Category: G

Steve Gadd: Consummate Drummer

SteveGaddHere is a new interview with the great Steve Gadd from R.J. Deluxe at AllAboutJazz. As Deluke says, it might be easier to list the people he hasn’t played with than those he has (Paul Simon, Carly Simon, James Taylor, Paul McCartneySteely Dan, The Manhattan Transfer, Al Di MeolaChuck MangioneHubert LawsJoe FarrellGeorge Benson the Brecker BrothersFrank SinatraDave Grusin, Michael McDonald…).

Gadd talks about everything from his his early days to Eric Clapton to the Mickey Mouse Club in this piece. Enjoy!

From the interview:

“With studio work, a lot of times you don’t hear the music before you get in there. You go in and listen to what people are saying. I try to get them to play either the demo or get them to sit at the piano or the guitar and play the song before we start playing so that when people start using words, you know what they’re referring to. If you’ve never heard the song, its just words. That’s one rule I try to keep in place: to listen to what the song is before we do it in the studio. You either have the artist sing it or play it, or a lot of times they have a demo.”

Click here to read Steve Gadd: Consummate Drummer

—Peter Blasevick




Eddie Gomez: The Call Of The Wild

eddieGomezHey folks! After a several month layoff due to server, hosting, WordPress, and time (time, Time, TIME!!) issues, we are back here at TNYDP with a new look and plenty of new and historical interviews with your favorite jazz players, writers, and other notables.

Today, a great recent interview with the legendary Eddie Gomez, courtesy of AllAboutJazz. Over the course of two phone talks with Robin Arends, Gomez discusses jazz in the fifties and sixties, pollution, overcrowding, Eddie’s collaboration with Bill Evans and his rich career afterwards. From the interview:

AAJ: Jazz is more institutionalized now compared to when you started? 

EG: The music evolved and developed that way. You can also say that of classical music. In the 14th, 15th century it was very specialized music and it was not available for the average people. For the average person there was folk music. It took a time before it was not only available for the privileged people. You can say the same about jazz, in a shorter timescale. By now there are more people who listen to jazz music like it is classical music, but the experience is so different. The world now is not in for steady bands. It is hard to sell records. There are many good bands, but there is not enough work, there is not enough touring. In my time there were many bands: Art BlakeyBill EvansMiles DavisSonny Rollins, there were lots of good bands and they stayed together. This is a treasure for the music, for the art form. They recorded three, four albums.

Click here to read Eddie Gomez: The Call Of The Wild

—peter blasevick

Benny Green interviewed at the 2012 Litchfield Jazz Festival

Here is a cool backstage interview with pianist Benny Green at the 2012 Litchfield Jazz Festival. Conducted by bassist and all-around-jazz-interviewer-guy Jonah Jonathan, Green talks a lot about his early years, his influences, and his current projects. Good stuff.

—Peter Blasevick

Benny Goodman: The Complete 1982 Interview About Charlie Christian

bennyGoodman98 years ago today the legendary Charlie Christian was born in Bonham, Texas. While he lived only a short 25 years and there isn’t much out there in the way of first hand interviews with Charlie, there were always musicians who played with him that were willing to discuss his short but brilliant career. Here is a 1982 telephone interview with Benny Goodman conducted by Jas Obrecht on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Christian’s
passing. From the interview:

charlieChristianSome books now claim that Charlie was instrumental in pioneering bebop.

Well, that’s true, isn’t it?  Yeah. But to me, he sounded quite different than that. He wasn’t as hectic as bebop, as far as I’m concerned. But I can see the influence that I can imagine that some people would say he had over bop. His inventions, his harmonic structure – quite miraculous. There was a phrase in – what was it? [Sings several measures of Christian’s “Air Mail Special” solo.] Remember the release? Yeah. [Sings some “Air Mail Special” riffs.] Those kinds of phrases – extraordinary!

Click here to read Benny Goodman: The Complete 1982 Interview About Charlie Christian

—Peter Blasevick

For The 86th Birthday Anniversary Of Johnny Griffin, a 1990 Interview on WKCR

johnnyGriffinYesterday was the 86th birthday anniversary of Johnny Griffin (1928-2008), the magnificent tenor saxophonist from Chicago.Here is the complete transcript of an interview with him on WKCR conducted by Ted Panken while Griffin while he was in residence at the Village Vanguard in 1990. From the interview:

There’s a funny story about your first gig. You had thought that you were hired to play alto saxophone, and were quickly disabused of that notion.

Right. Well, I was playing alto like a tenor anyway, you know. What happened was, I had graduated on a Thursday, and Hamp started that week at the Regal Theater in Chicago on that Friday. The late Jay Peters, the tenor saxophonist who had been hired to play in the band a few months earlier, had to go into the military service. Then Hamp remembered me because he had come by my high school, and had a jam session in the school assembly or something—so he asked for me. They found me on Sunday, and I went down and played a few tunes with the band with my alto. On the following Friday they went to the RKO Theatre in Toledo, Ohio.

No one said anything to me about I was going to replace a tenor saxophone player, because Maurice Simon or one of his brothers was playing saxophone in the band then. I had no idea what was to transpire, until I was walking on stage in Toledo, and Gladys Hampton stopped me. She used to call me Junior. She said, “Junior, where you going with that alto?” I said, “What do you mean?” She said, “Well, you’re playing tenor in this band.” “What?” So I immediately caught a train back to Chicago. It was hard to come by a saxophone in those days, as the war was still going on, and they were making bullets and guns instead of musical instruments with the metal. I found an old saxophone and rejoined the band two days later.

