Tag: 2011

Two Jack DeJohnette audio interviews

JackDeJohnetteHere are two podcast interviews with the legendary drummer Jack DeJohnette from the AllAboutJazz site. In 2011 DeJohnette discusses his famous cymbals and creating his signature sound. The following year DeJohnette talks about the next phase of his storied career, his induction as a 2012 NEA Jazz Master, and the multiple projects he took to the Newport Jazz Festival that summer.

Click here to listen to Two Jack DeJohnette audio interviews: 2011

Click here to listen to Two Jack DeJohnette audio interviews 2012

—Peter Blasevick

Roy Hargrove in Chicago 2011

Here are four 2011 video interviews with the always honest and interesting trumpeter Roy Hargrove from the folks over at iRockJazz.

In the first clip, Hargrove talks about what it’s like to live life on the road as a Jazz musician, and how the business is more about what a musician has to deal with, and not the performance itself. Roy also elaborates about what a musician who lives for the music gives back, and gives up for a ‘on the road’ lifestyle:

Here he talks about his background in music, his roots in a gospel upbringing, and how the music he plays is from the heart, and the creator:

In the third, he discusses how music is ever present in his thoughts, and how he will be inspired, and is thinking about music all the time:

Finally, Roy says it isn’t about having a job or making money, you have to put more into it then that, and if you do, the music will take care of you:

—Peter Blasevick

Jack DeJohnette: Painting With Sticks

JackDeJohnetteHere is an interesting talk with the great drummer Jack DeJohnette from keyboardist and composer George Colligan. The interview was originally posted on his blog JazzTruth (which you should check out), but was recently reprinted at AllAboutJazz. The interview was conducted while they were touring Europe together in May of 2011. From the interview:

GC: How would you describe, if there was a way to describe it, your general concept of drumming?

JD: I would describe it like I did in a video recently. It’s called musical expression on the drum set. That’s what I do. I see myself as a colorist, not as a drummer, per se. I always though, “I want to do on drums what somebody like Keith Jarrett does on the piano.” The drum set is a musical instrument like guitar and everything else. You tune them, you tune the set, like you tune a guitar or bass, and I tune my drums in such a way so that no matter what I play, whatever I hit on it is a melody and that makes me think differently, it makes me think more melodically. And you know, you play drums, so you’ve played my set,so when you play it, no matter what you play…

Click here to read Jack DeJohnette: Painting With Sticks

Smithsonian Oral Histories: Sonny Rollins 2011

sonnyRollinsFor the next couple weeks, I am going to be linking to audio clips and transcriptions from the Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program. Established by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in 1992, the Program documents more than one hundred senior jazz musicians, performers, relatives, and business associates.  The interviews average six hours in length and cover a wide range of topics including early years, initial involvement in music, generally, and jazz specifically, as well as experiences in the jazz music world, including relationships to musicians. The transcriptions are complete, the audio are shorter clips from the interviews.

Today, a fantastic 50 pages with the great Sonny Rollins. In addition to the full transcript, there are four audio clips of Sonny discussing what attracted him to jazz, approaching established musicians during his early years, what makes a good improvisation, his positioning on stage, and his repertoire outside of the usual jazz standards. From the interview, here is Rollins talking to Larry Appelbaum about playing at clubs owned by a certain type of businessman:

Appelbaum: Were most of the clubs mob owned…owned by the mob? 

Rollins: Uh…let’s see now. Well, the clubs that I started playing with uptown, I started playing, we played at uh…the club up on 155th Street we played around. The clubs right they were smaller scale clubs. They weren’t mob owned. They were owned by people in the community, the neighborhood. Um…as you went downtown–and, of course, we all know that The Cotton Club was owned by Lucky Luciano, or some people in that group–those clubs were owned. I think the bigger-named clubs, the mob was involved with those, you know. 

Appelbaum: Did you ever work those clubs? 

Rollins: Uh, well, I worked at the uh…let’s see. I think, I, I, I think they were uh…there was a club–The Cafe Bohemia–that a lot of guys played, I think there were probably mob people that had those properties, you know. And even the Termini Brothers at the Five Spot, I think there were mob people that had those properties, and they might have let the Termini Brothers operate them, you know. I’m not suggesting they were connected, but they were connected, I think, to that extent. And uh…some of those places um…I think 52nd Street there were a lot of so-called “mob connections” with some of the people. Um…but yeah, some, some of the players I would say. The local places, no, I don’t think so.

Click here to listen to and read Smithsonian Oral Histories: Sonny Rollins 2011

—Peter Blasevick

2011 Ahmad Jamal Interview with Joe Alterman

AhmadJamalMore Ahmad Jamal interviews for the living legend’s birthday week. Here is a cool interview from 2011 from Joe Alterman’s Blog. Jamal covers a ton of topics including Pittsburgh, learning lyrics, and Erroll Garner. HEre he is discussing his repertoire:

Joe Alterman: One of the things that I’ve always loved about your playing is your repertoire. I’m curious how you were originally introduced to the great standards. 

