Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist Alberto La Neve. An interview by email in writing.
JazzBluesNews.com: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?
Alberto La Neve: – I was born in a small town on the coast of Calabria, in southern Italy. I started studying music and studying saxophone at six years old to play in the country band.
JBN: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?
ALN: – I first started studying classical saxophone graduating from the Conservatory of Cosenza. After graduation I continued my studies specializing in jazz through seminars and collaborations with important Italian and international jazz musicians.
JBN: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?
ALN: – I’ve always liked to focus my studies on technique but also on sound. My studies are based on techniques (40%) and sound (60%). About rhythmic studies I try to develop it through the use of metronome often with shifted dynamics.
JBN: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in?
ALN: – I don’t prefer harmonic structures at the moment. For me dissonances belong to musical speech and I use them to create tension and slackening during my improvisations.
JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?
ALN: – I think that every situation is able to influence the composing and improvising way. This is basic for me and I have always been influenced by everything around me.
JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
ALN: – Balance is created when you transmit yourself without filters through music.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?
ALN: – Sure. Also in this case it is necessary to find a balance between what likes to compose and play and what the audience prefers to listen to.
JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
ALN: – Concerts, jams, studies … everything has contributed to making me what I am and every experience I make is equally important for my continuous musical development.
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?
ALN: – The advantage of jazz is its great ability to model itself and adapt perfectly to the times in which it lives.
JBN: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?
ALN: – I think every man has a definite path to develop his spirit and make sense of his life. Musicians do all this through music.
JBN: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
ALN: – Nothing … I would have made exactly the same musical choices made to date.
JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?
ALN: – Curiosity drives me to listen to many types of music. I listen to classical, contemporary, traditional jazz and contemporary jazz, contaminated jazz and world music.
JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?
ALN: – With my music I always try to convey my emotions. The compositions I write embrace sound contaminations from other cultures. I believe the main message is that of peace and brotherhood among peoples.
JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?
ALN: – I’d like to go back to the days of Parker, Davis, Coltrane … to meet them, talk to them and discover their idea of music.
Interview by Simon Sargsyan