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Straight No Chaser - A Jazz Show


Straight No Chaser is the place for jazz lovers (and those who will soon be jazz lovers) to enjoy podcasts with their favorite music and artists. Winner of the 2017 JazzTimes Readers' Poll for Best Podcast, your host Jeffrey Siegel will take you inside the world of jazz, from the new releases to the best festiva;s to remembrances of jazz legends.

Jul 19, 2013

Podcast 362 was a profile of educator/musician Ira Wiggins, so it seems appropriate that this Podcast features a student/musician. Drummer Alex Snydman graduated from Hampshire College in Amherst, Massachusetts, just a stone’s throw from where this humble writer lives. I became familiar with his name on the local scene, and was pleased to see that he had moved to Los Angeles to pursue his Masters in Jazz Performance at The California Institute of the Arts. 

His first CD, Fortunate Action, is a piano-heavy affair, featuring three of his closest piano associates, Chris Pattishall; Doug Abrams, and Miro Sprague. They collaborated or wrote the tunes on the CD, which shows Snydman playing with what he termed a “quiet fire”, supporting the players more than stealing the spotlight as band leader.

Perhaps his sense of playing the drums is different from other percussionists as in 2003 he made a surprising yet decisive switch from guitar to drums.  Since that time, Alex has sought out a veritable who’s who of modern jazz drummers to study with, including first-call drummers like  Eric Harland, Gregory Hutchinson, and Joe La Barbera. Mentor and close friend Eric Harland comments. “Alex really embodies the spirit we call Love.  He’s proven that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams…his dedication and character have always impressed me and he’s climbing the ladder fast!”

Podcast 365 features our conversation, along with musical selections from Fortunate Action, including:

Alex Snydman - “Non Linear”, Title Track and “In Joy” from Fortunate Action. All originals, and all written by or with a different piano player. The first is by Doug Abrams, the second co-written with Miro Sprague and the last by Chris Pattishall. Each author plays piano on their track, and Snydman is on drums on all three tracks, as is bassist Alec Derian. Carl Clements plays sax on “Non-Linear”.