Interviews

INTERVIEWS

Chad Lawson: Crossing Over and Back

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Chad Lawson is a compelling musical voice that deserves wider attention. He's a masterful pianist with an extensive jazz background, but has crossed genres taking the beauty of his music into the classical world. Recently, he released The Chopin Variations, arrangements of famed composer Frédéric François Chopin. On the album, Lawson re-contextualizes Chopin's piano solo pieces, particularly by adding two voices--cello and violin--to the mix. Embedded into this trio's sound is an ethos of desire, beauty, and love--creating a heartfelt ...

INTERVIEWS

Dave Burrell: Pianist Navigating the Windward Passages

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Dave Burrell is a master pianist and composer who encountered the avant-garde in the 1960s and has been following his own independent path ever since. He combines classical and jazz elements that are both “inside" and “outside" the mainstream. The title of a poem by J.V. Cunningham, “The Metaphysical Amorist" characterizes much of his playing, which is “romantic" (amorous) in both the sense of that era in music history and the influence of the American Songbook, and yet penetrates the ...

INTERVIEWS

Steve Gadd: Consummate Drummer

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It might be easier to list who drummer Steve Gadd hasn't played with since he got a pair of drum sticks at the age of three at his home near jny: Rochester, NY, right up to the age of 70, where this year his tour of duty includes Eric Clapton, James Taylor and his own band. Gadd is one of the great maintainers of the groove and one who can also play his ass off with jazz musicians like Chick ...

INTERVIEWS

Jon Batiste: Staying Human

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Jon Batiste was named the bandleader of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert (related news). This interview was originally published in January 2013. Nearly everything about Jonathan Batiste is steeped in jny: New Orleans--from the way he talks, walks, and claps his hands to the way he plays the piano, composes, and leads his Stay Human Band. So, it's surprising to consider he's actually spent most of his adult life in New York City, having arrived in 2004 ...

INTERVIEWS

Daniel Schnyder: The Anatomy of an Opera: Charlie Parker’s Yardbird Suite

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Saxophonist Charlie Parker revolutionized the world of music with his legendary approach to jazz. Unfortunately, his life was much too short and filled with tragedy. In 1955, Parker died at the age of 34 from excessive drug use. He died in the apartment of the Baroness Nica von Koenigswarter in New York City, but ironically his body remained unidentified in the morgue for days afterwards. The imaginary limbo state in which Parker has extra days to finish his life is ...

INTERVIEWS

Les McCann: Never Say No Again

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"Be who you are and not who you ain't. Because when you are who you ain't, you're not who you are." Keyboardist, vocalist, bandleader, songwriter and photographer Les McCann really talks like this. About his music, about musicians, about his career--about everything. I learned this during the following interview, scheduled to discuss Omnivore Records' March 2015 reissue of McCann's improvisational landmark Invitation to Openness, generally out of print since its original 1972 Atlantic Records' release; this reissue was ...

INTERVIEWS

Dave Douglas: There's Wisdom Everywhere in the Universe

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We're republishing this June 2013 in celebration of the 10 year anniversary of Dave Douglas's Greenleaf Music record label. When All About Jazz last spoke with trumpeter, multi-bandleader, teacher, composer, marathon runner, podcaster, and record label head honcho Dave Douglas in November, 2011, he was in the Ukraine on the last leg of a tour with the French accordionist Richard Galliano. We spoke about his newest musical project, Sound Prints, a quintet with saxophonist Joe Lovano and drummer ...

INTERVIEWS

Joanna Pascale: To Tell a Story in Song

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Among jazz vocalists, there are two main categories: those who belt out a tune with flourish, ornamentation, punctuation, and improvising known as “scat." Ella Fitzgerald is the prime representative of that approach. Then there are those who omit the superfluous, carefully crafting every word and note, bringing out the underlying emotions. Think of Billie Holiday. Joanna Pascale is a vocalist who has honed the latter approach into a way of literally being with the song in an I-Thou relationship. An ...



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