THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Richard X Bennett

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THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE JAZZ QUESTIONNAIRE: Richard X Bennett

Recently Elsewhere posted a column about the musically and literally itinerant American pianist/composer Richard X Bennett whose two new album were very different: What Is Now was a tough minded and very impressive piano trio recording; Experiments With Truth with a quintet (tenor and baritone saxes added to drums, bass and piano) had its roots in Indian classical music.

We might have put our article into the Jazz in Elsewhere pages, but although the latter was also improvised it seemed to somehow deny readers' expectations of whatever “jazz” is these days.

And an earlier album New York City Swara we also simply placed under Music in Elsewhere.

Classically trained Bennett is an interesting guy with a lot of experience behind him in New York and India. He's also played in a traditional New Orleans band, played traditional Greek music, works in Japan and so on.

An elsewhere and Elsewhere kinda guy, we think.

So to throw the spotlight again on those two recent albums we fired him off a questionnaire . . . a jazz one however.


The first piece of music, jazz or otherwise, which really affected you was . . ?

Stars and Stripes Forever. I’ve marched to it since I was three years old

When did you first realise this jazz thing was for you?

I’m still not sure. 

What one piece of music would you play to a 15-year old into rock music to show them, 'This is jazz, and this is how it works’?

SAY OM 108 Times. It starts with a guitar power chord played by two saxes.

Time travel allows you go back to experience great jazz. You would go to?

Paris in the 1930’s. Django!! Plus I’d be in Paris

Which period of Miles Davis' career do you most relate to, and why: the acoustic Fifties; his orchestrated albums with Gil Evans; the acoustic bands, the fusion of the late Sixties; street funk of the Seventies or the Tutu album and beyond in the Eighties.

Fifties with Red Garland. The relaxation is at a different level..

Any interesting, valuable or just plain strange musical memorabilia at home?

Figurines of various bands. (Egyptian, Turkish and Indonesian)

The best book on the jazz life you have read is -

Raise Up Off Me by Hampton Hawes

figurinesIf you could get on stage with anyone it would be and what would you play

Kaushiki Chakraborty -we’d play something she knew

The three films you'd insist anybody watch because they might understand you better are:

The collections of micro-videos I made for my new releases

What Is Now, Experiments With Truth and also: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, and Apocalypto

The last CD or vinyl album you bought was: . . .

I actually don't remember. I’m streaming now.

One jazz standard you wished you had written?

Fables of Faubus

The poster, album cover or piece of art could you live with on your bedroom forever would be -

The Penitent Magdalene - Georges De la Tour

Three non-jazz albums for a desert island would be

I don’t think I’d listen to music on a desert island

Your dream band of musicians (living or dead) would be . . ?

Most of the time there are personality issues when you put too many alphas together.

And finally, is there a track on your most recent album you would love people to hear. And, if so, why that one?

Portrait in Sepia.  Lisa Parrott plays the melody beautifully.



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