Category: T

McCoy Tyner: NJN/State of the Arts Showcase 1995

Grammy Award winning jazz musician McCoy Tyner in a 1995 interview with State of the Arts host Amber Edwards. Tyner discusses his meteoric rise to fame when at the age of 17 he became part of the legendary John Coltrane Quartet along with his early years growing up in Philadelphia. Tyner performs solo renditions of Blue Stride and Flying High.

—Peter Blasevick

Clark Terry in 2010

This week I’m posting interviews from Marc Myers’s award winning JazzWax blog, a very important web destination for today’s Jazz journalism. Here I’m posting Marc’s 2010 interview with living legend and most recorded Jazz trumpeter on the planet, Clark Terry. In Part 1 of the two part interview, Terry talks about growing up in St. Louis, playing in the Navy and working with Charlie Barnet and Duke Ellington. Part 2 covers Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, Norma Carson, and the first time he recorded on the flugelhorn. An excerpt:

JazzWax: What was St. Louis like in the 1930s? 
Clark Terry: St. Louis was very prejudiced when I wasgrowing up but it was a good jazz town. All the riverboats used to stop there heading up and down the Mississippi River. The boats brought many musicians into the area who were looking for work in town and in Kansas City. As a result, St. Louis was a good jumping off point to get established. Rent was cheap, the food was good and the ladies were beautiful [laughs].

Click here to read Clark Terry in 2010

Billy Taylor – American Hero

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 get lost.

Here is a really cool half-hour interview and bio of pianist, composer, and educator Billy Taylor. Produced and directed by Bret Primack in 2011 for a Billy Taylor Celebration at Jazz in July (the UMass Summer camp Taylor founded) the film includes interviews with Billy, Jon Faddis, Kim Taylor Thompson and Alan Bergman, as well as rare performance footage of Billy with Duke Ellington and Willie “the Lion” Smith on the David Frost Show, and, Billy’s acting debut on the CBS Television Program, See It Now, in 1952, when he portrayed Jelly Roll Morton.

— Peter Blasevick

Rich + Tormé = Wild Repartee

This week I’ll be linking to some classic Downbeat interviews. Here is a long and funny 1978 interview with drummer and bandleader Buddy Rich conducted by singer and composer/arranger Mel Tormé. From the piece, here are the two discussing the connection between drumming and tap dancing:

Tormé: Chick Webb, Ray Baduc, Gene Krupa, Ray McKinley—all those guys—were superior drummers in their own ways, but none of them were very daring. They didn’t incorporate bass drum and snare drum as alternate sounds. You’re the first guy that ever did that, I think. Do you feel that your tap dancing talents are the reason that you’re able to communicate between bass drum and snare drum, and tom toms and the rest of them, better than other drummers?

Rich: Tap dancing in the true sense is rhythmical dancing, right? I hate to say that you have to be born with it, but you don’t learn how to be a jazz tap dancer. Baby Laurence was the daddy of jazz tap dancers. The Conners brothers, Bunny Briggs, Buck and Bubbles, Bill Robinson—I would bet that if that they wanted to and picked up a pair of sticks, they could have been outstanding drummers. It’s that kind of feeling, that time thing.

Click here to read Rich & Tormé = Wild Repartee

— Peter Blasevick

Cecil Taylor: 11/13/1978

This week I’ll be linking to a series of interviews from the Canadian Jazz Archive Online, a project of JAZZ FM.91, Canada’s premier jazz radio station.

Here are audio three clips from a 1978 interview with pianist, living legend, and free jazz pioneer Cecil Taylor in which he discusses ‘starving artists’, musical integrity versus commercial success, and his original style and his influence on other players. From one of the clips:

“But you know, the unfortunate aspects of a culture are manifested in the responses that culture takes on as beliefs regarding, you know, the cultural artifacts that come out of areas of that culture that they don’t understand or have difficulty in accepting. And in terms of business, what I see as happening is that, and it’s been happening, simply the reason that certain music is not popular is because it’s never given the machinery that results in a product becoming popular.”

Click here to listen to Cecil Taylor: 11/13/1978

McCoy Tyner: Aug 2, 1988

This week I’ll be linking to a series of interviews from the Canadian Jazz Archive Online, a project of JAZZ FM.91, Canada’s premier jazz radio station.

Here are audio three clips from a 1988 interview with the great McCoy Tyner in which he discusses playing with John Coltrane, the nuances in learning jazz, and his career success and stature.

Click here to listen to McCoy Tyner: Aug 2, 1988

Two 1978 Toots Thielemans Interviews

Here are two great 1978 interviews with the legendary harmonica player Toots Thielemans with Les Tomkins from the JazzProfessional website. Here he talks about his six years with pianist George Shearing:

“It was a steady job, and still good exposure—and it was good music at the time, I guess. It’s still good music, but somehow I flew away a little bit from it. George is still a fine musician, of course. I stayed on there, because it was a good job, and I had no other; it was a matter of security, also. My leaving the band was a mutual thing, after that amount of time, George just wanted to change the faces around, and I was ready to jump in the pool. I decided, well, I didn’t come to the States to be a sideman all my life. Then you have to start to wait for the phone to ring, and that’s not easy. In the States, it can be rough—anywhere, for that matter.”

Click here to read Two 1978 Toots Thielemans Interviews