May 18, 2024

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Interview with Paul Kreibich: Music begins and ends with the soul and the feeling you get from it: Videos

Jazz interview with jazz drummer Paul Kreibich. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Paul Kreibich: – My dad was from Czechoslovakia and my my mom was from Australia. I was born in Los Angeles. My parens were amateur musicians and there was always music playing in the house.

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?

PK: – I heard a lot of great drummers on TV on shows like Ed Sullivan and Johnnie Carson. There were good drummers who were the older students in school. I saw Basie, Ellington, and Buddy Rich at Disneyland as a kid. The drums always fascinated me. Weekly band class started in 5th grade. My first drum teacher, at age 12, was Bob Wrate. He was big on rudimental drumming and reading and hipped me to Tony Williams with Miles. Later I studied with Forest Clark and Fred Gruber. I liked piano and flute and still play them, but drums are my first love.

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

PK: – I learned technique through rudimental drumming. My teacher studied with the great Harold Firestone. I got some chops early. As I started playing with bands I realized I needed to groove and play musically. I got the gig with Vince Wallace at 19. He was an unsung bebop giant out of Oakland. I learned how to play fast tempos and know the form of the tunes. It was the late 60’s. Avant Garde free playing was in style. But I started going back to Max, Philly Joe, Jo Jones; the roots. Billy Higgins was living in L.A. and I got to hear him play live a lot. That was huge. And, of course, Elvin Jones. I saw him play every time he came to town. I always tried to play with better players. The challenge makes you grow.

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

PK: – I’m basically a jazzer, but I really like Latin music and funk. its all coming from African rhythms originally. I play and study piano and flute, compose and arrange, too.

I teach drums and jazz combo at Cal State Fullerton. Teaching the students drum set keeps me aware of maintaining my drum chops. We do a lot of solo transcriptions of the great drummers. There’s a focus on Big Band drumming and vibes, too.

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

PK: – I love blues and standards. Learning the changes to tunes on piano is something I really enjoy. It enriches your understanding of the music and makes you a better drummer. Lately I’ve been learning more about gospel progressions. The artists I’ve worked with like Ray Charles and Gene Harris were coming from that. Its a sound that everyone can relate to. I’m lucky to work and teach with many fine pianists and arrangers like Bill Cunliffe, Mark Massey and Tom Kubis. i’m always pulling their coattails to show me something.

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

PK: – I love that we were able to capture the sound of the band live. Everybody played their butts off and executed the tunes very cleanly. Tim and Nolan did a remarkable job on the engineering. We did it because I thought it would be fun to do a band at the Lighthouse like Elvin’s band in ’72 with no piano. After a few gigs i thought we should record there. We knew the original music and were loose with playing together. We’ve been getting a lot of good feedback from musicians and fans. These days I’m practicing drums more, trying to keep my chops fresh. I’m still playing flute and composing When I get enough material, we’ll do another recording.

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

PK: – Good question. You need both. Music begins and ends with the soul and the feeling you get from it. Playing music or enjoying it on a deeper level requires intellect. For example, a musician who doesn’t read might play very well, but is limited to what he or she hears naturally. Learning to read music opens a person up to many more possibilities. However, one that reads well and doesn’t have a creative or spiritual side can lack dimension.

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

PK: – My first steady gig was when I was 15 was in Balboa with Elaine Thomas. 15 years later we worked with Ray Charles. Now 30 years after that we’re with Maceo! I played with Carmen McRae at Carnegie Hall at age 22. It was my first time in New York. I was on the road with Ray Charles 4 years. It was payin’ dues and learning a lot about music and life. I Loved playing for Mose Allison; A brilliant, funky cat. I did a session for Stix Hooper where in one day I recorded with James Moody, Cedar Walton, Teddy Edwards. Pete Jolly, Terry Gibbs, Al McKibbon, Luther Hughes, Jon Hendricks.

Wow! Red Rodney Quintet in Paris. I’ve played with Charlie and Sandi Shoemake since the 80’s, Mitzi Gaynor for 5 years. She was a hoot. Now I’m with Don Peak’s Wrecking Crew Allstars doing the classic rock and pop hits they created. I’m on Big Bad Voodoo Daddy’s latest recording. I like doing new things and playing different styles. Its challenging.

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

PK: – Its too early to tell! Quality music is timeless. It will always move people to listen to it, play it and love it. So many young people want to learn to play jazz and do so well at it. Maybe its their job to show their age group how great the music is and get them out to enjoy it live. Once people hear jazz in the right setting, they’ll feel something. I do concerts in elementary and high schools. There needs to be more funding for that. Young people need to hear professional musicians play. Hopefully that will get them off their phones and out to hear live music.

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

PK: – Coltrane got a lot of musicians to deepen their spiritual understanding. I got into Buddhism. Music can have a spiritual message. Its important to take responsibility for sending a positive, life affirming feeling in your playing and your attitude. Playing music is not a religion, but it takes a similar kind of spiritual dedication.

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

PK: – Well, I could complain, but the adversities we face as musicians make us grow. It would be nice if success was merit based and not so political. But these issues exist in every professional field. The good ones will eventually survive. The whole east coast/west coast thing is moot, too, at this point in history. Sure, New York is great, but there are excellent players everywhere.

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

PK: – I listen to the music I have to learn for the next project. For enjoyment I’ll go to Lester Young or Sweets Edison or Zoot. The crack between swing and bebop is really a fun groove. Playing drums with Maceo has made me grow. I’m revisiting all the JB funky roots, which I’ve always loved. Now I get to play it with one of the masters. Wow! I’m always revisiting the jazz masters with new ears. All the Brazilian styles are always an inspiration, too.

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

PK: – I’d like to hear Charlie Parker or Coltrane live. Maybe Mozart, too. What did classical music sound like in its original form?

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

PK: – Do you feel that as a jazz writer, your work is permanently moving away from print and on to web blogs? How do you feel about that? As a professional writer, how do you monetize your work when so much writing (and music) is out there for free?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Always good is not so easy to grasp and it’s always good to find your own way …

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Paul Kreibich

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