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Take Five With Mark Alban Lotz

AAJ Staff By

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Meet Mark Alban Lotz: Improviser and composer. Exponent of the new generation of truly European jazz musicians. Highly skilled and broadly informed heading for something new. Gained a lot international acclaim for his interpretations of Afro-Cuban religious folklore, quickly followed by his creations of: "Pygmee-Bop" and "Whisper Music." In his music Mark builds a bridge between jazz and contemporary music, often crossing boarders with other traditions.



Released 12 CDs as leader. Performed/recorded with top improvisers, jazz musicians as well as soloists of world music from all over. Worked together with dance, art, film, video and theater play. Tours in the US, Canada, Cuba, Suriname, Turkey, Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Bulgaria and all over Europe.

Instrument(s):

Piccolo, C-, alto-, bass-, pvc contrabass flutes, flötophon and Indian bamboo flutes.

Teachers and/or influences?

Teachers: Michael Heupel, Jos Zwanenburg, Ferdinand Povel, Henri Tournier.

Influences: all the great masters in music, including Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Hari Prasad Chaurassia and Lazaro Ros.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I heard Michael Heupel play.

Your sound and approach to music: Still working on my sound. Practice almost daily. My approach to music is open and curious. Here, ears still are wide open.

Your teaching approach: Aim to help them being self-supporting/responsible students. Infect them with a big love for music.

Your dream band: Too many to name.

Road story: Your best or worst experience: Recording in Cuba definitely was a lot of fun. Likewise performing with those Hindustani bands. This profession brings me to places and I love it.

Favorite venue:

SJU Jazz Podium. Utrecht, The Netherlands. The best jazz club for adult rated music I know.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? Blues For Yemaya, with Lotz Of Music In Havana. Creating new music while still strongly based on folklore music. With fantasy and well-executed. A rewarding experience.

The first Jazz album I bought was: I was born into a collection of thousands of vinyl and shellac recordings. Grew up surrounded by the sounds of Satchmo, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Cecil Taylor, due to my fathers eclectic taste. My first own record might have been Billy Cobham's Spectrum.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? Heading for a new dimension for flute within jazz and improvised music tradition and history. Free the jazz and improvised music from its narrow horizon.

Did you know...

I worked as DJ El Albanito, like scuba diving, and am addicted to good cuisine and good wine.

CDs you are listening to now: Hari Prasad Chaurassia, Rag Bhimpalasi (Naxos);

Hari Prasad Chaurassia, Four Dhuns (Naxos); Hari Prasad Chaurassia, The Bamboo Flutist of His Generation;

Stan Getz, Early Quartets (Riverside);

Miles Davis, Milestones (Columbia).

Desert Island picks: I would pick the same as above, but also include J.S. Bach, Das Wohltemperierte Klavier.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Excellent, vibrant and virile.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Jazz never will be dead as the youth always creates new stuff. As jazz is home for intelligent, sexy music it always will attract new young talents.

What is in the near future? Recording a second CD with Lotz of Musics: A Dutch View On Fish (multimedia project on Fish). Tour to Africa with my A Fula's Call, in collaboration with the Euregion Brass and Wind Band, from Limburg, Holland.

By Day:

Today, preparing a the best bouillabaisse in the world.

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


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