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Interviews

Jeff Ballard: Paid Dues

By Published: October 11, 2013
JB: Well Fly is going out on tour in July, all through Europe. Got some teaching done at La Spezia, we're teaching in Lugano, in Switzerland, and some various gigs in between. Apart from that, just various gigs—September my trio goes out, first part of September, end of August. January I'm playing with Brad at the Vanguard. New Fly record coming out in January as well.

GC: Did you find it was hard to play with Brad after he used Jorge Rossy
Jorge Rossy
Jorge Rossy

drums
for so long?

JB: No, no, 'cause he asked me to play as me. Nah, it was like a glove, I just came right in. "Give me more of what you're doing." Okay, fine. He was really embracing. That was really great—really great. Yeah, I mean I've played with Larry Grenadier
Larry Grenadier
Larry Grenadier
b.1966
bass
for 25 years, more or less, so that's easy. I think when you get to a level where we're at, we can play with each other and the communication is really very good. Sometimes no, but I think more often than not the communication is really good. With Brad it was like a house for me, like a big couch, and it just worked well. I think one thing that makes it work well for us is that all three of us really dig the older music as well. In what we play, we play a ballad, we really play a ballad like an old-school ballad, in a certain sense. Like I'm playing four-on-the- floor on a ballad. It's a walking ballad, we try to play it like that, don't try to change it and make it new. The newness comes because we are young, or new in this sense, so it's going to be young. You don't need any extra work in that way. Swinging, we feel the same way—we're going to play an arrangement, drum and bass kind of thing. I think it still has old school to it as well. I think that's why slipping into that band was easy for me.


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