Listening to Woody Guthrie and Leadbelly; earliest music appreciations; the way ideas move through the 40s; song rejection; mcmurray talks of songs with the 40s; mother-in-law; how the music makes people react; Ebola? (too soon?); lifestyle descriptions in the songs; Morning 40 style; Funkadelic; the olfactory sense; discovering Nirvana and liberation by record store; Josh and binaural beats; Scully’s other material outside the 40s; whether the band broke up because of problems between Scully and Josh; how members have come in and out of the band; financing of recordings; how the music has changed over the years; songs about age; prog rock math rock vs. minimal type etceteras; josh expresses himself.
how the 40s met; starting to write songs; experience of New Orleans; relationship between origins and musical content; Irving Berlin; the Rough 7 and backup singers; The beginning of the Morning 40 Federation; the first 40s tour and delusions of grandeur; the Attack Family; the concept behind the 40s; what was appealing to Scully about the band; I Aint Really Alright; subconscious access to material; dangers of becoming formulaic; Scully’s function; traditional music as a binding factor
More on Danny Barker and his part in the resuscitation of brass band music; the "copy cat" phenomenon and striving for individualism; how he thought his way into his approach to guitar in egg yolk; performer/ audience relationship; proselytizing in music; the 10 foot semi circle of doom; difficulties of getting attention in the cell phone era; Dave Renson and Benny's Bar; losses in new Orleans R'n'B; playing with K-Doe, Howard Tate, Al "Carnival Time" Johnson; film background; how film school students are like basketball players; desire to be at the core of film projects; Paul Grass's film, Heavy Brass; the new film festival in town.
Part 1- Egg Yolk Jubilee; Lump, Mike Joseph, A.P. Gonzalez; collaboration with Paul Grass and the punk rock approach to Dixieland, the heavy brass genre; familial lineage to new orleans jazz greats; Frank Federico; Al Beletto connection; Glenn Barbaro- his midi Calliope and other wild side projects; steve callandra; mike hogan; cycling through drummers and periods of turmoil; Lou Thevenot; the world Egg Yolk showed up in; the increase in pop mentality in younger musicians; irreverential approach to music and reactions- subversive attitudes in early jazz; Danny Barker's storytelling
Part 2-Mentorship in the brass band community; Milton Batiste; Eureka brass band; waning of the early brass band interest; resurgence in interest by inserting more contemporary sounds; Tuba Fats; Danny Barker; Second line; The Dirty Dozen Brass Band; participatory music; The Rebirth Brass Band; Role of marching bands in the development of brass bands; Junior Pinstripe brass band; brass band repertoire evolution; mentorship in the current generation; cultural history, heritage, racial history, and the legacies and stories carried in brass band music; working as Jazz Studies coordinator; the transfer of misinformation by outsider commentary on the music; TBC; drug dependency in the community; Ecirb Müller Jassum Band and why Brice has decided to use this form of communication now; storytelling; should Art be entertainment?; Louis Armstrong
How the special men started; moving to Alabama; Jesse Mae Hemphill; difference in solo expression from group; fat possum; original material; John Rodley; Tuba Fats; Palmetto Bug Stompers; music development; the Rainbow Fanny Pack; Bruce Brackman; Robert Snow; choosing BJ's; quitting the piano; trance music; starting a new Mardi Gras Krewe; doom; meditation metal; heading to Lincoln Center; thoughts on change; Tim Green; moving forward with The Special Men; deal with Domino Records; recording at The Parlor; gig merchandising; is the hard copy worth anything?
Part 1- Tinnitus; working with Meschiya Lake; what makes a jazz player and why he feels he is not really a jazz player; interest in world music that relates to early jazz; 'Best of' record to be put out by Van Dyke Parks; Choro, Ragtime, Musette, and Tom's re-usage of the forms for improvisation; being from St. Louis and University experiences; forays into music journalism; the problems in rock journalism; Tom's music background; examples of his brother's musicality; being uncomfortable with pop music; affection for Brazilian pop music; Tom's process of composing in vernacular forms; Tom's harmonic language and process of deriving form.
