Natural Music

The other day at my trumpet bar in midtown NYC I was playing Miles live at the Plugged Nickel when another musician stopped by, and informed me that Miles was done after Someday My Prince Will Come. After a moment of shock and disbelief, I wanted to hear why, but all he would say was […]

Take Back the World

  Back in 1957 Governor of Arkansas Orval E. Faubus sent the national guard to prevent integration of Little Rock High School. Everybody involved in jazz knows that Charles Mingus responded with his classic Fables of Faubus, where he turns Faubus into the focus of ridicule for his twisted and racist act. Columbia Records refused […]


  These are strange days for people who see life entirely through the lens of jazz and improvisation. Many musicians like myself might feel like we were born at the wrong time. While a select group of musicians has been able to create lives where they can focus all their energy on their music, another […]

Jazz and the quest for truth

  So when President Obama was ten years old in 1971, he got to spend a month with his father, whom he said he rarely saw. His father took him to see his first jazz concert. Dave Brubeck. Now in 2016 he just hosted an International jazz day at the White House, which he renamed […]


Back in 1987 I was in Russia on a tour with my high school big band led by legendary music educator Bert Hughes. I had a Dizzy Gillespie trumpet somehow, with the bell pointing into the sky. This band had a bunch of real life characters in it. There was Road Test Reese and Foster […]

RIBAS. The Odyssey of Sabir Mateen

  The first time I ever heard Sabir Mateen was on the lower east side at a music store playing with the renowned TEST in the late 90’s. It was the first time I ever met or heard Sabir, Daniel Carter, Matthew Heyner, and Tom Bruno. Still fairly new to Free Jazz at the time, […]

Into the Hot with Anders Nilsson

I first met brother Anders Nilsson on Third Street. Third St. was an underground session that went down on East Third in NYC almost every Wednesday for over 10 years, with Sabir Mateen and David Gould being its two constant pillars of strength. We played free. I was instantly intrigued by how Anders responded to […]

Catherine Sikora: The Interview

                                                   c) 2013 Robin Parmar I vividly remember the first time I heard Catherine Sikora at the Brecht Forum in NYC. Wonderfully unique Tenor. BIG sound. Soprano from a realm I never encountered. Tremendous sonic power and weight but she was using it with a great deal of sensitivity and timing with special care for […]