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Volume 8 Issue 4 - December 2002/January 2003

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COVER STORY 0: And the

COVER STORY 0: And the other one that really IN J) I\/ J lllf J\ t ~~~~ me was Clifford ... What a · J: I have a pet theory. ·. Oscar Peterson o: what's that? · 0. Me? Nb'; no more singing. J. Oh, I don"t know .... 0. Normally I can make some noise (laughter) .... Norman talked me into that. I never had the in conversation with Jim Galloway J: My pet theory is this: that the nerve. My man was Nat Cole. , continued from page 7 whole course of the music would You know he came in the club have been a little different if we one night and he said, ''I'll ~ake a when he'd go doo doo doo-doo, had not lost, at such a young age, bargain with you." I said, "What's doo doo d' doo-d' doo. I used to Clifford Brown, Fats Navarro that?" He said - 'cause he caught imitate that on the piano, because it and, I can't think of his name.. . us on a hot night, we had it got to me, and it mesmerised me, but especially Clifford, !think the together that night. He sai\f, "If the way he could make it work, . music would have retained a you give up singing I won't play and at times I know I did that, and lyricism that got lost. the piano." I sa,id, "Nat, that ain't if it's copying or cheating, or O: You know, what you're saying · going to work;'cause I want to· whatever you call it, that's the way is getting to me, and why it won't hear you pl~y the piano too." it influenc\!d me. And he was one leave me ... we closed · J. He was a monster! of my big influences also. Because somewhere, we used to drive in o . Oh p 1 ease. 1 M r. T' 1me . I memorised, like a lot of otherpeople probably have, his solo on open at the old Bluenote in beautiful man. He was a talent. . the early days ... we were due to Whewwww! Gosh he was a "Sometimes I'm Happy." The Chicago, and so we drove in, , One time we had a hang-out funny thing about)t, I don't have went to bed, got up the next session not far from here. I don't any inhibition about saying I morning, and I said I'm going know if you remember the Brandt learned such and such a person's over'to the Bluenofo to find out Inn in Burlington -what was the. solo. I can play you Nat's solo on who opens, cause it was our owner's name? I used to know it. "Easy Listening Blues", I can group and Clifford Brown's He called me and invited me out play you Lester's "Sometimes I'm group, and I ran in there, the chef and I. was working so I rushed out. Happy", I can play you numerous was there, he said, oh Mr.. there ... and at 4:30 in the solos. I can sit there and sing them Peterson, I said, I j\JSt came over morning his wife had to come for you cause· I absorbed them in tb find out who's opening; he . . down and get him - we were still my growing up process. I'm not said, "you are, Clifford's dead." at the piano! He was a beautiful ashamed of that. That's exactly the way he said it. guy. God, how 1 loved him. It set J: No, you shouldn"t be. As a kid. He said, you are; Clifford's dead. me back when he disappeared. /' learned the Teschemacher And I just about died, cause I *** · Chorus in Indiana. Because there's this cool sounding saxophone, and. I said, what is this, · rve got to get inside what he's doing there. ' . was, ... we were living for that in person, I had never heard him in person .. .. J: Oh, no .. . ,0: Well that's the beauty of jazz. If you can instil that kind of lust for getting inside the music like · you're talking about, then you're doing something. J: Who else did you like to work with aS a singer? 0: I loved, I never got to play for her that much, but Carmen McCrae . .' .. I loved playing for Carmen. And I'm trying to think of this other ladts name, my memory's failing ... she made a couple of records .... she wasn't a black lady ... God ... Jerry Southern! Jerry Southern .. .I used to run into Birdland, you know, when I'd be playing in Philly ·or something and we'd drive back to NY, run back when she was · ' there, cause she was to -me the female Nat Cole. And the way she played for.herself and everything else ... J: Smokey ~ind of quality to her . \ . voice ... 0: Man I loved her voice, I loved her ... J: Yeah, good one ... · 0: And Clifford's solo behind Sarah Vaughan, after Sarah Vaughan•sang the chorus of April in Paris? ! J: Yes! ... 0: I use that to teach! J: Oh, yes, that's a great chorus; · I heard-that just a couple of weeks ago. It still blew me away .. *** J: Do you like to know the words to a tune; if it's a song with a lyric? 0: I do try to learn them ..... it became the thing where I would learn the lyrics to a ballad, apart from just learning the harmonic and the melody, because I love.d the lyrics .. J: They help you-to play the tune, too. 0: Oh, don't they though ... I always recommend, when I'm teaching if you have a chance, at least the lyrics so you know where the nine is supposed to be at. J: Have you ever thought that you might have done more singing? 0. I still have to learn' some of Duke's tunes ...... There was .one I played while Duke was on tour with us. They were breaking· d9wn the· show, loading the bus with instruments and things and I sat down at the piano 'cause I was waiting around. I started to play something and Duke came and sat down beside me. He said "That's a nice tune . .Is that yours?" "No," I said, "No, it's yours." (Jim laughs.) He said, "Nah." I said, "Come on, Duke, that's your tune." He said "Are you kiddin' me?" - "Lady of the Lavender Mist." He had forgotten it. I said, you don't remember writing that (\Jne? He said "Yeah, l don't think about those things. Once you write them, you know, I don't have to worry about that one, I worry about the next one I'm goin' to . do." You know. J. One of the things I sometimes son of regret about the direction that the music sometimes seems to go in - we mentioned the word lyricism earlier, the beauty, you know, what happened? 0. I don't know. One of the reasons I love Hank Jones is the way he plays ballads. It hurts me that he's not even known, even by some players. You say Hank , fones" they say "Who?" This man is a genius. Unbelievable. He had the one thing my piano teacher used to drill into me - she said "You touch the piano with love - it will love you back." You must have that touch. I'd play things for him and he'd say no, no; no, no. It's afl wrong. Play it again. Hank has that naturally. Raindrops, when he plays a l:fallad. J. I think in your book you mention something like a single drop of rain to describe a note. 0. Yeah. Raindrops. God, he's a beautiful player. J :. A lot of people in jau. education are going to read the piece in the magazine. What do you feel about jau. colleges, colleges that offer jau. courses. How do you 'teach ja'zz? 0: Well, what do I feel about the courses, it depends on the faculty, doesn'tit. Because on the one hand, you know we had a school for a while, if you're gonna have people like Ray Brown and Hank Jones teaching, you're gonna turn out some wonderful students; but if you have people who have all the theories, that they can't even live up to, then that's another thing, isn't it. So I don't buy the ~~~~~:~~~~~~~~~ee~/i:~~~~i>1e . in,their teaching seminars where I've almost done this, you know (pretends to fall asleep) .... I think you have to have real.credentials. In jazz, you don't get a diploma. You have to go out there and be able to do what you're trying to tell them to do. · J: That's one thing, and also you've got to be able to impart a sense of awareness. Any time ihat I've been in front of young people interested in music, one of the things I say is, the most imponant thing you can do is to listen. 0: Oh, yeah - listen is number one, to use these ears. The minute I go to hear a group today, any group, small group I'm talking about, if I don't hear that - cohesiveness· telling me that they know they're in the same group and that they're playing for each other, I lose interest. J: If you had a piece of advice to give to somebody who had eyes for being in the business, what would you say, apan from "Don't" (laughs) .. 0: I would·use one word: integrity. Don't lose your integrity. 26 Dec::ember 1 2002 - February 7 2003

