Interviews

“So wonderful — Keep up these fine web interviews, Stuart”RAN BLAKE, Pianist, Composer, Recording Artist, Educator and Recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, former chair of the Contemporary Improvisation Department, New England Conservatory and currently faculty member at NEC


Horace Silver Interview: May 13th, 1993

‘This is wonderful and needed’, RAN BLAKE, Pianist, Composer, Recording Artist, Educator and Recipient of a MacArthur Genius Grant, former chair of the Contemporary Improvisation Department, New England Conservatory and currently faculty member at NEC. Horace Silver helped define hard bop, but was in turn defined by it. It all began with a series of trio […]

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Ahmad Jamal Interview: 16th November 2011

From time to time over the last two decades years, pianist Ahmad Jamal has been on the receiving end of an overdue ovation he richly deserves. Among the prestigious awards that have come his way have been a Jazz Masters Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), America’s highest honour for a jazz […]

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Manfred Eicher Interview May 23, 1999

Back in the 1950s and 1960s, Alfred Lion’s and Francis Wolff’s Blue Note records was widely recognised as one of jazz’s premier labels. Fans bought their records unheard because the label stood for something tangible.  The main thrust of the label was simple, singing themes and direct storytelling solos.  Today, collectors eagerly seek out original […]

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Andrew Hill Interview 28th April 2000

Pianist and composer Andrew Hill, an intriguing jazz innovator from the Sixties who made it seem as if he had plucked a new jazz language from his imagination, lived to see history smile on his achievements. Part avant gardist, part iconoclast and part rugged individualist, his music was full of dense chords, asymmetrical melodies, unexpected […]

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Tal Farlow Interview: 23 September 1981

‘Thank you for posting your Sept. 23, 1981 interview with Tal Farlow, which I recently found online and shared with his widow, Michelle Hyk Farlow, now living in Philadelphia. We both enjoyed your piece a lot. Really wonderful in-depth talk you had with “The Man”. I found out much I never knew, and I thought […]

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Big Jay McNeely Interview:  13th July 1991

On the 16th September 2018, saxophonist Big Jay McNeely died peacefully in Moreno Valley, California. There were few obituaries to note his passing; in death, as in life, true recognition of his very real contribution to the birth of rock n’roll had again eluded him. Most rock history books credit the first rock n’roll record […]

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Mal Waldron Interview: 26th February 1994

‘What a delight to receive your fine interview. It’s great to get more of a feeling for Mal’s personality, and I’m sure that various features of the portrait he paints of the jazz scene at the time (some, a sobering reminder…) will be useful in contextualizing [jazz history]’. PAUL BERLINER, Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Music […]

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Chick Corea Interview: 14th March 2001

  ‘Stuart Nicholson recently resurrected a 2001 interview with Chick Corea that is fascinating because Stuart walks him through his various albums and ensembles chronologically eliciting remembrances and comments on the music by the indefatigable Chick’.  MICHAEL CUSCUNA, Jazz Record Producer, Special Consultant, Producer, and Reissue Director of Blue Note Records, Leading Discographer of Blue Note […]

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Wayne Shorter Interview: 13th April 2005

  Saxophonist Wayne Shorter first recorded for the Blue Note label in 1959 as a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. It effectively brought the 26 year-old to attention of the jazz world. Although he had previously played in the ensembles of Horace Silver and Maynard Ferguson and recorded for the Vee-Jay label, alongside Blakey’s […]

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Horace Parlan Interview: 16th October 2000

Pianist Horace Parlan, who died earlier this year  on 23 February aged 86, made his debut on the Blue Note label in 1960 with Movin’ & Groovin,’  going on to make a further six albums for the label including Us Three, Speakin’ My Piece,  Headin’ South, On the Spur of the Moment, Up and Down and Happy […]

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Nancy Wilson Interview: 5th November 2002

From whichever perspective you care to view Miss Nancy Wilson, she is a true legend of the music business. As the American magazine Essence once put it, ‘She is a jazz singer. A balladeer. She does cabaret, sophisticated pop, rhythm and blues. To say she is any one of these, or even all of these, […]

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Alice Coltrane Interview: 3rd November 2004

In 2004, Alice Coltrane released her first new recording in 26 years, Translinear Light. Produced by her son Ravi, she succeeded in conjuring up the mystical spirits that evoked a series of compelling and hypnotic albums she made for the Impulse! label following the death of her husband John Coltrane in July 1967 such as […]

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Al Jarreau Interview: 13th January 2000

Al Jarreau, who began a full time career in music at the relatively late age of  28, died on Sunday 12 February 2017. Hospitalised for exhaustion two weeks earlier, he had cancelled his tour dates on medical advice and had withdrawn from touring, announcing his retirement just two days before his death. Although he began his […]

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Maria Schneider Interview: 24th January 2001

In the 81st Downbeat Readers Poll published in the December 2016 edition of the magazine, Maria Schneider’s The Thompson Fields was voted Album of the Year. She also topped both the Composer and Arranger categories and earlier in the year had topped the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Big Band, Composer and Arranger categories. As if that was not enough, The Thompson […]

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Dave Brubeck Interview: 18th November 2002

Even if Dave Brubeck had retired in 1960, the year his album Time Out – which included the hit single “Take Five” – sold a million copies, his place in jazz history would have been assured. Instead, the Dave Brubeck Quartet went on to become, according to Brubeck’s biographer Fred Hall, “The most successful jazz group […]

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Keith Jarrett Interview: February 2009

In 1999, in a major broadsheet feature, Geoff Dyer, author of the critically acclaimed jazz novel But Beautiful, referred to Keith Jarrett (b.1945)  as “The greatest living jazz musician.” It was not the first time, and it certainly will not been the last time, he has been referred to in such terms. He is, after […]

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Sonny Rollins Interview: 10 September 2009

Sonny Rollins wrote himself into the pages of jazz history on June 22, 1956 with a series of nonpareil performances on the album Saxophone Colossus. From the moment it was released it was hailed as a classic. But for the twenty-five year old saxophonist it was just another session during a remarkable creative high that […]

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Esbjörn Svensson Interview: 19th January 2001

On a warm night in May, 2006 e.s.t., which had begun life as the Esbjörn Svensson Trio, played Lyon, the third largest city in France.  For the past two or three years the group, with Dan Berglund on bass and Magnus Öström on drums, had been creating a rising buzz of excitement wherever they played […]

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Darcy James Argue Interview: 5 July 2009

At the end of May 2009, Darcy James Argue and the Secret Society played their first dates outside New York City. Their short tour of Europe included Amsterdam’s Bimhuis, Dortmund’s Domicil and the Moers Festival in northern Germany where I caught an inspired performance by the band. After the encores were over and the standing ovation […]

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