Part 2- David Bowie; how he started on guitar; the appeal of volume and speed; questions about Metal and the makeup of heaviness; Black Sabbath; Django's influence on Tony Island; King Thunder and the emergence of Hot Karl; Benji's Kosick unique approach; Captain Beefheart; Hot Karl's impact on Tim's approach; the subtleties of time in rock music; evolutionary psychology
Tim is an interesting figure in the New Orleans music vista. He plays Bourbon St. He is a survivor of that commercial zone and knows how to do it (or has the personality for it) in a way that doesn't limit him and has driven him plain crazy. Many have been driven in such a direction.
Many people ask questions about validities and viabilities involved in music on Bourbon St. Tim, from first hand experience over lot of years, engages these questions:-
What is Bourbon St.? How does that music zone operate differently and similarly to other parts of town? What are it's musical features and modes of development? Is there anything really good out there?
There is much more, however, to Tim and to this interview. Tim is an avid experimental/modern/"classical" composer and has moved himself through in-depth, mentored, study in that direction too. For those who may wonder what the relevance of Bourbon St. and "classical" music is to New Orleans music and whether he can really talk about it, there is more. He also plays guitar with Neslort (if you don't know then be sure to go), Amanda Shaw, and two very interesting comico-satirical-serious groups that started quite a while ago and feature a very biting and immediate viewpoint voiced by Robertson: Dirty Mouth and Hot Karl.
Enjoy the interview- there is a lot given.
The interview was conducted, 5/1/12, at the orange couch in New Orleans.
Part 1- Tim Green; Bourbon St. audiences; real bands as opposed to collections of players; how much playing time does he spend on Bourbon St?; how's the money?; how the material is selected and arranged; Tim's most important features of a good drummer; Tim's background and why he's in New Orleans; Mark Diflorio; John Bagnato; a cerebral player; at Duke University and dropping sports for music; fascination with music theory; Haydn scores, symmetry and structure; revisiting music from childhood.
Part 3- Changes in the current New Orleans music scene that are caused by economic changes; rehearsals instead of pick-up bands; trad and revisiting Aurora Nealand's (see her interview) discussion of gender role solidification; heated debating over the preceding issues; music becoming populist and away from the seperatism of bebop- more heated debate!; "in 2012 to be populist is to be subversive!"; the central features of the expression of the Trombone Shorty band; egalitarianism in New Orleans brass band music; what Dan is working on now; Chazfest and the continuance of post-katrina community survival mechanisms; the constant influx of creative people to the city; search and restore.
Part 2- How Dan ended up in the Naked Orchestra; militant attitude towards certain music for growth; growing out of the results of mistaken assumptions; limited paradigms in jazz education; freedoms and an agenda unveiled in New York; Tony Dagradi and further doors opening with James Singleton's band; discussion of ideas for another approach to music education; The Other Planets and the "confluence of the downwardly mobile"; what is going on with "trad" in New Orleans in in the current scene; Anthony Braxton's 3 types of people that have to exist in music; "trad" musicians as an insular, isolated community; why is trad being chosen as the form of expression?; local economics of "trad"; the "trad" scene dissolution and what is coming in to replace it; the look of the Frenchmen scene; how Dan markets himself; how Dan became interested in traditional jazz at all
Dan Oestreicher first hit the radar for this writer when he presented himself at a Naked Orchestra show at the Mermaid lounge and made clear that he should be playing with the group. He did that for the rest of that evening and for a long time afterward.
He played with many of the most forward thinking New Orleans musicians and frequently he is there right when they are looking the most forward. This includes the The Other Planets, The Magnetic Ear, 3 now 4, James Singleton, Irvin Mayfield's New Orleans Jazz Orchestra, Roger Lewis's Baritone quintet (where Dan is playing Bass sax instead of his more heard, Bari sax,) The Naked Orchestra, The Jonathan Freilich group, his own group- The Diesel Combustion Orchestra, and more. He is seen playing some tuba and really tends to go very deep when he is exploring anything, but especially music. He also knows a good deal about saxophone lore and trade as well as the other end of the spectrum, analog synthesis.
As he is in Trombone Shorty's band, touring constantly, he is in a unique position to discuss the current meanings and associations in the idea of New Orleans music (if there is really such a thing at all) and improvisation. His perspectives are well informed and if nothing at all show a blazing mind for inquiry and a fearless and healthy statement of opinion. He could go anywhere from here. If you were into horse racing you might see him listed in the racing form as one to watch.
...Look to the end for heated debate.
