Jon Cowherd: Mercy, Mercy Me

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AAJ: Is the old distinction between American jazz and European jazz for example as strong as always or do you see a change in the way people view the music?

JC: I think the lines are blurring with the younger players, for sure. It's definitely becoming more like a One World sort of music. I love hearing all these cultural influences. But I think that study of the tradition is important. I hear piano players from Israel and they've really checked out bebop and [stride pianist] James P. Johnson
James P. Johnson
James P. Johnson
1894 - 1955
piano
and [composer Bela] Bartok and [singer/pianist] {{Ray Charles}] and all of that is important, even if you bring your own identity and your culture to it too.

AAJ: What are your up-and-coming plans?

JC: I would love to make another record but I've been sort of putting off writing. I've been traveling a lot, so I haven't had a lot of time. I'm going to take some time off around the holidays to go to my parents' house in Kentucky. They're both musicians and they have a nice Yamaha Grand Piano and I get inspired when I play it. I'll spend a few days there just to try to write.

I also want to tour a lot with one of the Mercy bands. I also want to write some new things for the Fellowship. We've got a week at the The Village Vanguard coming up [Dec 10-15] and I vowed I would write something new to bring in so I've got to do that in the next few weeks. There's a lot going on and I'm pretty excited about it all.

Photo Credit
Page 1-2: Todd Chalfant
Page 3: Caroline Rutland

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