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Take Five With Erik Applegate

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Meet Erik Applegate: Erik Applegate has been called "a top-notch acoustic bass performer" (Jazzreview.com), and he has appeared with the Bob Mintzer
Bob Mintzer
Bob Mintzer
b.1953
saxophone
Big Band, Nnenna Freelon
Nnenna Freelon
Nnenna Freelon
b.1954
vocalist
, Milt Jackson
Milt Jackson
Milt Jackson
1923 - 1999
vibraphone
, Jeff Coffin
Jeff Coffin
Jeff Coffin

saxophone
, Eddie Daniels
Eddie Daniels
Eddie Daniels
b.1941
clarinet
, Ingrid Jensen
Ingrid Jensen
Ingrid Jensen
b.1966
trumpet
, George Garzone
George Garzone
George Garzone
b.1950
sax, tenor
, Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
b.1946
trumpet
, Marlena Shaw
Marlena Shaw
Marlena Shaw
b.1942
vocalist
, and others. He toured with James Williams
James Williams
James Williams
1951 - 2004
piano
and in a trio with Harold Mabern
Harold Mabern
Harold Mabern
b.1936
piano
and Ed Thigpen
Ed Thigpen
Ed Thigpen
1930 - 2010
drums
, and has performed throughout the U.S. and in Canada, Europe, and Australia.

Applegate's CD Red Skies showcases his playing and songwriting in a quartet setting. He can also be heard on Dana Landry's Grammy-nominated Journey Home, Don Aliquo

Don Aliquo
Don Aliquo

saxophone
's Another Reply, and Ken and Harry Watters' Brothers 3, all of which reached the top 30 on the Jazz Week U.S. airplay chart. In addition to leading two bands—A * S * K (a bass-voice-guitar jazz trio) and red Sylvester, the electro-acoustic groove—Applegate performs frequently as a sideman and is an avid songwriter, composer, and arranger. His schedule, sound clips, and further details are available at his website.

Instrument(s):

Bass.

Teachers and/or influences?

bass: Ray Brown
Ray Brown
Ray Brown
1926 - 2002
bass, acoustic
, John Clayton
John Clayton
John Clayton
b.1952
bass, acoustic
, Ron Carter
Ron Carter
Ron Carter
b.1937
bass
, Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
Rufus Reid
b.1944
bass, acoustic
, Dave Holland
Dave Holland
Dave Holland
b.1946
bass
, Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
1937 - 2014
bass, acoustic
, Steve Swallow
Steve Swallow
Steve Swallow
b.1940
bass
, Chuck Rainey
Chuck Rainey
Chuck Rainey
b.1940
bass, electric
.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

...It was the only thing that was always there for me.

Your sound and approach to music:

Melody and groove.

Your teaching approach:

Try to discover what it is that I can be for the student in his/her progress.

Your dream band:

Gosh—so many! Pianists: Cedar Walton
Cedar Walton
Cedar Walton
1934 - 2013
piano
, Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
; drummers: Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
b.1926
drums
, Victor Lewis
Victor Lewis
Victor Lewis
b.1950
drums
; saxophones: Ralph Moore
Ralph Moore
Ralph Moore
b.1956
, Don Aliquo
Don Aliquo
Don Aliquo

saxophone
, George Garzone
George Garzone
George Garzone
b.1950
sax, tenor
, Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
Dave Liebman
b.1946
saxophone
; trumpet: Clay Jenkins
Clay Jenkins
Clay Jenkins
b.1964
trumpet
, Vern Sielert, Ingrid Jensen
Ingrid Jensen
Ingrid Jensen
b.1966
trumpet
; trombone: Paul McKee, Dave Glenn
Dave Glenn
Dave Glenn
b.1951
trombone
; guitar: Steve Kovalcheck, John Abercrombie
John Abercrombie
John Abercrombie
b.1944
guitar
, Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
b.1954
guitar
. Oh, and don't forget the singers: Marlena Shaw
Marlena Shaw
Marlena Shaw
b.1942
vocalist
, Mary Stallings
Mary Stallings
Mary Stallings
b.1939
vocalist
, Ernestine Anderson
Ernestine Anderson
Ernestine Anderson
b.1928
vocalist
, Sunny Wilkinson, Kathleen Grace
Kathleen Grace
Kathleen Grace

vocalist
.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

My first CD as a leader, Red Skies. It was just a great feeling of relaxation, confidence, energy, and exploration with my collaborators.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Something by Ray Brown—maybe Something for Lester.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

I'm just trying to express something personal that is still melodic, grooving, and memorable.

Did you know...

I took ballet lessons for a few years before I became a garage-band heavy-metal bassist.

CDs you are listening to now:

Right now? Shirley Horn
Shirley Horn
Shirley Horn
1934 - 2005
piano
(to learn unusual standards) and Donald Brown
Donald Brown
b.1954
.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Exciting.

What is in the near future?

A duo recording with my longtime cohort pianist Dana Landry, and a recording with my new trio A * S * K. (Bass-guitar-vocals).

By Day:

Jazz professor. (yikes!)

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

Writer of essays and poetry.

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