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Interview with Michael Janisch, “World Collide” album

Interview with Michael Janisch, “World Collide” album

Interview with Michael Janisch, “World Collide” album



Michael Janisch, bass/ Rez Abbasi, guitar/ Jason Palmer, trumpet/ John O’Gallagher, altosax/ Clarence Pen, drums/ Guests:  Andrew Bain, drums /John Escreet, keys/ George Crowley, tenor sax.
Worlds Collide (2019, Whirlwind Recordings).

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

With a dozen albums behind him, Michael Janisch (1979, Ellsworth, Wisconsin, US) releases his latest record entitled Worlds Collide (2019, Whirlwind Recordings), an electroacoustic album of original material recorded at Abbey Road Studios in London, which combines contemporary jazz, strongly influenced by London and New York trends. The album was recorded with Rez Abbasi on guitar, Jason Palmer on trumpet, John O’Gallagher on alto sax, Clarence Pen on drums and features guests such as Andrew Bain on drums, John Escreet on keyboards, and George Crowley on tenor sax.

Michael Janisch – Worlds Collide – [Album Trailer] – Abbey Road Studio 3

Michael Janisch is a bassist, producer, and owner of Whirlwind Recordings, one of the leading independent jazz labels.

World Collide performed in Spain with a powerful British band composed of Nathaniel Facey on alto sax, George Crowley on tenor sax, Rick Simpson on piano, and Shaney Forbes on drums.

We spoke with Michael Janisch right before his concert at Cafe Madrid, back in January 2020 while on a Spanish tour promoting his new album Worlds Collide… We have transcribed and edited his responses for length.    

In&OutJazz: You are considered to be a leader on the international improvised jazz scene. In your opinion what makes you different?

Michael Janisch: I don’t actually think about being different, consciously. But what I do put a lot of emphasis on is being true to myself, and that makes everyone different. So if all you do is copy someone and play like this bass player, or try and compose like that, then you will always sound like that person. But when I’m composing, even though I have influences, I always think ‘no, I have heard that before, I have to change this’. In my playing and composition, I always try to avoid writing or playing exactly like someone else.  

If you hear a song of mine you might say ‘oh, that reminds me of….’ – for me, that is okay – but if you think that is exactly like some other musician, or whoever, then I don’t like that. I don’t mind that you hear the influence, but I always hope that it is a unique interpretation of an influence. So in that sense, I think I’m different, and I think that the same can be said of every great musician; they are true to themselves. And as I get older, and more confident, I don’t have time to think about other things, I just have to be me, but sometimes it is hard because you can think later ‘Oh, I’ve heard this before, I don’t like this, and then the next day comes, and you think ‘Oh, that was shit’, so you spend the whole day composing and then you throw it all away.  But sometimes it just flows and you think ‘this is great’ – so for me, that’s my process. That was a good question, it made me think!


What importance do you give to the different elements – melody, and improvisation -, on your latest album compared to previous ones? 

This album is a big mix of different sound worlds, which is one of the reasons I suppose I called it World’s Collide. The first track was written for a film, which never became a film because they lost the funding. The second song was influenced in part by Aphex Twin; I was thinking about his electronic music. Aphex Twin’s compositions, which I love, start with an idea that grows and changes, it’s pulled away, disappears, and then comes back later in a new way; so that’s that composition. It’s more like a classical composition. But within each song, I always give someone a platform to improvise. And then there’s a song called Frocklebot, but we are not going to do that tonight because I don’t have a double bass, but on that song, on the album, there is a first section and the last section and everything in the middle is completely free – because sometimes you just have to stop writing and just let the musicians sound. And also with five people, you have to think of the overall sonic picture, the balance, almost like when you see a painting – you can’t have red everywhere, or blue everywhere, so sometimes it is nice not to have blue – not to hear the drums – just to have the trumpet and saxophone players playing together. So I am thinking about these things, which I haven’t done so much on previous albums. Previous albums were always about the ensemble, which is cool, but I wanted to have a different sonic space on this album. 

I think some of the melodies on this new album are more singable, to an everyday music listener, and perhaps someone who isn’t thoroughly immersed in this kind of music. The reason I know this is that many people have told me this [laughs], but even so, there are still some really challenging metric things happening underneath the melodies; but it is done in a way that is really subtle. The musicians in the crowd may appreciate these things happening, but people who aren’t musicians may be more inclined to connect with the sing-song nature of some of the melodies.  So on this album, this was a sort of challenge I wanted to take on, this idea of subtle yet complex rhythms, mixed with memorable themes.

Michael Janisch’s Paradigm Shift – Live in London – Highlights

Can you tell us about the specific influences and jazz trends for the new album, for example, from London and New York?

The London scene, and especially the current scene, is heavily influenced by Afrobeat, with many musicians citing Fela Kuti as a starting point.  Naturally from hanging out and learning from musicians who have this as part of their history and lineage it’s found its way into my own music.  An Ode to a Norwegian Strobe features a quite common Afro Beat rhythmic pattern throughout, but I’ve sort of morphed that into 9 beats rather than the much more commonly heard 4 beats per measure.  I was listening to some interesting Grime beats that I was introduced to by some London friends, and I really liked some of the grooves, especially the urgency of the drum patterns, and thought ‘let me do something that references this energy but has my own spin on it.’  So that part is coming out of London influence and myself being immersed in that scene for over 15 years now.  As an American who spent most of my life learning from the masters of this music and still being very active performing with people Stateside, this influence is just natural and forms the foundation of all my music.

Where are you from?

I am from near Minneapolis, a place called Ellsworth, Wisconsin, it is a small town right on the Mississippi river in the north, in the middle of the states. I lived in Boston while at Berklee for 3 years, and New York for just under 2 years but have spent now most of my adult life in London, England.

Can you tell us about the various elements of your work?

I always balance structure and improvisation; it is something I have always done, I always think about both a lot. I don’t think I’ve changed much; it is just different styles; I love writing and I love letting the band play, I have been like that my whole life. It has been a very consistent goal of mine.

Sometimes some of the songs are written with so many details that the band says ‘oof, this is hard’ so this is why in other songs I just make a simple melody and let them go. You know: you make them work and then you let them play because I love both worlds. 

How do you combine owning one of the most prestigious independent jazz labels with your role as a musician?

Well, thank you for saying that, but the label was originally just a way for me to release my own music on my own terms. Whirlwind is a lot of work but it gives me great pleasure as I love running it, and it also provides an extra source of practical income so that I can do what performing I want to do on my own terms.  I can just do the shows and tours I want to do and run my label, and most importantly be home a lot, so I can see my kids grow up! 

‘Frocklebot’ – Michael Janisch

‘Freak Out’ – Michael Janisch

What is your opinion about your recent MOBO nomination?

I was so surprised about that because I was in the Japanese Embassy to get a visa to play in Japan and I came out and I had 50 text messages saying ‘Congratulations!’. And then I went on Twitter and it was saying  ‘Michael Janisch, with Esperanza Spalding, Jacob Collier, etc’ and I was just thinking ‘Wow, that is completely random… thank you so much’. And I went to the award ceremony with my wife and we were on the red carpet, and it was hilarious. I knew I wouldn’t win but it was great to be nominated. 

What was very weird yet interesting was the mixed reaction I received from some sectors of the music industry, from musicians and also industry folk alike. While there was a lot of lovely messages of support, I was pretty taken back with how some promoters snarkily commented that I was a «commercial artist» now because this is seen as a huge industry award, almost making the accusation I was some kind of sell out that wasn’t part of the grass roots scene anymore.  Some musicians seemed angry because the award stands for ‘Music Of Black Origin’ and they felt that I shouldn’t get it because I am white (I even got some emails from anonymous people saying I didn’t’ deserve it for that reason), and it all seemed so weird to me because I have always performed and revered music that had its origins from Black Americans first and foremost, nearly all my musical heroes are Black, and this award is specifically to celebrate all music that comes from Black origin, but any person from anywhere or any race can be nominated.

