Take Five With Aidan Carroll


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Meet Aidan Carroll:
Originally from Oklahoma, now living in New York and on the road, Aidan Carroll is an acoustic/electric bassist, composer, and educator. He attended the University of Central Oklahoma on full jazz scholarship, attended the Banff Workshop following college, and subsequently moved to New York for a Masters Degree at City College of New York where he studied with mentor John Patitucci. He's shared the stage with the likes of John Abercrombie, Adam Cruz, Ben Monder, Logan Richardson, Ambrose Akinmusire, Donald Fagen, Warren Haynes, and more. Aidan has toured abroad with the Dan Tepfer Trio, Logan Richardson's SHIFT, and others. Aidan Carroll is currently touring with soul/rock band Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds and leading his own band in New York, the Aidan Carroll Group. Aidan is dedicated to a life in music, and to sharing his passion with everyone he meets along the way.

Acoustic/electric bass

Teachers and/or influences?
Teachers: John Patitucci, Lee Rucker(Oklahoma), Johannes Weidenmuller, James Genus, Fred Hersch, Edward Simon.

Influences: Ron Carter, Ray Brown, Oscar Pettiford, Jimmy Garrison, Charlie Haden, Ben Street, John Patitucci, Stanley Clarke, Jaco Pastorius, James Jamerson, Willie Weeks, Verdine White, Herbie Hancock, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Joe Henderson and Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, among many others.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I had a very vivid revelation as a young boy in which I knew I would be playing music for the rest of my life. It wasn't so much that it was a choice but more of a vision of what was to come.

Your sound and approach to music:
My approach to music comes from simply the deep love and joy of playing. I am a bassist, who used to be a drummer, but who loves to play piano, so when I play music I tend to incorporate those elements. When composing I try to extract all the melodies and harmony I hear from within and onto the page as purely as possible.

Your teaching approach:
My teaching approach is based on my passion for music, and the understanding of the potential it carries to deepen and improve people's lives. I also teach to not only carry on the legacy of the great music mentors I've been fortunate to have in life, but as well to attempt to correct all the bad teaching we encounter as music students. My teaching incorporates a basis of technique, theory, tradition, along with learning various levels of integrated improvisation and spontaneous grooves depending on the student's musical direction.

Your dream band:
I already have my dream band(s): Logan Richardson, Sullivan Fortner and Jochen Rueckert / John Ellis, David Bryant, Justin Brown.

Artists I'd like to work with: Jack DeJohnette, Herbie Hancock, Joe Lovano, Lionel Loueke, John Scofield.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Return to Forever, Romantic Warrior.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
I think the most important thing I have to contribute musically is "diversity with foundation." I come from many backgrounds musically, but the essential element of my sound is: groove meets melodic improvisation. This is the basis of all my music and the way I play, and I think that's what makes it accessible for anyone who might listen.

Did you know...
I used to be a ballet dancer. I performed several years in the Nutcracker as a young boy but eventually dropped out of dance, seeing as it just wasn't the cool thing to do... and went into music all the way.

CDs you are listening to now:
Meshell Ndegeocello, Weather (Maverick); John Scofield, A Moment's Peace (EmArcy); Georgia Anne Muldrow, Owed to Mama Rickie (Animated Cartunes); Miles Davis, Live in Salle Pleyel, Paris 1969; The Roots, Undun (Def Jam).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I honestly believe jazz is growing and changing in the most positive of ways. I see my peers and older generations constantly pushing boundaries yet completely capable of making timeless musical statements. Proud.

What is in the near future?
Within this year I plan to record my debut album as a leader. This will incorporate my compositions and my band that I've been playing with in New York over the past few years. I hope to eventually tour with this band and record subsequent albums. Other projects include: Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds which is a modern soul band comprised of New York musicians—we are currently on tour and will continue to be on tour this year playing such festivals as the New Orleans Jazz Fest, Mountain Jam, Telluride Jazz Fest, and much more.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
An actor or dancer.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Aidan Carroll

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