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Craig Taborn: Suggesting Textural Dimension

By Published: May 2, 2003

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.

AAJ: I think that Bad Plus record is a great example. Debut on independent label-nobody heard it despite some fantastic reviews. Record two- all of a sudden reviews are everywhere prior to the record release date!

CT: Yeah, they have the weight of the thing behind them. Same guys, same playing. And that's great for those guys. I just wish that more attention'that things could happen for' just a little bit' some other projects where it's non-existent. I'm not even talking about hype, just a little bit of whatever it takes to help musicians get their stuff out there and help it develop.

If you're interested in filling out Craig's back story even more, allow us to suggest an equally scrupulous, but older, interview with Craig, by Nate Chinen, on-line at Tim Berne's Screwgun Records website.

Photo Credit
Claudio Casanova

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