All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Interviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Alex Norris: King Band Geek

George Colligan By

Sign in to view read count
AN: It seems as though there is a lot of emphasis on classes in jazz programs, but there are not enough experiences where students are playing all the time. That needs to change. But some students take the initiative, and they do flourish because of that.

GC: Talk a little about some of the great sideman experiences you have had in New York.

AN: Well, initially, I toured with some bands like the Glenn Miller Band, which was actually a great experience. And I lived in London for a while because I was working with a band called Incognito. I was part of Betty Carter's Jazz Ahead , and I was a part of that up until she died, and I was music director for that eventually. Being on the scene at the club Augie's, which is now Smoke, I got to play with a bunch of great musicians, like Joel Frahm, Joe Strasser, Sam Yahel. I did a gig with Carl Allen's quintet, I was with Avishai Cohen's International Vamp Band. I played with Greg Tardy's quintet for a while.

I neglected to mention that one great band that I worked with in Baltimore was the Rhumba Club; through working with that band, I met the great bassist Andy Gonzalez, whom Rhumba Club had hired as a producer. So Andy later hired me to play with Manny Oquendo and Libre. And that led to a lot of other Latin Jazz experiences; playing with Marlon Simon's group, and with Ralph Irizarry and Timbalaye, which I played with for a long time.

I replaced trumpeter Jeremy Pelt in bassist {Lonnie Plaxico}}'s band, which was extremely challenging. His compositions were so difficult, but I made playing his music a part of my daily practice routine. Not only is his music physically challenging on the trumpet, but it doesn't really lend itself [harmonically] to traditional types of chord notation. There might be ten chords in one bar, so it's difficult to really make the changes. Lonnie would give me a piano chart, and I would improvise using that as a guide. But also, interestingly enough, it forced me to use some old school techniques: The New Orleans players, didn't just use the chords to improvise; they used the melody and what the rhythm section was playing to improvise. So Lonnie's music forced me to think outside the box of just playing the chord changes.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Interviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Extension Deadline

Extension Deadline

Brooklyn Jazz Underground Records
2015

buy

Related Articles

Read Nik Bärtsch: Possibility in Paradox Interviews
Nik Bärtsch: Possibility in Paradox
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 24, 2018
Read Linley Hamilton: Strings Attached Interviews
Linley Hamilton: Strings Attached
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 17, 2018
Read Camille Bertault: Unity in Diversity Interviews
Camille Bertault: Unity in Diversity
by Ludovico Granvassu
Published: April 10, 2018
Read Chad Taylor: Myths and Music Education Interviews
Chad Taylor: Myths and Music Education
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: April 9, 2018
Read Fabian Almazan: Multilayered Vision Interviews
Fabian Almazan: Multilayered Vision
by Angelo Leonardi
Published: March 30, 2018
Read Ryuichi Sakamoto: Naturally Born to Seek Diversity Interviews
Ryuichi Sakamoto: Naturally Born to Seek Diversity
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 27, 2018
Read "Grace Kelly: Free From Boundaries" Interviews Grace Kelly: Free From Boundaries
by Doug Hall
Published: January 27, 2018
Read "Richie Cole: Blue Collar Bebopper" Interviews Richie Cole: Blue Collar Bebopper
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: August 1, 2017
Read "Joe La Barbera: Experiencing Bill Evans" Interviews Joe La Barbera: Experiencing Bill Evans
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: May 17, 2017
Read "Craig Taborn and his multiple motion" Interviews Craig Taborn and his multiple motion
by Giuseppe Segala
Published: August 7, 2017