All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Take Five With...

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Take Five With Scott Healy

Scott Healy By

Sign in to view read count
Meet Scott Healy:

Scott Healy is a classically-trained pianist and composer who in the past three decades has performed and recorded many jazz, blues and rock artists, from Tony Bennett and B.B. King, to Bruce Springsteen, Levon Helm and Christina Aguilera. In addition, Scott has written concert music for symphony orchestra, chamber groups, film scores, and for a wide variety of original jazz and modern music projects. He is perhaps best-known for his longtime role in the house band for Conan O'Brien, first on Late Night in New York, then The Tonight Show in Los Angeles, and currently on the TBS show Conan. His new ensemble recording, Hudson City Suite, by the Scott Healy Ensemble, is just out on and has been garnering praise from the critics and his audience.

Instrument(s):

Piano, Hammond B3 organ, accordion, guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?

Everyone. James P. Johnson, Herbie Hancock, Igor Stravinsky, Duke Ellington, Joseph Schwantner, Gil Evans... the list goes on and on.

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

When I hear my uncle's Dixieland band play at a picnic when I was a little kid. I remember being able to hear the blues progression, and knowing what key they were in. I guess I always knew I always knew.

Your sound and approach to music:

If it sounds good, it is good. All music is equal, all can have powerful emotional content, detail, sustained interest, motion, three-dimensionality; try to find what it is in anything that gives it life, and if you find it, work the hell out of it.

Your dream band:

Piano duo with Billy Strayhorn.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

Way too many stories...This one is not best or worst, but I think about it a lot, I don't quite know why. I was playing a wedding in New Jersey when we got word that the father of the bride had experienced a heart attack at the church and was rushed to the hospital. As the stunned guests filed in, we were trying to figure out what to play...then word came down that the old man was going to be fine. The leader got on the mic and said: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm pleased to announce that Mr. Jones is going to be fine..."Celebration," F, one, two, one two three four..."

Favorite venue:

I love playing at Vitello's in Los Angeles, it has a marvelous Steinway B and a great sounding room. I played once in Carnegie Hall, and I suddenly knew what all the fuss was about. We had a regular gig on Tuesday nights for a long time in LA, I was able to leave a 1958 Hammond B3 at the club, and that was the only instrument I had. Every week I'd show up and it would be set up, turned on, and ready to go. Combine that with a killing rhythm section and I'm happy as a clam!

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

The first Weather Report record, Weather Report (Columbia, 1971). That was my introduction to Wayne Shorter, free jazz, and extended/improvised form. I know I wasn't ready for it yet, but for some reason that record had a tremendous impact on me. It also reminds me of my grandfather, who was in the room with me when I opened it up, having ran back from the record store, and popped it on the turntable. He went nuts, told me "this is noise, take it off!" That's when I knew I was onto something.

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

A great attitude.

Did you know...

I'm a closet accordionist.

CDs you are listening to now:

Last week I was checking out Stefon Harris. Holy sh*t—!! I feel late to the party!

Desert Island picks:

Rolling Stones, Exile on Main Street;

Bill Evans, Live at Montreux;

Weather Report, Weather Report;

John Coltrane , Coltrane Plays the Blues;

Duke Ellington's 1935-41.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

Different. Crazy. A great opportunity. Overcrowded. Underfunded. Inspiring.

Photo Credit

Courtesy of Scott Healy

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

Northern Light

ADA Creative Communications
2013

buy
Northern Light

Northern Light

Hudson City Records
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read Take Five with Mark Haskins Take Five With...
Take Five with Mark Haskins
by Mark Haskins
Published: April 17, 2018
Read Take Five with Tarek Yamani Take Five With...
Take Five with Tarek Yamani
by Tarek Yamani
Published: April 12, 2018
Read Take Five With the Anansi Trio Take Five With...
Take Five With the Anansi Trio
by Mark Merella
Published: March 7, 2018
Read Take Five with Myriam Phiro Take Five With...
Take Five with Myriam Phiro
by Myriam Phiro
Published: March 2, 2018
Read Take Five with Tat Yoshinaga Take Five With...
Take Five with Tat Yoshinaga
by Tat Yoshinaga
Published: February 28, 2018
Read Take Five with Chris Abelen Take Five With...
Take Five with Chris Abelen
by Chris Abelen
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "Take Five with Vincent Eury" Take Five With... Take Five with Vincent Eury
by Vincent Eury
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Take Five With Sylvia Brooks" Take Five With... Take Five With Sylvia Brooks
by Sylvia Brooks
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Take Five with Naama Gheber" Take Five With... Take Five with Naama Gheber
by Naama Gheber
Published: February 7, 2018
Read "Take Five with Myriam Phiro" Take Five With... Take Five with Myriam Phiro
by Myriam Phiro
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "Take Five with Andrew Kushnir" Take Five With... Take Five with Andrew Kushnir
by Andrew Kushnir
Published: February 11, 2018
Read "Take Five with Hayley Lam" Take Five With... Take Five with Hayley Lam
by Hayley Lam
Published: August 3, 2017