Pianist, composer and arranger Billy Childs has been defining the sound of American music for four decades.

Whether it’s with Freddie Hubbard, the Los Angeles Philharmonic or Yo-Yo Ma, the five-time Grammy winner has shared his talents and creativity with a wide variety of collaborators over the years.

He has just released his latest album Acceptance, the follow-up to his Grammy-winning record Rebirth. The new Mack Avenue release puts the emphasis back on Childs’ piano playing after many years of accolades for his composing and arranging. Childs thrives on group improvisation and recruited fellow master musicians including saxophonist Steve Wilson, bassist Hans Glawischnig and drummer Eric Harland for Acceptance. The music is as diverse and vibrant as its creator’s career.

Childs joined us to chat about his hand-in-hand approach to composition and improvisation, and about the meaning of Acceptance.