May 22, 2024

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Interview with Mike Clark: 60% soul 40% intellect – and that’s being nice: Video

Jazz interview with jazz drummer Mike Clark. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Mike Clark: – I was born in Sacramento. My Father was a jazz drummer with a great record collection and there was always a drum set in the house. I started playing at four yes old, was a natural and could play right away. My Father took me to nightclubs to sit in and play with his friends who had working bands. I did this from age four on.

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

MC: – I never had formal instruction I am self taught. but was a child professional who played with adult bands as a guest soloist throughout the United States. By the time I reached Sr High School I had a lot of  professional experience playing jazz.

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

MC: – I started as a child playing a Gene Krupa style and heard Art Blakey when I was ten or eleven and hit into bebop right away. I kept growing and developed my style right up until now. I took a but if each guy I liked and added my own point of view.

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

MC: – I do practice but most of my playing experience happens in bands with live musicians, this is the most important thing fir me. This is how to learn, playing with others. I do maintain my hands with warm ups.

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

MC: – I like music with chord changes. This is most pleasing to my ear. I do like modal tunes, but prefer music with advanced harmony.

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

MC: – “The Long Lost Universe”Wallace Roney playing Wayne Shorter’s orchestral music. “A Place in Time” also by Wallace Roney.  I’m also listening to the playbacks from Eddie Henderson’s new CD, “Be Cool.” Thus features Kenny Baron, Donald Harrison, Essiet Essiet, and me.

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

MC: – 60% soul 40% intellect – and that’s being nice. This is my opinion.

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

MC: – I once played a jam session with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Benny Maupin and Miraslov Vipos. It was spiritually intellectually and rhythmically the highest moment of my entire playing career

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

MC: – Wolff and Clark expedition. Myself and genius pianist Michael Wolff.

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

MC: – It doesn’t matter how old the tunes are; it’s what people do with them. By playing at the highest possible level and avoiding mediocrity, the young people will come to us.

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

MC: – By chanting the mantra ‘Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.’Herbie taught me the practice of true Buddhism when I was in his band The Headhunters, and I continue to practice it to this very moment, and I have achieved my life’s ambitions tgrough inner reformation.

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

MC: – I would get rid of commercialism and forbid greed to rule the arts.

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

MC: – I listen to all jazz music I possibly can, whether its new or old.  There are too many to mention.

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

MC: – I’d like to go t 1963 in NYC and play post-bop jazz with all of the greats from that time period. To me, that’s more modern and forward thinking than what we have today.

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

MC: – What music do you (Simon) know the most about?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Only Jazz and Blues, of course!!!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Mike Clark

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