Part 1- What Dan is up to now; the Roger Lewis baritone sax quartet+ bass sax; Roger, Tony, tim green, calvin johnson, shannon powell; jazzfest as a showcase for acts that aren’t playing around very much; “the guardians of the vault”; playing with Trombone Shorty and the perception of New Orleans in the world; ponderings about why Trombone Shorty is the current poster child for New Orleans music; the limitations of the idea of New Orleans music; bandleader, Trombone Shorty; Dan’s other musical lives in the past; New Orleans Jazz Orchestra and peoples’ perception of that in relation to the New Orleans music categorization; more on the liberations and restraints of being identified as a New Orleans musician; jazz in academia; musical priorities; the position of precise execution in the New Orleans instrument player’s aesthetic; brass bands and depth of rehearsal- Hot 8 Brass Band; Soul Rebels Brass Band.
Part 4- what happened when he got to New Orleans; falling into what he was trying to get away from; on the other hand...; punkfunk scene dying in New York and the reasons; getting into New Orleans and the beat and syncopation; hitting some hard times in New Orleans and leaving for a while- Ithaca; problems with the music press in New Orleans-suppressing innovation; insoucience; desire to push the limits; studying with Andrew Cyrille; more jazz pondering; the failure of imagination; bitter-sweet New Orleans; separating marketing from music; inspiring ideals embodied in jazz; where he is going now.
Part 3- Bill Milkowski; New York going broke and the effects on the New York art scene; cultural wars; the evolution of the Knitting Facory and incidental exploitation; Zane Massey; polarization along class, race, and sex lines; being chased out of New York by the rising rents, along with a lot of music venues; working at Simon & Schuster and stumbling into market analysis; ending up being a part of the problem and having to work out a way out of that; the change in jazz from originality to conformity; reactionary politics working its way into jazz; changing role of the artist in society; the hideous ways of denigrating the artist and various negative reassociations; problems with cliques in New York; coming to New Orleans and the comparative fluidity of the scene; being a New York exile.
Part 2- Leaving "Heavenston;" going back to Kansas City and landing his first regular gig at a colorful bar; playing jazz in KC; Pat Metheny; playing jazz and the features of Kansas City jazz styles as that time; swinging and schmaltzy as an aesthetic; going to Evergreen in Olympia, Washington; playing at the Rennaissance Fair in Eugene, OR with the Flying Karamazov Brothers, Rev Chumley etc.; Tommy and the Snakes and other experiences in country music; back to Kansas City and then being drawn to New York in the late 70's by friend at Parsons; the New York scene- at Hurrah's, James Chance, James White and the Blacks; No Wave; getting into the publishing business and then writing through that; going to Hunter; meeting Bern Nix and the Theater for the New City; Crystal Field; William parker joins to make the Bern Nix trio; the aesthetics that were, how they came to be that way, and how they became so misunderstood; not wanting to be bourgeois in New York.
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;
Part 4- How The Geraniums formed; getting others to record their songs; meeting and working with Glen Styler; Alex Mcmurray in The Geraniums; what Jeff is currently up to- writing, upcoming records he's producing, the family album; the changes that Jeff sees in New Orleans since he showed up in the 70's; what happened to older people going to shows too?; succumbing to convention; changes in the art world.
Part 3- the fate of the Economy; more on Brendan Gallagher and his writing; the quick story of the rise and fall of Tribe nunzio, a little on Joe Cabral before The Iguanas; how The Mermaid Lounge started (Nov.1994); meeting 3 or 4 people that can make 10 or 12 bands; the sorts of forces that can create a Mermaid Lounge and why that model isn't around anymore; the Mermaid Lounge calendar- "low brow and high end"; how the Mermaid recording studio came about; Clint's ingenuity; about the ending of the Mermaid and the end of a number of clubs with a certain booking ethic; more on Pat Cronin.
Part 2- writing in the early 70's; influential teachers; chord progressions becoming important; what was noticeable about New Orleans music when Treffinger showed up; Astral Project, Tyler's, and James Singleton; the formation of Tribe Nunzio and Cafe Brasil; Nick Sanzenbach; getting The Beaux Arts Ball gig; what kind of songs were being played and its exciting features; the religion of Holden Miller; Jeff's comfort with not being the front man; what it was like getting gigs then; The Economy and meeting Brendan Gallagher, Pat Cronin; Ade Salgado (pre-Cafe Brasil); "Frenchmen St needs some fucking daylight;" Cafe Brasil starts selling booze.