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Jazz Artist Interviews (709)

Get up close and personal with your favorite jazz artists!

29.01.2011

Freddy Cole

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Freddy Cole has been called the Prince of Song. He has an exhilarating voice with a richness that truly opens the mystery of love. In The Name of Love, Cole’s exciting new album of contemporary music on the Telarc label, is filled with just such mystery. Cole gets romantic with the unique interpretations of eleven celebrated love songs, including Boz Scaggs' Harbor Lights, Smokey Robinson's "Just to See Her and Van Morrison's Have I Told You Lately. Supported by …
29.01.2011

Sakoto Fujii

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JazzReview: What Japanese musicians influenced your style of playing early on in your career? Satoko Fujii: My idol early on was Fumio Itabashi, a Japanese jazz pianist who was in Ray Anderson's band and Elvin Jones's band. I went to jazz clubs in Tokyo to listen to his playing very often. Finally I asked him for lessons. He is my first jazz teacher. My husband, Natsuki, now plays in his band. There are some Japanese musicians I liked, but Itabashi was very special for me. …
29.01.2011

Cookie Coleman

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At what point in your life did you know that you wanted to become a musician? I was in 7th grade and I asked the person in charge of the community Christmas pageant at the Town Hall if I could sing a solo. I wasn’t content to sing in the chorus. He asked me to sing something right then and there and then he had me sing a solo of O Holy Night in the pageant. I was so scared I shook halfway across the room but I was definitely bitten by the performance bug. What was the first …
Each year at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C., the Mary Lou Williams Lifetime Achievement Award is presented to one of the most extraordinary female jazz performers in the world. This year the prestigious honor will be awarded to the elegant jazz pianist, composer and vocalist Barbara Carroll. I recently had the opportunity to speak to Ms. Carroll about the award she will be receiving. JazzReview: Let's begin with you being called "The First Lady Jazz Pianist." That is certai …
What elements of your classical training do you find helps you out, when you're playing the guitar? Matt: As you said I started out with classical training and in fact that was the only kind of guitar training I could get where I was living, when I was starting out playing guitar, when I was about 10 or 11 years old. At the time I didn't really have any particular preference in music; I just liked music in general, and I liked the guitar, so I started out with classical. In general, i …
I’ve always believed that appreciating jazz is like appreciating wine. You have to acquire a taste for it and it only develops over time. And good jazz like good wine is wasted on the young. A generation that is led to believe that Jennifer Lopez can sing, Adam Sandler can act and Fear Factor is quality television, can’t be expected to appreciate an Oscar Peterson or Ahmad Jamal. Then again, every now and then someone comes along to blow away your preconceived notions. Another Mind …
Chick Corea easily rates as one of the greatest and most prolific artists in jazz history, whether the measuring stick is applied to the number and quality of his recordings or to the number of styles with which he has experimented and mastered during his long career. In his fifth decade at the pinnacle of jazz, Chick Corea’s recent CDs and performances show that age has done nothing to slow him down or dull his creative abilities and impulses. Chick’s forthcoming album on Chick’s own Stretch Re …
29.01.2011

David Haney

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Avant pianist David Haney creates a style of music that is appealing, a style that draws listeners into another world. Improvising on acoustic instruments, Haney bases his music on dialogue, rhythmic rather than harmonic development. When asked why he prefers acoustic to electric or digital instruments, David responds, "I use as much of the piano as possible the soundboard, the strings, as well as the keys. This just can’t be done on an electronic piano. Something’s missing in electric and d …
29.01.2011

Joe Zawinul

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On Sunday, March 23rd 2003, the audience of the ‘Botanique’ in Brussels was surprised by a drastic change in the line up of Joe Zawinul’s Syndicate, but as soon as the music started, it became clear that bassist Linley Marthe from Mauritius and drummer Marc Gilmore would by far exceed the wildest expectations of those who are familiar with the bass of Etienne Mbappe and the drums of Paco Sery. After almost sixty years of uninterrupted piano playing and composing, Joe Zawinul (born in Vienna, …
29.01.2011

David Liebman

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Only ten days after Joachim Kühn had performed solo in the Castle Vilain XIIII, situated just outside the idyllic village of Leut (Limburg-Belgium), the intimate concert hall of the castle with its Louis XV furnishing from ages ago, provided the scenery for Dutch contemporary jazz ensemble Nimbus with special guest David Liebman. Nimbus is a full acoustic ensemble, except for the electric guitar (played by Florian Zenker), which with its arsenal of sound effects and pedals, adds extra space …
29.01.2011

