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."

Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Arto Lindsay: Watch Out Madames! Interviews Arto Lindsay: Watch Out Madames!
by Enrico Bettinello
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Fred Anderson: On the Run Interviews Fred Anderson: On the Run
by Lazaro Vega
Published: April 23, 2017
Read Dave Holland: Consummate Bassist Interviews Dave Holland: Consummate Bassist
by Lazaro Vega
Published: April 21, 2017
Read Walter Smith III: Jazz Explorer Interviews Walter Smith III: Jazz Explorer
by R.J. DeLuke
Published: April 19, 2017
Read Remembering Art Farmer Interviews Remembering Art Farmer
by Lazaro Vega
Published: April 19, 2017
Read "Fábio Torres: The Making of Modern Brazilian Jazz" Interviews Fábio Torres: The Making of Modern Brazilian Jazz
by Samuel Quinto
Published: September 30, 2016
Read "Bria Skonberg: In Flight" Interviews Bria Skonberg: In Flight
by R.J. DeLuke
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Bill Cunliffe: A Day In the Life" Interviews Bill Cunliffe: A Day In the Life
by Tish Oney
Published: November 3, 2016
Read "Lewis Porter on John Coltrane" Interviews Lewis Porter on John Coltrane
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Nick Brignola: Big Horn, Strong Words" Interviews Nick Brignola: Big Horn, Strong Words
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: October 30, 2016
Read "Johnaye Kendrick: In The Deepest Way Possible" Interviews Johnaye Kendrick: In The Deepest Way Possible
by Paul Rauch
Published: March 8, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!