I really like doing multiple interviews over time. This is my fifth interview with multi-reed player Greg Abate and the basic “who are you” and background questions are out of the way. This interview was recorded from a radio broadcast on WRIU in Kingston Rhode Island. He talks about his new album Road to Forever and provides commentary as we play some tracks. We also talk about his annual sextet gig at Chan’s, Channel One, traveling, teaching and his alto flute.
This is the 25th interviews that I have posted on Jazz New England it is also the fourth time that I’ve interviewed Greg Abate in the course of two years. His current album Kindred Spirits Live at Chan’s recorded with Phil Woods and the Tim Ray trio was released at the end of January. He has been working on his third recording for Whaling City Sound since the end of last summer.
I always enjoy talking to Greg. He is very gracious with his time and although he tours the United States and Europe regularly he still plays local venues when he is home in Rhode Island.
The recording of this podcast was an experiment. I have heard Greg mention Main Street Coffee in East Greenwich, RI before and I live only a short walk from there. Sometimes interviews can be stiff and awkward so I thought it might be good idea to sit and relax and have a cup of coffee and see where the conversation led. I recorded the conversation with my iPhone using a recording app with good noise cancellation. The sound came out pretty well and only needed a minimal amount of equalization. The interview went well too. The only problem being that the conversation was maybe too relaxed and I had edit to find the more focused parts of the conversation for the podcast.
We talked about writing music, Greg’s sextet performance, touring in the UK and his musical favorites and influences.
The sextet gig that We talk about has passed. We also talked about the reunion of Dan Moretti in Brasilia featuring Greg Abate which will take place April 9th at Chan’s in Woonsocket, RI.
The release celebration of Greg Abate’s live album Kindred Spirits was supposed to reprise the original event where it was originally performed, at Chan’s in Woonsocket, Rhode Island featuring Phil Woods and the Tim Ray Trio. It will now go on as a quartet. Three weeks before the release Mr. Woods announced his retirement from music for health reasons followed yesterday by his death.
Greg sat at a piano and talked about Phil Woods, writing music, his next album and his career in general.
Greg Abate performs about 250 days a year by his own estimate. Last week he finished a month of dates in California. A Woonsocket, Rhode Island resident Abate will play two gigs locally before traveling to New Mexico followed by a month long tour of the UK.
This podcast is a little different in that it was recorded on the air last Tuesday May 19th at WRIU where I host the Jazz Explorer program. The conversation was much more casual and relaxed than our last conversation. There is a lot to be said for body language and eye contact that is missing from an interview on Skype or over the phone.
Greg will be recording a new album this August and releasing a two CD live set recorded last year at Chan’s in October.
Upcoming Local Performances:
May 23 Chan’s Presents Greg Abate Quartet A Motif Evening with Tim Ray, John Lockwood and Mark Walker
June 5 with The Joe Potenza Trio, Aspire Jazz Lounge Hotel Providence
Aug 16 Jamestown RI Music Series, Jamestown RI on the green
Special thanks again to photographer Leslie Hollis.
Greg Abate is best known as an alto saxophonist although he also plays soprano, tenor, baritone and flute. In his earlier career Greg played with Ray Charles and the Artie Shaw Orchestra as well as the seminal RI groups the Duke Belaire Orchestra and the fusion group Channel One which he also led. He started his solo recording career in 1990 and since then has worked mainly in the straight ahead and bop idioms.
We talked about his upcoming gigs and double live album with Phil Woods and his Sextet date at Chan’s later this month, also touring in the UK, Europe and the Florida and recording with Red Rodney in the 1990s. His Most recent Album is Motif on Whaling City Records.
I’d like to thank Greg for his great patience and good humor. There were actually two interviews that went into the making of this. The first was actually the better of the two. We talked about his recent tour of the UK in more depth and the second Channel One album that was recorded and lost. The sound quality was better too. Unfortunately there was a recording failure and his side of the conversation was lost.