Claire Daly: The Most Jazz Life I Could Ever Imagine
CD: This project has had no grant money. And I applied for various things but I didn't get anything. So it's been so far a labor of love. I'd like to develop it further, to use photos and film or whatever I can find. Mary was in a movie, too, she was in Orphans of the North (1940).
AAJ: Mary was told the wilderness was no place for a woman. It's no longer rare to be a woman saxophonist, but it's still not exactly the norm. Are there points of connection with Mary in terms of living life off the beaten path? Despite a lot of progress, we still live in a world where things aren't always equal for people, based on who they are.
CD: I think I would say that when I was a kid and I met Mary she had a free spirit and I saw that, and I was drawn to that. In the same way, though, I don't do what I do to be different. I chose it because it spoke to me. The music went, "okay, you're ours." I felt that it was a calling early on. So when other people see it as unusual for a woman to be doing what I'm doing, I'm willing to believe they mean that as a compliment, and I just go about my business. I've said this a lot: I never think about the fact that I'm a woman playing the saxophone. I don't get the gender definition. I really think we're people.
There are isms present everywhere. And I choose to see it and observe it and just go on and go where the water is warm.
Claire Daly, Nothing To Lose: The Mary Joyce Project (Daily Bread, 2011)
Giacomo Gates, Revolution Will Be Jazz: The Songs of Gil Scott-Heron (Savant, 2011)
Two Sisters, Inc., Scaribari (Baritunes, 2007)
Kit McClure Band, Just The Thing: The Sweethearts Project Revisited (Red Hot, 2006
Claire Daly, Heaven Help Us All (Daily Bread, 2004)
Mike Longo, Oasis (CAP, 2004)
Claire Daly, Movin' On (Koch, 2002)
Claire Daly, Swing Low (Koch, 1999)
George Garzone, Moodiology (NYC, 1999)
Page 1 (Top): Mandarine Montgomery
All Others: Courtesy of Claire Daly