Loren Schoenberg: From Benny Goodman to The Savory Collection
LS: Brahms is my particular fascination. I love all different kinds of things. But for me it's Brahms, and then there are other things I compare to him and enjoy. So I could talk about Arnold Schoenberg, Beethoven, Messaien. My particular favorite is Brahms and everything comes out of that.
AAJ: What was your input on the Ken Burns Jazz history series?
LS: I was one of the advisors. He had about ten advisors and I was one of them.
AAJ: In your sleeve notes, you focus on the era of the '20s through to bebop. Do you think that people give too much attention to the '50s on?
LS: Yes, very good question. What I've encountered with most musicians and maybe the public is that they think of anything before Charlie Parker as kind of Neanderthal music in a certain sense, or somehow simple or somehow something that has to be a little condescended to a little bit like old grandpa, and my point is that let's listen to Lester Young, Duke Ellington, Art Tatum, and Louis Armstrong. What has ever surpassed that in terms of any quality that you want to talk about as being "modern," whatever the word "modern" means? So yes, that's my passion, so I'll put [this as] a positive expression of what I love about that, and let you draw your own conclusions about it.
AAJ: You stopped leading bands after the '80s. Was there any lessening in work after the stock crash in 1987?
LS: I don't think so. My life went on and leading a big band didn't become the number one thing for me anymore. It's an expensive habit!
Barbara Lea W/the Loren Schoenberg Big Band, Black Butterfly (THPOPS, 2006)
Loren Schoenberg And His Jazz Orchestra, Out Of This World (TCB Records, 1999)
Ken Peplowski, Good Reed (Concord Records, 1997)
Loren Schoenberg Jazz Orchestra, Manhattan Work Song (Jazz Heritage, 1992)
Loren Schoenberg Jazz Orchestra, Just A-Settin' And A-Rockin' (Musicmasters, 1990)
The Loren Schoenberg Quartet, Solid Ground (Musicmasters, 1988)
Loren Schoenberg Jazz Orchestra, Time Waits For Noone (Musicmasters, 1987)
Loren Schoenberg Jazz Orchestra, That's The Way It Goes (Musicmasters, 1984)