How would you describe your last album

I think as I’ve always done I am influenced by many types of music and I am always trying to bring these influences together in my own way. – this inspires me. So with this album I celebrate these «world’s colliding» at present, this is how I am going to continue to compose and conceive with all these elements combined, be it influences from electronic music; afrobeat, swing, free improv, song forms, punk, rock– everything and anything is okay.


Well, that’s’ all we have time for, you better get on stage! Thank you very much. 

Check Michael out here: and his label is:

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

09 de Noviembre de 2020

In & Out Jazz Entrevista a Moisés P. Sánchez

In & Out Jazz Entrevista a Moisés P. Sánchez

In & Out Jazz Entrevista a Moisés P. Sánchez


JULIO, 2020

Moisés Sánchez pianista y compositor

Eric GodfroidDiego García Márquez 

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

Entrevistamos a Moisés Sánchez pianista y compositor madrileño que acaba de publicar su último disco There’s Always Madness (Uno Música, 2019), junto a Cristina Mora (voz), Miron Rafajlovic (trompeta y guitarra), Antonio Miguel (contrabajo), Borja Barrueta (batería). 

Con un enfoque de jazz ecléctico y orquestal, Moisés cuenta con obra propia, con discos editados como el anterior trabajo: Unbalanced: Concerto for Ensemble (2019), la obra sinfónica nominada en categoría de Mejor Disco Instrumental a los Grammy Latino 2019. Metamorfosis (2017), Soliloquio (2014), y Ritual (2012), Dedication (2010) y Adam the Carpenter (2007).

El músico, junto a su quinteto, cerró la pasada edición del Festival de Jazz Internacional de Madrid 2019 en el Teatro Fernán Gómez.


Moisés P. Sánchez – «Unbalanced: Concerto for ensemble» (La grabación)

Esto es «There’s always madness».

In&OutJazz: ¿En tú opinión qué momento está atravesando la música en esta época?

Moisés Sánchez: Estamos viviendo momentos confusos. Creo que ahora mismo hay una perversión en relación a la comprensión de la música y a la importancia que tenemos del conocimiento de ella. Son materias que requieren un estudio y una profundización que en muchos casos no hay, a veces la formación es poca. Yo entiendo la música como arte global, hay que entender qué lugar ocupa All the Things You Are respecto a El anillo de los Nibelungos (Der Ring des Nibelungen) de Richard Wagner. Entender qué valor puede tener una cosa en relación a otra, hablo refiriéndome estrictamente a lo musical, no entro en lo social. En lo social el jazz tiene un componente muy potente.

¿Crees que sigue vivo el componente social reivindicativo del jazz?

Antes, parte de la comunidad negra veía a la gente blanca que tocamos jazz como profanos, eso ha cambiado mucho, yo creo. En España no tenemos una gran comunidad negra, lo más cercano es la comunidad cubana que se han integrado perfectamente. Tocamos todos con todos.

Es importante conocer la raíz del jazz como movimiento reivindicativo de los derechos sociales. El tema de Billie Holiday Strange Fruit, es un canto de libertad y de dolor cuando ve a sus congéneres ahorcados. 

Para mí no tiene mucho sentido defender la pureza del jazz, aquí en Madrid, habiendo estado ajeno a todo ello. Yo nazco en 1979 en Madrid, alejado de la problemática racista y cultural que ellos viven allí. Es muy interesante como gente de aquí entronca con el jazz porque se convierte en algo universal, porque se basa en la improvisación.



Thelonious Monk: «Epistrophy» | Moisés P. Sánchez Trio

¿Qué es la improvisación para Moisés?

Recuerdo una frase del guitarrista John McLaughlin que dice “Improvisar es subirse a un escenario y ser capaz de decir algo diferente que no has dicho hasta ahora”, implica un abandono de los licks de las frases aprendidas que incorporas a tu idioma. Cuando esto pasa, aparece algo interesante, yo me planteo qué soy como músico, si mis solos están basados en frases de otra gente ¿quién está tocando?

El jazz es una música que se basa en la creación y en la expresión a través de la improvisación del yo más profundo, para mi es la fascinación que me produce el jazz, es la única música que me ha permitido encontrar un vehículo en el que puedo unir varios géneros y expresarme profundamente a través de la improvisación, creo que es la sublimación de un músico, no hay nada más bonito que escuchar una notas y saber que es el sonido diferenciador de tal y cual músico.

Para mí es el logro y la grandeza que pianistas como Tigran Hamasyan, Brad Mehldau, Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett hayan encontrado su camino y su sonido a través de las herramientas que tenían a su disposición. Es cuando el jazz cobra el sentido último, ser capaz de haberte empapado para luego incorporar tu propio lenguaje. Miles Davis manda un mensaje increíble, que es “utiliza esto para ser tú”, esto conlleva una reflexión filosófica, un estudio, una profundización en la materia que te lleva a saber por qué toco esta nota y esta no. Bill Evans decía “si yo no estoy conectado con lo que toco o siento que la frase no es mía, dejo de tocar”. Como músico de jazz eso me ha obsesionado toda mi vida.

«Metamorfosis» live @ Jazz Madrid 17

¿Te consideras músico de jazz? 

Podemos decir que sí, aunque yo soy mucho más ecléctico, en los 7 álbumes originales que tengo se pueden ver influencias de muchas músicas. En los últimos 10 años estoy luchando por encontrar un sonido mío, propio, con todas las influencias de las que he bebido.

¿Cómo dirías que es tu sonido diferenciador?

No sé ni siquiera si lo he conseguido. Intento encontrarlo (risas).

Empecé a tocar el piano cuando tenía 3 años, en mi casa sonaba de todo, desde King Crimson, The Beatles pasando por Ludwig van Beethoven, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, etc. La música es música, eso me ha dado un prisma amplio de variadas influencias, de clásico, rock sinfónico, de jazz que se mezclan en mí música. Me gusta la música que manda un mensaje, un contenido que transmita una búsqueda de la belleza, de un sonido. Intento honrar el vehículo del que me he servido para mostrar mi mensaje, en este caso es la música. 

Has llegado a un nivel muy alto, ¿cómo lo ves?

Pues ¡no lo sé! Cuando escucho lo que ha hecho Johann Sebastian Bach o Keith Jarrett, ¡uuff!, está muy bien tener espejos grandes en los que mirarte para ubicarte. Yo doy valor a lo que he hecho, uno sabe lo que hace y dónde está, lo que compone. En relación a los referentes que tengo yo no soy nada, creo que me moriré pensando eso, a la vez cuando lo hago y lo presento tiene toda la importancia para mí. Ayer escuché Mathis Der Mahler a Paul Hindemith y luego Conversation with Myself de Bill Evans y dije ¡bueno (risas) pues aquí estoy yo!

¿Quiénes son esos referentes?

Tengo una trilogía básica que es Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett y Brad Mehldau, también hay momentos de Chick Corea que me gustan. Lyle Mays el pianista de Pat Metheny me gusta, era muy romántico tocando, como Evans.

Moises Sánchez  Improvisación

¿Dirías que tú música tiene un componente dentro del movimiento romántico?

Sí, hay componente romántico, entendido como movimiento romántico del siglo XIX como Serguéi Rajmáninov y Frédéric Chopin.

De Bill Evans decían que era el Chopin del jazz, Jarrett y Mehldau también tienen un punto romántico muy fuerte anclado en la Alemania de la segunda mitad de siglo. 

¿En qué momento te situarías dentro del romanticismo?  

