Mario Pavone had a three day residency at the Cornelia Street Cafe in Brooklyn. On three consecutive nights he celebrated his 50 year history in jazz. When he started playing bass with Paul Bley in 1964 he only had two years on the instrument. He also played with Bill Dixon and was a member of the Thomas Chapin Trio for ten years until Chapin’s early death from leukemia in 1998.
He has been a leader of his own groups since the early 1980s and was the founder of Alacra Records. He has also been on the board of directors of the Litchfield Jazz Festival since it’s inception and has dedicated his a part of his summer to teaching at the Litchfield Jazz Camp for the last eighteen years.
This interview was recorded on July 23, 2014. We talked about his new album Street Songs, his ties to Connecticut, teaching at the jazz camp, Alacra records and how he writes and arranges music.
He will be performing an expanded version of Street Songs with an added brass quartet at the Litchfield Jazz Festival on Sunday August 10th.
Moppa Elliot is the bassist, main composer and leader of Mostly Other People Do the Killing. Until just recently the band is a pianoless quartet featuring Peter Evans on Trumpet, Jon Irabagon on alto and tenor sax and Kevin Shea on Drums. Piano has replaced the trumpet with the addition of Ron Stabinsky although Steven Bernstein takes over the trumpet chores for the current tour.
Moppa talks about changes in the band and it’s history, composing, Charlie Haden, and the weird story and layered meanings in the music and the cover of the Red Hot album.
It is sort of fitting that George Wein is the first interview on this site. As musician, club owner and finally as a festival promoter he has done so much to shape the culture of jazz today. At 89 he is still actively involved in the Newport Jazz Festival hearing and approving all the acts.
We talked about the beginnings of the Festival in 1954 and the troubles that befell it in along the way. We also talked about his current role in the organization and how jazz and it’s culture are evolving.
This interview was recorded on July 7th 2014 and broadcast July 8th on WRIU FM in Kingston RI.