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Take Five With Jerry Tilitz

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Meet Jerry Tilitz: Jerry Tilitz is an American trombonist, composer and vocalist from New York City presently ensconced in Hamburg, Germany. In the course of his career Mr. Tilitz has performed and recorded with many exceptional artists including Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan
Gerry Mulligan
1927 - 1996
sax, baritone
, Horace Parlan
Horace Parlan
Horace Parlan
b.1931
piano
, Hank Jones
Hank Jones
Hank Jones
1918 - 2010
piano
, Roy Eldridge
Roy Eldridge
Roy Eldridge
1911 - 1989
trumpet
, Herb Geller
Herb Geller
Herb Geller
1928 - 2013
saxophone
, Tommy Flanagan
Tommy Flanagan
Tommy Flanagan
1930 - 2001
piano
, Warren Vache
Warren Vache
Warren Vache
b.1951
cornet
, Adam Nussbaum
Adam Nussbaum
Adam Nussbaum
b.1955
drums
, Benny Bailey, Danny Moss, Harry Allen, Randy Sandke, Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
Tom Harrell
b.1946
trumpet
, Barry Harris, Bill Mays, Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
Randy Brecker
b.1945
trumpet
, Benny Golson
Benny Golson
Benny Golson
b.1929
sax, tenor
and many others.

After studying with Jazz luminaries Lennie Tristano
Lennie Tristano
Lennie Tristano
1919 - 1978
piano
and the influencial trombonist Curtis Fuller
Curtis Fuller
Curtis Fuller
b.1934
trombone
, Mr. Tilitz began his professional career with Billy Taylor's Jazzmobile Big Band. In addition to becoming involved in New York City's vibrant club and studio scene Jerry taught jazz theory and analysis at Queensboro College and received a grant for composition and performance from the prestigious U.S. National Endowment for the Arts.

In addition to touring, recording, and teaching Mr.Tilitz has hosted his own radio program in Germany called "An American In Hamburg," played in the European musical production of Cats, Chorus Line, 42nd Street and Ain't Misbehavin' and written for publications including the well regarded Jazz Journal International. Jerry has produced several recordings on his own label Both Feet Records including "The Dance Of The Living Room Sofas" (BF 1002-2) featuring Don Braden
Don Braden
Don Braden
b.1963
sax, tenor
, Lonnie Plaxico
Lonnie Plaxico
Lonnie Plaxico
b.1960
bass
, Cecil Brooks III and Michael Cochrane
Michael Cochrane
b.1948
piano
and "Jerry Tilitz/The New York Tapes" (BF 1001-2), a compilation of Jerry's New York bands which include high profile artists Tom Harrell, Arnie Lawrence, Jim McNeely, Bob Moses
Bob Moses
Bob Moses
b.1948
drums
, Harold Danko, Bob Kindred, Jerome Harris, Jon Burr, Jeff Brillinger, Gary Smulyan, Valery Ponomarev and Billy Hart
Billy Hart
Billy Hart
b.1940
drums
. Also available is a CD production for the Bellaphon, Germany L+R label Tales Of Two Cities (CDLR 45035) with appearances by Horace Parlan, Adam Nussbaum, Frank Wunsch, Ray Drummond, Bill Mays and Jimmi Roger Pedersen. Jerry's latest release is Ralph Reichert/Jerry Tilitz - Back To Back on the prestigious Nagel Heyer Records label.

The above recordings are available as CDs or digital downloads from CD Baby at http://cdbaby.com/all/jerrytilitz.

Instrument(s):

Trombone, vocal.

Teachers and/or influences?

Curtis Fuller, J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
J.J. Johnson
1924 - 2001
trombone
, Lennie Tristano, Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
Charlie Parker
1920 - 1955
sax, alto
, Slide Hampton
Slide Hampton
Slide Hampton
b.1932
trombone
etc etc.

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

I discovered Jazz as a kid.

Your sound and approach to music:

Sound, imagination, discipline and freedom.p>

Your teaching approach:

I prefer to teach rank beginners or experienced players.

Your dream band:

My dream band is one built on respect and experience.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Playing in the zoo on a very hot day and having to wash the animal stench out of the horn.

Favorite venue:

Birdland.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

The New York Tapes. A snapshot of my years growing up in the city.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Music Minus One featuring Hank Jones
Hank Jones
Hank Jones
1918 - 2010
piano
,Milt Hinton
Milt Hinton
Milt Hinton
1910 - 2000
bass, acoustic
, Barry Galbraith and Osie Johnson.

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

I try to be an example to the kids just starting their careers.

Did you know...

The Caribbean is my 2nd home.

CDs you are listening to now:

Charlie Parker, The Yardbird Sessions - (Universe 141/2)

Desert Island picks:

JJ and Stan Getz
Stan Getz
Stan Getz
1927 - 1991
sax, tenor
Live at the Opera House - (Verve)

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

In transition.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Keeping an eye on the tradition and roots of Jazz and remembering to respect the audience by entertaining them with your own story.

What is in the near future?

Practice.

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

A surf bum.

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