Está muy anclado en el final del romanticismo y en el principio del impresionismo Claude Debussy, Maurice Ravel, etc, pero yo tengo una mezcla muy rara, toda la primera mitad del siglo XX me apasiona, Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok, donde entra la politonalidad extrema, las polirritmias, el uso tímbrico de la orquesta con los metales y la percusión.

Esa expansión orquestal se nota en tu música

Yo tengo un pensamiento muy sinfónico de la música, incluso cuando toco piano solo, el concepto es orquestal, no tengo un concepto de trío al uso estrictamente jazzero, cuando he abordado con mi trío temas formato estándar nos vamos a Marte, es mi naturaleza. El sello de mi identidad es esa aspiración sinfónica, esos desarrollos largos, intentar desarrollar compositivamente.

¿Qué técnicas utilizas para ello? 

Utilizo técnicas de composición clásica que aplico a mis temas de jazz, como presentar una melodía y luego la represento al final del tema modulada de otra manera. Son técnicas que hace que captes la atención del oyente, el oído tiene una psicología auditiva, tienes que hacer magia, tienes que conocer las herramientas a nivel comunicativo y compositivo para manipular la percepción, cuando estás en el escenario eres un creador de percepciones que provoca una sensación en el oyente. Las herramientas de desarrollo de composición que están demostradas que funcionan como la forma sonata, aplicadas al jazz, son un sello de identidad; yo utilizo esas técnicas, en Unbalanced:Concerto for Ensemble. Aquí está presente la sonata que se emplea en los conciertos clásicos del clasicismo y de la primera mitad del siglo XIX, está muy oculta pero está.


¿Crees que es importante el estudio de composición para un músico de jazz?

Yo he estudiado y sigo estudiando composición, me apasiona. Creo que para un músico de jazz controlar composición marca la diferencia a la hora de componer y se ve en el resultado. No porque sepas las armonías e improvisar sabes componer un tema. Es importante formarte en composición. La composición es muy amplia, desde la forma clásica hasta Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk, John Coltrane, etc.

Me ha venido muy bien conocer el rock sinfónico, esos desarrollos tan largos que aplicaban Genesis y King Crimson son muy interesantes. Conseguían hacer suites de 24 minutos, en los que cada 30 segundos aparecía una idea melódica diferente que te va llevando. 

Me pasa con ciertos músicos de jazz que te presentan sus partituras y no hay indicaciones de dinámica, no hay piano, no hay fuerte, eso para mí es muy significativo, no se sabe que se quiere contar, ni hacia dónde va la música, eso me ha obsesionado y ese es un sello identificativo de lo que hago. Me apasiona contar historias a través de la música. La preocupación por cómo lo cuento, con que recursos, y el conocimiento que tienes que adquirir para contar eso, para mi ese es el sentido de tocar música.

Cobra sentido cuando enfoco todo eso para contar mi historia la que conforma los amigos que he tenido, las parejas, los viajes que he hecho las desilusiones que he tenido, mi vida aquí. Estoy en una búsqueda insaciable, es mi mayor preocupación que alguien escuche Unbalanced:Concerto for ensemble y por cómo está compuesto y el amasijo de ideas que hay, diga, es Moisés Sánchez. Si consigo eso, misión cumplida.

¿Cómo manejas esa tendencia hacia lo orquestal con tu trío?

Borja Barrueta, Toño Miguel y yo llevamos tocando desde el 2001, ahora se ha incorporado Cristina Mora y Miron Rafajlovic ha sido muy bonito lo que hemos formado, han sido 7 discos

Es un trío muy estable, ¿cómo se mantiene eso?

En su momento decidí crecer con músicos y tener continuidad. A mí me importa el recorrido en la comunicación y desarrollar mí música. Es un camino más sólido. La música para mi es un proceso, sobre todo en mis discos, en lo que dejo plasmado.

David Sancho en Piano Solo tiene un tema Glucosas y Metamorfosis dedicado a tu disco Metamorfosis

David Sancho es un amor, en el ensamble hay teclado porque yo quería que estuviera él, David Sancho es un pianista excepcional, me entiendo perfectamente con él, para mi es un honor que me dedique un tema en su disco.

¿Qué relación tienes con el jazz?

Me gusta el jazz tradicional, discos de Thelonious Monk, Art Blakey, Miles Davis en Britches Brew (1970). Bill Evans me encanta con el trío con Scott La Faro y Paul Motian y el trío con Joe La Barbera y Marc Johnson y en la época de los 80. En John Coltrane veo una trascendencia en el mensaje. Ese jazz me vuelve loco.

Para mí el jazz es la música más camaleónica del mundo, permite la incorporación de otras músicas. 

Yo soy un hijo de mi época. De Brad Mehldau, de Terence Blanchard. Estamos en el 2020 y creo que un artista como creador está obligado a mirar alrededor y ver la sociedad actual y no ser ajeno a lo que pasa vivir en su tiempo, ser inmovilista y quedarse estancado en un momento del jazz es una idea que no defiendo.


Moisés P. Sánchez Trío en el Café Central

Marco Mezquida & Moisés P.Sánchez concierto completo -Recoletos Jazz-

¿Qué relación tienes con la música clásica?

Creo que si te dedicas a la música no puedes obviar a Johann Sebastian Bach, ni el Réquiem de Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart o la Novena de Beethoven. El hecho de no conocerlo, de no haberte preocupado me parece una gran carencia. No se puede obviar la magnitud de la música si eres músico, es un transatlántico golpeándome en la cabeza, eso te da otro prisma, por ejemplo: cuando escuchas a Mehldau y Jarret con ese gran abanico de sonoridades te das cuenta de que se han empapado de lo clásico. Es un nivel de comprensión de la música extremo.

En Europa la formación musical básicamente es clásica. En el conservatorio se enseña la música desde un punto de vista mortuorio. Me explico: te enseñan a interpretar, pero no a crear ni a improvisar.

Yo abandoné el clásico por eso, el jazz me da esa vía de escape, puedo ser yo. Una sonata de Beethoven me aporta porque la traslado a mi universo.

Ahora acabas de grabar tu último disco There’s Always Madness, pero ¿cuál ha sido tu experiencia con tu álbum anterior, Unbalanced:Concerto for Ensemble, que además ha sido nominado a los Grammy?

Hemos formado un grupo muy bonito con una tímbrica espectacular, es una mezcla muy particular de electrónica, de mixtura entre los metales, la flauta, los teclados, la percusión y luego algo más jazz tradicional cuando estamos la base. Me encantaría desarrollar el trabajo para el ensamble,

El disco lo compuse en París, son 63 minutos de música con más de quinientas páginas escritas, es titánico. No tarde tanto en componerlo como en los arreglos.  Hemos puesto mucha energía un corazón, ha sido disco nominado a los Grammy, en categoría de Mejor Composición Instrumental, es la primera vez que un español está nominado en esta categoría, eso ha sido un gran honor y un reconocimiento importante.

A partir de ahora, ¿Qué proyecto te gustaría abordar?

Me gustaría desarrollar la faceta compositiva, es donde más puedo dar y mostrar todo el potencial, y bueno ojalá porque no es fácil a nivel infraestructura, institucional. Espero el camino que se ha iniciado, se mantenga. Me gustaría hacer orquesta sinfónica, integrar mi grupo, el trío, es la base, a cuarteto o quinteto y ver qué pasa.

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

11 de Julio de 2020

In & Out Jazz Interview With Logan Richardson

In & Out Jazz Interview With Logan Richardson

In & Out Jazz Interview With Logan Richardson



LOGAN RICHARDSON (1980, Kansas City, Missouri) Saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and producer.

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos




Logan Richardson (1980, Kansas City, Missouri) is an alto saxophonist, composer, bandleader, and producer.

