Full disclosure: I have worked directly with Jim in several ensembles, I've known him since attending the same university, Annie and I both consider him to be family, and he was one of the primary inspirations for starting the Weatherman interview project.
I know first-hand that he's a player and composer with great intelligence and heart - not an easy feat - and a great conversationalist. Here he discusses composition as a craft rather than an art, explains qualities unique to Chicago music-makers, and looks over his eighteen year path as a composer with great insight and self-awareness, now that he's "got some grey in [his] beard."
We dug deep to uncover a 12-step program of pieces that Jim recorded in college that I remember well. We've spliced them in to the audio recording of the interview. Make sure you also check out the transcription though as the very end of our audio recording was cut off.
Now, it is our great pleasure to grant you passage to the very eloquent, articulate, active, courageous, and generous mind of Jim Cooper….
-Jason, July 19th, 2012