Take Five With Michael Arlt
The first Jazz album I bought was:
Twin House, Larry Coryell and Philip Catherine. I bought it secondhand on a school trip to London, on Carnaby Street.
What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
That`s a hard one... and maybe better for others to judge.
Did you know...
I started out as a pop music fan and my first musical influence was the British rock band, Slade. I had to have a guitar at that point.
CDs you are listening to now:
Portinho Trio, Vinho Do Porto (MCG Jazz);
Chris Potter 10, Song for Anyone (Universal Music, France);
Dave Liebman Trio/Jesse van Ruller, Lieb plays Weill (Challenge Records) ;
David Sanchez, Cultural Survival (Concord Picante);
Leonard Bernstein and the New York Philharmonic, American Masters: Roy Harris, Randall Thompson, David Diamond (Sony Classical).
Desert Island picks:
Wynton Kelly Trio (Paul Chambers, Jimmy Cobb) with Wes Montgomery, Complete at the Half Note (Lonehill Jazz);
Miles Davis + 19, Miles Ahead (Columbia);
If it should be out of print at that point I`d take Miles' Relaxin' (Prestige);
Charlie Haden/Quartet West, The Art Of The Song (Verve);
Pat Martino/Gil Goldstein, We'll be Together Again (Muse);
Charlie Parker, With the Orchestra: Live in Washington.
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Alive and well, to say the least... artistically the music is thriving, it is really international with a lot of really great musicians from all over the world adding their own ideas and creativity.
The palette of emotions expressed by this music gets more and more detailed. There is something there for every situation or mood in your life and probablyif the music would be televised morefor a lot more people than currently are aware of it.
The audience: Small, but still millions worldwide
Jazz has influenced so many other parts of the sound landscape (and in general: other artistic expressions) and continues to do so.
Hard to imagine what everything would sound or look like without it. Didn't Lester Young, among many other things, invent the real meaning for the word "cool"?
Jazz is dead? Who said that? When did he/she say that? Where are they now?
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Musicians with ideas and a desire to communicate;
People willing to listen.
It's really hard to imagine jazz could ever stop growing, after a hundred-plus years success story with many surprising turns.
What is in the near future?
Currently I'm working on a new CD of my compositions, with a Brazilian background. After the initial session together with the fantastic Portinho Trio, where we recorded the biggest part of it, I will be in the studio with different international guest artists to record the remaining tracks. Looks like the finished product will be ready sometime in 2011. You will read about it at All About Jazz, I'm sure.
Two years ago, I teamed up with alto saxophonist Johannes Geiss to follow our hearts and explore the music of Lee Konitz. After a number of successful and very rewarding concerts, the Johannes Geiss-Michael Arlt Quartet will be on the road in the coming weeks and month. Our current program, Sax No End: The Music of Lee Konitz, features music by Lennie Tristano, Johnny Carisi, Warne Marsh and Konitz.
My trio with pianist Bernhard Pichl and bassist Rudi Engel just made its first recording (also filmed two videos at the end of the session). For the upcoming concerts the No Drums? No Way! trio will have a few new songs, arranged by band members for that special line up.
Apart from that, We Three (with Hammond B3 organist Dan Kostelnik and drummer Scott Neumann)my trio of 15 years and five CDs so farwill be touring in and around Germany for a few weeks in October-November 2011. Our Moment To Moment! CD was recently named CD of the Year for 2009, by the German guitar website, archtop-germany.de, and we will probably be in the studio to record the next step during that tour.
I work on my music by day and present it at night, mostly.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
Any kind of musician would do for me, really; but if not at all, a photographer maybe? A jazz photographer.