In 2006 Logan released his debut album, Cerebral Flow, with Fresh Sound New Talent.

Richardson is related with Max Roach, Shirley Scott, Jimmy Heath, Clark Terry, Kenny Burrell, Marcus Belgrave, Richard Davis, Joe Chambers, Butch Morris, Christian Scott, Stefon Harris, Ambrose Akinmusire, Greg Tardy, Pat Methenv, Nasheet Waits, Michelle Rosewoman, Billy Hart, and Jason Moran.

He has recently recorded his fourth album as a band leader entitled Blues People featuring Richardson on Alto Saxophone, and effects; Justus West, Electric Guitar, & Vocals; Igor Osypov, Electric Guitar; DeAndre Manning, Electric Bass; and Ryan J. Lee, Drums.

Roy Hargrove & Logan Richardson @ Gregory’s Jazz Club

In&OutJAZZ: Musicians often seem to live a life that might appear ‘crazy’ to others; how do you find a balance in your life?

Logan Richardson: When I reflect on the amount of time that I have been in the industry and being a performing artist as well as a composer and rights and business holder, I’ve learned a lot, and part of what I’ve learned is that a performing artist in particular is one that has to live their life in a way that is not very beneficial for the quality of life as a human being, in particular for a jazz artist. And so I wanted to find a way to adapt other ways to do high-level business and high profile things, and yet be able to have a very recluse artistic life. 

Whenever you put out a piece of art it is a big deal. Visual artists can do just one piece and it’s there forever and they can put it out all around the world. An artist [does not have to do] an entire album or 15 different songs, there is another way to live and honestly with mechanical royalties and intellectual royalties, etc, you are constantly able to make money; it doesn’t only have to come from performance, it can come from all the other avenues that are associated with owning music or writing music or publishing. And if your music is placed in a movie or in a commercial then you get paid, and it is these things that allow a kind of balance.

Tony Tixier Quartet feat Logan Richardson & Scott Tixier – CALLING INTO QUESTION

In&OutJAZZ: I understand you were born in Kansas City (Missouri)?

Logan Richardson: Yes, I was born and raised in Kansas City, in Missouri. I started playing the saxophone when I was 14. I was pretty obsessed even before I started playing and then when I got one I was playing all the time. By the time I was 16 I was pretty decent, so I started working. My first job was playing gigs so I’ve been doing this type of thing in some form or other since I was 16, and I’m 39 now; so a little while. I guess I’m still relatively young but at the same time I’ve experienced a lot so I am trying to do a better thing, to make it. I’ve always loved playing the saxophone and obviously being from the same town in which Charlie Parker was from… I discovered him when I was 14 or 15. For me it wasn’t necessarily about jazz at first, the saxophone was the reason I found jazz, because I just really wanted to play the saxophone. Jazz was where the saxophone was played but it had really nothing to do with the music, it was for the instrument – if there was never jazz I would still play the saxophone.   

In&OutJAZZ: What is your opinion about Christian Scott’s new project in relation to Godwin Louis´s project?

Logan Richardson: I haven’t heard the Godwin Louis album, Global, yet. I’ll definitely check it out.

In&OutJAZZ: What is your opinion about Christian Scott’s new project?

Logan Richardson: I think to move forward we need to search backwards to understand where we are going. To be ready for whatever is discovered. It is like an archeological project where you are rooting for source, and resource, to understand the root, branches and the leaves. He is coming with this mantra at the core. I think there is a different language being established a bit like there is a different sound, he calls it Stretch Music, but I think it is a great social-political statement against everything that is wrong in this society.  

In&OutJAZZ: What type of music are you most comfortable with?

Logan Richardson: Everything, just playing. I put the same love into improvising as I do playing the melody. I just love notes.

In&OutJAZZ: But your tone might sometimes be described as crazy…

Logan Richardson: A lot of times the idea is to have all of this to happen [Richardson does a circling motion with his hands]… then a lot of times you are soaring above, but everything is still very specific. As free as it can seem, it is actually like super-specific.   

I spend a lot of time checking out. I equally could be like a straight avant-garde … just play that, but for me, I like to do everything, so, it’s a better place to exist – no limits.

In&OutJAZZ: Where do you live now?

Logan Richardson: I lived in Paris for like 5 or 6 years, and then Italy for 2 years and now I have a base, a home with a studio, office and three bedrooms, in Kansas City, which is actually the former home of Charlie Parker. He lived there between 9 and 12, so the place ties directly into jazz history. The energy is super-relaxed, creative and chill, it is right in the city center but it is quiet. It is cool.

In&OutJAZZ: Do you have family?

Logan Richardson: I have a brother, sister, and mother who live in Kansas City and I have two other brothers and an older sister. One of my brothers and my sister live in Kansas and my oldest brother he lives in South Carolina. 

My parents split up when I was about 16; I haven’t talked to my father in many years but he lives in Washington DC and I still have grandparents – my father’s parents live in Pennsylvania, they are 90 years old but that is still pretty young! Then my mother’s mother is still alive, she lives in Kansas City. I don’t get a chance to see everyone as much as I’d like because I am always moving around. 


In&OutJAZZ: What are your own projects?

Logan Richardson: Well my first project was Cerebral Flow in 2006/7 and then my second project was on Inner Circle Music label, which was entitled, Ethos, and that came out in 2008/9. Equality with Nasheet Waits, and Jason Moran with Fresh Sound Records Level. The Next Collective project I was involved in on Concord Records was in 2012, and then in 2015 was when I released Shift, which was on Blue Note, and then Blues People was released last year in 2018 on Ropeadope Records and Universal music, and this year I am doing another project with Blue Note that could be coming out next year, I am not sure when I will drop it out, but that hints at my fascination with this kind of thing. Then I have a new Blues People project which is coming out next year too, and then I’m on Nduduzo’s new album, I’m playing a bunch on that, and also Gerald Clayton’s live album… and then Krishna has another album coming out next year so, at least for me, I have at least five different projects coming out next year so it will be pretty busy.

As for my own projects I am very excited, having the opportunity to do more Blues People – that’s all I really wanted to do right now.

In&OutJAZZ: Why?

Logan Richardson: Well, for me, I got the name and really the inspiration from a book entitled Blues People by Amiri Baraka; the book is amazing, I think if you haven’t read it you’ll love it. This book was the basis of the idea of how you draw on your genetics, like, not knowing where you come from, and I liked the idea, with the band’s name being Blues People, of showing that we come from a tribe; because this is a group that is captured from many different tribes that is captured in many groups of folks, the first people that situated here. This idea of sci-fi 1980s rock, kind of mixed with heavy jazz influence or jazz – you hear the name but then when you hear the music, it is not what you think when you see the name; I like a contrast between the two.

In&OutJAZZ: And are you recording?

Logan Richardson: I am still working on the new album now, I can send you a preview of it if you like before it comes out for sure.

In&OutJAZZ: How would you describe your process in your life and your music?

Logan Richardson: That’s a deep question. 

In&OutJAZZ: (Laughs) yes, because I am a psychoanalyst…

Logan Richardson: Oh, I didn’t know that. 

I feel like I am here for a purpose and so I have decided to re-assess things, things about which I was not even aware, [such as] my inhibitions that are always kind of there. 

But you can’t write about this, this is off the record. I just think I’d like to save that for another interview. Is that ok with you?!?

In&OutJAZZ: Oh, yes, yes, no problem.

Logan Richardson Quartet al Teatro Parenti

Logan Richardson:  …at the core I feel like I am a fairly wild person, a risk-taker, a ravisher almost, but I am a Leo, so I have this kind of energy. What is your astrological sign?

In&OutJAZZ: My astrological sign?!!? It is Virgo, why?

Logan Richardson & Begoña Villalobos.

