Part Two of my interview with Natalie Cressman. Part One is found at:
Your vocals are spot on. Eclectic yet accessible and very captivating and modern. Does your vocal ability influence your trombone skills and or vice versa or are they two seperate animals when you get in the studio or even live?
N.C. - "Thank you so much. I definitely think that my singing informs my trombone playing and vice versa. I grew up listening to a lot of Brazilian music, which to me
Is both lyrical and rhythmically intense, and I think my trombone play reflects that influence. Starting from an instrumental perspective makes my singing style different in some ways too. I have a softer sound on the trombone and I think I sing with that voice in mind. I also tend to incorporate wider interval leaps and more instrumental-sounding embellishments. But I also grew up checking out tons of Sarah Vaughan and Annie Ross and Joni Mitchell is one of my favorite artists of all-time, so there are a lot of singers in there too. But the two instruments are definitely connected both live and in recording situations."
As a tenor player myself I hate labels, genres etc...You can play or you can't. BUT...In putting the critic hat back on, how would you describe Unfolding?
N.C. - "While it certainly still could be described as jazz, I see it as having strong roots in indie rock and world music too. So maybe “indie jazz” is the best way to describe it? I feel like labeling it never seems to accurately portray what I’m getting at. In fact, my vision for the project was really to show the elasticity of genres and to let styles blend freely, which in the process creates something more universal than if I just colored within the lines of one kind of music. When I compose I never try to limit myself to writing “a jazz tune” or “a pop tune,” because the music that speaks to me as a listener is surprising and un-predictable, and creating music that contains components of many different styles lends itself to surprising many different kinds of listeners."
Last release you purchased, jazz or otherwise and ill put you on
the spot - who is your favorite trombone player?
N.C. - "I just discovered this Dutch singer-songwriter Roos Jonker, who I am now crazy about. Her CD “Mmmmm” is all her original music, and while it comes straight out of jazz harmony and tradition (she studied jazz at the Amsterdam Conservatory), it has a pop sensibility and accessibility while still retaining amazing creativity and improvisation. It contains traces of hip-hop, pop, and jazz, but the styles are married together just seamlessly that she really has formed a unique identity. She has an incredible voice, but she also plays harp, piano, guitar, saxophone, and writes her own beats. If I had to go with a favorite trombone player of all time, it would have to be Frank Rosolino, for his vibrant phrasing and incredible feel. I grew up listening and transcribing him and I just love his sound and the way his voice on the horn is so distinct and effervescent. In terms of modern trombonists today that I admire, I’m really inspired by Josh Roseman and, of course, my dad, Jeff Cressman."