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Interviews

INTERVIEWS

Clarence Becton: Straight Ahead Into Freedom

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Clarence Becton is a musicians' musician--meaning, someone well-known in musician circles. He belongs to the generation of American jazz heroes who grew up under economically and socially difficult circumstances, and for that very reason, succeeded in gaining a comprehensive education, emancipating himself, and embodying the history of jazz music by directly learning from and working with greats of almost every stylistic era--ragtime, swing, bebop, post-bop, and avant-garde. Born in 1933, he developed a strong musical interest as a ...

INTERVIEWS

Donny McCaslin: Bowie Deepened The Relationships In My Band

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Wherever the boundaries were in music, in most cases, they have perished and are no more. Jazz has always been a music of exploration and taking chances and as a result, has benefited from the dialogues with other music, be it folk, rock, classical or electronic. Saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin certainly doesn't believe in boundaries. He is one of the handful musicians who uses different strands as a launching point for further exploration. His recent records Fast Future (Greenleaf, ...

INTERVIEWS

Matthew Shipp: Let's Do Lunch!

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When Matthew Shipp asked me to design the cover art for his Points album (Silkheart Records, 1992), I showed him works from the on-going drawing study I was engaged in. He picked one graphite drawing and said, “Wow! This is exactly what's happening inside my mind when I play the piano!" Here, we talk of the history of his musicianship; creative process; spirituality; interest in literature and life in jny: New York City. I am blessed to have ...

INTERVIEWS

Erik Friedlander: A Little Cello?

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Normally lumped into the 'miscellaneous instruments' category of jazz awards, the cello has been something of a bit player in the colorful history of jazz. That said, today there are arguably more cellists in jazz and contemporary improvised music--and some extraordinary ones at that--than ever before. One of the best known cellists is undoubtedly Erik Friedlander, whose discography as a leader straddles acoustic jazz, film soundtracks, Americana roots, literature-inspired improvisations, extended suites, avant-garde/contemporary classical music, and compositions inspired by ancient ...

INTERVIEWS

Nat Hentoff: The Never-Ending Ball

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This interview was first published at All About Jazz on June 23, 2010. Nat Hentoff was eleven years old when, walking down the road one day in Boston, he heard music so exciting that he shouted with pleasure and ran into the shop to learn that the music was of clarinetist Artie Shaw. In that moment was born a love affair with jazz which has lasted seventy-four years thus far. At nineteen, Hentoff was hosting his own jazz ...

INTERVIEWS

Jack Wilkins: Playing What He's Preaching

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Some time in 1975 a box of records from the Mainstream label was dropped by my front door. I picked it up and began to open it with a mix of excitement and dread of having to face writing more record reviews. I saw an LP titled Windows with an unfamiliar cast of characters and put it aside. I had too many other albums to listen to and render judgment. Despite a nagging sense of obligation, this piece of vinyl ...

INTERVIEWS

D'Vonne Lewis: It's About the Love

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On the Seattle jazz scene, no musician is more visible than drummer D'Vonne Lewis. Whether he is touring and playing with his band Industrial Revelation, leading his flexible and innovative combo, D'Vonne Lewis Limited Edition, or playing as a sideman on multiple projects around town, Lewis brings to the bandstand a remarkable versatility, and musical identity all his own. He began playing with top shelf players such as Hadley Caliman, and Larry Fuller when still a student at Seattle's storied ...

INTERVIEWS

Don Falcone: Daevid Allen’s Weird Quartet and Weird Biscuit Teatime

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Don Falcone is a multi-instrumentalist and music producer who has been working with known psychedelic and space rock musicians since the 1990s with his band Spirits Burning as well as other projects. The late Daevid Allen, founder of Soft Machine and Gong, appeared on Spirits Burning's first album, 1999's New Worlds By Design, performing on much of the recording playing lead, rhythm and glissando guitars and singing. Falcone and Allen, with Michael Clare, later formed Weird Biscuit Teatime, releasing DJDDAY ...

INTERVIEWS

Ashley Kahn: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece

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This interview was first published at All About Jazz in November 2000 and is part of our ongoing effort to archive pre-database material. Ashley Kahn, the author of Kind of Blue: The Making of the Miles Davis Masterpiece (Da Capo Press, 224 pgs.), is Music Editor at VH1, and was the primary editor of Rolling Stone: The Seventies as well as the primary contributor to Rolling Stone Jazz and Blues Album Guide. He has contributed articles to ...


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