Logan Richardson: I was just curious, because for me it comes from that. I think there are a lot of jazz musicians that from a societal perspective have ‘issues’ but from the animal world you’d say are ‘normal’. It is all about perspective, I’m more like a hippie, but I do believe that if you go the route of marriage then… yeh, don’t do it, it doesn’t really make sense. It is all so very frustrating, don’t you think so?

In&OutJAZZ: Yes, it can be if there is a disonance between what you do and what you want to do. 

Logan Richardson: I think so, because you don’t get to do what you want to do. 

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

10 de Febrero de 2020

In & Out Jazz interview with Gregory Hutchinson

In & Out Jazz interview with Gregory Hutchinson

In & Out Jazz interview with Gregory Hutchinson




Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

Fotografías: Antonio Porcar Cano

In & Out JAZZ interviews one of the best jazz drummers in the world, Gregory “Hutch” Hutchinson (born June 16, 1970, New York City). Greg Hutchinson is one of the most highly respected musicians of our time. He has appeared on over 160 recordings performing with countless jazz greats, including Betty Carter, Joshua Redman, Dianne Reeves, Wynton Marsalis, John Scofield, Roy Hargrove, Diana Krall, Harry Connick Jr…

TJF 2019 – Joshua Redman trio

In&OutJAZZ: How would you describe your sound in contrast with others?

Greg Hutchinson: My sound is both traditional and modern; it is steeped in the tradition of bebop drumming but at the same time things evolve. My sound is Jeff “Tain” Watts we call it Crispy Brown, so it is crisp. And you know it is changing, so what my sound is now could be different by the time we finish this interview, it represents the evolution of my life, it is an adventurous sound.

How would you define it?

My sound is big, precise, unpredictable – it comes from different places – it is warm, the drums and cymbals always sound good, and complementary to each other. The sound comes from the personality that you have, that’s why everybody’s drums always sound different; that’s a good thing.


Joshua Redman «Hide and Seek» @Jazz_in_Marciac 2009

Who are your influences?

That’s easy. I grew up in New York so all the influences I have are all the great musicians in New York. Talking about drummers, Art Blakey, Charlie Persip, Victor Lewis, Kenny Washington, Lewis Nash, Tain, Elvin Jones in New York, Jack DeJohnette, all the major drummers in New York I got to see, and they got to know me. During the time I grew up in New York, it was the time of hip hop music so that is an influence on me, so that is how my life and music has come about. Then my mum and dad: my dad played drums and my mum is a supporter of the music, always encouraging, so they were great influences to have.

What is your concept of jazz now?

My concept of jazz is that jazz is music. Traditional jazz is swing jazz with a swing beat. What we think of as traditional is a certain thing but jazz has other areas of music too that are jazz by definition, and include improvisation; that falls under jazz. It might not necessarily be bebop, it is different, but people come up with their own ideas so – I like it but I also think you need to know the tradition to go forward. 

With which musicians are you most comfortable?

All musicians. I like all types of music, different styles, I like everything that is challenging, because in the end it is all music so you’ve got to be able to hear it and find a way to play it. 

How would you describe the people who are playing right now?

It is different, younger people have a lot more technique when they learn, they have a lot more available to them to research, videos and everything, so they learn faster. But just because you learn faster doesn’t mean you learn better, so it is really important to take your time. But there are a lot of young people playing the music right now, which is great because that is how the music survives.

Who stands out for you?

Marcus Gilmore I love, Justin Tyson, there are a bunch of cats  I can’t think of all of them right now but [looking at camera] Hutchs boys you all know what’s up!  Francesco Ciniglio, my Italian buddy is super bad.

What is your opinion about traditional jazz?

It is great, that is how we learn. It is great to learn how the music started and to see where we have got to now. It’s very important, it is part of the history you have to understand it, I think, to do anything. It’s like learning to walk, you can’t run before you can walk so traditional jazz is awesome, you know.

How do you combine traditional and contemporary music?

I don’t think about how to combine them, I just play and think about what works for the music. You know, when you go shopping you know what you need to get, so it is just whatever the music needs. Just by living the life, things kind of come like one: what the new traditonal is and the new contemporary is keeps changing.

Can you tell us about your projects?

I still work with Joshua Redman. People call and I go, like Matthew Stevens, Joe Lovano, it is always random, but I have my own music that I am doing now, so I need to get on that and put that out, that’s very important. Dianne Reeves, I am about to play with so, you know, we are in the mix all the time, as we say.

How many records have you made?

Oh, I can’t tell you the number, I don’t know.  Brian Blade and I did one, Ray Brown, Betty Carter, Dianne Reeves, Joe Henderson, Christian McBride – a lot, a lot of records.

What was it like to play with Joe Henderson?

Great. Incredible. A master, very cool dude. He picks and chooses the spots, he has a sound. Nice, nice.

Who have you most enjoyed playing with?

Wow, playing with Wayne Brown and Neil Jackson and Bob Cranshaw, playing with Stanley Turrentine and Marlena Shaw, playing with Stanley’s brother so many great moments, that is how I learned the music. Betty Carter, like I said, all these people who I have been playing with are incredible, you know. Every experience was awesome. Playing with Josh. Playing with Roy Hargrove was super special, they were all pretty awesome.

Who do you think of as your mentors?

My dad played drums, so he would have been first, then Wayne Barnes, who passed away, he was my drum teacher at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, and then Marvin “Smitty” Smith, a great drummer, and then Kenny Washington – but my mentor over all of those guys was Justin Deccicio and he was the teacher of all of those guys. I haven’t spoken to him in a long time.

Why was he important?

He was a great teacher and a great person. He taught Kenny Washington, Marcus Miller, all these great musicians. Fun guy, honest guy, no bullshit, straightforward.

What do you teach?

I teach the same things that people taught me. How to play the instrument the right way, how to get a sound, and how the instrument is an extension of yourself. You need to be comfortable with where you are at, just try to get better and not worry about what anyone else is doing.  Do your own thing; if you can do that then everything is fine.

Do you find differences across cultures, between for example Europe and the US?

There are cultural differences. Shows always starts late, in places like Spain, so if it says it starts at 9 it starts at 9.45 or 10, but in the States, no. I prefer to be on time with the music. Other than that, no, the musicians are great here, in Europe, so I don’t see any difference.

Do you play more in Europe or the US?

I have a nice balance. It’s not too crazy.


Joshua Redman Reuben Rogers Gregory Hutchinson Jazz in Duketown 2017

Who would you most like to play with?

I have to think about this. Maybe Pat Metheny we played once but not really played, John Scofield

Where would you like to play? 

I like to play nice, big, venues, that’s all I can say.

What is your feeling about B.A.M and Nicholas Payton playing the trumpet?

I don’t talk about it, [BAM] he’s my friend, that is his choice, I have known Nicholas for a long time so…. I understand a lot.

What has been your experience with him?

Great. We played maybe 18 months ago and it was great, no problem.

If you had to speak about five living jazz musicians who would you choose?

There are so many. It is hard to choose five. There are old school and new people I like. Dianne Reeves, Josh, John Scofield – everyone who I’ve played with, I love.


Greg Hutchinson Drum Solo

Marc Cary, Gregory Hutchinson, Dwayne Burno perform with Betty Carter on «The Today Show»

29 Edición FESTIVAL JAZZ DONOSTIA JAZZALDIA 1994. Roy Hargrove Quintet – Betty Carter

Close Your Eyes – Roy Hargrove Quintet Live at Huis Ten Bosch Jazz Festival 1992 Nagasaki, Japan

Which do you consider to be your best recording?

I can’t answer that, someone else has to answer that. I have done classic records but I don’t know if they are necessarily my best. The Eric Reed records I like, It is Alright to Swing.

