Take Five With Dena Taylor
Desert Island picks: At Long Last by Rosemary Clooney with The Count Basie Orchestra (Concord Jazz) Anything by Joe Bonamassas I Refuse to Be Lonely by Phyllis Hyman (Volcano) Trouble by Steve Thorpe (Lost Gold Records) Judy At Carnegie Hall by Judy Garland (Capitol Records)
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I've noticed a great sense of snobbery within the different "sub-genres" of jazz. Could that it's more of a societal issue than a music one... just sad. A lot of younger talent out there gets discouraged because their strength might not be in vogue so they don't get the opportunity to build up their talent (and confidence) to a degree that they can step up and outside their "zones."
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Getting kids exposed to and involved with ALL of the different incarnations of jazz. Too, I don't think it's just a case of simple exposure but to teach them a broad appreciation of all those different incarnations not just as they are now but from the roots.
What is in the near future?
I'm really excited about a new project. I've begun working with international recording artist, Jonathan Emile, to develop a cross-genre single. He sings many styles including jazz but he's best known for his hip-hop and rap work so we've picked a classic standard, "My Baby Just Cares for Me." I'll be doing "my thing" and then Jonathan will be laying beats and rap behind it. This will be an Internet release with proceeds benefiting The Ronald McDonald Houses in the U.S. and Coast-to-Coast, a Canadian non-profit organization supporting children with cancer. Cancer is something that both Jonathan, his business partner and myself have dealt with personally so this is a cause terribly important to both of us.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a: Heaven only knows!!