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Take Five With Paul Van Ross

Paul Van Ross By

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Meet Paul Van Ross:

Based in Melbourne, Australia, Paul has been a musical performer for over 20 years. He has performed all over the world in various musical ensembles. He is frequently in demand as a leader and sideman for his versatility.

Instrument(s):

Saxophone, flute, clarinet.

Teachers and/or influences?

George Garzone; Rob Schepps; Andrew Stermann; Keith Underwood; John Coltrane; Joe Henderson; Michael Brecker; Kenny Garrett.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Once played an Irish music gig without sound checking....and the previous band had extreme amounts of "Karaoke" style reverb on all microphones. We did our whole first set "Irish Karaoke Style"!

Also, the weirdest combination of musician's ever—played on Taiwanese Television where the presenter thought it would be a "Great Idea" to have our Irish band jam with the local thrash metal band—on The Beatles' "Hey Jude."

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

"Uncle DJ," the ballad from my latest album, The Buck Stops Here, because it was written for my uncle, who died five minutes before I was schedule to arrive and play my saxophone for him.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Oh My God—I almost hate to admit it...Kenny G & the Duotones. Well, it was a stepping stone...

Did you know...

I love classical flute music; I once was filmed for TV, playing—or should I say miming—the Lagerphone (like a huge tambourine on a stick with beer bottle tops); I studied Aikido for eight years

CDs you are listening to now:

Joseph Tawadros, Oud.

Desert Island picks:

Zakir Hussain, Making Music (ECM);

John Coltrane, anything live.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Extremely high standards and increasing; however, I feel the audience for live jazz music is dwindling and needs a boost in numbers.

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

Incite the passion for jazz and improvised music in the younger generations. To create a rapport with the audience.

What is in the near future?

New album release, The Buck Stops Here; promote self-published sheet Music at MusicAllsorts.com; help educate and inspire young musicians.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?

To get knocked in the teeth.

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?

Anything pentatonic.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Paul Van Ross

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