February 27, 2024

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Interview with Aubrey Logan: This is what makes music unique: Video

Jazz interview with a bad musician, as if vocalist and trombonist Aubrey Logan. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Aubrey Logan: – Hi! I grew up near Seattle in a town called Snohomish, WA. My parents are both music educators. My dad is a trumpet player and band director my mother is a singer and choral director. Their taste in music from the Carpenters to Stevie Wonder to the Eagles to Handel to Dexter Gordon to Dolly Parton influenced me greatly, whether I intented it to or not! I was singing before I could talk, and as soon as words were added, I was singing in church, in professional musical theatre productions in my area, in every talent showcase I could find, etc. And I began playing the trombone later on, at age 13, which sent me into a jazz binge. My writing and playing began to be influenced by jazz artists and big bands, and the rest is history.

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

AL: – I was influenced by my peers at Berklee college of music. Every genre under the sun was there. It was hard to avoid an eclectic sound for this reason. My sound and personality developed the more shows I did both in school and later on. The more I performed in front of people, the more I evolved how the show would go, and subsequently how the music would sound.

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

AL: – There was a time I practiced singing and playing 3 to 6 hours a day. Lately, there’s too much travel and touring to accommodate that, so for now I tend to practice all repertoire for shows I have coming up or recording sessions on the horizon. I try to practice everything softly, or “sotto voce” to really feel the music in my soul and body and keep it close to my heart. Then when it’s showtime, I let loose and sing and play louder.

JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

AL: – I don’t try to prevent that. There are so many amazing musicians all around me. I hope their great ideas rub off on me, and it would be a high compliment to me if they are influenced by me as well. Our music is always going to reflect, to SOME extent, what we are surrounded by. I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

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

AL: – I try to keep healthy, because if I don’t have a voice, I don’t really have a show. This involves a lot of sleep, when possible (which it isn’t always), good exercise, a highly nutritious diet, and a balanced life. I’m certainly far from perfect but I need prayer and Bible reading and my church family in my life. I try to make sure my husband and I spend quality time together when I’m not on the road. And if all that is in check, I tend to feel pretty good right before a show!

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

AL: – I’d say it’s more of a both/and than a balance. It’s not a 50/50 split. It’s 100% intellect. It’s 100% soul. It’s yes to both. This is what makes music unique. It’s not only cerebral, and of course, if the soul isn’t there, then what’s the point?

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

AL: – I think of it this way: there are about a thousand things I want. Of those one-thousand things I want, the “people” might want 500 of those things. So I give them THOSE 500. But I don’t give them things that weren’t pulled from what I wanted to begin with. It’s a win-win.

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

AL: – I did an entire show for 11 people at a Russian Oligarch’s new year’s family gathering.

A young man who was severely disabled made my day at a show in Sweden after I had had a rough trip there from London, was exhausted and cranky, and he told me HE had been exhausted and cranky before getting on a bus by himself in his wheelchair and traveled 2 hours to see me. I saw him at several shows years later.

I tripped and fell at Ronnie Scott’s in London right in the middle of a scat solo. It was fine.

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

AL: – It starts with parents and loved ones exposing them to jazz standard and old movies. And it doesn’t hurt for parents to advocated for music in schools if they can. And kids can be encouraged to utilize Spotify’s algorithms to find new artists doing traditional jazz, or just new music that is sophisticated and fabulous. Thankfully, we live in a time where anyone can be exposed just about any kind of music if they just use their thumbs. We just need to show them one or two artists to begin with, and they can go down a rabbit hole.

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

AL: – I understand that I was born broken and hopeless and that Jesus Christ took on my iniquities upon Himself and gave me His gift of eternal life when I didn’t merit it. And that there’s beauty all around me created by God who is Spirit, and that I was made in His image.

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

AL: – Well, I’m certainly not deciding what kind of music is showcased on mainstream radio…but if I WERE, I’d make it a little more groovy, a lot more melodic, and it’d showcase a lot more human beings playing real instruments! We could learn a little from the mainstream hits of the 1970’s!

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

AL: – Dirty Loops, Corey Wong, Vulfpeck, Snarky Puppy, Emily King, and old stuff like The Crusaders, Al Jarreau, Anita Baker, Johnny Cash. I’m also listening to a lot of Americana Bluegrass, and Chris Thiele a lot and his collaborations with Nickel Creek, etc. And always Ella Fitzgerald.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

AL: – Well that depends on the song. Sometimes I’m telling a story of a breakup, sometimes it’s empathy for the human condition, sometimes it’s just… get up and party!

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

AL: – Oh I’d love to go to the 1970’s when Chicago, Earth Wind & Fire, and Sly and the Family Stone were the hits. Sensing a theme here? Hehe.

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

AL: – How is Boston these days? That was my old school stomping ground! I see you have an office there!

JBN: – Yes, of course, fine!!! Boston is the capital of the United States for us, why should it be bad?

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Aubrey Logan this Friday at Muddy Creek Cafe | Entertainment | journalnow.com

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