Click here to read For The 86th Birthday Anniversary Of Johnny Griffin, a 1990 Interview on WKCR

Eddie Gomez On Piano Jazz

eddieGomezI was listening through some repeats of NPR’s Piano Jazz with the late Marian McPartland recently, and they are just great. There aren’t many forums that allow long-form interview/performances like these, and we’re fortunate that they keep an archive of selected episodes up at the NPR site.

In this episode, bassist Eddie Gomez visits Piano Jazz for a session with his old boss, Marian McPartland. The pair first teamed up in the early 1960s, when McPartland found herself in need of a bassist for a regular trio gig at Strollers in New York. Gomez gained exposure that led to the chance of a lifetime: a spot as bassist in the Bill Evans Trio. On this installment of Piano Jazz from 2007, Gomez and McPartland get together for a set of tunes by Bill Evans, Chick Corea, Cole Porter, Thelonious Monk and more.

“Eddie is such a wonderful bassist,” McPartland says. “I remember hiring him for that gig, and we had a fabulous time catching up on the show. It was a lot of fun playing together again. And he went on to big things with Bill Evans… and now teaching the kids.”

Here is the set list played during the interview:

  • “On Green Dolphin Street” (B. Kaper, N. Washington)
  • “Windows” (C. Corea)
  • “Willow Weep for Me” (A. Ronell)
  • “Easy to Love” (C. Porter)
  • “Turn Out the Stars” (B. Evans)
  • “Free Piece” (M. McPartland, E. Gomez)
  • “Stella by Starlight” (N. Washington, V. Young)
  • “Sometime Ago” (S. Mihanovich)
  • “Straight No Chaser” (T.S. Monk)

Click here to listen to Eddie Gomez On Piano Jazz

Robert Glasper’s Black Radio 2 playlist

robertGlasperThe hard-to-pigeonhole keyboardist Robert Glasper sat down recently with Hilary Hughes for Esquire Magazine to discuss his new record Black Radio 2. Glasper walks readers through the tracks on the record and discusses all the guest artists, from Common to Lalah Hathaway to Snoop Dogg. He also picks songs from the artists for a cool playlist linked from the interview page. From the interview, Glasper on Norah Jones:

“Norah and I went to jazz camp together in high school! She went to the performance arts high school in Dallas, and I went to the one in Houston. Her high school had Erykah Badu; my high school had Beyoncé. (Laughs) The next time I saw her after jazz camp was in 2001: I was a senior in college in New York, and she was in a practice room at my college, practicing the piano. I was like, ‘What are you doing here!’ and she was like, ‘My friend let me in! I’m working on a demo!’ The very next time I saw her, she was winning eight Grammys.

Click here to read Robert Glasper’s Black Radio 2 playlist

—Peter Blasevick

1960s Dexter Gordon Audio Interviews

More Dex this week! Here are 17 beautiful minutes of Dexter Gordon telling his life story. The audio comes from some rare outtakes and extras from Dexter Gordon – Complete Blue Note Sixties Sessions

—Peter Blasevick

Dexter Gordon: The Chuck Berg Interview

Dexter_Gordon1A final Dexter Gordon interview for the week. As he explains in the following interview with Chuck Berg which appeared in the February 10, 1977 issue of Downbeat magazine, a variety of factors came together in the early 1960s which influenced him to leave the USA for Europe where Dexter ultimately took up residence in Copenhagen. From the interview, posted on at the JazzProfiles blog, Dex talks about being in New York City after many years away:

It’s great to be back. Of course I’ve been going out to the West Coast for years, which has been very nice. But I had forgotten how fantastic and exciting New York is. There’s no place like this in the world. This is it, you know. It’s always been that way. This time, for me, it’s been overwhelming because from the minute we got off the plane everything has been fantastic, unbelievable. I really wasn’t prepared for this kind of a reaction, ‘the return of the conquering hero’ and all that.”

Click here to read Dexter Gordon: The Chuck Berg Interview 

—Peter Blasevick

Dexter Gordon: Transcontinental Tenorist

Dexter GordonDexter_Gordon1 interviews this week! Here is a 1972 Downbeat interview with the great tenor conducted by Jenny Armstrong right after he won the 1971 Downbeat Critic’s Poll. From the interview, Dexter talks about polls and awards:

JA: In what way can it be of importance to you?

DG: Well, first of all, recognition—to have a little recognition, that is very nice, you dig. It is good for the ego, for the psyche. A recognition of what I’ve been trying to do for years—it’s certainly not just a spot opinion; I mean, it’s something that obviously has been building up for years. Of course, it is also very good for publicity, and it is the kind of recognition that maybe will help financially, also.

JA: Do you think that these polls mirror the reality of what is happening in the music world?

DG: You know, there are two kinds of polls. There’s the critics poll, and then there’s another poll where the readers write in. But one would say that the first is the, of course, more critical poll, because it’s supposed to be music critics who are voting. But it doesn’t necessarily reflect your popularity or name value.

JA: Do you think that critics are able to judge who’s best?

DG: Well, it’s an individual thing, but we must assume that if they are music critics, then they must know something about music. They spend a lot of time listening—they must know something about music in order to be able to write half way intelligently about it. So you have to assume that they do know something about it.

Click here to read Dexter Gordon: Transcontinental Tenorist

—Peter Blasevick