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Take Five With Sal La Rocca

Sal La Rocca By

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Meet Sal La Rocca:
Sal La Rocca discovered jazz in the early '80s, and switched to double-bass, which he intensively explored on his own, taking Paul Chambers as a model.

Instrument(s):
Doubl-bass, electric bass, guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?
Paul Chambers, Sam Jones, Charles Mingus, Scott LaFaro.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
when i was 12 years old.

Your sound and approach to music:
As a jazz player I'm more into acoustic music; but I like to mix it with electric or electronic sounds...with caution, of course!

Your dream band:
I would like to share few notes with George Coleman.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
I was in a hotel room in Brazil, taking a shower...somebody knocks on my door. I went to open it...nobody; but the door shut suddenly with the draft, and I was quite naked...oops!

Favorite venue:
Chivas Festival. (Rio & Sao Paulo), La Palma (Roma), The Blue Note in Milano, and most Eastern festivals like Sofia, Ljubljana and Bucharest.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Gregg Houben Meets Pierrick Pédron, because this album is very well done with a big jazz spirit and originals tunes.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Money Jungle (Duke Ellington/Charles Mingus/Max Roach).

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
To care about the audience, and give what they need without making a fool of myself.

Did you know...
I'm crazy about: Claudio Monteverdi.

CDs you are listening to now:
Wayne Shorter, Alegria (Verve).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
i think that everything is mixed up. It has to get back to the roots—rediscovering Sonny Rollins, Ellington, Lester Young—to go further. They get the keys of freedom.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
More Jazz clubs; they're the workshop of the jazz musicians, and the place where everything can happen.

What is in the near future?
Benelux tour with Steve Grossman Quintet (2012); World tour and new CD with Vaya Con Dios; recording my own CD in the summer of 2011.

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

Photo credit: Danny Willems

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