Archive for the ‘ Chris Mann ’ Category

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.

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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.

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Chris Mann Interviews Brian Culbertson

CM – Brian I’ve been a fan of yours since about 1995 and a HUGE fan since I was lucky enough to catch you at the Capital Jazz Fest in 1999.

BC – Oh nice!

CM – I remember it was a great show. I think you played on the Sunday – maybe even the first set – and everybody was revved up and raring to go while you guys were doing the sound check, so we could see how it was going to go.

BC – All right!

CM – I caught you on Twitter this morning and I’ve noticed while I’ve been researching that you have a very strong web presence, Brian.

BC – Well I’ve tried to be on there as much as I can. Really we have these tools now as artists to be able to connect directly with the fans and we’ve never really had that before so there’s a whole new way of being connected and self marketing I guess. I love it because you don’t have to wait on the big record company machine to spin their big wheel and take a month to do anything.

This way I get to go direct – it’s instant! It’s a lot of instant feedback which I actually love.

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Chris Mann interviews Bob James

CM – Bob let me start my saying that I’m a huge fan of your music ‘One on One’ got me hooked on your music in the late ‘70’s.

BJ – Well, thank you for listening for all that time

CM – And ‘Restless’ is one of the things I’d grab if my house were on fire. I bought it as soon as it came out and I’ve played it fairly relentlessly ever since.

I wanted to start out by asking you who your early influences were when you started playing.

BJ – I have always referred to three different people who I think it’s fair to call my biggest influences: Oscar Peterson, Bill Evans and Count Basie, all for different reasons.

I think probably Oscar Peterson was the one I discovered first back in high school and I use to listen relentlessly to his records and try to learn from them and one of things I discovered pretty quickly was that I’d never be able to have that kind of technique so that it didn’t really make too much sense to me to try to copy him because I knew I’d never be able to do it. And yet I learned a tremendous amount from his very powerful swing feeling.

Somewhat later on, I really became immersed in Bill Evans like probably almost every jazz pianist did. His voicings – even Oscar Peterson was influenced by Bill Evans in that way. So I learned even more and it was easy to fall into the pattern of trying to play like Bill Evans and maybe the only thing that saved me from that was when I discovered the Fender Rhodes maybe in the late 60’s/early 70’s and developed my own sound, it changed my touch and changed my approach to the piano. So that I could still admire and listen and love Bill Evans’ music but not feel like he was influencing me too much.

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Chris Mann interviews Peter White

CM – Peter, I want to start by congratulating you on the release of ‘Good Day’, which I’ve been playing hard in the two days that I’ve had a copy.

I read that some of the songs on the new CD, which I know features original material, were written some time ago – what brought them back to your attention?

PW – As musicians we like to keep every idea – we’re like misers. I read that somewhere and it’s true. If you have an idea, what you think is a good idea, you may not use it at that time but you keep it around in case one day you don’t have any ideas.

I wrote a lot of these songs 10 or 15 years ago – there’s a song called ‘Ramon’s Revenge’. There never seemed a place for it on any of my albums, but last year I said ‘I’m going to record this song – I don’t care whether or not it gets played on the radio’. I don’t record songs to get played on the radio. I record them because I like them and because I’ve got fans out there who want to hear my stuff.

People kept saying to me ‘you’ve recorded enough cover songs – we want to hear your own songs’. So I thought ‘well, I’ve got a lot of those’.

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Chris Mann interviews Jason Miles

CM Jason, I’ve seen the interviews on your website and I ‘d like to use one of your questions: When did you know that Music would be your life’s work?

JM In college. Living in New York, I got to hear great artists in the clubs there. They had great songs and great melodies.

CM What motivated your decision to produce a second tribute album to Grover Washington Jr,  2 Grover With Love?

JM I’ve been listening to the old Grover Washington Jr. records and realised how many great songs I’ve missed. Grover could really play jazz . He could play anything.”

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