I like the Dianne Reeves records, Betty Carter, Joe Henderson, I like my new record – those are my best recordings – Joshua, Compass, the new one I like after listening to it, so those are my best records.

Gregory Hutchinson & Begoña Villalobos. Bogui Club Madrid, octubre 2018.

Do you think you are one of the best jazz drummers?

[Laughs] no, I think it is time to practise more! I don’t think about that. There is no best drummer; everyone does their best.

But why do some jazz drummers improve and others not?

I think it is about chances and making the best of your opportunities. You need some luck but you also have to practise. I came in at a good time for the music, so I was lucky, you know.

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

05 de Febrero de 2020

In & Out Jazz Kirk MacDonald Interview

In & Out Jazz Kirk MacDonald Interview

In & Out Jazz Kirk MacDonald Interview




KIRK MACDONALD, Saxofonista, compositor

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos





As one of Canada’s most respected leading saxophonists and composers, Kirk MacDonald (Sidney, Canadá. 1959), has had a huge and lasting influence on many of Canada’s younger generation of musicians. He plays with many leading International jazz musicians including Peter Bernstein, Rich Perry, Kurt Elling, David Virelles, Ralph Bowen, Dick Oatts, Ben Monder, Seamus Blake, Jonathan Blake, Lorne Lofsky, Bob Mover, Pat LaBarbera, John Taylor, Ron McClure, Adam Nussbaum, Jack DeJohnette, Mike Stern, Jim McNeely, Vince Mendoza, John Clayton, Bob Mintzer, Chris Potter, Glenn Ferris, Maria Schneider, Chris Mitchell, Danilo Pérez, Bobby Martínez, Bob Sands.


Awesome Kirk MacDonald Quartet: Music on Jazz at Lincoln Center

He has been nominated for four Juno Awards, with his album The Atlantic Sessions winning the 1999 Juno Award for Best Mainstream Jazz Album. Kirk MacDonald is presently a professor at Humber College in Toronto.

Kirk MacDonald Quartet ~ Bop Zone

InandOutJazz: What do you offer that is different [to other musicians]?

Kirk MacDonald: All musicians that I’ve admired sound like themselves. Their playing and writing are connected, it’s very personal. I don’t try to sound like anyone else. I have influences like anyone, but I’ve always tried to develop myself as a player. I started writing music at a very early age and over time those two things(performance,composition) came together. I had certain interests musically that were able to help the process along. I have done a lot of composing over the years, I compose with myself in mind and try to compose music that I would enjoy playing. Other people play my songs as well but essentially I write for myself as a musician and as a player. I think that having figured out how to connect those things over the years could be something that attracts people to my music.

 The model has been there all along, you know, you can trace the history of jazz and you’ll see that many of the iconic players of jazz music were also composers. In my music the compositional influence was not so much the old school players but stemmed more from the be-bop era on. The idea of performance, composition and playing were tied to the compositions the musicians were playing. And for me the great examples are people at the top who can be recognised as great innovators, like Charlie Parker who wrote their own lines on standards and were then able to connect that music more closely to the style they were playing. Lenny Tristano was also from that be bop period, he did a similar kind of thing. From there things started to branch out, not only in a linear sense but also in a harmonic sense. People like John Coltrane, whose music tended to explore harmony along with others like Wayne Shorter and later Woody Shaw, Joe Henderson, Bob Brookmeyer and a host of others.

Godwin Louis, Etienne Charles, Or Bareket, Harvel Nakundi y Jeremy Dumont (Madrid. Bogui Jazz Club, Julio 2019)

In your harmonies, are you challenging yourself when you are writing?

When I write it is a process of finding. I can take conceptual ideas and write tunes, I have done a lot of that, and that is a starting point, but if the music doesn’t feel natural to me I won’t perform it so you’ll never hear the tune. What I really try to do is to try to write songs that I would enjoy playing over a long period of time. And even though my tunes are more jazz compositions than standards, a lot of my tunes have a balance of a jazz sensibility similar to people like Coltrane, Horace Silver, Woody Shaw, Wayne Shorter, etc, with a melodic content influenced by the American Songbook composers like Irving Berlin, Cole Porter and many others. So for me it is a matter of balancing the three elements – rhythm, melody and harmony – and every song has a different kind of balance of that. I try to write with variety so as I am not always writing the same song or type of song over again. Sometimes the songs will be more rhythmic, melodic or harmonic in nature, but it’s usually a combination of all three, some kind of balance within that.


Do you use the piano to compose?

I mostly use the piano but not exclusively. Sometimes I will play progressions and I sing melodies, sometimes I’ll play the melodies on the piano. I’ve never been very successful at writing on the saxophone. I’ve tried it but it doesn’t really work for me. I think part of the reason is that once I’ve picked up the saxophone then I just feel like playing the horn.


I use my voice quite a bit. I have limited ability on the piano but I use it to write. I have developed a certain harmonic sense over the years, and I try to write strong melodies.That is a big part of what I do, and sometimes using the voice or the piano helps me stay in touch with that. Over time, your sensibility develops and it becomes a very natural process.


I think you are really humble because your tunes and harmonics are really advanced…

Oh, well they are challenging, people say that, but you know it is still balancing the elements. One of the models for me when composing is trying to put myself in a different mindset, thinking more like a classical composer, except that I am more of a songwriter. You know, when we are dealing with jazz music, we are dealing with shorter forms.A Classical composer may create a symphony or something that is maybe 45 minutes long, whereas if you play a standard tune, the melody may be like 30 or 45 seconds. So there is not a lot of time to develop the material in the same way, so often the song is more about pure melody rather than developing the composition and thematic material. Most of the time I work with shorter forms. Over the years I have learned how to do that, but I use compositional elements to connect the ideas. I think I wrote my first jazz tune when I was 15 and I would say there is very little that I have written between the age of 15 and my early 30s that I would ever consider playing, the tunes sound ok, but there is too much extra stuff in there. So in 15 or 20 years of writing I have learned how to edit and to put these things together.


The other thing you need to develop both as a composer and player, is taste. You need to know what to leave out. There is a quote I think from Aaron Copeland regarding composition ‘no more than is absolutely necessary’. There are certain little things like that that I try to remind myself of when I am writing, -‘does that chord need to be there?’ – no -, ‘does that melody need to be there?’ – no – then get rid of it. So for me when I am composing, it is very slow process, I take my time. I could write faster if I wanted, but I enjoy the process of exploring ideas and finding melodies. If you hang in there long enough and you are patient, then ideas and solutions will present themselves.


Now that you are in Spain and you are playing with big bands (Bob Sands Big Band) for example, is it a different repertoire?

Often times it will be finances that may be the determining factor in the format, small band, big band etc. Bob Sands had asked me to come in and do the gigs in Madrid, and I was really excited about doing it with a Big Band and also a quintet, I thought that would be great. I had performed with Daniel Garcia before, at least three or four times with Bobby Martinez, and I performed with Pablo Gutiérrez a few times before as well. They are really wonderful musicians, so I knew there would be no problem with that. For the big band I sent some music over, and Dani and Pablo have played some of this stuff, and when Bob talked about the Big Band thing I thought about two things; I thought with my Big Band I basically I have got two arrangers and they are very different, one is more of an orchestrator and one is more of a natural composer. One of the writers would stay closer to orchestrating what I wrote, you know, if it was a septet thing, he would be using some of my voicings, – that would be Terry Promane, like Family Suite – so that would be very close to the original recordings of that, which were small band recordings. Joe Sullivan [on the other hand] does a lot of recording and has his own Big Band, and he goes the other way, he rewrites my tunes, sometimes they are even unrecognisable, because for him if he can’t do something personal with it, he’s not interested, because he writes his own music. Joe and I have this real musical connection, he finds different things in his writing of my music, and I hear a lot of different things; he goes a lot of different places with my music. He really makes it very much his own. So I wanted music from both those guys.


