July 20, 2024


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Interview with Walt Weiskopf: Introspection: Videos, New CD cover

Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist Walt Weiskopf. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – When you improvise, you know where you’re going. It’s a matter of taking certain paths and certain directions?

Walt Weiskopf: – For me, “improvisation” is more about practicing and preparing material that is idiomatic and accessible during performance. A good solo is about presenting the material I have learned in a way that sounds spontaneous.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

WW: – I practice almost every day to maintain my physical stamina. I have basically two facets to my practice. The first is to practice different tunes in all 12 keys for my own growth. The second is to practice and maintain my own material so I’m prepared for a performance.

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2020: <Introspection>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

WW: – “Introspection” was recorded near the end of our month-long tour this past winter in January/February. What I love most about it is the opportunity to learn the music with my partners, Carl Winther, Andreas Lang and Anders Mogensen. We recorded the album in just a few hours because we knew the music so well by that time. Currently I am working on material to perform and hopefully record on our tour next year.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

WW: – Absolutely I believe in the performance for a live audience as cooperative. The audience wants to be included. I remember very well seeing Miles Davis at Avery Fisher Hall in the late ‘80’s. He performed with his back to the audience which I thought at the time was disrespectful to the audience.

JBN: – How important is it to you to have an original approach? Can you comment on the bridge between being a musician and being a composer?

WW: – Being a composer in the jazz idiom is almost synonamous with being a performer and improvisor. Looking back on the jazz musicians who have inspired us and still stand tall in jazz, most of these musicians were great composers as well as performers.

JBN: – Do you have an idea of what it is you’re trying to say or get across? Is it an idea or is it just something that we feel?

WW: – My approach to this is to perform my original material and also “covers” that I have arranged in an  accessible and personal flavor. In this way, my approach to performing and communicating through music is hopefully organic.

JBN: – What do you see for your extended future? You know what you have going on? You have life? If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

WW: – I hope to continue performing as I have for my career to this point. I would not change anything, except to see an end to the current pandemic which will enable all of us, performers and audience members of the jazz community to be able to come together once again.

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

WW: – Mostly classical music.

JBN: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that?

WW: – I have always been influenced by classical music as well as jazz; probably because I grew up with my father playing classical piano on a very high level. As a child I heard Chopin, Mozart, Beethoven, Mendelsohn and other great classical music most every day.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Walt Weiskopf Jazz Saxophone course » Best. Saxophone. Website. Ever.

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