Take Five With Actual Proof

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Actual Proof:

Actual Proof is a fusion quartet based in Charlotte NC. Main Instruments are vibes and malletkat. The group draws on jazz, funk, and world-beat to create a unique approach to jazz-fusion.

Actual Proof


Vibes, keys, drums, bass.

Teachers and/or influences?

Gary Burton, Joe Locke, Steve Smith.

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

I listened to some early Pink Floyd, ("Echoes," I think) and got very tingly.

Your sound and approach to music:


Your teaching approach:

I don't do much teaching. I'm a full-time philosophy professor and don't have to teach music to make ends meet. That leaves me more time for musical discovery.

Your dream band:

Stanton Moore on drums, Chris Woods on bass, John Scofield on guitar, me on vibes.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

A way-too-drunk audience member decided to come on stage and hug our bass-player. I told him to get off stage and he left---for a minute or so. Then he came back up and fell into my gear.

Favorite venue:

The Brownstreet Club, Greenville S.C.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

"The Ion," on Paradigm Shift. It most represents Actual Proof's approach to music.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Charles Mingus' The Saint and the Sinner Lady. I think the cover intrigued me.

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

A unique approach to mallet-percussion. I say unique since Actual Proof uses vibes and marimba in funk contexts.

CDs you are listening to now:

Minimal Orchestra, Minimal Orchestra (Independent);

The Leah Randazzo Group, The Leah Randazzo Group (Independent);

The Secret B-Sides, The Secret B-Sides (Independent).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Good, but not great in the Southeast.

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

Innovation that pulls in younger listeners. I hate to say it, but it seems that the younger generation thinks that swinging is for old folks.

What is in the near future?

Increasing our presence in the Southeast with more radio play, concerts, and festivals.

By Day:

Philosophy professor at a small liberal-arts University in Charlotte, NC.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:

A philosophy professor!

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