Time Again: Brubeck Revisited, Vol. 1
Conversation with jazz pianist, Joe Gilman
by Dick Crockett
Joe Gilman talks about recent events in his career as a jazz pianist, educator and his new CD, TIME AGAIN: BRUBECK REVISITED, Volume 1 on Sunnyside Records. Recently, Mr. Gilman won first prize in the 2004 Great American Jazz Piano Competition in Jacksonville, Florida.
play with a band called the Capital Jazz Project in Sacramento. We performed
I spent a week teaching them Brubeck's music. Mr. Brubeck sent me a box of all his published music. Reading though the tunes, I remembered how much I enjoyed the familiar songs, and read some I was unfamiliar with; solo work, some classical and other jazz quartet music.
I was very impressed with two nineteen year old students at the Institute, bass player Joe Sanders and drummer, Justin Brown.
As we began to play the music, I realized because of the different generations, Dave from me, and me from Joe and Justin, that this trio created a different sound."
DC : "How do you mean?"
JG: "It's timeless,
yet refreshing and open for many interpretations, so I wrote the arrangements
DC: "For the album?"
JG: "In May
2003, we went into the studio and recorded 17 tracks in 8 hours; multiple
DC: "You had it in the 'can,' ready to go?!"
the help of Glenn Ito and Bud Spangler from the Bay area, we shopped
DC: "More to come?"
JG: "Volume Two with 'Take Five' will be released in 2005."
DC: "You sound like a 'Glenn Gould' in your solo performance of 'In Your Own Sweet Way.'"
JG: "Thanks. Nice compliment."
probably trying to say is you have great command and technique. You also
have an extensive
JG: "I studied classical music at Sacramento State University. Graduated Bachelors of music from Indiana University, Masters in jazz and contemporary media from Eastman School of Music-Rochester and a Doctorate in education from University of Sarasota."
DC: "Where are you from originally?"
DC: "Carmichael, California?"
JG: "I live in the same house I grew up in."
DC: "The only person I know, who lives in same house is Chicago's octogenarian saxophonist Von Freeman, who still 'blows' his tail off. I wonder if that indicates a long productive life."
JG: "I continue to find ways to challenge myself and to grow as a musician, so I can be an inspiration to my students."
DC: "You've worked as a sideman for some great jazz musicians over the years?"
JG: "I'm a free lance musician and have had the opportunity to play with Woody Shaw, Bobby Hutcherson and Joe Henderson in San Francisco."
DC: "Joe Henderson's one of my favorites. We attended the same school, Wayne State University in Detroit."
JG: "I was
a struggling musician at the time of my recording with Joe, thinking
about studying law at
DC: "What label?"
DC: "Your performance on 'Blue Rondo A La Turk' is impressive and different on the TIME AGAIN CD. Is this an example of the timeless quality of this music?"
JG: "Yes, most definitely."
DC: "I was intrigued by your arrangement of 'Recuerdo.' What's the time signature?"
JG: "It's in
three...six-four or three-four. We're repeating that ostinato over and
over again. Justin
DC: "Sounds like Justin Brown is performing a marching beat."
called a street beat. Many jazz musicians stay only with ballads, different
tempos of swing and Latin. So we thought , let's try it in fives, with
brushes or in different grooves, like in Ahmad Jamal's 'Poinciana.'
said to Justin, play some grooves. Be as creative as you want. Don't
think of a
DC: "What about 'Love And Anger, ' 'Tender Woman'?"
JG: "They were solo piano pieces, we interpreted as a trio."
DC: "And Darius?"
JG: "The intro
was my own reharmonization, like Alexander Scriabin. When we get into
DC: "Joe Sanders and Justin Brown are very young and talented, reminds me of a young Tony Williams and the Miles Davis Quintet in the sixties."
just turned twenty years old. Justin has been playing drums since he
was three years old.
a college professor at American River College. What are you currently
teaching in your
JG: "Main bulk of my load is traditional music theory, starting with treble clef, all the way to Bartok set theory and Schoenberg twelve tone rows, from the 1600's to the present. I also teach jazz improvisation. And at the Brubeck Institute, I teach jazz improvisation, as well."
DC: " Mr Gilman,
congratulations on your full inner life and your inspiration to next
generation of jazz
JG: "Thank you."
TIME AGAIN: BRUBECK
REVISITED, Volume 1 is available on Sunnyside Records.