Take Five With Tyler Mitchell

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Meet Tyler Mitchell: Chicago born Tyler Mitchell studied the bass with Don Rafael Garrett (John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, Archie Shepp
Archie Shepp
Archie Shepp
b.1937
saxophone
, Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Rahsaan Roland Kirk
1936 - 1977
reeds
) and Malachi Favors
Malachi Favors
Malachi Favors
1937 - 2004
bass, acoustic
(Art Ensemble Of Chicago
Art Ensemble Of Chicago
Art Ensemble Of Chicago

band/orchestra
). He played with Von Freeman
Von Freeman
Von Freeman
1922 - 2012
sax, tenor
before moving to New York in 1984.

In 1985/86, he joined the Sun Ra
Sun Ra
Sun Ra
1914 - 1993
keyboard
Arkestra, with whom he played and toured Europe and Japan and recorded two albums. He was part of the Steve Grossman
Steve Grossman
Steve Grossman
b.1951
saxophone
Trio, with Art Taylor
Art Taylor
Art Taylor
1929 - 1995
drums
, touring Europe in 1987 and recording. In 1988/89 he was one of the Art Taylor's Wailer's, also recording live at the Village Vanguard with Jacky Terrasson
Jacky Terrasson
Jacky Terrasson
b.1966
piano
.

He joined Jon Hendricks
Jon Hendricks
Jon Hendricks
b.1921
vocalist
' European Tour in 1990 and recorded Freddie the Feeloader, with Stanley Turrentine
Stanley Turrentine
Stanley Turrentine
1934 - 2000
sax, tenor
and Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
Wynton Marsalis
b.1961
trumpet
. In 1992, he played with Shirley Horn
Shirley Horn
Shirley Horn
1934 - 2005
piano
, recording Light out of Darkness, and in 1997, played with Rashied Ali
Rashied Ali
Rashied Ali
1935 - 2009
drums
, Billy Bang
Billy Bang
Billy Bang
1947 - 2011
violin
, Jason Lindner, Frank Lowe
Frank Lowe
Frank Lowe
1943 - 2003
sax, tenor
and Larry Goldings
Larry Goldings
Larry Goldings
b.1968
keyboard
.

In 2000, Mitchell moved to Mexico, where he met and played with many musicians such as Cuban pianist Gabriel Hernandez , guitarist Ken Basman
Ken Basman

guitar
, Pere Soto, trumpeter Jason Palmer
Jason Palmer
Jason Palmer
b.1979
trumpet
, drummers Hernan Hecht
Hernan Hecht
Hernan Hecht
b.1975
drums
, Giovanni Figueroa, Francisco Mela, Alex Kautz and Codaryl Moffett.

He has performed with The Tyler Mitchell Trio since 2003, featuring Gabriel Hernandez and Alexander Kautz. In 2005, he formed the Tyler Mitchell Quintet with Gabriel Hernandez, and in 2008 he started The TamoTyler Experience, a psychedelic jazz band with singer-performer TaMo TuMa, Ken Basman, and Hernan Hecht.

Instrument(s):

Bass.

Teachers and/or influences?

One of my most important influences was my dad, a painter and muralist who was friends of John Coltrane, Max Roach
Max Roach
Max Roach
1925 - 2007
drums
and Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, I've listened tojazz as long as I can remember, Being played at home all day, every day, it was only natural that I would play jazz because that's all I heard around the house. My other influence was my bass teacher, Donald Rafael Garrett, who played and recorded with Coltrane, Archie Shepp and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. He taught me about sound qualities on the bass, and the anatomy of the instrument.

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

I knew I wanted to be a musician when, at the age of five, John Coltrane came to my house to visit my dad while passing through Chicago. He didn't play his horn while visiting; in fact, I remember he took a nap sitting on the sofa and my father sketching his portrait. After this encounter, I decided to play music. I've been told that I have a big sound on the bass. My walking bass lines tend to be fatter or sustain longer maybe because I use more meat from my plucking finger. My approach to the music is in mixing old and new concepts to jazz. I'm interested in using 5/4 and 7/4 in jazz standards as long as it still swings.

Your dream band:

My dream band would be a big band because there so many cats I love for different things. I worked with Sun Ra Arkestra when Sun Ra was alive, and also now. I would use a lot of his concepts as well as Art Taylor
Art Taylor
Art Taylor
1929 - 1995
drums
and Jackie McLean
Jackie McLean
Jackie McLean
1932 - 2006
sax, alto
. My real dream band would be Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
b.1940
piano
, Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
Roy Haynes
b.1926
drums
, Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
Joe Lovano
b.1952
saxophone
, Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove
Roy Hargrove
b.1969
trumpet
and myself. Yeah!

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

In 1984, while touring with the Sun Ra Arkestra, we got stranded in San Francisco and let's just say that it wasn't a good experience at all.

Favorite venue:

The Village Vanguard.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

Shirley Horn, Light out of Darkness, on Verve. Shirley made everything so comfortable, so relaxed. I really miss her.

The firstjazz album I bought was:

Paul Chambers
Paul Chambers
Paul Chambers
1935 - 1969
bass, acoustic
, Bass on Top.

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

My experience is not enough so I must continue to connect with all generations of musicians, young and old. Bridge the gap of styles. I would like to contribute more original music.

Did you know...

I left New York for 11 years and traveled to Mexico, Cuba and parts of South America, where I played mostly Latin jazz. It was time to get back to New York and swing.

CDs you are listening to now:

I'm listening to Sun Ra's Fate in a Pleasant Mood. I'm also into John Hicks
John Hicks
John Hicks
1941 - 2006
piano
' compositions.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Jazz seems to be at a standstill. But I also feel optimistic about the future of jazz.

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

One requirement to keep jazz alive is originality. It must constantly be unfolding, redesigning, rearranging. Chances must be taken.

What is in the near future?

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