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Interviews

Sonny Rollins and David S. Ware: Sonny Meets David

By Published: October 21, 2005

All that is good, this intuitive part of it that has to be, lot of western musicians have to get on that and try to get more intuitive. My music is not necessarily structured in four bars, eight bars like that, there's a lot of 5 bars, so you just got to be like open, because average, so many, so much music is structured certain ways, for example even measure... so when you present something else, it's like, it opens up something else and musicians just have to be willing to want to deal with that.

Another thing I told them was it has also to deal with your will and your desire to do something, to be involved in something. You can will it, you can will music to happen, to a certain extent you can will it. We are coming together, we're going to make this thing work.

SR: Yeah, sure, that's the real bottom line if you are trying to get to something beyond the ordinary stuff. You have to be able to think about things like being able to feel the other guys, intuition where guys are going to go. I sort of know and I can understand where it should go because we all sort of understand. I used to study out of a book by this saxophonist Sigurd Rascher, he was...

DSW: Yes, I got books from him too...

SR: So Sigurd Rascher told me one time he was sort of starting this saxophone symposium, it was about twenty five years ago, I said, "oh this is good because it's a good spiritual instrument"... all that stuff and gee it will be good to get together, get these people to talk about spiritual things. He was a spiritual guy so we often talked on that level too. So he told me, "no, it's not, he said, well unfortunately a lot of these people are just playing the saxophone. They don't take it any further than that."

So to really take music far, further than that and get deeper into it, you have to come to the realm of spirituality. And together, if you really want to do it, you can't go outside and kick no lady then play beautiful music. And intuition in a way is part of that, you know. And trying to really get in a group of people and then sort of have the same goals in life, search of goals, then the music has a chance of happening.

DSW: That's the basics for what I picked a group. Because I got to have it. When I met Matthew, at the time I was playing with Marc and William Parker, it was only a trio fifteen years ago. And we added Matthew, you know. The playing aspect, the musical fit was there and I felt also that the spiritual harmony was there.

And you know a lot of the cats drink and smoke and carry on that bullshit, so that really has always been a basis for me and that's also a reason why I don't freelance, I've never been into free lance because cats are into this, this cat is into this, this cat is into that and I'm very sensitive as to who I make music with.

I don't just make music with anybody. I'm very sensitive about that. And I guess maybe a lot of people may wonder about that but basically I've always been like that.

SR: Well, it's like not wanting to play your horn in a night club where they are souping and drinking. It's a parallel, in other words, if you want your music, you are trying to get to certain places and if people are not thinking in the place of the musician, the musician has to be thinking this way. That's an exact example of because people in the corporation, but I am saying that, as a way of saying that you've got two forces working, you can't have negative things going and then trying to reach a certain place.

So you know a lot of guys don't like to play in clubs, not not a lot of guys, but in your case it's essential for what you're doing that you have people because that's the kind of music you're trying to get to. That's where you want to go, you got to have guys that are thinking that way. And maybe that's what you should teach these people, if they want to play and make a contribution and get closer to playing your music then you have to kind of make sure that their life is cool.

DSW: Yeah that's it, that's it, that's it, yeah I tell you man, the truth is a wonderful thing! [laughs] The truth is just so beautiful.

FM: About the utopia in this music, that art to be together, Max Roach said one time that when the group is really good, this a the real democracy.

SR: Now what do you mean with "the real democracy"?

FM: There is no hierarchy and the power, the politics in the group are over.

SR: But what do you mean? Do you mean like George Bush's democracy? [laughs]



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