The Bob Mintzer Big Band has released For The Moment, a Brazilian flavored big band recording to add to their incredible discography. Bob Minter was kind enough to field a few questions.
Tell me about the origin of the record, I noticed in your press release that while authenticity is certainly of great importance you didn't want to let it bog down the recording. Your intent was to distill the flavor of the music to fit the band. Can you go a little further on that point realizing some people don't know that Brazilian music has as many sub genres and regional "dialects" of the music as we do here in the United States for more traditionally based improvisational music we call jazz.
B.M. - "Basically the idea to do a Brazilian flavored big band cd was the confluence of meeting Chico Pinheiro and the fact that I hadn't done a large jazz ensemble project before that focused on Brazilian-flavored music. I have been visiting Brazil to play music quite a lot lately (3 times in the last 12 months), and I am very taken by the music and culture there. It was a logical focus for a big band project."
The Bob Mintzer Big Band has been around as long or in some cases longer than some super groups in the rock genre, what is the key to your success when you have some players out there screaming jazz is dead. Of course jazz is not dead but do you think the record industry has kept up with the newer technology platforms fast enough for performers to benefit or is the business still playing catch up to a certain degree?
B.M. "I've been working with the same musicians for the last 30 years, and we've developed quite a sound and style based on how they all play together and the way I write for the band. Writing and arranging are passions of mine, and the energy and camaraderie of 17 musicians playing together is quite compelling. We have a small loyal following that seems to have come along with us over the years.
The Internet is a great tool as far as getting the music out to the public. Bret Primack (aka Jazz video Guy) has been very helpful in portraying the band in his videos in a very high quality light. I sell cd;s and arrangements on my web site. This is the way of the world."
Back to the record. Was assembling some of the guest artists difficult and what was the most fun in putting the project together because outside of playing tenor myself I get a real positive vibe from this recording. It sounds like it was a blast so what was the most fun and what if anything may have made it somewhat of a grind. If music ever gets to be a grind how do you know when you may a bit burned out and what do you do?
B.M. "I generally play music with my friends and people I like to be around. Chico Pinheiro is a great guy, and we have become good friends over the years. Kurt Elling, who has guested with the band, is another good friend. Life is too short to deal with difficult people. I shy away from those situations. If the people you play with hold a sense of mutual respect for one another the music definitely will reflect that."