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Interviews

INTERVIEWS

Linley Hamilton: Strings Attached

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Nearly all recordings are labours of love. Passion and a huge amount of work are the essential ingredients. Some recordings in particular, however, mark the realization of a life-long dream. For Northern Irish trumpeter, BBC jazz broadcaster and university lecturer Linley Hamilton, Making Other Arrangements (Teddy D Records, 2018) is just such a recording. Backed by a cracking, small jazz ensemble--some of the finest musicians in Ireland--Hamilton has fulfilled a burning, career-long ambition by adding strings to songs ...

INTERVIEWS

Camille Bertault: Unity in Diversity

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On her striking new album, Pas de gĂ©ant ["Giant Steps" in French -Ed.], Camille Bertault confirms all the qualities that her debut release, En Vie, had showcased three years ago. For her sophomore release, the French singer doubles down with an eclectic repertoire, a stellar line-up and the production and arrangements written by Michael Leonhart with the sophistication of a haute couture tailor. For her debut on the Okeh/Sony label, the winner of the “best new talent" 2017 French jazz ...

INTERVIEWS

Chad Taylor: Myths and Music Education

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Few drummers know how to use rhythms like Chad Taylor. He makes the drum set sing melodies and paints different hues and shades on the cymbals and skins. He can play inside and outside and has performed with musicians like saxophonists Fred Anderson, Pharoah Sanders and James Brandon Lewis, pianists Cooper-Moore and Angelica Sanchez, guitarists Jeff Parker and Marc Ribot, bassist Joshua Abrams and trumpeter Rob Mazurek, just to name a few. Back in 2009, Taylor released Circle ...

INTERVIEWS

Fabian Almazan: Multilayered Vision

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For much of the past decade, Cuban-born pianist Fabian Almazan spent most of his time playing with Terence Blanchard who called him: “One of the great, young, new talent of his generation." Now 39 and based in New York City, Fabian earned his bachelor's and master's degrees from the Manhattan School of Music and was voted “#1 Rising Piano Star" by the Downbeat Critics' Poll in 2014. Currently pianist in the Mark Guiliana quartet, Almazan is the owner ...

INTERVIEWS

Ryuichi Sakamoto: Naturally Born to Seek Diversity

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Japanese composer and New York resident Ryuichi Sakamoto has had a career unlike anyone else. For more than 40 restless years, since the days of Yellow Magic Orchestra, he has been a musician that many other musicians have followed closely and probably no other popular musician has had a broader or a deeper catalog. To experience his music is to experience the world. He is an “outernational" and that has informed his borderless vision of music. Diversity and ...

INTERVIEWS

Leonardo Pavkovic: Nothing is Ordinary

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More than any other person, Leonardo Pavkovic has made me write some crazy shit. Pavkovic is the primal force behind the joyously eclectic MoonJune Records, which he established in 2001. “Established" may not be the right word: “I am truly an unusual and rules breaking call-it-record-company with a 'label' identity despite the fact that as a person and as a 'label' I go out of any categorization and labeling of what I do," he confided before our interview. ...

INTERVIEWS

Bobby Previte: the Art of Travelling Trustingly

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Bobby Previte has been at the forefront of the creative music scene for more than four decades. A restless aural storyteller with a knack for captivating concept albums, he has just released Rhapsody (RareNoise). This is the first album for which he has written not only the ear-opening music he is known for but also lyrics, which, courtesy of Jen Shyu's compelling delivery, take listeners to unexpected places. In this interview, Bobby Previte talks about Rhapsody, the second part of ...

INTERVIEWS

Dafnis Prieto: Cross-Cultural Mix

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Dafnis Prieto is one of the leading drummers and composers of his generation. Forty-four years old and Cuban born, Prieto moved to jny: New York City in 1999. The early 2000's found Prieto employed as a sideman by several prominent musicians, including Eddie Palmieri, Michel Camilo, Carlos Barbosa-Lima, Dave Samuels and Arturo O'Farrill. In the following years Prieto also appeared in some avant-garde settings with Henry Threadgill and Steve Coleman. The young Cuban drummer transposes elements from his Afro-Cuban musical ...

INTERVIEWS

Julian Pressley: From The Duke To Ornette In His Own Way

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Julian Pressley isn't exactly a household name, but it's a name every jazz aficionado should know. When he plays his alto saxophone, ears perk up because he's playing what they came to hear: music that embodies the legacy. Passionate, quick-witted, and full of new ideas, Pressley stands out in the crowd, a genuine original. Yet you can hear Johnny Hodges, Charlie Parker, Jackie McLean, James Moody, Cannonball Adderley, and even Ornette Coleman coming out of his horn. Pressley ...

INTERVIEWS

Stephen Nomura Schible: I wanted to make an intimate portrait of Ryuichi Sakamoto

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Japanese composer, pianist, and producer Ryuichi Sakamoto has always resisted an easy definition or description. Taken into account his illustrious and vast output which has spanned over different decades and fashions, he has been at the center and outer fringes of shaping contemporary music. For many, he is one of the greatest exponents of modern music and always on the cutting edge of music. Sakamoto is responsible for a plethora of important and intriguing cross-cultural explorations and has ...