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All About Jazz: The web's most comprehensive jazz resource

Jazz Articles

INTERVIEWS July 24, 2012

Daniel Bennett: The Bear Truth

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Whether considered a member of Generation X or Y, saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist/composer and bandleader Daniel Bennett's career certainly is indicative of how many young artists' careers are ascending with the advent of the internet. But Daniel has a measured cynicism towards balancing live performance with the wonders of tech. Moreover what is also refreshing about this young musician is his candor. He readily admits to being very raw when his career began in earnest only a few years ago, not even wanting to initially call himself a jazz artist--though he does say he combined the twang of Bill Frisell's ...

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INTERVIEWS January 24, 2012

Chris McNulty: A Siren From Down Under

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Chris McNulty emigrated to New York City, from her native home in Melbourne, Australia, in 1988. Since then she's released five recordings, with Waltz For Debby (Discovery, 1991) first introducing the Australian singer to American audiences. On that record, she wrote what would ultimately become the official, published lyrics to Miles Davis' classic “Blue in Green." Since 2004, she has released three records on Elefant Dreams, the independent label she shares with her husband, guitarist Paul Bollenback. Both Dance Delicioso (2005) and Whispers the Heart (2006) were the result of collaborations with Bollenback, and were pre-nominated for Best Jazz Vocal ...

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INTERVIEWS August 23, 2011

Patrick Brennan: Rhythms of Passion

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Since moving to New York City in 1975, one-time bassist/painter Patrick Brennan has crafted a musical path that is open in its candor and indebtedness to all facets of black music. Much like trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith, the alto saxophonist brews a thicket of his own distinct musical language that “unlike much contemporaneous vanguard music is built specifically upon the potentialities of swinging and polyrhythm." For the astute lay person this means moving the expressive expansiveness of trap playing and the drum choir into “the foreground of an entire orchestra's intelligence." But none of ...

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INTERVIEWS July 26, 2010

Don Aliquo: The Man, The Music, The Journey

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Geography is a central theme in the life and artistry of Pittsburgh's native son, Don Aliquo. The saxophonist, educator and bandleader is part of a rich steel town jazz lineage which includes his father, Don Aliquo Sr., a performing artist and teacher in his own right. There is also a metaphorical geography, in which Aliquo covers virtually all aspects of the jazz experience, from daunting mainstream swing to edgy, modernistic genres. All About Jazz: As a Professor of Saxophone and the Director of Jazz Studies at Middle Tennessee State University, you have become an adopted Tennessean, but ...

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INTERVIEWS February 9, 2010

Chris Jentsch: Cycles and Reflecting on the Journey

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John Coltrane once said, “Let the music speak for itself." The guitarist/composer and band leader Christopher Jentsch adds an interesting twist on that subject by opting to describe himself when asked about the broader subject of how to capture his music in his own words. “I think of myself as a composer/guitarist working with contemporary improvisational forms on the fringe of jazz, but jazz that is inclusive of rock/pop, world music and classical genres. I also strive generally for a balance between lyricism and dissonance and a deliberate combination of complexity and simplicity--with a smattering of the avant-garde," he says. ...

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INTERVIEWS September 30, 2009

Chris Byars: Studying Unsung Heroes

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[Introduction by Teddy Charles]

It's not easy to be Chris Byars. With an incredible array of talents brought to bear on his composition, arrangements, and cooking jazz performances, it's no wonder he's worked his way to the forefront of the myriad of jazz players overwhelming the scene.

For me, our felicitous association led to multiple gigs and recordings. Dances with Bulls (Smalls Records, 2009) updates some of my old concepts, resulting in some daring explorations; a great recording.

Inspired by Chris' urging and vital contributions, the Teddy Charles Tentet was reborn. With the addition of Chris' new writing, and his ...

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INTERVIEWS August 4, 2009

Scott Tinkler: Trumpet Down Under

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Bassist/composer Lindsey Horner recently said, “I think one thing that has really changed in the past quarter century is that the music has become so broad, so truly international and genre-encompassing that the days when jazz was one very definable, finite thing are well and truly gone." These remarks also serve to introduce this interview with the Australian trumpeter Scott Tinkler. The recent emergence of a small cadre of Australian jazz artists has yet to gather the notice of, say, Indian pianist Vijay Iyer or alto saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa.

Nevertheless, it's likely that a lot more will be heard from ...

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INTERVIEWS August 14, 2007

Michael Marcus: Truth, Love and Soul

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Philadelphia performance artist “Skip" Homer Jackson recently asked my opinion about a number of jazz artists who have been overlooked because they were great stylists who played in the shadows of great players. I immediately thought of Booker Ervin in relationship to John Coltrane; and Booker Little, who ironically was little (no pun intended) appreciated during the 1960's era of stellar jazz hornmen. In the back of my mind too, was the multi-instrumentalist/band leader and composer Michael Marcus.

The following interview should, in a colorful and informative fashion, fill in the blanks for those who may casually know of him. ...

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INTERVIEWS June 22, 2005

Meet Yoko Miwa

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All About Jazz: For your American audience, please introduce yourself. Yoko Miwa: My name is Yoko Miwa. I am a jazz pianist born in Kobe, Japan, now living in Boston. I started taking piano lessons at the age of 4. My family was always very supportive of my interest in music. Maybe they were impressed because I could hear music and play it back on the piano, whatever it was--pop music on the radio, cartoon themes from TV, for example. Later my teacher explained that I had perfect pitch. My lessons were strictly classical music ...

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INTERVIEWS July 15, 2004

Trumpeter Rob Mazurek

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Rob Mazurek is one of jazz's most enigmatic improvisers. A former hard bopper who now dabbles beyond the avant-garde in elements of “musique concrete" and multi-media. Mazurek is a Chicagoan but a world traveler now residing in Brazil (with his wife). Beneath the surface contradictions lies an artists' vision that is at once restless and well honed.

His discography includes Orton Socket (electronica and sound manipulation) and the ever expanding conceptual group Chicago Underground Duo/Trio/Quartet Orchestra along with the post funk of Isotope 217.

All About Jazz: What made you move to Brazil? Are you able to keep ...

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INTERVIEWS December 11, 2003

Q&A with Saxophonist Eric Person

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Although you recorded “live" before ( Live At Greenwich House and Live at Caravan of Dreams both with Ronald Shannon Jackson) this is your first live recording. How was the process different being a leader?

Eric Person: Everything is different when you are the leader. It's a lot of weight on your shoulders. People looking at you for things, instead of others. With the Shannon Jackson “live" recordings, I was a sideman, and a young one at that, I just came and played. Now with my recording Live At Big Sur, I produced the recording in my head ...

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