RdG: How do you think that you achieved your objectives with Back to the Sunset?
DP: I’m very pleased with the result of the album. First of all, I wanted to dedicate this album to some significant musicians that have influenced and inspired me one way or another. So I invited three of them; and we had Brian Lynch, Steve Coleman, Henry Threadgill playing different songs in the album. I think we also selected a wide range of music, sounds, and textures throughout the album. The band sounded very strong and interpreted the music confidently with great musicians playing together as well as in each of the solos. So, yes – I’m really happy with the album.
RdG: How did you approach the work? Did you write and arrange with specific players in mind?
DP: This approach changed back and forth. For instance here, but many times I liked to think of who was going to play the parts, because I had already imagined the specific sound. That’s beautiful when it all works out. But, if unfortunately when one person doesn’t end up playing at the concert, then I end up looking for someone that has a similar kind of approach, or sound. And the other way, I will write the music, and then look for the musicians that would work best for that music. In case of the Big Band, I wrote some songs and arrangements with some specific players in mind, because I knew they were going to be part of the band.
RdG: Musicians come from different “places” in music… Was it difficult to bring Henry Threadgill together with someone like Joel Frahm?
DP: Quite the opposite, (in my case) I think most musicians in the band knew about each other’s playing and works, and even though some musicians were coming from different backgrounds and musical styles, we were all very excited to make this collaboration. In fact, Joel was really excited to meet and play with Henry. I don’t think I would (have considered) having a musician in the band that doesn’t have the ability to jump in (and) dismiss all musical boundaries.
RdG: How different was the experience of making this recording?
DP: This album was a much bigger production than anything I have ever done; we had to do an intensive crowd-funding campaign for over a year, it involved a lot more people, so it required much more organization, and coordination in different fronts. But, I will say that having these great musicians in a room playing the music ‘that’s the most special experience of all.
RdG: What comes next?
DP: Well, we are now concentrated on doing the booking for the big band, and see if we can bring the music live to some places. In terms of new works, right now I don’t have any specific plan of what it could be next. There are a few possibilities, so I guess I’ll have to pick one sometime, but nothing urgent at this moment.
On Teaching Music and Playing Music
RdG: What is your view on formal training for musicians? Is there, for instance, a big disconnect in “learning” vis-a-vis “producing”?
DP: This is a subject with many branches. The short answer is that I don’t think there is a big disconnect. In the school you can get lots of information, while learning, and networking with other colleagues that think alike. I think everyone has their own individual way of doing things, mostly when it comes to investing their time, and making choices. At the end, no matter which school you come from, you have to find what you want to do on your own, during and when you are getting out of school. I think that’s true to everyone, or most of us.
In Conversation with Trombonist, Composer, Arranger Papo Vázquez
Miguel de Armas: Miguel de Armas and The Ottawa Latin Jazz Orchestra
Django Festival Allstars with special guest Edmar Castañeda Featuring Dorado Schmitt and sons Samson & Amati
Christian McBride’s New Jawn at Koerner Hall: Concert Review
Papo Vázquez Holiday Jazz & Latin Jazz Parranda with The Mighty Pirates Troubadours
Donald Vega: As I Travel
“They Shot The Piano Player” Screening At The Village East in New York And The Royal in Los Angeles
Una Navidad Nuyorkina: Celebrating 40 Years of Los Pleneros de la 21
The Latin Side of Jazz Episode 35
Sebastian Schunke: Existential Intensities
NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas with Melvis Santa, Alfredo Rodríguez and Hilario Durán
Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Borrowed Roses
Juan García-Herreros – The Snow Owl: Normas
Raphael Cruz Reaffirms His Commitment To Latin Jazz!
Edy Martínez, the Music Architect Behind the Piano
Rubén Blades con Roberto Delgado & Orquesta · Son de Panamá
Celebrating Emiliano Salvador and his Musical Legacy
Cubano Be, Cubano Bop: A Memorable Night in Toronto with Poncho Sánchez
A Conversation with Percussionist, Bandleader Poncho Sanchez
The Odyssey of Anat Cohen
Paquito D’Rivera & Quinteto Cimarrón: Aires Tropicales
Have You Seen My Nana? The Enduring Genius of Moacir Santos
Enrique Rodríguez: Enriquito – Me Quito El Sombrero
Roberto López Afro-Colombian Jazz Orchestra: Azul
Most Read in 2023
Featured Albums9 months ago
Aymée Nuviola feat. Kemuel Roig: Havana Nocturne
News10 months ago
Wilson “Chembo” Corniel Releases New Album: “Artistas, Músicos y Poetas”
News10 months ago
Aymée Nuviola To Release New Latin Jazz Album: “Havana Nocturne”
Events8 months ago
Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez Centennial Celebration