I did three Big Band CDs, the first one was about half and half- with both Terry and Joe splitting the writing of the arrangements,  the second one was Family Suite which is an 11 movement suite, which is the whole CD, and basically that was Terry’s orchestration. Then the last was a double CD where I wanted to feature all Joe’s writing because he had done a number of my compositions that I hadn’t recorded yet, I also commissioned him to arrange five more for the last CD ‘Common Ground’



Recorda Me – Senensky, LaBarbera, MacDonald, Riley at The Orbit Room

«You See but You Don’t Hear»

I sent this stuff over to Bob Sands and to be honest with you I don’t even remember what I sent [Laughs], but I think the repertoire is totally different to what we were playing in the Quintet. With the Quintet I was thinking about compositions that I have that work well with two saxophones, and also the fact that Pablo and Daniel have played some of my music before, things that maybe they were a bit familiar with, because, you know, we were in Valencia on Tuesday and we had 45 minutes to rehearse and soundcheck before the gig, so oftentimes it is just practicality, you don’t have time to do much, so you put things together pretty quickly. So this time the repertoire with this band is different than with Fabio Miano who I will be working with in quartet. The first time I came to Spain was with Fabio was in 1997, and I have come to Spain many times and worked with Fabio and over the years I have met a lot of different musicians, and so now I have established many relationships with musicians in different places. I love working with different musicians, it keeps it fresh, everybody is into it, and it raises the level. It is a wonderful exchange, it is really uplifting for me to hear different people in different cities and countries and the musicians are so dedicated; if they believe the music is good, they are very supportive, they do their homework and they do the best they can with your music, and that is no different to anywhere else in the world. Over the years I have made contact with musicians in a number of different places so I can come out and play music at a level that feels really good to me.




Kirk MacDonald Quintet with Harold Mabern & Pat LaBarbera at The Rex

Fabio is coming out to do some things in France with me, after Spain, we will be in Aix-en-Provence and Paris before I move on to Nice, Lyon and Annecy to guest with pianist Phillip Martell.I am using musicians from Paris that I have worked with in the past and they play great too. The great thing about this music is it embraces different personalities; it is open enough that you can include influences from a lot of different places, that is why I enjoy playing with different people because you get different perspectives on the music. Of course we are talking about the music being taken care of first [he raises his hand up to indicate quality] but once you are there you get all these different influences.

That is the other thing about simplicity, is that there is room in the music – that is something else I consider as I am writing. So that is the difference between a classical and a jazz composer – it is that I am going to be playing this music, and I am not wanting the music to sound the same every night, I want to create something where the foundation is strong enough to be treated in different ways. And also the concept of the Big Band is the same thing. If I’ve written a good tune and you were the arranger you should be able to do something with that, that would bring out something unique in that tune. Look at some tunes that have been recorded many times; how many different versions do you have of My Funny Valentine, or But Not For Me or Body and Soul –Dexter Gordon, John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins, those are just some of the tenor players that recorded Body and Soul for example, and they all do something different with it, so tunes/compositions can be like a palette for musicians to bring their own perspective to it.

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

14 de Octubre de 2019

In & Out Jazz entrevista a David Sancho

In & Out Jazz entrevista a David Sancho

In & Out Jazz entrevista a David Sancho




DAVID SANCHO MANGAS, compositor, pianista. 

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

Fotógrafo: Pepe Sanz

Más conocido en la escena musical madrileña como multi- teclista, David Sancho Mangas (Madrid,1987), compositor y pianista destacado en su generación, vuelve a sus orígenes como pianista clásico con su nuevo trabajo discográfico y primer álbum a su nombre, Piano Solo (grabado con el sello discográfico Lo Otro y masterizado en los Estudios Cezanne).

“Mi discurso no es de artista, ni de genio”

El álbum Piano Solo nace de la experiencia en el Hospital 12 de octubre, dentro de la asociación: Música en Vena, un estudio sobre la repercusión de la música en varias enfermedades. A partir de su estancia como MIR (Músico Interno Residente), David Sancho rescató partituras de música clásica y empezó a desarrollar improvisaciones a piano acústico con claras influencias de jazz, pop y pianismo clásico. Piano Solo, interpretado de manera sobria y con tendencia al lirismo, cuenta con un fraseo cuidado y elegante de prolongadas líneas expresivas, In&OutJazz. 

Sin olvidar el sentido jazzístico, algunos temas tienen un carácter más clásico, algún otro, sobre una capa de sintetizador es más electrónico. La elección del repertorio es importante, así mismo David Sancho lleva a su terreno con autoridad el estándar de jazz de Jerome Kern, All the Things You Are, y lo interpreta con una densidad importante, como si fuera un estudio de György Ligeti.

Piano Solo, es una de las múltiples facetas. David Sancho toca música electrónica de manera solvente y es un incansable experimentador de teclados, In&OutJazz.  Especialista en el control de la estética sonora de diferentes sintetizadores, domina sonidos como el rock sinfónico de los 70 y la estética ochentera. Es un músico ecléctico que no se resiste a la experimentación y mezcla tanto música clásica, como jazz, electrónica, hip hop y pop; tiene numerosos trabajos como teclista acompañante, multi- teclista y set híbridos de teclado/ piano.

Me considero músico de jazz, es lo que más me identifica

David Sancho

David Sancho Piano Solo «Glucosas y Metamorfosis»

Desde 2015, David Sancho combina su producción individual con otros proyectos paralelos como Monodrama, trío junto a Mauricio Gómez al saxofón, y Alberto Brenes a la batería. Una banda estable de post jazz, con dos álbumes editados: Modern Post Mortem en 2015 y el último Anathema en 2018, donde combina lo analógico con lo digital, lo electrónico con lo acústico. El trío es un laboratorio de creatividad con momentos muy libres, en los que mezcla influencias que van desde el rock progresivo, jazz de vanguardia pasando por una estética avanzada contemporánea de los años 50, junto a estructuras elaboradas, largas y complejas de música electrónica. 

La versatilidad de este músico queda patente en todos los diferentes trabajos. También es miembro de SanChema, un proyecto a dúo con el guitarrista Chema Saiz, donde combina el jazz de vanguardia con la música electrónica y música post rock. Es productor y compositor de los discos The Breitners y La vida Sostenible de la banda de hip hop-jazz The Breitners, junto con el rapero Artes como Maestro de Ceremonias.

Multipremiado desde muy joven, comienza el conservatorio con 7 años, se gradúa en Piano y Pedagogía del Piano, en Música Contemporánea en el Conservatorio Superior de Música de Madrid, y posteriormente consigue el título en Piano Jazz en el Conservatorio Superior de Rotterdam Codarts Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, siendo galardonado con la beca Nuffic Scholarship, la más prestigiosa de los Países Bajos. También cursa dos años de Dirección de Orquesta.

En 2012 en Holanda grabó su primer disco con una banda multinacional llamada Hipmotik Orchestra, en el que mezcla hip hop y funk.

In&OutJazz: De 2008 a 2012 estudias jazz en Rotterdam. ¿Cómo te insertas en el mercado profesional cuando llegas a España?

David Sancho: Dos meses después de llegar a Madrid, contactó conmigo el saxofonista de Fatbeat, Andrés Miranda, que estaba montando una banda de hip- hop con Artes, José Vera, Federico Marine (The Breitners), necesitaban un teclista y empecé a trabajar.  

