Archive: October, 2013

Jazz Conversations: Wayne Shorter & Joe Lovano

In this six part 2013 video discussion from the BlueNote YouTube pageWayne Shorter & Joe Lovano let mere mortals such as us listen in on their thoughts about music, life, and the rest of the world.

—Peter Blasevick

The Odd Jobs Of Dave King

daveKingHere is an interesting interview with drummer Dave King, best known for his work with The Bad Plus. Lara Pellegrinelli of NPR’s A Blog Supreme recently took the interesting angle of asking King about drummers as multi-taskers and different jobs, both musical and non, that he has held. From the interview:

Why don’t you tell me if any special skills you developed from these jobs parlayed themselves into your musical existence?

It’s funny, they’re very similar when you stack them up. I’d work jobs that took very little actual interaction with people so I could be in my own thought process. I spent time doing visualization about music and about what I wanted to do with my life and career. I was doing jazz gigs, trying to be the guy that people called for things, and learning how to do all of that, as well, but I had to have some money coming in during the day. I just didn’t want to do anything that would take any mental space away from my creative mind.

Oh, man, I’m remembering a good one. When I was in Los Angeles, I worked at Kinko’s. It was a goldmine for musicians because you can make flyers and postcards for your gigs. I got really into making these Basquiat-inspired, abstract neo-expressionist flyers that got a lot of attention for my band Happy Apple. And then I was a telemarketer selling bizarre stuff. Telemarketing is hell. I remember telling everyone this blanket would keep them cool in summer and warm in winter. And then there would be a tap on my shoulder because a supervisor had been listening to my conversation.

Click here to read The Odd Jobs Of Dave King

—Peter Blasevick

Roy Hargrove in Chicago 2011

Here are four 2011 video interviews with the always honest and interesting trumpeter Roy Hargrove from the folks over at iRockJazz.

In the first clip, Hargrove talks about what it’s like to live life on the road as a Jazz musician, and how the business is more about what a musician has to deal with, and not the performance itself. Roy also elaborates about what a musician who lives for the music gives back, and gives up for a ‘on the road’ lifestyle:

Here he talks about his background in music, his roots in a gospel upbringing, and how the music he plays is from the heart, and the creator:

In the third, he discusses how music is ever present in his thoughts, and how he will be inspired, and is thinking about music all the time:

Finally, Roy says it isn’t about having a job or making money, you have to put more into it then that, and if you do, the music will take care of you:

—Peter Blasevick

Absolute Brilliance with guest Jacob Collier

jacobCollierThe most talented musician in the world may be 19 years old and it may be Jacob Collier. He just released a new video and here is a new interview from a couple weeks ago with Kerry Marsh on his podcast Vocal Jazz and Beyond. You can imagine they get to talking about all things composing, arranging, and playing. The interview with Jacob starts at about 23:00 of the 1:17:00 podcast.

Click here to listen to Absolute Brilliance with guest Jacob Collier

—Peter Blasevick


Jack DeJohnette: Painting With Sticks

JackDeJohnetteHere is an interesting talk with the great drummer Jack DeJohnette from keyboardist and composer George Colligan. The interview was originally posted on his blog JazzTruth (which you should check out), but was recently reprinted at AllAboutJazz. The interview was conducted while they were touring Europe together in May of 2011. From the interview:

GC: How would you describe, if there was a way to describe it, your general concept of drumming?

JD: I would describe it like I did in a video recently. It’s called musical expression on the drum set. That’s what I do. I see myself as a colorist, not as a drummer, per se. I always though, “I want to do on drums what somebody like Keith Jarrett does on the piano.” The drum set is a musical instrument like guitar and everything else. You tune them, you tune the set, like you tune a guitar or bass, and I tune my drums in such a way so that no matter what I play, whatever I hit on it is a melody and that makes me think differently, it makes me think more melodically. And you know, you play drums, so you’ve played my set,so when you play it, no matter what you play…

Click here to read Jack DeJohnette: Painting With Sticks

Stanley Crouch on Charlie Parker in New York Times


From a September 19 New York Times podcast, Stanley Crouch discusses his new book about Charlie Parker’s early life and social world.

Since the early ’80s, the writer Stanley Crouch has been working on a biography of the jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker; in jazz circles through the last generation, the book has become almost mythic.

Suddenly it’s real: “Kansas City Lightning: The Rise and Times of Charlie Parker” (the first part of a projected two-volume project), describing Parker’s life and social world to the age of 20, will be published next week by HarperCollins.

Mr. Crouch spoke with the host Ben Ratliff about the uncanny and wide-ranging abilities of his subject, the after-hours underworld of prewar Kansas City, the sixth sense of street research, and how a single book can take 32 years to write.

Click here to listen to Stanley Crouch on Charlie Parker in New York Times


Mike Brecker: Music Is What I Do!

michaelBreckerHere is a cool 1973 Downbeat interview with Michael Brecker when he and his brother Randy were with the Horace Silver Quintet that I found this posted on the Mosaic Records blog, which always has cool postings. From the interview conducted by Herb Nolan:

“Actually, I never really studied music in school and I never went to music school, but I did have some really good teachers…

“Most of what I’ve learned, I’ll have to admit, comes from listening to records and from a few people in New York who really influenced me a lot like Dave Liebman and Steve Grossman. There are some other guys in New York nobody knows about who I think are great. I love the way they play. Bob Berg, a tenor player, is one, and Bob Mover, alto, who’s playing with Mingus now, he’s really good.”

Click here to read Mike Brecker: Music Is What I Do!

—Peter Blasevick