Interviews

INTERVIEWS

Steve Swell: Unlimited Musical Possibilities

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"Free Jazz" and “Avant-Garde Jazz" are catch phrases often associated with musical pioneers such as Ornette Coleman and Cecil Taylor but more broadly refer to music that goes outside of the mainstream of melody, harmony, rhythm, and structure. When that happens, opinions and emotions abound. Reactions vary from disgust to excitement and enthusiasm, and it is rare to find a balanced view on the subject. The question arises, why does the same music so strongly attract and repel? To seek answers to this and related questions about music that presses the limits of the expectable, All About Jazz initiated a ...

INTERVIEWS

Orrin Evans: Hot Irons In The Fire

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A pianist with great chops, great touch and an attack that fancies many influences from fierce swing to gospel, Orrin Evans is one of the outstanding creative musicians on the New York City scene. His work, no matter what the context--and he loves different contexts--is downright riveting at times. But for the 38-year-old who hails from jny: Philadelphia, jazz, though a pleasure, was a bit of a mystery when he was first experimenting with it. “I didn't know what improvisation was, to be honest. I didn't know what they were doing," when he listened to records, ...

INTERVIEWS

Yaron Stavi: Profoundly Bassist

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Yaron Stavi is a bassist who has performed all over the world with many musicians, playing double and electric bass and crossing genres into rock, classical, jazz and World Music. He studied in Berlin and played with orchestras around Europe, North America and Asia, and was principal bassist with the Mahler Youth Orchestra under, among others, Pierre Boulez, Sir Neville Marriner and Mariss Jansons. He has played with violinist Nigel Kennedy and accordion player Richard Galliano, drummer Robert Wyatt and guitarists David Gilmour of Pink Floyd and Phil Manzanera. In 2009 he recorded an album with Polish bandleader, composer and ...

INTERVIEWS

Martin Wind: Appreciating Bill Evans

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Bassist Martin Wind had already gigged with American jazz musicians prior to moving to New York City in 1996 to advance his musical studies. Though classically trained, Wind is highly versatile, having played in orchestras, small jazz groups, crossing genres on the electric bass prior to departing his native Germany. Now, years later, he is a well-established player on the New York scene, having performed with stalwarts like Monty Alexander, Pat Metheny, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Toots Thielemans, the Metropole Orchestra, Michael Brecker, Randy Brecker, Phil Woods and more. He's cut albums under his own name and since ...

INTERVIEWS

Ulf Wakenius: Confessions of A Vagabond

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Happenstance may play a role in turning dreams into reality, but anyone who's ever realized a burning ambition will appreciate just how much hard work has paved the way. Two phone calls out of the blue almost twenty years apart opened doors to Swedish guitarist Ulf Wakenius, that in the first case he could only have dreamt about, and in the second, he could never have imagined. In 1997, in fairly dizzying circumstances, Wakenius suddenly found himself in pianist Oscar Peterson's quartet, with whom he would go on to tour the globe countless times during the jazz legend's ...

INTERVIEWS

Bobby Sanabria Spreads The Latin Jazz Gospel

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Drummer, percussionist, composer, educator, Bobby Sanabria has gained renown and respect from fans and musicians alike as one of the foremost proponents of what is labeled Afro-Cuban/Latin Jazz. Born and raised in the South Bronx, Sanabria performed with a veritable Who's Who in the world of jazz and Latin music, as well as with his own critically acclaimed ensembles. His diverse recording and performing experience includes work with such legendary figures as Dizzy Gillespie, Mario Bauzá, Tito Puente, Paquito D'Rivera,, Mongo Santamaría, Ray Barretto, and a myriad of other Latin and jazz greats. Inspired and encouraged by Tito ...

INTERVIEWS

Horace Silver: Blue Note Records and His Lady Music

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The Q&A portion of this article first appeared on KPFK 90.7 FM (Los Angeles) in 1974. 75 years ago Blue Note Records was started by two German immigrants who loved jazz and believed that the music should be heard and preserved. Alfred Lion and Francis Wolff collaborated and built the Blue Note vault of music that included the artistry of immortals: Miles Davis, Sonny Clark, Sidney Bechet, Clifford Brown, Art Blakey, The Jazz Messengers, Lee Morgan, Freddie Hubbard, and Horace Tavares Silver, from Norwalk, Connecticut. Silver stayed with Blue Note Records for 28 years until ...

