Interviews

INTERVIEWS

Billy Harper: A Life of Persistence and Improvisation

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On stage, Billy Harper puts his lips to the tenor saxophone, stands relatively erect and sings through his horn; a strong, angular, muscular sound. There little physical gesticulation, belying the effort it takes to express feelings and emotions through the instrument. But Harper's creative statements demand attention. Over the last few years, a lot of that energy is expressed on stage with the Cookers, a star-studded septet that has been burning up the scene, gaining fans and critical acclaim. Harper is blowing his best among comrades Billy Hart, Eddie Henderson, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Donald Harrison and David ...

INTERVIEWS

Cecil McBee: Masterful, And Always Equipped

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Cecil McBee is one of the finest bass players on the scene, a status he's held among musicians for many years, even if the public is slower to pick up on the achievements of this 79-year-old musician extraordinaire. A natural, he was quick to connect with musicians in his hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma. But helping him along the road to becoming a top-flight musician was a series of encounters where people would come asking for him. They were people he didn't know, but who would boost him to the next step, the next chapter. In each ...

INTERVIEWS

Sheila Jordan: Now's The Time

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Sheila Jordan, one of the last great jazz vocalists from the bebop era turns eighty six on 18 November. Happy Birthday Sheila! There's much to celebrate. The Pennsylvanian-born singer's remarkable life story has just been published--the first complete biography to cover Jordan's life and career in detail. Written by Ellen Johnson over seven years, Jazz Child: A Portrait of Sheila Jordan (Rowman & Littlefield, 2014) relates Jordan's life from her upbringing in real poverty and her first steps as a teenage bebopper in the late 1940s to her induction as an NEA Jazz Master in 2012. At various ...

INTERVIEWS

Hanna Paulsberg: Home Grown Concept

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Norwegian saxophonist Hanna Paulsberg is slowly but surely building a reputation as one of the brightest young jazz musicians to have emerged from Norway in recent years. Her debut at the head of the Hanna Paulsberg Concept, Waltz for Lilli (Ora Fonogram, 2012) introduced a composer/musician with strong melodic and rhythmic sensibilities and made a convincing case for the HPC as a quartet worthy of wider international attention. Paulsberg's quartet is arguably more inclined towards the American tradition than many of its Norwegian contemporaries but that didn't stop it wining the Young Nordic Jazz Comets competition in Stockholm ...

INTERVIEWS

Koichi Makigami Presents His Unique Musical Vision In The Stone

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At the end of October, Japanese vocal artist extraordinaire Koichi Makigami celebrates his unique, eclectic and often eccentric art during a week long residence at The Stone club in New York. Makigami will play with old comrades and some newer, like-minded musicians in a rare opportunity to present his band Hikashu in a different setting. In this interview Makigami speaks about the upcoming residence, Hikashu, his ongoing affiliation with John Zorn, founder of The Stone and the Tzadik label, and plans for the future. The interview was conducted through the kind assistance of Nori from the Hikashu ...

INTERVIEWS

Tony Miceli: Vibes Matter

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Tony Miceli is a long-time master vibraphonist who, until a few short years ago, was relatively unknown outside of the jny: Philadelphia area, when he started getting requests to perform and teach all over the world. Now, he is in demand in Ireland, South Korea, Argentina, and Australia, not to mention New York and the West Coast, and the list of places is growing every day. Miceli deserves the newfound renown. He is widely regarded by the cognoscenti, including vibraphonists Gary Burton and David Friedman, as one of the ascending masters of the instrument. His work with groups like Monkadelphia ...

INTERVIEWS

Shai Maestro: Music as a journey of being a human

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Shai Maestro,talented 27-year-old pianist and a composer, has earned his spurs being a part of Avishai Cohen's band. Now he has a band of his own--Shai Maestro Trio (although he says it's not “his" band but “theirs": Shai, Jorge Roeder and Ziv Ravitz). The group has released two albums so far--in 2012 Shai Maestro Trio and in 2013 The Road to Ithaca. In this interview, taken at Enter Music Festival, Shai shared his thoughts not only about his music, but also about going through the process of becoming an authentic musician and expressing uniqueness of being a human through music. ...



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