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Fillius Jazz Archive Interviews Collection

Almost 300 interviews with jazz musicians, arrangers, writers and critics performed by the Fillius Jazz Archive. Every interview is represented by a full transcription and the videos are in the process of being mounted. This ongoing oral history project began in 1995.


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Abe Most interviewed by Monk Rowe, Los Angeles, California, February 13, 1999 [video]
Abe Most interviewed by Monk Rowe, Los Angeles, California, February 13, 1999 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Interest in swing through Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw -- "Dime a dance" gigs -- Playing opposite Coleman Hawkins/Open marijuana use and its effects on players -- Les Brown : "a hard swing band"/Parental support -- Military service/On the road -- Resentment of vocalists/Joining Tommy Dorsey in the late big band era -- Describes a day in the studio -- Film scoring and click track use/Hank Mancini -- About "synthetic" reeds -- Recreating Shaw and Goodman for Time-Life swing series -- About "Northern exposure" -- Decreasing numbers of studio orchestra personnel -- Playing with Sam Most/"Abe Most day" -- Attitude towards bop/About his recordings -- Charlie Parker anecdote/Bop clarinetists.
Al Gallodoro interviewed by Monk Rowe, Oneonta, New York, December 28, 2005 [video]
Al Gallodoro interviewed by Monk Rowe, Oneonta, New York, December 28, 2005 [video]
Table of Contents: His father delayed his start on clarinet until he felt he was old enough -- About playing the Vaudeville theaters in New Orleans -- Weekly pay as a teenager/Worked instead of school -- First contact with Paul Whiteman/Making and losing money as a youth -- First major gig with Isham Jones -- Cost of living in the 30's/About Frankie Trumbauer -- About playing with the Whiteman Orchestra -- Life after the Whiteman Orchestra -- Changes in recording technology -- Al comments on his articulation skills -- Al's manager/pianist talks about their relationship -- Adjusting his playing to accomodate his age and health -- The future for Al -- Al and JoAnn perform.
Al Grey interviewed by Michael Woods, Scottsdale, Arizona, March 3, 1995 [video]
Al Grey interviewed by Michael Woods, Scottsdale, Arizona, March 3, 1995 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Music experiences in the navy -- Reading ability/Joining Benny Carter -- Working with Lunceford/Being fired by Lionel Hampton/Joining Sy Oliver -- Racial issues : on the road -- Getting into Basie band by sitting in when a player was sick -- Recording and touring in Europe with Basie -- Getting close to Basie/Lack of solos for Basie band musicians -- Basie band : kangaroo court -- Basie band : playing fills with Joe Williams/Joe's punishment from the "court" -- Working with Fred Astaire/Problem of plunger notation -- Conclusion : dynamics, breathing -- Al performs "April in Paris".
Al Tinney interviewed by Monk Rowe, Buffalo, New York, October 14, 2002 [video]
Al Tinney interviewed by Monk Rowe, Buffalo, New York, October 14, 2002 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Keeping a loose organization on gigs -- Encouragement from mother to be an entertainer -- About the first production of Porgy and Bess/Relationship with George Gershwin -- Segregated audiences/Decision to pursue music -- Swing era scene -- Learning to orchestrate and success with his first "Workshop Band" -- Playing swing in the service/Didn't notice segregation as a child/Influence of immigrants on the job market/Language issues -- Art Tatum/Importance of musicians' camaraderie -- Bebop : Heavy practicers and drug users/Lessons from Don Byas/More on Art Tatum disillusionment with the competitiveness of jazz/Transcribing Ellington -- "I don't think you can teach (jazz)"/Gershwin, Beethoven and musical rules -- Conclusion : wish to find the right woman.
Alan Raph interviewed by Monk Rowe, Danbury, Connecticut, November 20, 2001 [video]
Alan Raph interviewed by Monk Rowe, Danbury, Connecticut, November 20, 2001 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Musical families/Classical and jazz development -- Differences between hearing abilities of jazz and classical players/Dealing with music business realities -- About Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer/"Playing outside of your instrument" -- Responsive European audiences/Playing in West Berlin -- Juggling commitments in New York/Creating bogus excuses when double-booked -- Funny studio story about recording session with Frankie Valli -- Attitude towards studio work : "We're here to sell it, not to buy it." -- About Sebesky recording of "Malaguena" -- Challenging classical work/Quincy Jones -- Work on Sesame Street/Wynton Marsalis -- Conclusion : "cluttering" aspects of music technology -- Ridiculous gig story/Upcoming projects; Transcript of interview available at the Hamilton College Jazz Archive.
Albert Murray interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, September 24, 1997 [video]
Albert Murray interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, September 24, 1997 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- A student of American culture -- "Jazz as a fully orchestrated blues statement" -- What the blues is and isn't about -- Blues song content/Human motivations -- Art to avoid chaos : "the greatest problem is insecurity" -- Innovation and marketing -- Marketing the arts/"I don't need two billion dollars!" -- About Basie's philosophy -- About Hamilton College.
