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Music

Art of Conversation: Watch Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan check in with Jazz United, courtesy of the JJA Awards

Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan
Monica Frisell
/
courtesy of the artist
Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan

The JJA Awards, presented each year by the Jazz Journalists Association, recognizes excellence across a range of categories — among musicians, writers, broadcasters and behind-the-scenes "Jazz Heroes." In 2021, the award for Duo/Trio of the Year went to bassist Thomas Morgan and guitarist Bill Frisell, who also won Guitarist of the Year.

Podcast of the Year, meanwhile, was claimed by Jazz United, which I'm proud to cohost with Greg Bryant. Produced by Trevor Smith (and Sarah Kerson before him) for WBGO Studios, Jazz United won the podcast award in its first year of eligibility.

To celebrate these awards, the JJA convened a virtual roundtable with both of these duos — Frisell and Morgan, Bryant and yours truly — in mid-August. Our conversation touched on the palpable relief that the musicians felt when they finally convened after quarantine, the roles that they instinctually assume as a working duo, and more.

2021 JJA Awards duo winners: Bill Frisell & Thomas Morgan, co-podcasters Nate Chinen & Greg Bryant

Here is a lightly abridged version of the conversation, which was produced by JJA president Howard Mandel and edited for video by Adriana Prieto.

The most recent duo album by Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan is Epistrophy, on ECM.

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