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AAJ: On the last night [February 25th] your daughter is playing in one of the groups, so Sculptured Sounds is kind of a family thing.
RW: [The group] Sojourner is my daughter's [Nioka] project. [February] 25th is called the African-American Legacy Project, which is a concept that Charles Tolliver and I put together. That project relates to the music of great composers who have contributed to the legacy of African-American music, [and] we will be performing in big band and choir fashion. I asked Nioka to bring her group in and [bass guitarist] Matthew Garrison has [said] that he would bring his trio in. He's Jimmy Garrison's son. When we did Lincoln Center we had Roy Haynes' son [cornetist Graham] and Cal Massey's son [tenor saxophonist Zane] involved with it. So the purpose is to create some kind of a vehicle for our links to the people who will move the music to the next space and carry it forward.
Now that's in tribute to Black History Month, so we made that a free concert. We want people from Philadelphia, all around Massachusetts [to know] that it's happening... They may be willing to drive up here and be a part of it because it's going to be something special. And it's worth a couple of hours on the highway. We'll do that in such a way that we'll be finished at about 11-11:30. I asked James Browne [manager of Sweet Rhythm] to keep his club open for people who have driven that far to come down and relax. He said "Well, you know, we don't open on Sunday. So I said "Will you open on Sunday for this occasion? He said he would do it. So that's another one of the things we're working toward, trying to have Sweet Rhythm open after the concert. Another thing that we have to do is get a core group down there, because whenever you have a gathering like that you need music.
AAJ: Is the Sculptured Sounds Music Festival just for this year, or, depending on the reception, would you do it again?
RW: Like you say, depending on the reception. It requires so much work. As I said, those 20-hour days... Whether or not you can continue to evolve and do that year after year, with the kind of resources we have at this point and with the kind of connections that we have in the media, depending on the response and the support that we get, will tell us whether it's a thing that we should continue with or not. From the response to the Preview Concert, I'm very optimistic. But it takes a lot out of one, so [it will depend] on how much it gives back to us.
Trio 3, Encounter (Passin' Thru, 1999) Reggie Workman, Summit Conference (Postcards, 1993) Fortune/Harper/Cowell/Workman/Hart, Great Friends (Black & Blue-Evidence, 1986) Alice Coltrane, Transfiguration (Warner Brothers-Sepia Tone, 1978) Wayne Shorter, Adam's Apple (Blue Note, 1966) John Coltrane, The Complete 1961 Village Vanguard Recordings (Impulse!-GRP, 1961)
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.