June 14, 2024


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Interview with Dolores Scozzesi: For me, the intellect, thoughts, guide me at first when I listen to the lyrics: Video

Jazz interview with jazz singer Dolores Scozzesi. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Dolores Scozzesi: – I’m a New Yorker. I grew up in Atlantic City, N.J. and Queens, and then N.Y.C. My mother told me I started singing at 2 1/2. I do remember her sitting me on the piano and guiding me with lyrics. I was a very dramatic baby.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

DS: – Gosh, I started singing with a much higher range, (I think I thought I was Morgana King). I instinctively played with the melody before I even thought about Jazz. It just came naturally to me.

The deeper I went into the music, the deeper my voice got. It’s a slow process, my sound just developed over time.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

DS: – I play with rhythm while walking my dogs. A song will come to me and I don’t sing it straight. I try all sorts of things while i’m walking. I’ll scat, or sing it bluesy or speed up the tempo or change the melody. It’s funny to watch. But oftentimes I’ll find a rhythm or a part I like, or an idea, and I’ll record it on my phone. Then I’ll bring the idea to my piano player to have a chart made. I’m a great believer in trying stuff out with a live audience at open mics or jams. Just throw yourself into it. Have fun. Sometimes it bombs, but most time it works and it really feels like flying by the seat of your pants.

Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?

DS: – I like harmonies that surprise my ears, because they’re so unexpected. I like unusual harmonies.  I love the Fleet Foxes.


JBN.S: – Which are the best jazz albums for you of 2017 year?

DS: – I love Cecile McLorin Salvant’s voice and artistry. Her new album “Dreams and Daggers” is interesting to me. Cheryl Bentyne’s “reArrangements of Dreams and Shadows”, Mark Winkler’s “The Company I Keep”, Josh Nelson’s  “The Sky Remains.”

JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul? 

DS: – In my eyes, soul is the deep feeling and connection to whatever piece you are performing. For me, the intellect, thoughts, guide me at first when I listen to the lyrics. Do the lyrics speak to me? What is the main gist of the song? I really need a beautiful melody. Again, melodies that have a surprising twist that touch my heart. Singing a song is like an inner monologue for me. But a song doesn’t touch me if it’s just pretty voice. The heart needs to be expressed.

JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

DS: – Just the joy of collaboration. The thing I love the most about jams is the improvisation with musicians whose work you really admire. And also I love players that have a good sense of humor. I love to watch musicians’ faces when they’re playing and lost in the music. It’s heaven and lovely to behold.

I have the most fun with my producer, Mark Winkler and Nolan Shaheed, who owns No Sound Recording Studio, (who mixed my albums). They’re a joy to work with and we laugh a lot together. It’s such a loving space working with the both of them.

JBN.S: – Many aspiring musicians are always looking for advice when navigating thru the music business. Is there any piece of advice you can offer to aspiring students or even your peers that you believe will help them succeed and stay positive in this business? 

DS: – Play, play, play, anywhere, as much as you can. Allow yourself to be vulnerable but  negativity is a killer in life. Don’t do it if you’re going to constantly be complaining. It’s such a hard business. The joy is in playing and supporting whoever you can. Try never to compare yourself to anyone else. There’s only one you.

JBN.S: – Аnd furthermore, can jazz be a business today or someday?

DS: – That’s a tough question. I don’t know the answer.

JBN.S: – Which collaboration have been the most important experiences for you? 

DS: – Currently the one with my Producer, Mark Winkler.

JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

DS: – If you’re a parent, play the best music for your kids. Play standards, play everything, play young Jazz artists, play rock, play music from other cultures, play classical, get them interested early. Standards are lovely, that’s why they’ve lasted so long. You can arrange a standard that sounds like a completely new song. I have a few on my album that Quinn Johnson completely rearranged and made new and fresh.

There’s a club out here called Blue Whale. It’s our best Jazz club. 3/4 of the audience are very young people and they always stay for the second set. They’re the most attentive audience too. There is no doubt we need more clubs like this. The owner Joon Lee worked hard to make it happen at the Blue Whale. And it’s been happening. There’s not a time I go that I’m not blown away by some artist. It’s a mystical experience there.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life? 

DS: – For me, music is a healer. There is not a doubt in my mind. It’s spiritually uplifting. I swear after I sing I look in the mirror and I look 10 years younger. There’s something about coming together in song, whether I’m in the audience to support someone or singing myself, that fills my spirit.

JBN.S: – What are your expectations of the future? To keep singing. What brings you fear or anxiety?

DS: – The state of my Country.

JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

DS: – Less curse words in rap.

JBN.S: – What’s the next musical frontier for you?

DS: – I’ve just released this album. Currently, I’m choosing some new songs to work on. Changing the rhythms playing with rhythm.

JBN.S: – Are there any similarities between jazz and world music, including folk music?

DS: – Yes. Some of my favorite music is world music. I hear a lot of Jazz in world music.

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

DS: – I’m rediscovering the Beatles and the Stones. When I want romance, I listen to to Danielo Perez “Across the Crystal Sea”, Lorez Alexandria has such a great band in “For Swingers Only”, Cyrille Aimee, Cecile McLorin Salvant, and I LOVE Melody Gardot. I could go on, LOL.

JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

DS: – Back to France, singing in clubs.

JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

DS: – Yes!! Who are your favorite Jazz artists?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Joe Lovano, Dave Holland, John Patitucci, Jack DeJohnette and others and in no way do you.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Dolores Scozzesi

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