Jazz interview with problematic person, as if guitarist John Pizzarelli. An interview by email in writing.
JazzBluesNews.com: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?
John Pizzarelli: – I grew up in New Jersey and was born into a family that loved and played music all the time. My father’s uncles were musicians who taught him and then taught me.
JBN: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?
I listen to all kinds of music and I guess listening to my father’s words as well as his music was very influential in my developing my “sound.” I think playing in as many places as I could in a lot of different bands was helpful too.
JBN: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?
I think the rhythm ability comes from being in as many settings as I could get it. Learning from my mistakes and listening to people like George Van Eps, Bucky and Freddy Green helped a ton!
JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?
I think eventually you realize that you have to pick a style and go with it. Trying to do a lot at the beginning is a natural “mistake” but it does help you find your way.
JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?
I think all the practicing you do in your room and learning from every setting helps maintain your stamina and your longing to get things better.
There could be talk or advertising about your CD
JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
I don’t know.
JBN: – Are you fool man?
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?
I play the music. If they like it, that’s great.
JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
I think working with Rosemary Clooney, Ray Brown, Bucky Pizzarelli, James Taylor, Paul McCartney and opening for Frank Sinatra have been some of the great highlights of my career.
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?
It’s not about the age of the songs, it’s about the commitment of the musician to the music.
JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?
I listen when the spirit moves me.
JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?
Music is good!
JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?
To hear either the Nat King Cole Trio live or the Beatles live.
JBN: – I have been asking you questions so far, so now can you ask me a question?
Do you like baseball?
JBN: – Yes!!
JBN: – So putting that all together, what are you getting out of this interview?
I hope people will listen to my music and that it may make a difference in their life. That is why I answer these questions.
Interview by Simon Sargsyan