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.
I had the pleasure in early October of this year to see the Francisco Pais Quintet play the Jamestown Arts Center. Although he has four albums out, his music is a new discovery to me even though he only lives across the bay in Newport, Rhode Island. The show was the first of a series of shows in New York, Rhode Island and western Massachusetts promoting his new album Verde.
A guitarist, singer and songwriter/composer Pais plays sophisticated modern jazz that is flavored with rock, blues, brazilian and the music of his native Portugal. The show focused on his instrumental works and his band (mostly from New York) had a chance to blow. The show closed with the premier of a video of his song Million Galaxies Away produced by Newport videographer Sky Sabin.
We talk about Verde, the video, his influences, and instruments. Unfortunately the show that we talk about at Sandywoods was canceled and is being rescheduled for early 2017.
Special thanks to photographer Erin X. Smithers for letting me use her work for this post. She has a wonderful blog with radio host Eric Jackson at: followthesoultrane.com
Music Used in this Podcast:
Taking pictures wasn’t one of my main objectives at the Newport Jazz Festival this year and this isn’t very inclusive of what went on there. Even if I had tried to document it comprehensively, I couldn’t have there was just too too much going on.
It was funny, last year I took a lot of pictures. A week later I was looking at the blog post of a professional photographer who had documented the festival. It was as if we had been to two different festivals. Of all the acts that we had both seen there was only one that we both had pictures of.
I’m not a photographer, these are just the best photos that I took.
This is the second time I’ve had the opportunity to interview Dan Moretti a man of many projects. His current one being the reunion of Brazilia and a 20th anniversary live performance at Chan’s in honor of the 1996 album. Out of print, 100 copies of the CD have been pressed for the occasion.
We also talk about his recent tour in Asia with Nile Rogers and recording in Italy with Piccola Orchestra La Viola. In the 1980s he co-founded Celebration Sound a recording studio in Pawtucket, Rhode Island and has recorded 17 albums to this point.
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.
Dan Moretti is a Rhode Island Native and although preforms and records worldwide he continues to make the Ocean State his home. He has recorded 16 albums since 1986. The most recent Dan Moretti and the Hammond Boys: Live at Chan’s was recorded in Woonsocket. The quintet mines a soul jazz groove and includes fellow Rhode Islander Duke Robillard.
This last year Dan has toured Europe and Asia with Niles Rodgers and Chic and in 2011 recorded an album with La Piccola Orchestra La Viola in Italy. He is also a full time Professor at The Berkley College of Music in Boston where he teaches Contemporary Writing and Production.
We talked about the various phases of his carer, his work with the Psychic Horns and David Liebman, performing in europe and surfing.
(Photo Credit: Leslie Hollis)