June 21, 2024

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Interview with Ole Oddlokken: I’m not sure if I can say that I sound anything like them or not

Interview with as if saxophonist Ole Oddlokken. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music.  How exactly did your adventure take off? 

Ole Oddlokken: – I grew up in Lillehammer, Norway. Moved to New Orleans, USA about 28 years ago. I started playing in school orchestras when I was about 10. Played in Community Orchestras and big bands as a young adult. I went to study Fine Arts and put music on the back burner for a while. Picked it up again after moving to New Orleans.

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

oo: – I have been a big fan of Saxophonist Jan Garbarek, and trumpet players like Nils Petter Molvaer and Avishai Cohen. I think that is sort of the sound I gravitate towards. I’m not sure if I can say that I sound anything like them or not. I think in the end my music and sound have been influenced by the type of music I have played and what I love to listen to. Here in New Orleans, I have played in Funk Bands as well as with a Singer-Songwriter with roots in Folk Music, Jazz, Blues, and Soul.

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

oo: – My favorite thing is to play with other musicians, that is when I find that I learn and grow the most.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

OO: – I know that what I like to listen to has changed over the years. As a teenager I love towards Blues and Soul, and from there I got into jazz, that was also when I started finding a passion for playing the sax. But since then I also had phases. I think it is important to listen to a wide selection of music, you will take something away from each genre, it will influence your playing. But jazz seems to be the one constant.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

OO: – I find that I am probably more of an instinctive player. I love when I sort of get to dig deep, and play from my soul. That is when I personally feel like I’m at my best musically.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

OO: – Oh that is everything! And when those emotions are what you feel on stage and the audience feels it. It can’t be beaten.

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

OO: – I think there are some new players on the scene that are exposing jazz to younger people. I love when genres can meld a bit. I think that can help introduce jazz to a different audience as well.

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

OO: – That is true for a lot of musicians. I know for a lot of the musician friends I have, playing music is a necessity, like breathing. For me, it is also about communicating “something”, and that moment on stage when the band is listening deeply and relating to each other. It is life-affirming.

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

OO: – I would love for respect and openness to each other to be a greater reality in the music world. This also just goes for life in general …

OUR US/EU Jazz and Blues Festivals 2023

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

OO: – Lately, it has been Avishai Cohen. On a recent trip, we listened to Joni Mitchell and Tom Waits.

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

OO: – Recently came back from San Francisco, it would have been interesting to see the music scene there in the 60s. I would have loved to be around during the time when Saxophonist Jan Garbarek first came on the scene in Norway. Or in New York when Coltrane, Miles, and Bird were playing together.

JBN: – Do You like our questions? So far, it’s been me asking you questions, now may I have a question from yourself…

OO: – Great questions! What pulls you to jazz and blues?

JBN: – Jazz and Blues musics are my life!

Interview by Simon Sarg

Note: https://jazzbluesnews.com/2023/03/19/useu-jazz-blues-association-festivals/ You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals, 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/useujba/

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