“I wanted to push myself to present something different, something that echoes not only mine, but so many other guitar players’ rite of passage, listening and copying Wes”.
When he takes out his flute to play ‘It ain’t necessarily so’, he turns it into a hard-grooving soul-jazz anthem and when he plays an actual 60s soul-jazz anthem, like ‘Mercy, Mercy, Mercy’, he does it with a free spirit and a post-bop sensitivity.
Growing as a performer, she distilled her experiences into songs, culminating to the release of her album Sunny One Day a seamless blend of soul, funk, jazz, rnb and rock sounds that is still her trademark.
We all composed three tunes each for the album, having the other members in mind. There are a lot of different moods because we have different compositional styles. Maddie writes a lot of quirky, frantic compositions, still heavily rhythmically driven, with lots of space for free improvisation and Isaac would write more traditional jazz tunes with beautiful melodies. I care so much about rhythm and keeping time and groove, that in my compositions theres usually a lot of business in rhythmic patterns and ideas with very simple melodies.
“As artists we need to use our gifts to make people think, to make people feel, to make people aware, to make people accountable, to invoke change. I wish to leave my imprint on this world and I wish it to have made a difference.”
“When I think to myself ‘what do I do’, I say ‘I’m an artist and a lecturer’; when I introduce myself, I say ‘I’m a vocalist, a composer and a teacher’ and then it gets confusing, because I have to explain what I mean and I usually just run away”, she laughs.
“I came to better understand Coltrane; he often sounds like a preacher. I aspire to have this effect on people, than just show off my chops”.
“Best travelling music is still Pat Metheny. “The Precious Jewel” from “Beyond the Missouri Sky”, with Charlie Haden. Travelling through the Swiss Italian alps by train for the first time. Laughing and crying at the same time.”
“I’m so grateful to be able to sing, to make jazz my vocation: I dedicated my life to this; It helps me, it sustains me, it supports me, it has allowed me to travel more and make friends. Besides, singing itself is its own reward”.
“My first thought when I took over the role was that I want people who think they don’t like jazz to discover it in new ways, in new formats”.