Trent Austin: Pulling an Ace from the Musical Deck
TA: Easy! 1. Kind of Blue, Miles Davis 2. A Love Supreme, John Coltrane 3. Clifford Brown with Strings 4. Jazz at Massey Hall (Bird and Diz) 5. Hot Fives and Hot Sevens, Louis Armstrong.
AAJ: I know you've performed a great deal in The Netherlands and Europe. What's the jazz scene there? How do those audiences differ, if at all, from those here in the U.S.?
TA: The biggest thing is that audiences in Europe tend to be more open to "art music" and to freer collaborative improvisation. Maybe that is a cultural difference, but I really don't think so. One of the criticisms I often hear at concerts these days in the U.S. is that many playersespecially horn playersare tending to use the rhythm section like a play-along with not enough collaboration or, as Wynton calls it, "negotiation." I'd prefer players to create and musically converse more. I find that type of creative improvisation very much welcomed in Europe, as well as many places in the U.S., of course like Los Angeles and New York.
AAJ: For the trumpeters reading this, what's your normal equipment?
TA: I had the great fortune of working with who I call "the world's greatest trumpet maker," Miel Adams of the Netherlands, on a few different horn designs over the past few years. I primarily perform on two models of Adams instruments, the A1 and A8 models. One of them has a threaded integrated mouthpiece sleeve system which makes it supremely efficient and easy to play. I call that one my "point and shoot" model. It does most of the work for me. In terms of mouthpieces, that playing choice changes by the second!
AAJ: Is there a Trumpet 103 or more recording efforts in the works?
TA: Absolutely. I'm having dreams of a strings session, I have started some top-secret chats with some great arrangers. Oops, I guess that's not too much of a secret anymore. I have found a wonderful space to record, wonderful musicians, and now it is a matter of finding the pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow to help fund the project. I'm doing my rain dance as we speak in hopes of some rainbows.
AAJ: Where's Trent Austin 10 years from now?
TA: Hopefully, not in the gutter! I honestly have no idea. I do know I'll be walking down the street with a smile. Life is far too precious and amazing to not carry one with me at all times. I get to live my dreams every day! What a blessing!
AAJ: Trent, it's been a pleasure. Good Luck with the tour and all thereafter.
TA: Thank you, Nick and thanks so much to All About Jazz for this opportunity!