Interviews

INTERVIEWS

Tim Bowness: Ghost Lights and Life Sentences

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As much as it's something most would prefer to avoid, when a pair of musicians share a lengthy musical history together it's difficult not to compare and contrast the work they do when apart. Beyond contributing added clarity to their individual work, it helps to articulate what each of them bring to the table when they're collaborating. Singer, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Tim Bowness may have yet to achieve the same degree of commercial success that his partner in the currently ...

INTERVIEWS

Laura Jurd: Big Footprints

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Every few years a band appears that injects a welcome shot of adrenaline into the jazz mainstream, exciting media, promoters and fans alike--the Neil Cowley Trio, Phronesis, GoGo Penguin and Snarky Puppy all spring to mind. Dinosaur, an English quartet led by trumpeter Laura Jurd, is being widely tipped to create such waves on the strength of Its debut album, Together, As One (Editions, 2016). It's received glowing reviews, catapulting the group to the front cover of Jazzwise--the UK's leading ...

INTERVIEWS

Al Jarreau holds forth on the art of singing, the decline of radio and the glory of the great American songbook

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Note: This interview with Al Jarreau was originally published in 2004 on Turbula.net. Any doubts that Al Jarreau was born to sing are quickly dispensed with by a simple conversation with the man--he is incapable of holding forth on the topic of music without dipping into the subject at hand. Not ten minutes into a phone interview, Jarreau is scatting through a passage from a classic bop song of the 1960s, pointing out how the chord ...

INTERVIEWS

Rick Mandyck: The Return From Now

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It was a cold Tuesday evening the last week of December. 2016 was mercifully coming to a close, this evening, a final chorus of a long blues blown soulfully, and mournfully into the night. I sat at the bar at Seattle's storied jazz spot, Tula's, in eager anticipation of the evening's performance of a quartet led by veteran bassist, Paul Gabrielson. Gabrielson had gathered a quartet of top tier, Seattle based musicians that evening, featuring pianist Bill Anschell, and drummer ...

INTERVIEWS

The Wee Trio: Full of Surprises

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Don't be fooled by the name. The members of the Wee Trio are normal-looking and normal-sized guys, their ambition if anything is deluxe, and their compositional scope virtually limitless. While such a moniker can only keep them humble--not that they'd seem to need the help--they've always kept an outsized willingness to follow fascinating ideas and embrace the unexpected. Picture Al Pacino's sneaky lawyer in The Devil's Advocate explaining his unassuming appearance: “I'm the little guy. They don't see me comin.'" ...

INTERVIEWS

Clarence Becton: Straight Ahead Into Freedom

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Clarence Becton is a musicians' musician--meaning, someone well-known in musician circles. He belongs to the generation of American jazz heroes who grew up under economically and socially difficult circumstances, and for that very reason, succeeded in gaining a comprehensive education, emancipating himself, and embodying the history of jazz music by directly learning from and working with greats of almost every stylistic era--ragtime, swing, bebop, post-bop, and avant-garde. Born in 1933, he developed a strong musical interest as a ...

INTERVIEWS

Donny McCaslin: Bowie Deepened The Relationships In My Band

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Wherever the boundaries were in music, in most cases, they have perished and are no more. Jazz has always been a music of exploration and taking chances and as a result, has benefited from the dialogues with other music, be it folk, rock, classical or electronic. Saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin certainly doesn't believe in boundaries. He is one of the handful musicians who uses different strands as a launching point for further exploration. His recent records Fast Future (Greenleaf, ...

INTERVIEWS

Matthew Shipp: Let's Do Lunch!

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When Matthew Shipp asked me to design the cover art for his Points album (Silkheart Records, 1992), I showed him works from the on-going drawing study I was engaged in. He picked one graphite drawing and said, “Wow! This is exactly what's happening inside my mind when I play the piano!" Here, we talk of the history of his musicianship; creative process; spirituality; interest in literature and life in jny: New York City. I am blessed to have ...

INTERVIEWS

Erik Friedlander: A Little Cello?

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Normally lumped into the 'miscellaneous instruments' category of jazz awards, the cello has been something of a bit player in the colorful history of jazz. That said, today there are arguably more cellists in jazz and contemporary improvised music--and some extraordinary ones at that--than ever before. One of the best known cellists is undoubtedly Erik Friedlander, whose discography as a leader straddles acoustic jazz, film soundtracks, Americana roots, literature-inspired improvisations, extended suites, avant-garde/contemporary classical music, and compositions inspired by ancient ...


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