INTERVIEWS

Partisans: Never the Same Way Twice

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It's been five years since Partisans--the British jazz group (not to be confused with the also-British punk rock band The Partisans) cited as the godfathers of the new wave of British jazz, first emerging in 1997 with the out-of-print self-titled debut on the EFZ label--last released an album, specifically the superlative By Proxy (Babel, 2009), which All About Jazz's Chris May called the group's “long expected masterpiece" and “one of the most exciting albums to be released on either side of the Atlantic in 2009." High praise indeed, but the quartet that's been co-led by the group's two ...

INTERVIEWS

Maud Hixson: Studying Scores and Moving Forward

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Maud Hixson has built an accomplished career as a performer and recording artist out of unlikely circumstances. She grew up far from the capitals of jazz and vocal music, in the Twin Cities area. Doris Day's performance in the Ruth Etting biopic “Love Me Or Leave Me" served as a primary inspiration for a young Maud to become a performer. In her twenties, waiting tables at a diner, she met another future jazz singer, Nichola Miller. With no glamour and lots of hard work, Hixson began spending long hours researching scores and studying the recordings of such greats as Blossom ...

INTERVIEWS

Danilo Perez: Bridging Cultures and Dimensions of Jazz

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Whether with his own ensembles or as a sideman, Danilo Perez has long been an iconic jazz pianist, but above and beyond his success as a performer and recording artist, he has become a manifestation and symbol of cross-cultural dialogue. His music brings together mainstream and Latin influences in a unique way. He always brings something new into the mix, whether early on with Dizzy Gillespie, Jon Hendricks or Wynton Marsalis, his award-winning CD, Panamonk (Implulse, 1996), and more recently with the Wayne Shorter Quartet as well as his own groups featuring Brian Blade, John Patitucci, Ben Street, Adam Cruz, ...

INTERVIEWS

On the Bus with Ronan Harris: Classical to Futurepop and Everything in Between

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The tour bus that ferries about and serves as home base for a band of internationally known musicians is surprisingly pristine and neat. The air conditioning is on full blast giving the space a delightful chill against the late spring humidity. Only a lone bottle of sriracha sauce sits on the kitchen counter, waiting for a meal to break out. Ronan Harris, the vocalist and mastermind behind the electronics and lyrics of the powerhouse duo VNV Nation rushes to adjust the temperature controls, ever the lovely host. He and Mark Jackson, drummer extraordinaire, are currently winding down a ...

INTERVIEWS

The Passion of Lorenzo Tucci

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Drummer Lorenzo Tucci is an important part of the thriving Italian jazz scene and a musician drawn to experimental settings. He recorded Drumonk (Veneto Jazz, 2007) his tribute to Thelonious Monk without piano, and a piano-trio album, Tranety (Albore Jazz, 2010), dedicated to John Coltrane without a saxophonist. In the 1990s Tucci started his professional carreer in his hometown Rome, playing with Italian and international musicians. He has collaborated with numerous artists such as Phil Woods, George Cables and Enrico Pieranunzi. He is a man of many styles, one moment he is recording with DJ/producer Nicola Conte, the next he ...

INTERVIEWS

Brad Mehldau: Dragons & Dreams

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For many, pianist Brad Mehldau's recording Day is Done (Nonesuch Records, 2005) with drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier came as close to trio perfection as is reasonable to expect in your wildest dreams. Perhaps perfection is a chimera, yet even if attainable it's at best fleeting by nature. But for Mehldau that doesn't stop the hunt for the stuff of his own wildest dreams. That elusive 'in-the-zone' quality when the music seems to play the musician rather then the other way round comes more freely in dreams than on the stage, and dreams--or rather the magic ...

INTERVIEWS

Linley Hamilton: Right On The Wavelength

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Trumpeter Linley Hamilton has been a mainstay of the Northern Irish jazz scene for well over two decades. An in-demand session musician, Hamilton has played on over a hundred recordings of various stripes, lending his burnished tone to rock and pop artists and singer-songwriters alike. But it's as a jazz musician, jazz educator, jazz radio broadcaster, and not least, as an utterly tireless advocate of the music that he's best known. With a quintet comprised of some of the very best jazz musicians North and South of the border, Hamilton has done as much as anybody to promote ...



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