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Metalwood's Chris Tarry: In Conversation

By Published: October 1, 2003

AAJ: Is that a myth?

CT: That's a myth. More and more ' I would say all of the great players I know'are all great business people at the same time. You know, especially the ones that play a lot. You know, they have to have some type of chops in order to get the gigs and keep coming back and to put bands on the road and keep doing it. And the fact they're great players and world-class players as well, it's the whole package. You have to have the whole package.

AAJ: You see that as the paradigm of the future then?

CT: Absolutely, especially now with the Internet and the way people are promoting their own things. A CD used to be the culmination of a career. Now it's just a knock on the door, it's not even a knock on the door. Everybody has a CD.

AAJ: What are some of the best qualities that you are seeing in the newest generation of bass players?

CT: You know, there's five or six things that you have to do. You have to learn how to read, you have to learn a lot of tunes, you have to learn how to play all the changes, you have to learn your history, you have to understand what your instrument is all about. And I don't think any player of any salt has not done those things.

I think that there are more influences in the music that are coming through. It's okay now to bring in a rap tune. It's okay to be a doing a gig with, you know, a DJ. I think that the word improvisation has extended into not just instrumentalists, but everything. The freedom that improvised music guarantees, I think, is a healthy thing that young musicians have really embraced.

AAJ: In what sense do you think the technological and information revolution is going to help that?

CT: I think it makes it easier for people to hook up and for people to play together. You know, on my new record'I was able to get one of my favorite saxophone players, Kelly Jefferson, from Toronto ' one of Toronto's finest. With the technological revolution, I was able to send them emails and have everybody on the same page in such an easy way. I was able to send a chart in .pdf format to everybody and send them in one shot.

AAJ: How do you feel, today, about your impending move?

CT: I feel really excited. (pause) I feel a little bit scared.

I'm not just looking forward to the musical things I'm going to learn in New York, but also the life lessons. You know, spending a lot of time by myself ' something I haven't done in a long, long time. And a lot of good and dark things happen when you do that. So, I'm really looking forward to the journey and enjoying the journey and not being in a state where I get back and go, 'Oh! You know what? This happened.'

I want to be conscious of everything that is happening while it's happening and enjoying it.

AAJ: In a city of ten million people, you're bound to bump into Pat Metheny. Say 'hello' for me (laughs).

CT: (laughs) I bumped into Pat Metheny once when I was in Boston, playing at a Reebok shoe store. We were playing 'Bright Size Life' and he walked in to buy a new pair of shoes. It was the most embarrassing moment of my life!

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Download jazz mp3 “Bedford Celebrities” by Chris Tarry