Como sideman he acompañado a Jorge Pardo (en su proyecto he tocado teclados, otro proyecto con piano acústico de estándares de jazz); en el Café Central (Madrid) he colaborado haciendo un set híbrido piano/teclado a trío con Munir Hoss.  He tocado junto a Henry Cole, a Noa Lur, Antonio Lizana en Oriente, junto a Reinier Elizaldre en Condado Sound System, con Raquel Molina en Dance the Life. También he tocado como teclista en Unbalanced, composiciones originales de Moisés P. Sánchez en un álbum homenaje a Leonard Bernstein.

Ahora compagino mi labor como profesor de piano clásico y piano moderno en la Escuela Municipal de Boadilla del Monte con mi labor concertística y compositiva.

¿Cuáles son tus influencias más tempranas?

¡Me gusta tanto la música! No soy muy elitista; en el coche escuchaba a Vetusta Morla. Escucho muchos tipos de música Pearl Jam, Pink Floyd, The Beatles, entre otros. Me encanta Robert Glasper, Brad Mehldau, Bill Evans…

¡Sonríes más con el teclado! Te consideras ¿teclista o pianista?

El piano es que ¡es más grande! (risas), cuesta más sacar sonido; ahora me voy a comprar un teclado con un contrapeso más cercano al piano, donde puedo probar otros tipos de sonido. Siempre me he sentido pianista. Sin dejar de experimentar con el teclado yo soy pianista clásico. 

A partir de Música en Vena has podido desarrollar el nuevo proyecto, ¿de dónde parte la idea de un disco a piano solo?

A partir de Música en Vena, he vuelto a escuchar a Ludwig Van Beethoven, a Johann Sebastian Bach, todos los clásicos. Mi álbum a piano es un espacio de creatividad y de responsabilidad muy grande que me apetecía asumir.

Hay álbumes a piano solo muy buenos, como After Bach, un disco de locos, de Brad Mehldau, también tiene un disco recopilatorio de diez años girando a piano solo. El disco a piano solo de Tigram Hamasyan es una maravilla. Moisés Sánchez, un referente para mí, tiene un disco a piano solo brutal, Soliloquio

¿Hay que sentirse muy seguro como pianista para acometer un disco a piano solo?, ¿Sientes que tienes dominado el piano?

Después de 25 años ya puedo empezar a dominarlo (risas), tengo 32 años, empecé a tocar a los siete. El piano es un monstruo. Nunca lo dominas. Cualquier instrumento llevado al extremo del virtuosismo o conocimiento técnico, es inabarcable. Sacar contrapunto a dos manos, cosas que hace Brad Mehldau, Bill Evans, Tigran Hamasyan, me gustaría poder hacerlo fluidamente. Ahora he vuelto a ver mis defectos de rapidez y velocidad con la mano izquierda.



¿Cómo juegas con esa frustración?

Con esfuerzo y sacrificio; cada vez la llevo mejor, no soy competitivo pero soy autoexigente, mi intención es acercarme a los músicos que me gustan y que escucho. Los años de formación son años finitos. En mi caso fue desde los 18 hasta los 24. Luego, una vez que acabas la formación, el desarrollo profesional impide que en las horas centrales del día puedas estudiar. Lo que hago es levantarme muy pronto y aprovechar cada hueco libre de mi tiempo. De repente te plantas con muchos proyectos a la vez: el próximo proyecto con Michael Olivera con un repertorio, otro repertorio con The Breitners, diferente con Antonio Lizana, luego con Noa Lur, etc. Presento mi disco, Piano Solo, toco con Marta Mansilla que acaba de publicar su álbum debut, Acuarela de Paso, después viajo con Luis Verde a México para presentar su disco.

¿Cuál dirías que es tú punto fuerte?

Para mí, es importante la tenacidad; soy organizado, constante, considero que cada proyecto merece el 100 % de mí, dar lo máximo, con cierta salud mental, sin autoflagelarme, con cierta capacidad de sacrificio y de profesionalidad. No estoy tocado por una varita mágica, tengo cierta facilidad porque no he hecho otra cosa, soy una persona eficiente y responsable. He tenido muy buenos profesores de piano de clásico, una profesora de lenguaje musical excelente, Pilar Ariño, que ha sido mi mentora. 

¿Cómo das forma a tus conceptos musicales en Piano Solo?

El concepto depende de la banda en la que esté, Piano Solo no es un disco conceptual. He conseguido hacer un disco con cierto arco, con coherencia y unidad en la selección de los temas; para mi es importante colocar el orden de las pistas. Yo inicio los conciertos de una manera y los acabo de otra y quiero que esté plasmado en el disco. El disco ésta grabado en una toma. La mezcla del disco, da sensación de aire con cierta reverberación porque ésta hecho para ser escuchado de principio a fin. Varios temas van unidos como una pieza, entre los 3 primeros, no hay silencio, hay un cambio de tema pero es la misma pista. 

¿No te gusta el aplauso?

Me gusta el aplauso, claro que me gusta. Piano Solo intento que sea una obra artística. Estoy más interesado en una escucha pausada y sosegada. También en Monodrama presentamos un bloque de dos o tres temas seguidos, para que haya una unidad. 

¿Cómo te has enfrentado a la composición en Piano Solo?

Me he enfrentado de una manera más seria, más sosegada. Hasta este disco, las composiciones han sido temas con estructura pero no temas largos, ahora quería componer piezas más clásicas, más orquestales. El disco Metamorfosis de Moisés Sánchez me ha inspirado, por ello un tema está dedicado a él.

¿Qué discos de jazz contemporáneos del panorama español destacas?

Daniel Juarez, Neuronal.  Luis verde, Vientos Cruzados. Samsara de Daniel García Diego. Dentro de una estética de jazz más clásico, el último disco de Miguel Rodríguez, keepsake.

¿Qué te diferencia de otros pianistas?

Todos tienen una sensibilidad asombrosa. Mi lado fuerte es la versatilidad, me considero creativo, responsable y eficiente. Para mí es tan importante ser buena persona, como ser buen músico. Tener empatía con los compañeros, poder ser amigo es fundamental. Todos tenemos egos y zonas oscuras en nuestra psicología que hay dejar a un lado.

Lo tienes todo.

No sé si soy así, pero intento ser antes que nada persona.

MONODRAMA / Bogui Jazz, 29 de junio de 2018 / «Horribile Dictu»


Voorronde Erasmus Jazz Prijs 2012 – David Sancho Mangas

¿Cuáles son los criterios que utilizas en cuanto a composición e interpretación?

No es lo mismo la composición a piano solo que si quiero componer para una banda más grande. En este caso tengo que ver cómo suena; ahora estoy empezando a componer mi primer disco a trio (piano, contrabajo y batería) con Alberto Bremes y Pablo Martín Caminero al contrabajo. Va a ser un homenaje al rock sinfónico, voy a tocar temas de King Crimson y Pink Floyd. El tema A Day in the Life de los Beatles para mí es el inicio del rock sinfónico. 

Begoña Villalobos y David Sancho

Yo imagino cómo va a ser pero hasta que no haga un ensayo no sé cómo suena. Voy a hacer pequeñas suites. El trabajo es complejo porque tengo que re-armonizar e intentar describir varios temas de estas bandas, luego dar un empaque para que sea un homenaje sin que sea algo literal del todo. La interpretación es más compleja en cuanto a la escritura que tocando a piano solo. En Piano Solo, yo me peleo conmigo mismo, realmente el 70 % ya está hecho. Hay una dificultad técnica, tengo que estudiar cada tema pero no puedo cerrarlo del todo porque si lo hago, no tiene frescura cuando improviso en cada concierto.  Te puedo decir que he escuchado el disco un millón de veces, ahora, tengo que alejarme del repertorio para tener otra perspectiva. Es una lucha, una búsqueda de equilibrio entre lo que es una concepción más de pianista clásico y una concepción de jazzista a por todas.

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

26 de Septiembre de 2019

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