Tag: 2012

Benny Green interviewed at the 2012 Litchfield Jazz Festival

Here is a cool backstage interview with pianist Benny Green at the 2012 Litchfield Jazz Festival. Conducted by bassist and all-around-jazz-interviewer-guy Jonah Jonathan, Green talks a lot about his early years, his influences, and his current projects. Good stuff.

—Peter Blasevick

For Ron Carter’s 77th Birthday, a DownBeat Feature From Two Years Ago

ronCarterBass maestro Ron Carter turned 77 yesterday. Ted Panken posted a feature piece that DownBeat assigned me to write two years ago in response to his entry into the DB Hall of Fame. Some interesting insights about Carter’s early days and his career. From the interview:

“Jazz was always in the air at school, but it wasn’t my primary listening,” Carter said. “I had other responsibilities—the concert band, the marching band, the orchestra [Carter played cello exclusively from ages 10-17], my chores at home, and maintaining a straight-A average. We were playing huge orchestrations of Strauss and Beethoven and Brahms, and the Bach Cantatas with all these voices moving in and out.”  Midway through Carter’s senior year, it became clear to him that more employment would accrue if he learned to play the bass, a decision reinforced when he heard “Blue Haze,” a blues in F on which Miles Davis’ solo unfolds over a suave Percy Heath bassline and Art Blakey’s elemental beat on the hi-hat, ride cymbal, and bass drum. “I was fascinated to hear them making their choices sound superb with the bare essentials,” Carter said. “These three people were generating as much musical logic in six to eight choruses as a 25-minute symphony with 102 players.”

Click here to read For Ron Carter’s 77th Birthday, a DownBeat Feature From Two Years Ago

—Peter Blasevick

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

Like It Is: The Branford Marsalis Interview

branfordMarsalisBranford Marsalis usually has little problem sharing his thoughts on things, and this interview is no different. The great saxophonist takes on classical vs. jazz, virtuosity versus simplicity, musical maturity, and many other topics in this 2012 interview with JazzTimes. From the interview:

JT: McCoy once told me in an interview that he remembers seeing Trane playing in a band in Philly where he was walking the bar.

Marsalis: Yeah, Benny Golson told me that great story about Trane, that he had decided that he didn’t have enough rhythm-and-blues in his playing, so he took a gig walking the bar but didn’t tell his boys because he didn’t want them to see him. And they found out. Somebody came and said, “Trane’s walkin’ the bar!” at whatever the club was. They all ran there and then Trane got to the edge of the bar and saw them and said, “Aw, shit!” It’s a great story the way Benny tells it.

Click here to read Like It Is: The Branford Marsalis Interview

—Peter Blasevick

Joe Alterman: A Young Jazz Man with Big Passion

joeAltermanJoe Alterman is a great young jazz pianist with a truly beautiful musicality to his playing. I just picked up last year’s “Give Me the Simple Life”, and it is fantastic. Here he is in a 2012 interview with TimesSquare.com. From the interview:

(TS): You’ve been recording professionally for a few years now, how does the difference in playing a live show versus recording in a studio affect your process?

(JA): The biggest difference in the studio is that there’s a time constraint. It creates a different kind of focus. When I play a live show, I can play as long as I want. I can solo out. When people listen to a recording, they don’t necessarily want to hear a seven-minute piece like they would in a live show. When I record, I have to say as much as I would say in seven minutes in a live show in three minutes. I also can’t necessarily listen back to a live show like I can a recording (well I can, but it’s different). I don’t want to play stuff that I wouldn’t want to listen to on a record. (chuckles)

Click here to read Joe Alterman: A Young Jazz Man with Big Passion

Jacob Collier: Multi-instrumentalist and music Genius

If you haven’t yet checked out Jacob Collier, do so. Right now.

In this 2012 interview with the Brazilian website Falafil, the singer, multi-instrumentalist, and all around prodigy discusses his famous videos, his family, the Royal Academy of Music, and other topics. From the interview:

You are a winning self-taught multi-instrumentalist. How and when you discovered your interest and natural talent for music?

I have been interested in and passionate about music every since I can remember. My mother inspired me from a very young age by playing her violin, and I often used to watch her conducting the chamber orchestra at the Royal Academy of Music. There were always instruments around my house, and I always loved to play, as well as to sing. I remember being given a Djembe drum when I was about eight, and loving it. I was introduced to Cubase software when I was about seven years old, and this enabled me to begin composing, arranging, and recording my music. I always loved to record singing in harmony, even at a young age.

Click here to read Jacob Collier: Multi-instrumentalist and music Genius

—Peter Blasevick

Three Christian McBride Interviews from the 2012 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!

In this three part interview from the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival, Bassist Christian McBride talks about 1) his big band as well as about his smaller group, Inside Straight; 2) His commitment to jazz and music education and why he is determined to give back to young musicians through appearances at schools and clinics, but also why he thinks it’s important to play different styles of music other than jazz, and 3) his early musical education and development, including his first instrument, his first paid gig and an unusual appearance on daytime TV by Miles Davis. Interview by Lee Mergner.

—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

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

Maxine Gordon: The Legacy of Dexter Gordon

I’m posting interviews from AllAboutJazz.com all week. Their mission is to “provide information and opinion about jazz from the past, present, and future,” and they do a good job of it!

Today we celebrate the late, great Dexter Gordon’s 90th birthday. Gordon was a focal point of the bebop and hard bop revolutions, and later in his career, he achieved the status of an American icon with his lead role in Bernard Tavernier’s 1986 film, Round Midnight, which garnered him an Academy Award nomination. Gordon’s wife and longtime manager, Maxine Gordon, has kept the legacy strong through lectures and guest appearances, donation of all of Gordon’s archival work to the Library of Congress, the licensing group Dex Music LLC and The Dexter Gordon Society.

Maxine is also a serious scholar, and is finishing her PhD at NYU in preparation for her biography of Dexter, which is due out this year. During this 2012 interview with Victor Schermer, she responds to a comparison of her exhaustive work to that of Monk’s biographer Robin Kelley:

“Actually, Robin was my adviser. I did the research for him on the San Juan Hill neighborhood in Manhattan where Monk came of age. But my biography of Dexter is somewhat different. I’m writing more of a cultural history, and a large part of the book is in Dexter’s own words. He did a lot of writing—vignettes, letters. While he was in Europe, he wrote letters to Alfred Lion and Frank Wolff at Blue Note. I have placed all those letters, his and theirs, in the Library of Congress. I became an archivist, and put together three Dexter Gordon collections in the Library of Congress: first of all, his papers. Then, in Culpeper, Virginia is the recorded sound—all his CDs, tapes, and 78s. Finally, there are the letters, music manuscripts, photos, and documents. My research for Dexter’s biography will utilize these collections extensively.”

I can’t wait to read her biography of Dex, but until then, we have this interview:

Click here to read Maxine Gordon: The Legacy of Dexter Gordon