I first met Dave Capello through Bill Milkowski. I remember Bill shouting out somewhere on Frenchmen St in the early 90's that I really needed to play with Dave. I'm glad that happened. I loved playing with Dave from minute one. It just made sense to me. He didn't waste time, behind the drums, trying to prove anything so you could more quickly move toward the possibilities of developing something organic. Before he came to New Orleans, he had been the drummer for the Bern Nix Trio. I was fascinated with that too because I was (and still am) under the spell of Prime Time (Ornette Coleman's electric band.) I was fascinated to try to talk about that in those days but Dave was really more intrigued with the New Orleans scene around him.
The earlier interview on this blog with saxophonist, Tim Green gives a rare look at the background behind the ideas and experiences that make up some of the forces in Tim's playing. Here is another very rare piece and, like the interview with Tim, much can be learned about Dave's music and the worlds it comes out of without being familiar with his work.
Some of the best work I've heard him on lately is trombonist Jeff Albert's records. Check those out at Jeff's site.
In this conversation, Capello brings up a whole lot of his experiences from radical cultural scenes in New York and Kansas City. Some have been scantily documented and Dave sheds some light on that, particularly the goings on in New York's lower East Side around free, conscious, creative music.
Part 1- Bill Milkowski; the Kansas City jazz scene when Dave was growing up there; the influence of his Father and his jazz records; Bird at St. Nick's; Roy Haynes; how he came to the drums and his first teachers; learning timpani; "bar-b-q jazz"; wrestling with technique; getting into writing early on and the decision to not specialize; writing poetry and analysis and history; interest in drama; leaving Kansas City and why; going to Northwestern;