Anders Svanoe builds a world around the baritone sax

A podcast conversation with the Madison musician about his ongoing “State Of The Baritone” series.

A podcast conversation with the Madison musician about his ongoing “State Of The Baritone” series.

Photo by MOD Media Productions.

We start this week’s podcast episode with “Long Runways,” from saxophone player, composer, and Madison resident Anders Svanoe’s 2019 album Solo Flight. The record is the fourth in an ongoing series of albums called State Of The Baritone. Svanoe embarked upon this series to show the baritone sax in a whole range of styles, from free jazz to modern classical music, and he’s trying to show that it can serve as a lead instrument, not just holding down the lower end of a bigger horn section. Obviously this latest release focuses on solo sax performances, with some interesting overdubs. The series has also showcased a trio with bassist John Christensen and Rodrigo Villanueva-Conroy, a double trio with two drummers and two bass players, and a couple of duet performances with his wife, pianist Wendy Ward.


Svanoe has been a very active jazz musician in Madison for more than 20 years. His work has included collaborations with Roscoe Mitchell and both playing and composing with the Tony Castañeda Latin Jazz Band. Recently he’s also been organizing a Sunday new music series at Arts + Literature Laboratory. That is on hold right now because the venue is getting ready to move into a brand new space this spring. Once ALL reopens he plans to continue the series, and he’s planning to start a regular jam session there focused on experimental music. Svanoe sat down in January for a an in-depth conversation about his work. He also spoke with us in 2016, back at the beginning of the State of The Baritone series.

Give the conversation a listen here, or subscribe to the Tone Madison podcast on Apple Podcasts. If you like what you’re hearing, please leave us a review on Apple Podcasts and consider supporting us financially with a one-time or recurring donation. And please check out our sister podcasts, Record Store Dropouts and Digital Warmth.

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