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Take Five With...

Take Five With Joan Crowe

By Published: February 2, 2007
Your dream band: I love this question, in fact I was just asked it recently in a WBGO interview with the wonderfully supportive Michael Bourne. My dream band today would be to have Matt Wilson on drums, Jay Leonhardt on bass, and Dave Frishbug on piano. These three gents all bring so much humor to their playing, which I love. Plus think how much fun the breaks would be!

Anecdote from the road: The favorite part of my shows is usually what I call the "Carol Burnett Moment." At some point in the course of a show I invite the audience to ask me anything they want and I used to promise to tell the truth. This often yields some pretty funny moments. I like the danger of it, though I have learned to leave off the promise of truth part as I have been asked some pretty embarrassing questions.

Favorite venue: In New York my favorite venue is The Jazz Standard. It is clear the management loves and respects musicians, and the ribs are fabulous.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? Bird On The Wireumbecause it is my only CD to date.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? My sense of humor.

Did you know... That I gave birth to an eleven-pound one ounce baby girl!

How you use the internet to help your career? The Internet is a huge help and also a huge time suck. It is great for getting the word out about gigs and people all over the world can find your music—usually in my case by accident.

CDs you are listening to now: A big pile I got at IAJE I am working through and my fourteen year-old son bought me one that we have to listen to when he is in the car. I think it is pretty obvious which are which:

Matt Wilson's Arts and Crafts, The Scenic Route (Palmetto); Bill Evans and Randy Brecker, Soul Bop Band Live (Soulbop Records); Jack Black, Tenacious D (Sony] (I even took him to the concert at Madison Square Gardens to get cool Mom points—I got lots of points).

Desert Island picks: I hate this question because I can never decide on just five—this is not a good question for a Gemini, but today the ones that pop into my head first are: My own compilation CD that I made of favorite tracks from Ella, Sarah, Ruth Brown, Dinah Washington, Joni Mitchell, Rosemary Clooney, Bette Midler and other chick singers; Miles Davis, Kind of Blue (Legacy Recordings); Carol King, Tapestry (Sony); Dan Fogelburg, Nether Lands (Sony); The Beatles, The Beatles 1 (Capitol).

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Oh my God I dont knowin danger?

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Reaching out to the young kids and exposing them to this music.

What is in the near future? Im currently working on my second CD.

By Day (if you have a day job) I hesitate to share this as there is often a prejudice against Wedding Band musicians, but I lead a ten-piece, lets call it a Big Band or Society Band, called High Society Rhythm. It is a lot more work than I thought it would be. Remember those two kids of mine? They might like to go to college one day. The original idea was to support my jazz career and so far I have been able to make one CD and am working on my second.


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