Archive for the ‘ Interviews ’ Category

Noah Preminger interviewed by Woodrow Wilkins

On the heels of back-to-back releases rooted in the blues of the Mississippi Delta, Pivot – Live at the 55 Bar,” and “”Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground,” saxophonist Noah Preminger makes a different kind of statement. “Meditations on Freedom” is part reaction to the 2016 election of a billionaire who had no political experience, a limited attention span and a knack for stirring the emotions of people who are fearful, angry or prejudiced against one or more ethnic groups. It’s also a call for those who believe in freedom, democracy and progress over regress to keep going, not give up.

Preminger spent a few minutes talking about the project.

WW: Interesting statement you’re making with this new recording. Tell us when the idea started to take shape. What had just happened and what were your immediate thoughts?

NP: I’d been talking to Jimmy Katz one day, and we talk most days. The amazing engineer, photographer and a great friend of mine. And we spoke often about politics, and he said, “One day, I think you should make sort of a protest album.” It was right when Trump was elected. Two weeks after that we already had a recording date.

Read more …

Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope – Mirage

Classical music meets jazz with Brian Landrus Kaleidoscope’s Mirage (Blueland Records, 2013). This chamber jazz masterpiece consists of 12 original songs. The session blends the Kaleidoscope quintet with a string quartet.

The ensemble consist of Landrus, baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, bass flute, contra alto clarinet and bass saxophone; Nir Felder, guitar; Frank Carlberg, Rhodes and piano; Lonnie Plaxico, acoustic and electric bass; Rudy Royston, drums; Mark Feldman, violin; Joyce Hermann, violin; Judith Insell, viola; Jody Redhage, cello; and Ryan Truesdell, conductor.

“Don’t Close Your Eyes” has a pop ballad vibe with Landrus and Felder combining for the lead. Royston mostly just keeps time, but emphasizes key points with splashes and crashes of the cymbals. After Carlberg’s Rhodes solo, Landrus stretches out with the baritone sax.

Read more …

A Conversation With Eric Darius

hbh: I speak with the young lion Eric Darius. Hello Eric!

ED: Hello!

hbh: Where are you coming from?

ED: I’m coming from California. I just flew in a several days ago from the New York Jazz festival. It’s amazing time here.

hbh: But you are living in California? In the Los Angeles area?

ED: Yes! I just recently moved from Florida and now live in Los Angeles. But my family is from Jamaica and Haiti. I am coming from a musical background. My father plays the bass, my mum sings and plays piano. My older brother plays the drums and the trumpet, my sister also sings and plays piano. So music is in my whole family.

hbh: Did you immigrate with your family to America or did you come alone?

ED: I was actually born in America. My parents met in New Jersey and I was born there.

Read more … 

Chris Mann Interviews Peter White

CM – Peter, many thanks for taking the time to talk to me today. The last time we spoke was back in September 2009 and in the following month you were due to go and play some dates with your old buddy Al Stewart, so I wanted to start off by asking you how that went.

PW – I did some shows with him in Steelville, Missouri. It was a little hotel/resort kind of place and it seemed like fun, to me. It was, actually, a lot of fun. Getting together with Al is always fun – playing some of the old songs and playing some of the new songs. I started with him when I was 20 years old. Played with him for almost 20 years so it’s always fun to go back and re-live the past a little bit – it’s very comfortable.

CM – Fantastic. And towards the end of 2009 you were due to do some Christmas shows with Dave Koz again. Did that materialise?

PW – Yes it did. I did a whole tour with him. I’ve done many Christmas tours with Dave actually. Starting in 1998, we did five consecutive years, starting the day after Thanksgiving all the way through to Christmas and it was always a lot of fun. I was hanging out with Dave for a whole month out of the year. It was a constant party. Loved it.

CM – Excellent, excellent. Listening to the new CD ‘Here We Go’ Peter, lots of questions come to mind and I wondered after that brief catch-up if we could just launch into talking about the new CD?

PW – Yes, absolutely.

CM – I don’t want to dissect it track-by-track even though that is my usual M.O. but there were some things that really stuck out in my mind. On the first track ‘Night after Night’, I hope you don’t mind if I read from notes that I wrote recently: I wrote that it’s insanely catchy. Does that seem an apt description Peter?

