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September 23, 2011

The Traneumentary: Michael Cuscuna (bonus)

When I interviewed each of the subjects for the Traneumentary podcast series, I prepared to conduct two kinds of interviews. The first interview was more traditional where the subjects shared their personal recollection on how Coltrane impacted their life. The second interview was less structured and was designed to be more in the moment and ripe for improvisation. That’s how many of the ‘track commentary’ episodes came to be and for me, they are the essence and the heart beat of the whole Traneumentary series.

This was the case when I talked with the great producer Michael Cuscuna who by the way, can talk anyone under the table! After our initial interview, Michael cut a couple of excellent commentary pieces on Blue Train and Afro Blue. Then as I was starting to pack up the recording gear, he began to talk about the historic Monk & Coltrane At Carnegie Hall recording that he recently produced with Monk’s son T.S.. Fortunately, it was one of those very happy accidents. I left the recorder on and this commentary was captured. No editing necessary – just pure Cuscuna. – JV

Listen to The Traneumentary

Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane
Thelonious Monk with John Coltrane At Carnegie Hall

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