Take Five With Trevor Rabin
Desert Island picks:
Rachmaninov, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (pianist Helene Grimaud);
Elgar, Nimrod Variations;
Hindemith, Eb Symphony;
Simon and Garfunkel, Bookends;
John Lennon, Imagine .
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I think it's sad. The move to people purchasing single songs on iTunes is not conducive to the art of an albumpieces moving into others, the story of an album. That experience of sitting back with headphones and getting deep into the music. That is a form that is disappearing , and impacts jazz (and pretty much most genres) hard. It seems to work for pop top 40.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Live performance, great quality, and being careful it's not overly academic. Academic is fine, but for the big picture to work, people have to look at jazz as been something that while deeper than the average pop song, should be fun and attractive to listen to. Absolutely I love virtuosity too, Jazz would be strange without it.
What is in the near future?
Obviously film, and even Broadway. However Jacaranda has taught me that I have to continue creating, and not doing so purely for various projects. But to discipline myself to write, write, write. I have to have time between film projects to create. I have strong ideas for a guitar concerto, although not in the normal format of a symphony, but this is the best way to explain myself. There are so many things I want to do, I most definitely won't be spending the next decade going from movie to movie. I love scoring, but I mustn't allow myself to let that be more than half of my creative output. Fans have mentioned things like. "I wish you'd slow down on movies, you haven't had music out for so long," when in fact I have had over a dozen score albums released since leaving Yes. I am very proud of most of them. But because they're not albums purely under my name, a lot of people don't consider them something to listen to.
What's your greatest fear when you perform?
I really never had any fear of performing. One concern, however, was that I only get up to speed a couple of songs in (vibe-wise). Where as if the fear is there and the adrenaline is pumping, most people guys get up for the show immediately. I miss playing; I would like to tour. However, I must make sure it is the right tour, with the right excitement.
There's nothing like playing to a huge audience, and the power of the band, the audience, and the sound makes you feel you're playing in a sweaty club. I know a lot of artists talk about loving the intimacy of playing small places. (Yeah, right). For me, the bigger the betterif there's an audience.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
I will be cremated and don't want a funeral. But in case I change my mind, I'll put a playlist together.
What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?
Paganini "Caprice, Number 24." The reason? If I could actually do it, I could make a career of whistling.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
I'm a musician, I love jazz, classical (passionately) rock, bluegrass. It would be really depressing for me not to be a musician. I've never done anything else. I've been doing session work professionally since I was seventeen, so I really know nothing else. If I had to choose though, I'd be a very busy and very rich philanthropist.. Giving loads of funds to animal causes and also to stem cell research (not using animals).
Courtesy of Trevor Rabin