Craig Taborn: Suggesting Textural Dimension
AAJ: Can you point us to some of what you feel is your better/best stuff on record that's been commercially released? Personally, I'd highly recommend 'Bodies We Came Out Of,' which is the first and last song on the Light Made Lighter. Just absolutely deft, fast, playing over the whole instrument with wide and close angular intervals.
CT: Well, yes. That and the two Tim Berne releases. I really like the new Mat Maneri thing . I just really like Maneri's music whether I'm on it or not! (laughs) The Roscoe discs..the ECM thing and the new one, called Song for My Sister on PI Recordings.
AAJ: So what's coming up this year after the Susie Ibarra tour?
AAJ: You're not on the latest Binney record, are you?
CT: No, but I do like that record and I have played with him. Maybe a Marty Ehrlich tour. The Drew Gress gigs we've done have been great.
AAJ: Are you going to undertake your own thing? Are you already out there as being available for solo gigs or solo tours?
CT: The answer to your question is yes I'm going to do it and the reason you haven't seen it is I haven't yet. I just get going on these other projects and it's been exciting playing with a lot of different people.
AAJ: I think it's fantastic that you're a big piece of so many things because you're presence is felt so heavily in just anything you choose to participate in. Is this second record a big part of the solo gigging equation?
CT: I think it will be this year. I think I want to get more stuff going, to play with these guys. It's in the cards. I keep getting sidetracked as I get called for people's projects. When I get calls from people, and take the work, I like to really engage with their concept musically. To an extent, that takes me out of my own creative space in a certain way. I don't like to go in halfway. The nature of some of the things I get called for is pretty intense. Like next month when I do this Tim tour, he's got like, ten new pieces. I'll learn that and I really just sort of go into the frame of mind needed to play his music. So with all of them - Dave Douglas, Roscoe, Marty Ehrlich or Drew - I try to do that. It's like, 'OK. I'm in this now.' That also conspires to keep my thing on hold. What happens is, I've been keeping it on hold for a little while now. I intend to get that together. It's time for me to do that with my band.
AAJ: It must take some doing. For example, I'd ask Gerald Cleaver the same question. Imagine trying to tour that band. Every guy in the band has a band, or two bands!
CT: Right. It's easier than it seems in a certain sense. If Gerald really wanted to get that going it wouldn't be that hard. Except maybe for Reid, who really has the Bad Plus thing going now. I would defer. I'd drop of a lot of stuff to go play with Gerald, not only because we go back so far, just musically too - I'd just do it. It's never as hard as it seems.
AAJ: It's almost like you've got to stay part of Tim's thing, for instance.
CT: Yeah, but everybody works around everybody. That's the thing when you see these communities - it's never that competitive - people will look out for each other - everybody understands and works around each other's projects to the extent that they can.
AAJ: I noticed Cleaver's record took, like a day. Tim seems like a guy that would take more time. Is that true?
CT: Well, he wanted to, but no. Both records wound up taking two days-like live in the studio.
AAJ: Was your thing a one-day thing?
CT: Yeah. Well, at Thirsty Ear the budgets are of a certain nature.
AAJ: I've noticed the Thirsty Ear pieces that I have are all kind of short.
CT: That's part of their thing. It's actually part of their concept. If you notice, Shell Game is longer, but that's because Tim's going to do what he's going to do. But in general they encourage 40 to 45 minutes. It's a concept. It's not budgetary. It's like vinyl, which had to be 45, you know. They're into the idea of not filling up the cd space because it's there to fill up, so'that was definitely part of their earlier stuff and it's sort of stuck. On the other hand, if you came in with something longer, I'm sure it would be all right.
AAJ: Anything else to expect coming up?
CT: Well, Marty Ehrlich's thing will be coming out on Palmetto.
AAJ: Any definite plans for more from Roscoe?
CT: Nothing definite, but he's always planning something. He may record in the next year, but I'm not sure.
AAJ: Are we going to see an Internet presence from you?
CT: That's a good question. I've been thinking about that and a number of my friends have encouraged it. It's so easily done these days and a good place to have a source of information
AAJ: Finally, are you happy with the way the music business is treating you?
CT: If you take it over into that, the music business with a capital M and a capital B, you're opening up a whole can of worms. I don't think we have time for that. I'll say this. I think that there's a lot of good music that's not getting a fair shake because of the obvious ethos that's been there for a long time that's at it's height again, as it were.