May 24, 2024

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Interview with Michael Blicher: For me, great music needs soul: Videos

Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist Michael Blicher. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Michael Blicher: – I grew up in a small town in Denmark. My dad had a great collection of Sinatra, Ray Charles, The Beatles and som gospel. So from early on i fell in love with music. I owed the saxophone solos on Ray´s music.

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

MB: – I have always loved the sound og the saxophone, but no-one played and instrument in my family, so it wasn’t until I was round 14 years old before i found out that you could study saxophone in my town, so I joined a class at the local music school and I got so into playing/practicing that horn that my playing quickly developed.

I have studied with some really great teaches in Denmark, but what really made a difference for my playing was that I attended several week-long summerworkshops where a played in a combo for a week with great players like Joe Lovano, Chris Potter, Chris Cheek, Brian Blade, Larry Grenadier etc. Playing with those guys for a week really put everything in a new perspective

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

MB: – Somehow sound has just been my main focus from day one. One of my first teachers gave me a book of overtone exercises by Sigurd Rascher. I really enjoyed working with this and it surely helped with making the instrument feel as an extension of you and not just external thing you play with your fingers.

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

MB: – Always practice playing music! Thats my motto. Off course you need to practice all kinds of technical things but, I have always tried to do this musically. For instance if you need to practice playing arppegios, pick a song that you are already working on and then try to improvise as melodically possible with almost just arppegios.

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

MB: – I enyoy so much different music and love studying new music. That said, soulmusic from New Orleans has a special place in my heart. The chords are pretty simple but the soulfulness is amazing.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2018: <Blicher, Hemmer & Gadd – Omara>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

MB: – I love how the live feeling and our interplay on stage comes out on this album. “It´s honest music!” as Steve says.

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

MB: – For me, great music needs soul. And creating intelligent/interesting soulfull music is what I´m among for.

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

MB: – Two minutes into our very first rehearsal with BHG I realized what a humble guy Steve is. We were working on a New Orleans groove in 3/4 and Steve kept asking if what he was playing was sort of what I had in mind and if the swing was right. So all of the sudden I found myself singing suggestions to what the world’s most legendary drummer should be playing on his ride cymbal and snare drum and he made that feel totally natural to do.

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

MB: – For me jazz is so much more than “Standards”. Jazz is an artform that lives and unfolds live on stage. From my experience the audience love to see the struggle/relief/fun/emotiens we go through together as a band on stage to create this music. Thats the story you need to make new jazzlisteners understand and appreciate.

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

MB: – For me he meaning of life is to do good things. Both to other people and your surroundings. Then the spirit will show itself in the form called love. Thats what we all need.

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

MB: – Social activity with live music, playing, singing and dancing should be a part of every humans life every day. In the the old days many cultures had live music in their everyday life. I would love to see that happen again.

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

MB: – Yusef Lateef, Bon Iver, Omara Portuondo, Sonny Rollins, B. B. King, Sufjan Stevens, Bonnie Raitt Sekouba Traore, Larry Goldings and many others.

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

MB: – I would love to hear Coltran play “Alabama” live at a small club. Or seen the Nina Simone´s perfomance that took place right after the killing og Martin L King

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

MB: – What other projects are you working on Michael?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers, but neither …

MB: – I spent lots of my time working with my band The Kuti Mangoes. We have toured all over the world and we recently recorded our second album in west-africa. That was an amazing experience. I have several other bands that I work with.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Michael Blicher

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