Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

7

Walter Smith III: Jazz Explorer

R.J. DeLuke By

Sign in to view read count
"It makes me have to really think about the music that I am working on. Ways of approaching composition. Ways of approaching improvisation. Ways of approaching ensemble playing," Smith says. "All the topics you need to cover. I don't like to just do it on the fly. I like to think about it and prepare. That whole process, when there's a point to me doing it, it becomes a very informative experience about how I think about things—things that I should do differently or try differently. Then getting the experience of the feedback of doing it in real time, where it's not necessarily a project I'm doing. I learn a lot about how to go about doing those things, both in the compositional process and the improvisational process.

"One of those things that's interesting is all the people I've played with, and you're traveling all the time. You spend time in airports, on trains and at sound checks. You're sitting there and very rarely do you talk about, 'How do you approach doing this?' Because you want to have a little bit of a break from the musical part of your day-to-day thing. But in the school aspect, everyone is constantly asking questions. It's interesting to have that back and forth because, clearly, I don't know everything. A lot of times students will ask questions or make suggestions and I'm like, 'Oh, that makes so much sense.' I feel when I'm there, in addition to the time I'm putting in on my saxophone, practicing or composing, my mind is working so much in a positive way to get ideas and figure things out like that."

"So, for me," adds Smith, "I feel like the more I teach, the better I play. And the more I play, the better I teach. It's a symbiotic relationship, in a way."

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Pat Martino: In the Moment Interview Pat Martino: In the Moment
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: January 12, 2018
Read Jessica Lurie: In It For The Long Haul Interview Jessica Lurie: In It For The Long Haul
by Paul Rauch
Published: January 9, 2018
Read Julian Priester: Reflections in Positivity Interview Julian Priester: Reflections in Positivity
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 8, 2017
Read Aaron Goldberg: Exploring the Now Interview Aaron Goldberg: Exploring the Now
by Luke Seabright
Published: November 24, 2017
Read "Charles Lloyd: The Winds Of Grace" Interview Charles Lloyd: The Winds Of Grace
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 14, 2017
Read "Roxy Coss: Standing Out" Interview Roxy Coss: Standing Out
by Paul Rauch
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Lew Tabackin: A Life in Jazz" Interview Lew Tabackin: A Life in Jazz
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 6, 2017
Read "Andy Summers: Creating Light from Dark" Interview Andy Summers: Creating Light from Dark
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: August 31, 2017