turning Back" (Hardy), "I'm Looking Through You" (Lennon/McCartney, Arr. Hardy), "I Love the Way" (Hardy), and "Iris" (Wayne Shorter, w/lyrics by Hardy).

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Episode 8: Christina Watson and Oscar Utterstrom

Sat, 12 Mar 2011 13:38:00 +0000

Mark talks to vocalist Christina Watson and trombonist Oscar Utterstrom, who practice their jazzy artistry in the Nashville area.  They both happen to be former students and frequent collaborators w/Mark, and discuss their shared experiences, jazz in Nashville, Steig Larson, and much more.  Features music by M.S. (opening theme "Amsterdam"), Christina ("In a Sentimental Mood," "A Flower Truly Blue," and "Where or When"), and Oscar ("Home"). and

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Episode 7: Peter Kontrimas

Sun, 13 Feb 2011 05:36:00 +0000

Mark talks to Peter Kontrimas, bassist and recording engineer extraordinaire, about the many sessions Mark has done at Peter's studio, local jazz legends Herb Pomeroy, Dick Johnson, Paul Broadnax, Jerry Bergonzi, and Rebecca Parris, the NEW PIANO, and the wisdom of having great espresso handy at a session.  Music featured includes M.S.'s "What Else," and "All of You" and "East of the Sun" by Rebecca Parris (w/Peter on bass).  Contact Peter at

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Episode 6: the Dave Jamrog Interview

Wed, 02 Feb 2011 23:25:00 +0000

Mark talks to drummer, recording engineer, and composer Dave Jamrog about their shared experiences, Toni Lynn Washington, equipment theft, life on the road, family, and much more.  Features music excerpts from the work of M.S. ("tip of the iceberg", "as fate would have it", "on the rave", and "love, give him up") as well as other people Dave has worked with (Neil Shilansky, Kate Schutt), and recorded (Allyssa Jones). for info about Dave's playing and recording career (Snappytracks recording).

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Episode 5: Mark talks to vocalist David Thorne Scott

Mon, 24 Jan 2011 04:38:51 +0000

Mark and Dave discuss Take 6, the crazy nepotistic network of friends that connects them, the state of vocal jazz today, and absolutely everything that has happened in their lives up to this point.  Seriously, though, this talk does get a little heavy on the biographical info, and I feel we barely scratched the surface of our usual scintillating conversation.  Listen and learn, and Dave will be back again with our group Syncopation, and I'm sure other times too.  Songs include M.S.'s "Almost Like," and Dave's originals and arrangements ("Festive Minor", "Get out of your own way", "Just one of those things", "The Song is You," "Deciding Where to Land", "For All We Know," and "Shade").

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Episode 4: An interview with Molly Flannery

Wed, 19 Jan 2011 05:36:29 +0000

Mark and Molly Flannery discuss music, family, biased bloggers, the Acton Jazz Café, and James Joyce, among other things.  Check out Molly at

Music selections:  "In for the Evening" by M.S. as the theme, Molly Flannery music selections: "Seven Seas", "Star Eyes," and "Memoria" (featuring Fernando Holz).

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Episode 3: An interview with pianist Gilson Schachnik

Sun, 16 Jan 2011 08:09:53 +0000

Mark and Gilson discuss the piano, Brazilian Music, performance-based injuries (no laughing matter), and bullies.  Check Gilson out at 

Music played:  M.S.'s "As Fate Would Have It" as the theme, "Rosa Morena" and "Lampiao" from Gilson Schachnik's album "Lampiao."

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Episode 1.5 Bob Dylan Jazz and other matters

Thu, 13 Jan 2011 15:31:00 +0000

Mark ventures out into the podcast world for realz now, with some exclusive audio of jazzy interpretations of some Bob Dylan music.  Featuring performances and interviews with Molly Flannery, Chuck Gabriel, Adrian Sicam, and Sara Bielanski, excerpted from a broadcast on WICN radio, 90.5 FM.



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Episode 1: Hello

Tue, 28 Dec 2010 06:18:00 +0000

Mark Shilansky says hello and introduces himself and his intentions for this podcast, and realizes in editing how much he says "um" between each sentence.


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