Steve Turre

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Steve Turre should be the poster child for Old School of Jazz. "I’ve always sought out the elders," says the 53-year old trombonist, "and always knew you learn how to play by playing with people you admire." Starting with an early Bay Area apprenticeship with Rahsaan Roland Kirk and studies in the groups of Art Blakey, Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Shaw and McCoy Tyner, Turre has been true to his word reaching stylistic maturity by learning from some of the best teachers jazz has to offer. But …
29.01.2011

Karen Lane

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Where were you born? Perth, Western Australia. One of the most beautiful landscapes with miles of white sandy beach coast line, but also one of the most isolated cities in the world. So fairly restricted in terms of variety of music exposure. Were your parents musical? did you come from a musical background? You could tell my mum was very musical and she certainly listened to and appreciated good music, but being from a very poor family there was no opportunity to s …
So long as there are musicians like Kenny Garrett around, jazz has nothing to worry about. Garrett’s one off those players who gets into the music, penning compelling compositions, then exploring them deeply and thoroughly with a band of hand-picked, like-minded musicians. The saxophonist has a new CD out, Standard of Language, and, as on his 10 earlier discs, it contains plenty of hot burning and hard blowing, a few soulful ballads, and the prodigious talent of the young stars (or soo …
29.01.2011

Marcus Miller

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A pro bass guitar player since the age of fifteen, 43-year old Marcus Miller has worked with a who’s who of jazz, fusion, pop, R&B, funk, and otherwise-you-name-it musical categories. Let’s take a quick sampling: Miles Davis, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Grover Washington Jr., McCoy Tyner, Randy Brecker, Luther Vandross, Kirk Whalum, David Sanborn, Lonnie Liston Smith, LL Cool J, Jay Z... the list goes on. Tell me you don’t have to be an incredibly solid, versatile player with scary chops to pla …
Dr. Billy Taylor says that Benny Green and Russell Malone are " .the future of jazz." Taylor was among the members of a packed audience during the first of two spectacular performances by Green and Malone at Washington DC’s Kennedy Center Jazz Club. During the performance, members of the audience frequently voiced their approval and support for the performers’ efforts. It was definitely a warm, shared experience for the performers and the listeners.Green and Malone are a study in contrasts. G …
You're a 16 year old guitarist that knocked The Beatles' Yesterdayoff the charts with your group's hit Hang on Sloopy. In the 70's, you helped produce legendary guitarist Johnny Winter and traveled with his group "White Trash." You had your own solo rock career while also playing with such legends as Alice Cooper, Ritchie Havens, Todd Rundgren and Steely Dan. In the 80's, you also had a chance to perform with Cyndi Lauper and Barbra Streisand, and produced song parodies with We …
"John [Lennon] was great to work with, and a lot of fun. I wish I’d had the chance to make more music with him, of course, and to get to know him better." When I was approached by Phyllis Fast (the wife of Larry Fast, who plays synthesizer in Tony’s band) about Tony Levin’s recent Grammy nomination for his solo album "Pieces of the Sun," a jazz-rock fusion montage, I was thrilled that she asked me to interview the greatest bass player alive. Personally, I feel he deserves a lifetime achievem …
To promote his new CD ‘Cinematique,’ bassist-composer Chris Minh Doky has been recently touring in Europe with a powerful trio featuring himself on double bass, Makoto Ozone on piano and Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts on drums. After some gigs in London, the trio travelled to Brussels on January 13th for a sold out concert at the ‘Music Village,’ a jazz club that started a little more than two years ago in the center of the European capital, two minutes walking from the town hall in a two century-old war …
Stan Getz, McCoy Tyner, Van Morrison, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker showed jazz audiences what jazz is and isn’t. Babtunde Lea’s "Soul Pools" summoned the spirit of these jazz greats and other world music luminaries and created the most innovative, fresh and soulful searching music ever. I had the pleasure of speaking to the inspirational Babatunde Lea recently, a musician who brings out the best in his bands, his music and himself. Jazzreview: I haven’t heard music as dynamic wit …
29.01.2011

Jim Mullen

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What does Pete Brown’s "Piblokto," Brian Auger’s "Oblivion Express," The Average White Band and various legends of the world of jazz and blues have in common? And what does all this have to do with a man who in his time has played a considerable part in helping to produce "outstanding works of progressive rock," gained worldwide success with some home grown jazz funk, and then graduated to writing and playing jazz? On Friday, October 10, 2002, I had the great privilege of enjoying a fine din …