May 28, 2024

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Interview with Ron Paley: There are similarites between all kinds of music: Video

Jazz interview with jazz pianist and composer Ron Paley. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Ron Paley: – My father started teaching me accordion when I was seven.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the piano? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the piano?

RP: – It was a natural progression from accordion to piano. I also played electric bass.

I had several piano teachers, including Ray Santisi at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.

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

RP: – I developed my sound over time by listening to, and trying to emulate, consciously and unconsciously, the great musicians in jazz.

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

RP: – I gained a deeper understanding of jazz rhythms at the Berklee College of music. I went on the road playing electric bass with Buddy Rich and his big band.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?

RP: – I especially love quartal harmonies and the patterns that are derived from them.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2018: <The More You Know>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

RP: – The More You Know is titled after the first part of the grand paradox “The More You Know The Less You Know” or, the more you know, the more you realize is left to learn. The album evolved as a result of the awareness of this paradox. I had wanted to record a solo piano jazz album for a long time. PARMA RECORDINGS made it possible for me to do so and I very much appreciate it. I am looking forward to recording another one.

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

RP: – My experiences with the Buddy Rich and Woody Herman big bands were great learning opportunies.

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

RP: – Forming my own big band after playing with the Buddy Rich and Woody Herman big bands.

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

RP: – The same way we embrace centuries old classical music.

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

RP: – I wrote and recorded a song called “What Is Life”. It’s a question we’re all striving to answer.

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

RP: – I want to complete the big band musical I am working on called “Bring ‘Em Back!”.

In the story big bands come back playing a new kind of popular music.

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

RP: – There are similarites between all kinds of music.

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

RP: – l love to listen to all kinds of music.

JBN.S: – What’s your current setup?

RP: – I have a piano at home and a Yamaha CP4 electric keyboard.

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

RP: – Back to the past to hear the great classical masters.

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

RP: – What is the main thing you have learned from doing what you do?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. The engage in journalism, be a jazz critic.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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