Ahmad Jamal: My aunt, who was an educator in North Carolina, sent me many, many compositions via sheet music, and that’s how I gained the vast repertoire that you hear me indulge in. I was sent those things by her gracious efforts from 10 years old and on. So my Aunt Louise was the one responsible for me acquiring that vast repertoire of standards…It’s a combination of what she did and also working around one of the great cities for musicians, or people who were developing a career in music: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. So working with groups in Pittsburgh, and what she sent me, and the environment under which I grew up in. As you know I…well you don’t know (laughter), but I sold papers to Billy Strayhorn’s family when I was seven years old. So we [Pittsburgh] have Billy Strayhorn and Erroll Garner and Earl Hines and Roy Eldridge, Ray Brown, Art Blakey, and a pianist that you’ve probably never heard of, Dodo Momarosa. He was a great pianist…And Earl Wild, the great exponent of Liszt; a great interpreter of Franz Liszt…And Gene Kelly the tap dancer. The list goes on and on and on…George Benson, who was a much later personality that developed in Pittsburgh. But he’s a Pittsburgh personality, as well as Stanley Turrentine. It goes on and on and on.

Click here to read 2011 Ahmad Jamal Interview with Joe Alterman

Stanley Clarke: Path Maker

Trailblazing bassist Stanley Clarke is as influential today as he was during the heyday of Chick Corea’s Return To Forever in the 1970s. Here is a lengthy interview he gave to AllAboutJazz in 2011. From the interview:

“…as a musician, I was only interested in sounding good. It didn’t matter, even in some cases, how much we were getting paid. We were just out there really trying to sound good and living up to the tradition of jazz music, and the guys that came before us. Like for instance, I didn’t really realize how big Return to Forever was until the last reunion that we did a couple of years ago. It was huge; we could have played any of those places two or three times, and we didn’t, because we said we couldn’t do it. But that was a pretty important band, and all those individuals have their own history.

“The great thing about Chick Corea, myself and [drummer] Lenny White, and not so much with [guitarist] Al Di Meola, is that we can go back to those guys. Chick and I played with Art Blakey; I played with Dexter Gordon, and we both played with Stan Getz; Lenny White played with Jackie McLean and a lot of older jazz musicians, so we had that in common. So whether we knew that was big, it’s not something you thought about; if I would have thought about it at the time, I wouldn’t have been with those people, I wouldn’t have played the way I did. It’s kinda like an oxymoron in concept, to have those two things together; a guy that thinks he is so big and there he is, playing at nineteen with Dexter Gordon. You’re so scared you can’t think of anything [laughs].”

Click here to read Stanley Clarke: Path Maker

John Clayton with Don Wolff in 2011

Grammy Award winning Jazz Bassist, Composer and Conductor John Clayton visited with Don Wolff in 2011, and they discussed his career, and also the importance of Jazz Education, an area that Mr. Clayton sees as very important and for which he places much emphasis. Here is the great bassist, composer, and arranger on Milt Hinton:

“Oh gosh, he was such an inspiration. He’s a guy who really, really saw to it that the bass family remained a family. He was always taking time out to give anybody who was interested his time…he really exemplified the “jazz mentor”.

Click here to listen to John Clayton with Don Wolff in 2011

—Peter Blasevick

2011 interview with Hiromi Uehara from the Newport Jazz Festival

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!

This interview with noted jazz pianist Hiromi Uehara took place at the 2011 Newport Jazz Festival and was conducted by Lee Mergner.  She talked about playing with her trio (Anthony Jackson and Simon Phillips) and also with Chick Corea, as well as about her own music education. Finally she discussed her personal and professional response to the Tsunami in Japan.

—Peter Blasevick

Jimmy Cobb – Keeping Time

This week I will be posting some podcast interviews from JazzCorner.com, a portal for the official websites of hundreds of jazz musicians and organizations. There is a ton of great info you can get to from there, so check them out.

Drummer Jimmy Cobb turned 84 last month but still keeps up a regular schedule of performing and teaching master classes. Perhaps most famous when he was part of Miles Davis band (1957-63), NEA Jazz Master Cobb has a distinguished career as both sideman and group leader. Producer Reese Erlich interviewed Cobb for this special JazzCorner.com Jazz Perspective prior to his appearance at the 2011 Tanglewood Jazz Festival. In this 30 minute interview, Cobb discusses his career, his time with Miles, and a host of other topics.

Click here to listen to Jimmy Cobb – Keeping Time

Q&A: Eliot Zigmund 2011

In this 2011 interview from JazzOnline.com, the great drummer Eliot Zigmund shares his recollections of the great Bill Evans album You Must Believe in Spring. From the interview, Zigmund talks about his approach to playing with Evans:

“ I was very influenced by the music that was going on around me particularly Tony Williams and Jack DeJohnette.  There was basically a revolution in drumming going on at that point. I really liked the way Jack had played with Bill.  He was very abstract, used colors a lot.  So I was thinking that way musically at that time and tried to bring a lot of color and expressiveness.  I was just trying to give Bill and Eddie what I thought worked in that context.”

Click here to read Q&A: Eliot Zigmund 2011