Category: L

Thad Jones and Mel Lewis 1969

thadJonesHere is a great talk with bandleaders Thad Jones and Mel Lewis speaking with Les Tomkins in 1969. They talk a lot about their legendary orchestra and its players and how fortunate the two of them have been in their careers. From the interview:

Lewis: I don’t think any two guys could be as lucky as Thad and I, as far as having something that you can be proud of till your dying day. The kind of thing you dream about. And most people would never attempt it, because they’d figure: “Oh, it couldn’t happen.” But it can. We’ve proved it—to ourselves, anyway. If somebody else doesn’t melLewisbelieve it, i doesn’t matter; we know it, and we’re two of the happiest guys in the world right now.

Jones: We’ve both been sidemen in other bands for practically all of our musical lives; we’ve never really done the things that we wanted to do as individuals. When you play with somebody else, you always try to fit that particular mould, to give what is in you to give within whatever’s going on. I worked for that bandleader; I gave him what he wanted. This is the type of attitude that I’ve come to expect; otherwise you’ll never be able to give one hundred per cent of you. And any band must do this, in order to be an orchestra, to play as one.

Click here to read Thad Jones and Mel Lewis 1969

—Peter Blasevick

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

Three Joe Lovano video interviews from the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival

Hey, this is our 200th post! I hope everyone who visits the site finds it fun and useful; please let me know if there is anything you want to see (or see more of!)

This week I will be linking to some great video interviews from the JazzTimes YouTube page. There is so much more there than I’ll be posting this week, so be sure to check it out!

Today, three clips with tenor great Joe Lovano from the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival. In the first, Lovano talks about playing at the Newport Jazz Festival with various groups and about the festival’s legacy, along with some of his favorite jazz albums that were recorded live at Newport; in the second he discusses creating a band inspired by the music of Wayne Shorter; in the third, he talks about his early musical education and development, including his first instrument, his first paid gig and what he learned from his father, a noted sax player around Cleveland. Interview by Lee Mergner

—Peter Blasevick

Introducing Scott LaFaro—The Jazz Review, August 1960

Today is the last in a week of interviews from the music journal The Jazz Review, which has been wonderfully preserved at the great website jazzstudiesonline.org. Founded by Nat Hentoff, Martin Williams, and Hsio Wen Shih in New York in 1958, The Jazz Review was the premier journal of jazz in the United States. Short-lived as it was (1958-1961), it set an enduring standard for criticism. All the interview links point to the full .pdf for that issue, so it might take a second to load. Worth the wait!

Bassist Scott LaFaro died far too young, long before he could shore all his ideas with us. In this early interview, we get the idea that despite his changing the way Jazz bass was played, he was somewhat of a traditionalist at heart:

“I found out playing with Bill that I have a deep respect for harmony, melodic patterns, and form. I think a lot more imaginative work could be done within them than most people are doing, but I can’t abandon them. That’s why I don’t think I could play with Ornette Coleman. I used to in California; we would go looking all over town for some place to play. I respect the way he overrides forms. It’s all right for him, but I don’t think I could do it myself.”

Click here to read Introducing Scott LaFaro—The Jazz Review, August 1960

Bruce Lundvall: 25 Years at Blue Note

From Jazziz Magazine, record company executive Bruce Lundvall reflects on a quarter-century at the helm of jazz’s most storied label, Blue Note Records. From the 2009 interview with Ted Panken:

Not every head of a large label is as hands-on as you. I could be wrong.

No, they could be wrong by not being more hands-on. They have to be. If you love the music, you are hands on. Are you going to sit and let someone else do everything? After all these years, I’ve become a fairly decent delegator. In the past, I was never that good at delegating. But I still want to keep my hand in. I don’t allow anyone to be signed whom I don’t approve of.

I feel we’re a team of people who are friends, who respect one another, are first and foremost about the music, and work together very effectively – though from time to time, we have to face issues that are not so pleasant. I’d really be embarrassed if I had to tell you that this has been a failure. It’s been successful commercially and artistically as far as I’m concerned. But it will never be as successful as what Alfred Lion created. His artists were so one-of-a-kind, such giants. We have to see how many of our artists become that 30, 40, 50 years from now.

Click here to read Bruce Lundvall: 25 Years at Blue Note 

Joe Lovano Discusses Hank Jones

This week I am posting video interviews from JazzVideoGuy himself, Bret Primack. Check out his channel on YouTube, there is so much to watch, you’ll look up and realize it’s two in the morning.

I’ve mentioned before I’m sure that I just love Hank Jones…any excuse to post about him is fine with me. Here is a nice long talk with tenor great Joe Lovano in which he discusses  working with the legendary pianist and goes into detail about their 2007 live duet album Kids.

— Peter Blasevick

Steve Lacy in Saxophone Journal 1991

I’m posting interviews this week from Mel Martin’s great site. In this interview, influential soprano saxophonist Steve Lacy talks about his gear, his influences, and of course, Monk. Here he is talking about a number of pianists:

Have you been heavily influenced by the great pianists?

Yes. I wanted to be a pianist but I couldn’t do it, it just wasn’t my thing. I guess I wanted to stand up rather than sit down (laughter). When I was a kid I saw Art Tatum and he blew me away so I gave up the piano. Happily, I discovered the clarinet first then the soprano saxophone when I was sixteen.

You’ve had working relationships with some great pianists such as Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk and Gil Evans.

Yeah, that was not a coincidence. I worked with Cecil Taylor for six years and a lot of that rubbed off. I’ve been working with Mal Waldron on and off for nearly thirty years. Monk was also a fantastic playing experience. I was associated with him for a couple of years with the big band and then I worked with his quintet for a season, about four months with Charlie Rouse. There’s a pirate tape and there are three tunes that were all recorded at a festival in Philadelphia in 1960, EvidenceBlue Monk and Rhythm-a-ning.

Click here to read Steve Lacy in Saxophone Journal 1991

— Peter Blasevick


Joe Lovano on The New Jazz Archive

Here is a 2011 interview with the great saxophonist Joe Lovano on the show The New Jazz Archive on Interlochen Public Radio (IPR). From the interview:

Joe: “Well, I started playing saxophone as a kid and my Dad played saxophone and he heard Charlie Parker play live in the late 40s, early 50s and was one of his disciples, let’s say, and always talked about hearing Bird. And as I was developing on my horn as a young player Charlie Parker’s music and way of playing was the foundations of some of my early studies once I started to be able to play the saxophone a little bit. The melodies and the song structures and the tunes were heavy studies and lessons from me as a young player.”

Click here to read and listen to Joe Lovano on The New Jazz Archive

Harold Land 2001

Here is a wide ranging interview with the great tenor best known for his work with the Clifford Brown Max Roach Quintet of the mid-1950s. Published in Jazz Times just a few months before he passed away at the age of 72, Land discusses many topics including the legendary combo, Buddhism, and his son Harold Jr.

Click here to read Harold Land 2001

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