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Ingrid Laubrock: A New Saxophone Colossus

By Published: September 15, 2008
AAJ: You're creating something quite revolutionary, practically a new language for the saxophone—a new dialect anyway. Are you aware how much you've developed over the past couple of years?

Ingrid Laubrock

IL: I'm aware that I'm progressing. But you can be so judgmental on yourself. You have crises and you think, "What am I doing? Am I any good?" But it seems to be coming together now. I'm more confident and I'm having a much better time playing. And I'm fortunate to play with guys who really push it—I like trying to rise to a challenge, I like being challenged. But there are still moments when I go, I don't know about this. It never stops, if it's a thing you have in your character where you question what you're doing.

One thing that's helped is that over the last couple of years I've only played with people I really wanted to play with and in situations I really wanted to play in. It's been a conscious decision. It means you're not fighting with yourself all the time, going against yourself.

AAJ: What's next for Sleepthief?

IL: We have a largish tour coming up in autumn 2008 and I'm curious to see where that leads us. Everything develops when you play together regularly on the road. It's a pretty dense tour—fifteen gigs in five countries in just over two weeks. I'm going to try and record two of the gigs and see what comes out of that. (Click on Ingrid Laubrock At All About Jazz below and go to Calendar for tour details).

AAJ: What about in the US?

IL: I sometimes fantasize about doing an album there. There is a nice studio in Brooklyn where they have tons of different keyboards and where you could potentially make a little bit more of a studio album, overdubbing things and so on. It's a bit of a fantasy, and I don't know if it will happen, though if it does I would obviously like to find a few gigs too. But it's complicated because of the visa situation.

AAJ: Do you have plans to tour the quintet?

IL: Yes. We did quite a long run of touring in 2006, and Nein includes more or less everybody from that band. I'm planning to get a tour together for 2009. I have really strong loyalties and if I like the sound of someone I tend to keep liking it for a long time.

Selected Discography

Ingrid Laubrock/Sleepthief, Sleepthief (Intakt, 2008)
Ingrid Laubrock/Liam Noble, Let's Call This... (Babel, 2006)
Polar Bear, Held on the Tips of Fingers (Babel, 2005)
Nois4, Gente (Candid, 2004)
Ingrid Laubrock, Forensic (F-ire, 2004)
Tom Arthurs' Centripede, Centripede (Babel, 2003)
Monica Vasconcelos and Nois, Oferenda (Candid, 2002)
Ingrid Laubrock, Some Times (Candid, 2001)
Nois4, Bom Dia (Candid, 2000)
Monica Vasconcelos and Nois, Nois Dois (Independent, 1999)
Ingrid Laubrock, Who Is It (Candid, 1997)
Matt Borgmann, Summertime (Independent, 1995)

Photo Credit
Top Photo: Helena Dornellas

All Other Photos: Duncan Hening

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