Allan Vaché interviewed by Monk Rowe, Scottsdale, Arizona, April 15, 2000 [transcript only]
Allan Vaché interviewed by Monk Rowe, Scottsdale, Arizona, April 15, 2000 [transcript only]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Career as jazz musician set from childhood -- His teen rebellion was to play Charlie Parker and Miles Davis records, which his father hated -- Influences from pre-bop era when clarinets were more abundant -- Classical and jazz training with Kenny Davern -- Jazz education : Doesn't acknowledge pre-bop jazz enough -- Making a living as a jazz musician/Working with his brother Warren -- Jazz today : Circuit for mainstream jazz musicians -- Repertoire: Knowing tunes for jazz parties -- Racial issues : "Jazz is a merging of African-American and European music" -- Improvisation : Uses chord/scale theory -- Jazz today : "Kenny G can't swing his way out of a paper bag" -- Positive experiences with Nagel-Heyer records -- Jazz party scene: No competition -- New York scene -- Disliked teaching/Conclusion
Alvin Queen interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, August 23, 1997 [video]
Alvin Queen interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, August 23, 1997 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Avant garde jazz in 1970's Europe -- Drum-tap dance connection/Problem of too many leaders in jazz today/Learning formats -- "Lost generation" of players/Drum mentors -- Musical paragraphs and punctuation/"Giants" as opposed to "Lions" -- Starting drums/Shining shoes for lessons/Hearing legends at the Apollo -- "Adopted" by Elvin Jones at age 12 -- Hard bop being reissued as hip hop -- Work in Europe/Weaknesses of young drummers -- Big band in Europe/Race relations -- Favorite drummers/Playing on film soundtrack -- Generation gap in jazz/Junior Mance -- Job of a drummer : "satisfy everybody" -- Dealing with other personalities/Learning from mistakes with Lockjaw Davis -- Advice to students : "Go back to the source".
Ann Rabson interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, September 21, 2007 [video]
Ann Rabson interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, September 21, 2007 [video]
Table of Contents: Family upbringing/Music in the household -- Choosing repertoire/Being a self-taught musician, maintaining personal relationships as an artist -- Early career struggles -- Performing in clubs/schools -- Songwriting process/History of Saffire Trio -- Blues and rock and roll -- Her own musical family -- Advice for young musicians/Her own wish list.
Annie Ross interviewed by Monk Rowe, New York City, New York, January 13, 2001 [video]
Annie Ross interviewed by Monk Rowe, New York City, New York, January 13, 2001 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Family shows as a child in Scotland -- Winning Paul Whiteman contest/Early Hollywood experience -- London night club gig for very low wages -- Jazz in Paris in the late 1940's -- Writing "Twisted" in one night -- Working with Lionel Hampton in Europe -- Creating sing a song of Basie -- Rehearsals with Lambert and Hendricks -- "Records... are like children"/Minimal financial reward -- Incident in Las Vegas : Took gamblers away from their tables -- Lambert, Hendricks and Ross with Joe Williams -- Discussion of female vocal innovators -- Moments with Sweets Edison, Louis Armstrong -- Hearing Sidney Bechet in Paris -- Racial issues on tour with Lambert and Hendricks -- "Jazz is feeling"/Writing about experience.
Arthur Baron interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, April 13, 2008 [video]
Arthur Baron interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, April 13, 2008 [video]
Table of Contents: Musical passion early on -- Learning from music veterans/Gig with Duke Ellington -- Gig with Stevie Wonder/Berklee School of Music -- Playing contemporary compositions/Bruce Springsteen gig -- Jazz education/Personal teaching methods.
Bela Fleck interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, December 7, 2004 [video]
Bela Fleck interviewed by Monk Rowe, Clinton, New York, December 7, 2004 [video]
Table of Contents: Good songs leave an intangible quality -- Balancing egos in the Flecktones/Trusting his instincts -- Defines what Bela and the Flecktones have achieved -- Choosing titles for original tunes/"Sunset road" -- Flecktones do not get significant radio air play -- Motivation for recording should be artistic not commercial -- Knowing when work on a recording is finished -- On allowing audience taping of live shows -- Role of outside producers -- Taking off a year from the Flecktones -- Family background -- Solo projects within the band/Screening original band member tunes -- Future for young musicians now -- Radio/internet/record sales.
Benny Powell interviewed by Monk Rowe, New York City, New York, January 16, 1999 [video]
Benny Powell interviewed by Monk Rowe, New York City, New York, January 16, 1999 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- A "legitimate maverick" -- Staying in practice/Randy Weston -- Melba Liston arrangements/Weston as a boss -- Lionel Hampton gigs/Credits Betty Carter -- Living in Canada: "Being black was an asset rather than a liability." -- New York : "A whole playground everyday." -- "Benny Goodman's role in showing a visual democracy" -- Work with Jane Jarvis/Looking for a small group gig/Earl May -- Union work with the new school -- Being his own manager/Refusal to complain about anything in life -- "Scrapbook" memories -- "Battle Royal" recording session with Basie and Ellington bands.