It's very easy to do that, Jim, if you think about it. Once you give up the integrity, then I think you can give up trying to project any · talent you may have. Because there are certain things again thanks to Norman primarily paving the way in some ways, there are certain · things I wouldn't acquiesce to do. I'd say "no" .... I won't call any names ...... there are a couple of instances ... I was called upon to do an album with a lady that sings, I won't mention any names, and they offered me an awful lot of money. And I said, I don't want to hurt her feelings, but, ... "I'm not available. Just tell her, don't get into a thing, just tell her I'm not available." 'Cause there was no way that would work; she's not a jazz singer. .. . and the other ·'thing is money. Money does a lot of things, I love money, being in that groove in the hobby thing, (points at Don Vickery 's cameras), I know what it costs to do that. But you can't let that poison your incentive. J. Well, the one thing that shines through in the past hour or so, you know, Oscar, is the love is still there. The love that keeps the music going. 0. Oh listen, that's the way it is. Going to be until they put me down under. You know, I love music, and I love jazz. I don't know about concepts and how many albums did you sell and so on. It doesn't mean anything to me . . I just want to know that I know people· who can play in a manner that makes me react. That's all I care about. The rest of it I don't care about. Say what they want, do what they want. My own explanation of jazz, when they ask me, "What is it", they ask me and I say "it's instant composition." That is the only thing I can say that puts it in their lingo. That's the way I look at it. Clas~ical music you're playing to a certain written format, as you know, but jazz, somebody plays a chord and some tune behind you and you have to do something with that - immediately. And . that's the name of the game. A DITIONS R BIG BAND's elite ensemble of anguage of the greatest Big Bands in a i~~kl'n!:J1t. es '~nd\itb If your answer is "yes!" visit or telephone 416:-260-0584 and travel with us to the Barbados Jazz Festival 2003 JANUARY 13 • 20, 2003 · JAZZ. NOlES by Jim Galloway Do you know what I miss in jazz today? Individuality. The characters that made the music come alive, whose voice you could recognise in a phrase, who added flesh and blood to their creative juices. Apart from the obvi~ ous ones - Armstrong, Hawkins, Parker - I am thinking of Monk, Mingus, 'Pee Wee' Russell, Bill Harris, Clifford Brown, 'Cannonball' Adderley, Art Hodes - and if you are not aware of their playing, try to have a listen. They told wonderful stories when they played. They lived their Cliffor~ Brown, 1930-1956 music and their music came alive. · There are truckloads of great play- try has homogenised the music, givers out there today, who can do· the · ing us smooth jazz. No balls. impossible in terms of technical abil- Of course there are exceptions. Ray ity, who are well schooled, can, if you Anderson, Fred Hersch and Roy will pardon the expression, read fly Hargrove come immediately to mind. shit in any key and I am in awe of They have fire in the belly - and their their proficiency. But the music indus- passions move them. -CONTINUES "lie World's Lar~est Jazz Conferenee! . tc eon#es le phis imporfont. du monde sur le Ja·i·t! Make plai;is to" join over 7 ,000 attendees from 35 cnuntries as !AJE comes to Canada for t he first t ime. Internationa l Association for Jazz Education 30'h Annual International Conference Ja nuary 8-1 I, 2003 Met ro Toronto Convention Centre Toront o , Canada Du 8 au I I Janvier 2003 • Palais des congres du Toronto metropolitain •Toronto, Canada Hi~1liti}if,s ~ .. - ~~ - ·' inelude: ............. .. - ·· . • Over 200 Concerts and Workshops Extensive jazz Industry Track • CBC & NPR Live Broadcasts • Jazz Industry Exposition • TeacherTraining Sessions • NEA, EJFO and Canadian National jazz Awards • Congratulations to Or. Billy Taylor on the release a & of his latest recording Billy Taylor Trio - Live at IAJE. A portion of all sales will benefit the IAJE Global ' Outreach Fund. Order online at or ' For a det ailed brochure, contact: i' • • (785) 7t6-8744 December 1 2002 - February 7 2003 27

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