Vic Juris: Tension and Release

Victor L. Schermer By

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AAJ:. John Coltrane said that music is his spirituality. Certainly A Love Supreme (Impulse!, 1964) and Meditations (Impulse!, 1965) reflect that. And Dave Liebman, too, is very spiritual, perhaps in a more understated way. So, do you have a particular spiritual path you follow or a general philosophy of life?

VJ: As I get older, I think about the age-old question, "Why are we here?" I value simple things a lot, like conversations with people, but I really think we're just a tiny grain of sand in the universe. As far as we know, we just have each other. We should all take that more seriously. And I think there is something far beyond our comprehension. And sometimes when things are really good on the bandstand and the chemistry is there, it's beyond, it's definitely spiritual. As musicians, there are some moments that are so uplifting and so transcendent, and that's what we're all trying to achieve in a sense.

AAJ: There are those special moments in jazz, and you can tell that the guys are in another space, another level.

VJ: There's that certain magic. Thirty years ago, I was sitting at the bar listening to Chet Baker, and he played a particular phrase that knocked me over. I could still go back to that moment. How did that person play that? Where did it come from? One of the greatest experiences on the bandstand is when you play something you never played before.

Selected Discography

Ken Serio, Live...In the Moment (Tripping Tree, 2007)
Gary Versace, Reminiscence (Steeplechase, 2007)
Dave Liebman Group, Blues All Ways (OmniTone, 2007)
Vic Juris, A Second Look (Mel Bay, 2005)
Vic Juris, Blue Horizon (Zoho, 2004)
Vic Juris, While My Guitar Gently Weeps (Steeplechase, 2004)
Dave Liebman Group, Conversation (Sunnyside, 2003)
Marc Copland/Vic Juris, Double Play (Steeplechase, 2002)
Vic Juris, Songbook (Steeplechase, 2001)
Joe Locke, Slander (And Other Love Songs) (Milestone, 1998)
Vic Juris, Music of Alex Wilder (Double-Time, 1996)
Bireli Lagrene, Live at the Carnegie Hall (Jazz Point, 1993)
Richie Cole, Popbop (Milestone, 1992)
Mel Tormé, Mel's London Mood (Parade, 1980)

Photo credit: John R. Fowler

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