May 18, 2024

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Interview with Nat Birchall: I can’t say that I’ve ever had a career: Video

Jazz interview with jazz saxophonist Nat Birchall. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – Are there sub-genres within the jazz field that you tend to stay away from or focus on?

Nat Birchall: – I just try to play music in the way that I feel, expressing certain feelings etc. I do mostly prefer acoustic instruments but I also use electronic keyboards or bass sometimes too. It’s not so much a genre thing but a way of playing the music, the whole approach, the intention etc.

JBN: – When your first desire to become involved in the music was & what do you learn about yourself from music?

NB: – I first started by getting a rather poor acoustic guitar, but I didn’t really “feel” that instrument if you understand me. But then I got an old saxophone some years later and immediately connected with it. That was when I was 21 years old. Over the years, as I’ve learned to play and learned more about music, I’ve also learned about the world and about myself as a person. And I’ve certainly learned that I have to discover things for myself to truly understand them, I’m not very good at being given information and being able to absorb it, I have to experience things for myself.

JBN: – Ism is culled from a variety of lives dates with various performers over the course of a few years. Did your sound evolve during that time? And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

NB: – I don’t understand this question sorry!

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JBN: – What happened when you first heard Bird? Did it make an immediate impact on you?

NB: – Oh yes, his spirit was just shining through the music and he’s such an inspiration to all musicians regardless of what they might play.

JBN: – With such an illustrious career, what has given you the most satisfaction musically?

NB: – I can’t say that I’ve ever had a career, illustrious or otherwise! But being a musician you have to learn to be always dissatisfied, there is always so much more to learn, things to work on and develop. So I tend to be always looking forwards. When I play a concert I might feel good about for a time, or when I finish an album, but then it’s always back to working on the next thing.

JBN: – From the musical and feeling point of view is there any difference between a old and great jazzmans and young?

NB: – I think the older generations of musicians tended to have more feeling in their music, in their sound etc. I think they played with more soul maybe. But that’s just my perspective of course.

JBN: – What advice would you give to aspiring musicians thinking of pursuing a career?

NB: – I really wouldn’t know what advice to give to be perfectly honest. Like I say above I’ve never really had a career as such, I’ve just kept trying to make the music better and kept trying to improve my sound and my technique on the saxophone. I’ve kind of got to wherever I am now despite not having a career in music! And I wouldn’t recommend that to everyone!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Note: You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals in Europe and Boston, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/us-eu-jba/

Lasting Sounds': A conversation with Nat Birchall - Band on the Wall

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