Category: P

Chris Potter on The Jazz Session in 2010

chrisPotterI love this quote about saxophonist Chris Potter from Kenny Wheeler:

“Chris was in my composition class at the New School [for Jazz and Contemporary Music, NYC] for about a year. When he called me for a private lesson, I had no idea how he played. We started with a bebop tune; but he went further out on the second thing we played, and on the third tune he was playing in the language of my contemporaries, guys who grew up following all of Miles’ bands and aspiring to the kind of spiritual strivings that defined Coltrane’s music. By the fourth tune, I wanted to take a lesson from Chris.” (from Chris Potter at JazzProfiles)

Anyway, in this great interview from Jason Crane’s JazzSession, recorded before Potter’s performance with Dave Holland at the 2009 Tanglewood Jazz Festival, Potter talks about how a middle-class kid in Columbia, SC, ended up liking Chicago blues; why he looks first to please himself with the music he makes; and how rhythm breaks down barriers with an audience.

Click here to read Chris Potter on The Jazz Session in 2010

—Peter Blasevick

Oscar Peterson – The Dick Cavett Show (1979)

Today, a great treat. If you haven’t seen this Oscar Peterson clip from the old Dick Cavett show, hie thee to the link below and enjoy. There are performances by Oscar, a longish interview, and then Cavett speaks with Peterson piano-side and has the legend run through different styles and asks him a number of questions about certain players and techniques. Oscar even sings a bit with that Nat Cole voice of his. Great stuff.

—Peter Blasevick

An interview with jazz saxophonist Chris Potter, resident artist at the Stanford Jazz Workshop

chrisPotterA quick interviews today from saxophonist Chris Potter. Fresh off an August 2013 show at the Stanford Jazz Festival, Potter sat down with The Stanford Daily to discuss influences on his work, his experiences as both a bandleader and a sideman and the demands of being creative. From the interview Potter talks about listening to contemporary artists:

Chris Potter: The music that I listen to that’s more recent, a lot of it is not necessarily jazz but maybe [is] classical or pop. I don’t know why that is exactly. It might be that I’m just too close to it. A lot of the jazz records that are being made are by people that I know and am friends with. I know them personally, so I go out to listen to them whenever I have the chance. I don’t feel influenced by them the same way as when I listen to a Coltrane record. I might listen to their records and say, “OK yeah, he really expressed himself well on this one.” But that’s a lot different from listening to Coltrane, whom I never had a chance to hear in person. And I think if I wasn’t in the middle of the scene, in New York, it’d be a very different scenario.

Click here to read An interview with jazz saxophonist Chris Potter, resident artist at the Stanford Jazz Workshop

—Peter Blasevick

Courtney Pine: ‘Carrying my instrument home each day made me feel better about myself’

courtneyPineA quick Q&A with saxophonist, multi-instrumentalist, crossover artist, and all around cool dude Courtney Pine from The Guardian’s This Much I Know feature. Pine, 49, discusses standing up to the ‘jazz police’, playing saxophone on the moon, and being saved by the Pet Shop Boys. From the piece by Megan Conner:

The Pet Shop Boys saved my life. It was 1989, I’d lost my record deal, and they gave me a show at Wembley. I’m indebted to Neil [Tennant] and Chris [Lowe] for their love of jazz music.

People think you’re older when you play jazz. That’s fine by me. I’ve always wanted to be older, as I’ve wanted to know what I’ll sound like at 50, 60, 70.

My house is full of computers. My wife laughed when I said we’d have computers in every room one day. I’m a technology obsessive.

Click here to read Courtney Pine: ‘Carrying my instrument home each day made me feel better about myself’

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


Andre Previn with Martin Perlich 9/21/1990


Andre Previn often isn’t thought of as a “jazz” player due to due to his success in the classical and film worlds, but he is one heck of a piano player! Here is a great 1990 radio interview from Martin Perlich. From the intro:

I was fortunate to be invited to occasional breakfasts at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills with then Music Director of the LA Philharmonic André Previn. Raised on the Hollywood sound stages, Previn was an accomplished composer as well as extraordinary jazz pianist. Telarc had just released his second jazz CD—a trio with Mundel Lowe and Ray Brown—and Previn compared the art of improvisation to standard “straight” classical playing.

Click here to listen to Andre Previn with Martin Perlich 9/21/1990

—Peter Blasevick

Danilo Perez Interview Live At The 2013 Festival International de Jazz de Montréal

Jazz bassist Jonah Jonathan interviews pianist, composer, educator, Danilo Perez who had just finished performing with the Wayne Shorter Quartet along with Brian Blade and John Pattituci at the 2013 Montreal Jazz Festival. Perez discusses the 80th birthday celebration of Shorter among other topics.

—Peter Blasevick

Interview with Michel Petrucciani – North Sea Jazz Festival 1998

Here is a quick interview with the late French pianist Michel Petrucciani, recorded at the North Sea Jazz Festival in 1998. In the interview, Petrucciani discusses his ideas of music and colors, composing with specific people in mind (he mentions Steve Gadd and Anthony Jackson), and the challenges of traveling with his own grand piano to all his gigs.

—Peter Blasevick

Guitarist John Pizzarelli from the 2012 Jazz Cruise

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’s interviews are with singer/guitarist/bandleader John Pizzarelli and were conducted aboard the MS Westerdam during the Jazz Cruise 2012. In the three clips, Pizzarelli discusses his early years, including his first instrument, the first jazz album he loved, the first jazz concerts and his very first paying gig; part two covers his favorites from the Great American Songbook and beyond, his bucket list of artists with whom he’d like to play, and the genesis of the radio show he does with his wife, singer Jessica Molaskey; and finally he discusses the talks about performing on the Jazz Cruise. Interviews by Irene Lee.

—Peter Blasevick

Oscar Peterson in exclusive interview from CBC’s Hot Air archive

More great jazz interviews this week from CBC-Radio Canada! The Bob Smith Hot Air archive is a treasure trove of approximately 50 interviews Smith recorded with some of the greatest stars of the day, from the world of jazz and beyond. Captured between 1950 and 1982, these interviews include conversations with Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Billy Strayhorn, Harry James, Oscar Peterson and Lena Horne, as well as Sammy Davis Jr., Bill Cosby, Harry Belafonte, Liza Minnelli and many others.

This edition of Giants of Jazz focuses on the beloved Canadian pianist Oscar Peterson (1925-2007). “OP,” as he is affectionately known, met with Hot Air host Bob Smith for a far-ranging discussion on topics including keeping a band on the road, Canadian content regulations and new directions in pop music. From the interview:

“It means a hell of a lot to a Canadian artist, to any artist, to know that you have a place at home where the people really know you and dig what you do, and then that gives you even more confidence to go out and display those same wares to foreigners, whether it be in the United States or Europe or Japan or wherever it is.”

Click here to listen to Oscar Peterson in exclusive interview from CBC’s Hot Air archive