On the new episode of The Jazz Session, Jason Crane interviews Japanese pianist Toru Dodo. Born in Tokyo, Dodo started playing piano at age 4, then gave up his dream of concert piano for the economics department at Tokyo's Meiji University. He found jazz at Meiji, and eventually came to the United States to study at Berklee College of Music. Since moving to New York City in 1998, Dodo has released three CDs and performed with Kenny Garret, Benny Golson, Curtis Fuller, Ruth Brown and Terumasa Hino. His new album is Dodo 3 (Jazzcity, 2006).
I love jazz because it is both challenging and exhilarating, and the endeavor of improvisation is the highest form of art.
I met so many great musicians--including my two earliest heroes, Maynard Ferguson and Dizzy Gillespie--by attending concerts
and being willing to treat them with the respect they deserve.
The best show I ever attended was the Pat Metheny/Ornette Coleman Song X concert at Cornell University.
The first jazz record I bought was an RCA compilation by Dizzy Gillespie.
My advice to new listeners is to not be afraid to listen to something because you're not familiar with the artists or the band or
the genre or anything - this is music that is best experienced through discovery.