Take Five With Scott McLemore
Ornette Coleman, Beauty is a Rare Thing (Atlantic); Miles Davis, The Complete Columbia Studio Sessions, 1965-68 (Columbia); John Coltrane, The Classic QuartetThe Complete Impulse! Studio Recordings (Impulse!); Bill Frisell, Where In The World (Nonesuch); John Scofield, Grace Under Pressure (Blue Note).
How would you describe the state of jazz today?
There are creative people out there doing incredible things. There are also organizations in some countries that have risen up out of a need for a support system. Things are slowly getting better. Things like Jazz Forum in Norway should be a model for the rest of the world.
What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Jazz musicians need to be aware of the need to connect with their audience. Everyone does it in their own way, but ignoring the audience is not good. It might have worked for Miles, but he was the exception.
Musically I don't think we have anything to worry about.
What is in the near future?
I'm about to start a collective project with the French bassist Nicolas Moreaux and Icelandic pianist Agnar Mar Magnusson. Sunna's trio is also about to record another album, and I'm booking my own quintet anywhere that will have me.
What's your greatest fear when you perform?
I don't really experience fear when I perform, thank goodness.
What song would you like played at your funeral?
The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine."
What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?
I usually compose in the shower, so it would be one of my own.
If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
I would do something creative. I just love making things. Whether that's writing a tune, designing a CD jacket, writing a story, or cooking something I've never tried before, it all carries the same feeling of satisfaction.
Courtesy of Scott McLemore