PW – Yes! I like that description. I write lots of songs. I get lots of ideas. That song came to me when I was writing a whole lot – I wasn’t on the road so much. If I continue working on a song it’s because it is catchy to me, it has something that grabs me. The way that song starts – it has that little keyboard melody (sings the melody) – I thought that was really nice, that hypnotic riff that you can hang a song around.

Read more … 

Chris Mann Interviews Robin Duhe

CM – Robin, what I wanted to do was go back to the beginning. You’re Californian by birth right?

RD – I was born in Oakland, California, home of the Oakland Raiders.

CM – One of their other exports was Tower of Power.

RD – There you go! They have a lot of acts coming out of Oakland.

CM – Yeah, I’m a big fan of theirs. Now I read that, as a young guy, you were probably as keen on sports as you were on music.

RD – Yeah, I played a lot a lot of ball. I’ve got a broken hip to prove it. I need a hip replacement – I’ll be a bionic man (laughs)

CM – (laughs) Six Million Dollar Man.

RD – Yeah.

CM – When did you make the decision that it would be a career in music for you Robin?

RD – That was maybe in tenth grade – came early. I was in a band – I was playing clubs in eighth grade. My father used to come and check on me. So I was already kind of working you know.

But then I got into high school – I was always playing ball. I was on the basketball team and couldn’t make some of the practices because I was playing or rehearsing so it was then that I had to make a choice between basketball and playing music.

I was already playing. I was backing up this singer named Vernon Garrett and we had put a record out, ‘We People of the Ghetto’. So my head was already in the music…

But I love playing basketball. My son plays ball – he got a scholarship to university, playing in Chicago.

Read more … 

Too long a Fourplay? There’s no such thing! :)

After 20 years of Fourplay, maybe they felt we should move on…”, says Chuck Loeb in a jocular manner later that night, employing the pun on words in the band’s name when introducing one of the songs he contributed to Fourplay’s 12th album “Let’s Touch the Sky”. While the cover art suggests that very endeavor with the band member’s hands reaching up, nearly two hours of stellar live music performances left no doubt among avid music lovers who had flocked to Bayerischer Hof Night Club on this November, 8th 2011 night that Smooth Jazz’s famous supergroup are doing exactly that: They’re not only touching the sky, but weaving a musical skyscape with arrangements and solos that exude virtuosity, verve and vitality in equal parts.

Katharina Ehmki, CEO of Ehmki Music Management, promoter and press relations at the venue, landed the renowned music act as a major highlight of her New York at Bayerischer Hof series, and proved her experienced hand at knowing Jazz fans’ expectations: Fourplay packed the place to the last available seat and had every non-seated area crowded as well! Which might explain why fans had started to line up well before admittance at 8 pm, as Fourplay had sold out many venues prior to coming to Munich. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time and I was curious to see, what Chuck Loeb would sound like in this rarity of a group of musical heavyweights, where each of them is undoubtedly a leader in their own right, yet they appear to have kept ego out of the way and managed to amalgamate four strong musical personalities into a band – and with a formula that’s been going strong for the past two decades with only two changes to the line-up: Prior to Loeb, Larry Carlton held the guitar seat from 1998 through 2010, while Lee Ritenour was a founding member and stayed from 1991 through 1997.

Read more … 

A Conversation with Gerald Albright

PH: Hi, and welcome to Augsburg. My name is Peter Höld and I’m from the German webradio station GrooveFM (http://www.groovefm.de). So, thank you for your time. OK, let’s start with the interview. I think it’s not your first visit to Germany?

GA: No, I’ve been here for several times actually. I enjoy coming to Germany. The people really appreciate the jazz. It’s nice to come. So far away from home and have people appreciate your music that you’ve been doing for so many years. A great compliment.

PH: I don’t know if you are aware of it… hey, we are friends on Facebook. (laughs)

GA: Oh, beautiful. I’m big on Facebook. I love it.

PH: Yes, me too. I thinks it’s very important, because you are able to have contact with people all around the world.

GA: Yes, It’s very important. Especially with the state of the music industry right now. Where jazz has changed so much in terms of how people acquire their music and how we get the word out these days versus… back in the days when we had the record companies doing all the work. Now we as artist do a lot of the work now to get the word out. It´s a new day in time.

Read more …