Benny Powell interviewed by Monk Rowe, New York City, New York, July 27, 1995 [video]
Benny Powell interviewed by Monk Rowe, New York City, New York, July 27, 1995 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Starting trombone/First gig at age 14 -- Ingredients for success/Spirituality/Trip to Morocco -- Humor and jazz/Joining the Basie band/Jazz family -- Love of bebop/Pranksters -- Faults of jazz education/Work with Basie and Weston -- Defining "artist"/Artist vs. entertainer -- Teaching "the story of jazz" -- "Black people started jazz".
Benny Waters interviewed by Michael Woods, Los Angeles, California, September 1, 1995 [video]
Benny Waters interviewed by Michael Woods, Los Angeles, California, September 1, 1995 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Early aptitude for music/Formal study -- Early gigs/Cotton Club vs. Small's Paradise -- Big band challenges : "It's hard work"/First recording -- European audiences -- Playing fresh: "I listen to everybody, everything" -- Statesmen of jazz/"A living historian" -- Fletcher Henderson : "King of swing"/Saxophone pioneers -- Advice to students : "Study".
Bernard Purdie interviewed by Monk Rowe, West Orange, New Jersey, July 30, 2003 [transcript only]
Bernard Purdie interviewed by Monk Rowe, West Orange, New Jersey, July 30, 2003 [transcript only]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Ego and power issues in the music business/First mentor Leonard Haywood -- Difficulties caused by having strong opinions/Instincts of a producer/Bucky Pizzarelli -- Describes a typical recording session -- Important recording sessions : "Love is strange" and "Just one look"/Tempers and overtime sessions -- Work with Aretha Franklin/Favorite rhythm section players -- Current state of music industry/Music technology pros and cons -- Problems, camaraderie with various artists -- About his nickname "Pretty".
Bill Berry and Buster Cooper interviewed by Michael Woods, Los Angeles, California, September 3, 1995 [video]
Bill Berry and Buster Cooper interviewed by Michael Woods, Los Angeles, California, September 3, 1995 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- First instruments/Daily practice: "every time you pick the thing up it's a challenge" -- Early gigs/Work with territory bands -- "Sleeper bus" bands/Experimental learning vs. jazz education -- Integration in music/"Play with people who are better than you are" -- Ellington band: "didn't operate like any other band" -- Ellington-Stayhorn collaboration -- Ellington band book: "you're a musician, fix it" -- Statesmen of jazz -- Jazz around the world/Radio days -- Spirituality and humility in music -- On the road with the Ellington "family"/Joe Williams.
Bill Charlap interviewed by Monk Rowe, Scottsdale, Arizona, April 16, 2000 [video]
Bill Charlap interviewed by Monk Rowe, Scottsdale, Arizona, April 16, 2000 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Music is a word-of-mouth business -- Musical parents: Sandy Stewart and Moose Charlap -- Improvisation: As language and conversation/Skills required -- Economy of notes in piano playing -- Influence of recordings by Horowitz, Tatum -- Family support/Starting out with piano -- Preparing for record dates/Current trio -- Joy of being a musician.
Bill Crow interviewed by Monk Rowe, New York City, New York, October 18, 1995 [video]
Bill Crow interviewed by Monk Rowe, New York City, New York, October 18, 1995 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Early interest in writing -- Depression era social singing -- Experiments with a succession of instruments -- First interest in Jazz: "Because it was pop music"/Role of radio in spreading jazz -- Move to New York -- New York education from Dave Lambert/"They gaslighted me into being the bass player"/New York city prices in the 1950's -- Getting into jazz writing -- Early impressions of Count Basie, Joe Williams -- Swing: "a rhythmic ideal"/Basie drummers -- Joe Williams/Tony Bennett -- Writing jazz anecdotes -- Autobiography/Current work/One new story
Bill Holman interviewed by Monk Rowe, Los Angeles, California, February 13, 1999 [video]
Bill Holman interviewed by Monk Rowe, Los Angeles, California, February 13, 1999 [video]
Table of Contents: Biography -- Early interest in arranging/Grew up with all jazz and commercial big bands on the Top 40 -- Told by Woody Herman : "We tell the arrangers that are unhappy...to start their own band" -- Influences/Writing for Stan Kenton helped by playing Gerry Mulligan arrangements -- Kenton's place in jazz history/Writing : hearing charts in his head -- Compliment on his charts from Peggy Lee -- Writing for grade C movies -- About Beatles arrangement -- "Zig zag" arrangement -- Zoot Sims/"Cool jazz"/Problem with "learning by eye" -- Work with Natalie Cole/"Sweetening" pop tunes --Defining straight and swing eighth notes -- "I'm too old to go around being influenced by everybody" -- Popular favorites/Advice for arrangers -- Work with producer Bones Howe.

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