The Soul Seen, I SPY SOUL retrospective revisits the 2003 interview feature with Larry Gold The Midas Touch The story of arranger, cellist, and composer Larry Gold is one that should serve as an example… More
Originally featured in 2002
“The motivating thing in the career is to offer something that has lasting value – That you can listen to in the year 2020 and the music still says something to you . . .” Al Jarreau
Audio excerpts from the actual interview appear at the end of the feature.
AL JARREAU SOME OTHER THINGS
For many of us as kids, being drawn to a figure that possesses a special something that we marvel at and stand in awe of is a pivotal part of growing up – Pivotal because for many, those figures influence our goals and tendencies – Shape our likes, dislikes and ignite an ability to see pass the known and seek possibility. If music is your passion the list of revered that fall under that category is relatively short, but oh so sweet. One of the endearing musical role models from my own short list is the extraordinary singer, songwriter, artist, AL JARREAU. So then imagine the extreme anticipation of receiving the call that would put me voice to voice with the one whose remarkable, innovative style marries vocal prowess with dazzlingly unique, improvisational technique adored and recognized the world over. If you’re a hoops fan, its like meeting Dr.J or Jordan. Imagine once more a greeting that creates an air of history between the two of you. A warmness that invites you to pull up a chair and talk old times. Indeed that was the case this day when Jarreau’s blithe tone delivered a pleasant and seemingly personalized, “Hey, how are you?” But then again, we do have a history together. Actually, I and several other millions do. We’ve followed an illustrious twenty-seven year career of treasured recordings that have spawned classics like “We Got By”, “Take Five”, “Look To The Rainbow”, “Roof Garden”, “Blue Rondo A La Turk”, “Since I Fell For You”, “We’re In This Love Together” and countless others. But most of all we’ve enjoyed, observed, and embraced his unique artistry. The kind that has left an unquestionable, lasting impression.
If you’re a jazz fan to really any degree, from knowledgeable and ardent to casual or novice you know the work of legendary recording engineer, Rudy Van Gelder. There really is no way you can’t. Actually, if you’re an aficionado of the hip hop game, that also holds true. Considered by many to be the greatest engineer in the history of jazz, the list of recordings he helmed for legendary, trailblazing labels like Savoy, Bluenote, Riverside, Prestige, and Impulse from, in particular, the 50’s and 60’s is staggering and represent many of the most groundbreaking, influential gems, from music’s most iconic musicians and artists – Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Duke Ellington, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, Donald Byrd, Oliver Nelson, Max Roach, Bud Powell, Coleman Hawkins – just simply every amazing jazz musician of the time. His treasured, guarded and masterful techniques perfectly captured and help define the sound of modern jazz recordings and the genre itself.
In this rare, on air interview from a 1994 episode of SIMPLY JAZZ shot on location at this historic studio in Englewood Cliffs, NJ, Van Gelder, who passed away in 2016, shares some time and insights about his beginnings as an engineer and his love of doing it. bc
For a list of the many recordings engineered by Rudy Van Gelder click here
Photo. Francis Wolff
In 1993, SIMPLY JAZZ, a half-hour program created to present Jazz in a contemporary format unlike most programming presented up to that time, was born. The acclaimed program, that ran for three years, was shot on location at acclaimed jazz clubs throughout NYC, and included produced segments as well as rare interviews with venerated figures and then burgeoning stars in the world of jazz. Now through the retrospective SIMPLY JAZZ on I SPY SOUL, a look back is provided at some of these interviews.
Legendary jazz drummer, bandleader, and pioneer Chico Hamilton not only blazed trails on the jazz scene, but his music stretched beyond it into film, the worlds of rock, hip-hop, and the dance music scene with hits like, “Conquistadors” and “Strut” as well as through samples and remixes. Over the course of his illustrious career, the LA native and a bedrock of the West Coast jazz scene of the ’50’s and 60’s, laid down the pulse for jazz luminaries such as Lionel Hampton, Lester Young, Count Basie, Gerry Mulligan and Lena Horne to name a few. He also raised eyebrows and gained wide-spread attention, shocking the jazz world with his own innovative crew that featured cello and flute. The heralded “Chamber Jazz” sound was featured in the acclaimed films, The Sweet Smell of Success and Jazz on A Summer Day. Proving a keen ear for talent, his bands throughout the years became the launching pad for eventual legends in their own right such as Jim Hall, Eric Dolphy, Charles Lloyd, Ron Carter, Gabor Szabo and a host of other stars helping to carve out new musical lanes and pushing the jazz envelope all the way up to his passing in 2013 at the age of 92. I SPY SOUL is pleased to take a look back at legend, Chico Hamiltion on SIMPLY JAZZ
bc Photo: Todd Boebel
For more information on Chico Hamilton click here