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Bill Smith

Bill Smith

While my prior recording focused on my playing and composing as soloist, says D.D. Jackson in his notes to his second CD as leader, "Anthem looks to the future." It's a per…
If you haven't noticed the tiny 32 Jazz re-issue label until now, take note. What Joel Dorn at 32 Jazz has been doing so well is rediscovering vital music that was largely …
After bringing a few friends to Vancouver, BC to see the Vienna Art Orchestra on their 20th anniversary highlights tour in 1997, one asked, after recovering from the non-st…
Rob Blakeslee is a fiery trumpeter and subtle composer with a number of fine discs to his credit (check the California 9 Winds Label). Though it doesn’t highlight his most …
The first "jazz" show I stumbled into was in 1979, a seemingly odd double bill that paired the Bill Evans Trio (with Marc Johnson and Joe LaBarbera) and the then very popul…
29.01.2011

Fred Hersch

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
It would seem that Fred Hersch pianist, composer, bandleader, two-time Grammy nominee, Guggenheim fellow has little to prove anymore. He’s been called a "pristine pianist with a poet’s soul" (Boston Globe’s Joan Anderman) who strikes a "beguiling balance between technique, insight and imagination" (critical Ed Hazell). He’s continually received the highest praise in a highly praised field.

Of course, one of the challenges for a successful creative musician is to stay hungry, to continue to s …

29.01.2011

Steve Turre

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
Steve Turre should be the poster child for Old School of Jazz.

"I’ve always sought out the elders," says the 53-year old trombonist, "and always knew you learn how to play by playing with people you admire." Starting with an early Bay Area apprenticeship with Rahsaan Roland Kirk and studies in the groups of Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw and McCoy Tyner, Turre has been true to his word reaching stylistic maturity by learning from some of the best teachers jazz has to offer.

But …

The "Supergroup" is a marketing cliché in the pop music world that was invented to sell product. From Asia to the Three Tenors, there's been a long lineage of critical cringers designed to cash in on the name branding of its parts. In jazz and creative music, however, collaboration is the spirited norm and groups of improvisational superstars often find each other in democratic union; though the quality of the musicianship is often astounding, any preconceptions of a big pay off are laughable. < …
Conventional wisdom says that if you want to play jazz, New York City is where you have to be. Yet after a decade of NYC life, pianist, composer, producer and all around jazz renaissance man Darrell Grant made a strong move west ending up in Portland, Oregon. A teaching stint at Portland State University got him there, but the city's character is what's kept him.

"It's idiosyncratic," says the 37-year old. "Somehow, the people in Portland have maintained a strong sense of individuality. …
29.01.2011

Sam Rivers

Published in Jazz Artist Interviews
At seventy-seven, saxophone legend and sixties free jazz explorer Sam Rivers still has the energy and force of Niagara Falls. Yet until the past two years he'd somehow escaped the usual celebratory nod the jazz community bestows on its elder statesmen. 1998 changed all that. With one two-day recording project that yielded a pair of superb discs - 1999's INSPIRATION and last year's CULMINATION - Rivers managed a wave of critical accolades that tsunamied into twin Grammy nominations.

I ch …
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