May 24, 2024

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Interview with Bob Mintzer: Music must come from the heart … Video, Photos

Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist, bandleader, composer Bob Mintzer. An interview by email in writing.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new Bob Mintzer Big Band – New York Voices album 2018: <Meeting of Minds>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

Bob Mintzer: – The Meeting of Minds project afforded me the opportunity to work with the fantastic N.Y. Voices. They are one of the best singing groups around. Damon Meader’s vocal arrangements were spot on as far as connecting to my big band arrangements of some of the best tunes in music. The idea to collaborate with the N.Y. Voices came from Marty Ashby at MCG. Marty had worked extensively with both of us, and felt it would be a wonderful collaboration to get us together.

Right now I am working on music for the WDR Big Band in Cologne, Germany, where I am the chief conductor. We will be doing projects with Jazzmeia Horn, Bill Laurence, Kurt Elling, Dave Stryker, and a new band called Knower.

JBN.S: – You are also a 28 year member of the Yellowjackets, and we know, that You are releasing a cd with Luciana Sousa as guest on Mack Ave. What do you love most about that new album and how it will be called? 

BM: – Working with Luciana on the new cd  (Raise Our Voice on Mack Avenue Records, release date: September 2018) was a great experience for us. She is a remarkable vocalist, so adaptive and creative. Luciana added a whole new dimension to the Jackets sound.

JBN.S: – We also know, that in the fall WDR Big Band in Cologne, which also you chief conductor, and you will are releasing a CD with Ricky Peterson a little talk about this? 

BM: – Ricky is an incredibly talented musician. He sings great, plays organ and piano, and is a composer to be reckoned with. We put a great rhythm section together with the WDR Big Band, and the resulting music is as swinging and funky as it gets.

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

BM: – Music must come from the heart and have some level of intention. Intellect certainly comes into play as well.

Music has to feel good and simultaneously stimulate the intellect on some level.

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

BM: – Playing with Jaco Pastorius, Buddy Rich, Thad Jones Mel Lewis, Art Blakey, Tito Puente, Mike Manieri, Randy Brecker, all the great cats in the bands I’ve led, and all the records I’ve played on has been one wild ride. Getting to play with Herbie Hancock on a Hollywood Bowl concert was memorable, as was jamming with George Benson in a small club back in the 70’s.

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

BM: – The standard tunes used by jazz players are finely crafted compositions that stand up to the test of time. One can update the treatment of these tunes to reflect the present. Check out my new big band record.

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

BM: – I would wish that everyone gets to study music as part of their education.

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

BM: – Anyone and everyone. I try to stay current on new players as well as keep in touch with  classic recordings in many different genres of music.

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

BM: – I like it right here, right now!  Having a good life is an inside job.

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

BM: – Why can’t we all just get along and learn to help one another with love and compassion?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. In my opinion, because people have a lot of selfishness …

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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