Archive: April, 2012

Clip from On The Road With Duke Ellington

In this clip from the 1967 documentary On The Road With Duke Ellington directed by Robert Drew, Mr. Ellington talks about how his inspiration works.

Catch this whole documentary if you can, plenty of live performances and interview bits.

From Netflix: “One of the true masters of the jazz genre, Duke Ellington was an incredibly influential composer and performer, as well as a charming, engaging man. This compelling profile was filmed by Robert Drew in 1967, just 6 years before Ellington passed away. Drew’s camera follows Ellington through his days as he writes, performs and discusses his life and work. The stunning performance clips feature some of the legend’s most adored standards.”

Sonny Strikes Back

In 1963 music critic Steve Race accused Sonny Stitt of copying Charlie Parker as hard as he could, and of having “given up all pretence of individuality”. Steve also offered Sonny a piece of advice: “I think it’s time he stopped playing Parker and went back to playing Stitt”. This 1965 interview with Les Tomkins includes his answer to this criticism.


Click here to read Sonny Strikes Back

Joe Lovano interview: Cat keeping Bird alive

From the Telegraph in March of 2011, Joe Lovano discusses his album Bird Songs and tells how he is taking the music of Charlie Parker into the future.

Click here to read Joe Lovano interview: Cat keeping Bird alive

Ornette Coleman at Berklee College of Music

In this 2006 interview, Berklee professor Bill Banfield talks with Coleman about knowledge and intelligence, evil and human condition, and his Pulitzer winning Sound Grammar, among other topics. This video clip is from Coleman’s official website, which is a flash site, so there is no direct link. When you click through to the main page, navigate to the “videos” tab; the interview will be listed on the right hand side.

Click here to watch Ornette Coleman at Berklee College of Music


Q & A: Herbie Hancock

A global collaboration among the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Herbie Hancock and the Thelonious Monk Institute, the first International Jazz Day is scheduled for Monday. Check out this L.A. Times interview with Hancock to find out about it.

Click here to read Q & A: Herbie Hancock


Ella Fitzgerald interview with Bobbie Wygant

To celebrate the First Lady of Song on her 95th birthday, here is a TV interview from what my best guess is late 1979 or 1980 (the Iran hostage crisis is alluded to during the interview). The interview runs about 5 minutes and includes a few quick clips of Ella onstage singing pieces of tunes including “There Will Never Be Another You”.


Joe Henderson with Charlie Rose

In honor of Joe Henderson’s 75th birthday today, here is a great 15 minute in-studio interview with Charlie Rose. The piece was to promote his new release Porgy and Bess, but he talks about many other things including his thoughts on critical acclaim, his dream band, and his Grammy winning album Lush Life. Henderson is a delight throughout, and at the end of the interview he performs a beautiful version of “I Loves You Porgy” as a duet with John Scofield! A gem.

Charlie Parker in Downbeat 1949: No Bop Roots In Jazz

Most of Downbeat’s archive is behind their subscription wall, but they do post a few classic interviews for the lurkers (I will try to get them all linked here soon!).

No Bop Roots In Jazz: Parker by Michael Levin and John S. Wilson, dated 9th September, 1949 is culled from two different interviews with Bird and covers some of his thoughts on topics like Paul Hindemith, Dizzy, and the origins of bebop.

Click here to read No Bop Roots In Jazz: Parker

Two Ron Carter Interviews

Listen to Ron Carter speak candidly about jazz history, his career, his life, and his music in two audio interviews from his official website a 2002 Matthaias Kirsch interview for, and an undated interview with Laura Kennedy for WGLT news. Both can be found in the “Interviews” section found under the “Gallery” tab.

Click here to listen to Two Ron Carter Interviews


Four clips of Lester Young from 1959

Here are four audio clips from an interview conducted by French Jazz enthusiast Francois Positif in Paris, France on February 6, 1959 – a few weeks before Lester’s death on March 15 of that year. Careful, Lester lets loose with some colorful language at times!