Tag Archives: interview

Misha Mengelberg Before & After Test

Before: [chuckles] Sounds like Ellington a little bit, the calmness of the piano playing. It’s done with necessary precision and calmness. That is old Ellington I think. Sounds good. Those people can do probably anything they would like to do. That lady I have heard in the Concertgebouw. Maybe in 1947 or 48. She sings ok. She’s not going into astonishing voice gymnastics. She does what he does.

Did you ever get to meet him?

Ellington? Oh yes. It was really more or less impersonal. I was introduced to him in the Concertgebouw by a singer named Ann Burton, who was of Dutch off-spring living here in Holland. He was there and shaking hands with everyone. He didn’t say much: “go on and do good work,” or something. I saw in his voice and appearance some cynicism. He was not an outspoken cynic, but he had his moments of doubt veiled in politeness.

If he were here right now, what would you talk about?

I would say to him I have done something which maybe should not be done with any composer’s music, but I wanted to make a replay of a piece you did in the 1940s. It’s called “Happy Go Lucky Local.” The blues I threw out, but I like the long introduction with the train whistle. [sings it] That’s it. That’s the nucleus of the piece, I think. The rest, the blues, is for the people. He wanted the piece to be a success, so he put the blues there. This piece [we just heard] was well played and well done. Good stuff.

Larry Appelbaum’s Let’s Cool One Blog 


“It was like the first time I saw an Art Tatum transcription book.  Unbelievable what had actually been put on the paper. What he actually DID. That it was possible. You know right away it’s something that really different and really great.” – Ahmad Jamal

Kate Simon Talks Bob Marley

I spoke with the terrific photographer Kate Simon a few years ago. She has made lots of gorgeous Bob Marley images. We’re mourning the 30 year anniversary of Marley’s passing. Here’s a snip of the chat. Jump for the whole interview. 

VH1: Tell me what you think you personally brought out of Bob and the band. 

KS: Well, Bob taught me that it takes two to make a great photograph. He made himself available 100% of the time. Whenever I wanted to take a shot, I knew he’d be cool about it. It’s the idea that you can’t take someone’s photograph, they have to give it to you. With Bob, he walked it like he talked it. I can’t really say what I got versus what someone else got. I was just trying to do the best I could. Maybe there’s something unique that surfaced because I’m one of the only women who photographed him. Maybe he gave me something he didn’t give men. 

More Kate Simon