Tag: 1977

Woody Shaw: My approach to jazz

woodyShawI’m going to post some interviews from the UK’s National Jazz Archive this week. If you’ve never visited, take a few minutes and check them out, there is a lot of great info on their site.

Here is a cool interview with trumpeter, flugelhornist, composer and band leader Woody Shaw from 1977. From the interview:

“I have played the flugelhorn at times, but I like the trumpet. The flugelhorn is purely incidental to me; it’s effective and pretty in certain things—but I can get just about the same sound on the trumpet. I have a very well–developed low register, with a very big, dark sound; so I don’t worry about the flugel. But—I’m going to get a flugelhorn ! Now, that instrument fits Art Farmer perfectly; you could have no better choice to play the flugel. It fits his style, his whole musical personality—he’s a very lyrical player. I heard him recently; he sounds beautiful.”

Click here to read Woody Shaw: My approach to jazz

—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

Mary Lou Williams in exclusive interview from CBC’s Hot Air archive

I’ll be posting interviews from the CBC-Radio Canada archives this week. 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.

Today, check out pianist, composer, and arranger Mary Lou Williams in conversation with Bob Smith for CBC Hot Air, recorded in May 1977 in Vancouver. From the interview:

Williams spoke about the spiritual and healing qualities of music, echoing the values of the iconic saxophonist, John Coltrane, someone she highly respected. Like Coltrane, Williams embraced Catholicism in her later years and even composed a jazz mass that features soulful, uplifting takes on traditional mass elements. Her criticism of modern popular music could be harsh at times, yet she incorporated the sound of ’60s funk and soul into her own music in a unique and organic way.

“I don’t think of anything until my hand touches the keyboard. Then everything starts workin’. The mind, heart, fingertips. If it misses the heart then you have patterns. That may happen due to the fact your rhythm section isn’t with it. Something like that. And if you’re on the spot you have to finish it off.”

Click here to listen to Mary Lou Williams in exclusive interview from CBC’s Hot Air archive

Art Blakey on Powerhouse Radio 1977

Drummer week at TNYDP! Today, a cool radio interview with the great drummer and bandleader Art Blakey from the Atlantic City radio station WUSS (yup). From the page:

A true legend, and an unwavering evangelist for the traditional elements of jazz, Art Blakey talks from his soul about his magnificent career. King from Powerhouse Radio was lucky enough to chat with Art Blakey while Art was still performing. Art passed away in 1990 at the age of 71.

Click here to listen to Art Blakey on Powerhouse Radio 1977

Stan Getz: Dec 8, 1977

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 1977 interview with saxophone great and latin jazz pioneer Stan Getz in which he discusses playing bass as a young man, selecting bandmembers, and his love of New York. From one of the clips:

“When somebody is going to leave my band, everybody knows it and they all scurry for a chance because they know that I give them plenty of room in my band. Nobody is stifled in my band, and I think it should be that way because jazz is s developing thing and jazz musicians develop and where else do they develop but on the job.”

Click here to listen to Stan Getz: Dec 8, 1977

Oscar Peterson & André Previn

This December 1977 BBC Four interview of Oscar Peterson was conducted (pun intended) by André Previn  sitting piano side and covers just about anything you’d like to know about the great Canadian pianist. Peterson performs examples (as does Previn) and the two generally yuck it up for an hour. Previn is typically funny and Peterson is typically great.