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Charles Gayle: Always Reaching

By Published: May 2, 2006

AAJ: Any more piano projects in the works?

CG: I have discussed one with Tompkins Square Records. It might be with a group. I'm thinking of a few things. One might be with a trio. I would like to one that's not related to clubs, some type of theatre. I have some things I'd like to take to a stage that you can't do in clubs. It might be more appropriate in some kind of space that isn't a club. Everyone plays trio, but the only one I've heard that was different, really different, was Ahmad Jamal, that was a different kind of trio. There was a lot of rhythm and different stuff going and I learned something from that. I don't want to have a regular trio because that's been done a lot. It's been done well and I certainly don't want to do what everyone else is doing. I'm working on it now, and I don't know if I'll come up with something clear and good enough to put up there, but I'm going to try. I don't want a regular trio. If it's going to be regular, I don't want to play because that's not digging deep enough for me. I want everyone to listen. I'm an old man. I don't know what to say.

AAJ: Well, you play like you're young at heart.

CG: I am a kid. There is the kid in there, and I want him to stay in there for a while. It's a privilege for me to play, considering what people have to go through in life. It's a privilege and an honor to be able to play music, and travel and do things you just don't get a chance to do in life. There's enough musicians who have passed that have been here to push you to the edge, and to motivate you and keep you going. The level of music is so high considering people who were here and passed on that you can't quit. I don't think I'll ever reach it, but maybe it's best that I don't feel like I can and keep trying.

Selected Discography

Charles Gayle, Time Zones (Tompkins Square, 2006)
Charles Gayle, Shout! (Clean Feed, 2005)
Charles Gayle, Precious Soul (FMP, 2001)
Charles Gayle, Jazz Solo Piano (Knitting Factory, 2001)
Charles Gayle, Ancient of Days (Knitting Factory, 2000)
Charles Gayle, Daily Bread (Black Saint, 1998)
Charles Gayle, Unto I Am (Victo, 1995)
Charles Gayle, Abiding Variations (FMP, 1993)
Charles Gayle, Touchin' on Trane (FMP, 1991)

Photo Credit: Tony Rodgers

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