lunedì 9 gennaio 2012

Intervista a Gary Bartz

Sul sito della leggendaria rivista Downbeat è stata pubblicata una intervista al celebre sassofonista Gary Bartz.

Ecco un estratto dell'intervista: 
You joined Miles Davis shortly after he recorded Bitches Brew.
The Isle of Wight [in 1970] was really my third performance with Miles. That was early on and I was still getting immersed in learning the music. I wasn’t sure whether I was gonna stay in the band, because I wanted to be in the group before that. I loved the John Coltrane/Philly Joe Jones/Red Garland/Paul Chambers band.
Working with Chick Corea, Jack DeJohnette, Eddie Gomez and Wallace Roney for the “From Miles” segment of Corea’s recent 70th birthday residency at the Blue Note must have been a real joy for you—playing a more acoustic style, like you would’ve liked to have played with Miles.
It was, although most of the songs we were playing were from the period of the Wayne Shorter/Herbie/Tony Williams/Ron Carter band, which was entirely different than any other band Miles had; just as the Trane band was different, even though that group was more tied to the past. The band with Wayne was unique in that I’ve never heard a band like that before or since.
For the Corea shows, you did dip back into that music with Trane.
We tried to do a mix. But toward the end of the week, we started doing more things from the Wayne band, like “Dolores” and “Pee Wee.” Initially, I thought we were gonna be doing things like “Humpty Dumpty,” you know, some of Chick’s stuff. But Jack and Wallace suggested we do the Miles material. Which was good. The only thing is that I wish I’d had more time to work with that material because I had never played a lot of those things from that period. We had all played together, but not as a group. I think it was more about exploring the music, which was unique to everyone.
While you were at the Blue Note, you were interviewed for a documentary. One topic you discussed was the “academy versus the street” and how music education has changed the music.
The music’s been watered down. The soul’s been taken out of it.
Since you’ve been an educator as well as a musician, how does it look from the inside out?
Up until my generation, maybe the next generation from me, we learned music in the street. We didn’t learn music in school. Everything we learned was out in the street, because it’s a folk music. No band I was ever in read music. We knew the music. With Duke Ellington, they didn’t read; they had the music up there just for show. They knew that music. You noticed, they weren’t turning pages. Now, I see young musicians and they have music on stage. To me, that’s like going to see a movie or a play and the actors are reading from the script. You learn your music. Once I see a musician read music, it means one thing to me, and I’m ready to leave: They don’t know the music......
If music is your life, and your life is the academy, is the music going to sound dry as dust?
I wouldn’t say dry as dust. It’s just become dull. That’s what the music sounds like. I mean, you ain’t playing nothing if you can’t play the blues. Like I tell people, if you wanna call me something, call me a blues man. I feel more comfortable with that any day. Every great artist can play the hell out of the blues. I hear it in Ravi Shankar, I hear it in Stravinsky, I hear it in Beethoven.
As an aside, the young poets, they’re coming from the streets. When the music comes from the streets, that’s usually the most popular music in whatever country it’s in. When it goes into the schools, it gets watered down. And then they gotta wait for the next one to come out of the street. So, right now, the hip-hop community, they’re where we were 20, 30 years ago.
What are some of your recent highlights, and how does 2012 look at this point?
I am just now releasing my latest recording, Coltrane Rules: Tao Of A Music Warrior. A gospel recording, it’s a very special recording for me. It features my regular quartet with drummer Greg Bandy, James King on bass and pianist Barney McAll. Others include vocalist Andy Bey, Rene McLean on tenor sax and flute, and vocalists Mekea Keith, Erika Rose and Ommas Keith.
I still tour with McCoy Tyner. And last year I performed with an all-star group headed up by ?uestlove that included Booker T, Christian McBride, Eric Krasnow and Nigel Hall. I’m starting a band called The Art of Illusion. We’ll be performing in San Francisco at the end of January at Yoshi’s for the Red Bull Music Academy. The great vocalist Bilal will be a part of that show. And I’ll be releasing a few more recordings, one of which features Woody Shaw, also the second volume of Coltrane Rules and a few more.
(leggi l'intervista integrale sul sito originario)

Ecco uno straordinario video di Gary Bartz con il McCoy Tyner Quartet, che presenta Fly With The Wind  registrato Live al Espace Carpeaux di Courbevoie il 30 marzo 2011:

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