Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Reggie Quinerly The Freedmantown Interview Part 2

Continuing my interview with Reggie Quinerly...

The release has a working band sound that is often lacking today but you are obviously driving the train here. The music is front and center without an ounce of self indulgence. As a composer did you score with the players in mind or did these sessions simply boil down to a matter of good chemistry?

R.Q. - "Many times when bands go into the studio the leader of the date can get into this potentially frustrating mind set where they think, " I have to be featured first and foremost." This idea is further enhanced for the leader/composer on the date because many composers often write pieces that feature some cleaver technique or device they've been dying to showcase. Early in the process I made the decision to record music with the spirit of the people of Freedmantown in mind. That was my singular goal. When I accepted my role as merely a facilitator in the creative process, the overall concept was then allowed to take precedence over any other individual effort. I didn't feel the pressure to be ostentatious, that burden had been lifted. This is where the selfless honest begins. This is when the group's true chemistry is revealed. I'm not entirely sure the guys were totally aware that this was going on with me, but when I listen to the album I hear myself listening intently and responding in ways that compliment their ideas instead of obtrusively reacting with interjections that constrict the collective dialogue. I didn't compose for the specific players, but I knew the musician ship and creativity of the players would successfully translate the sound that I was hearing in my head.

Music Inspired By Freedmantown is very inclusive, non polarizing as compared to other release of similar content. Do you think some artists can turn off listeners by attempting to make a social statement that not all of the audience can relate to so they limit their scope or is this just a sign of the times? Did anything of this nature cross your mind when putting the project together?

R.Q. - "In my opinion artists are no different than ordinary people. There are some very polarizing viewpoints and personalities in all segments of our society, and artists and the work they create have never been exempt from that. For any and every message that is expressed artistically there are those that can relate and appreciate the idea being conveyed. So in a very real sense these ideas can turn people off just as much as they can turn people on, it just depends on the individual experiencing the art and to a lesser extent the intentions of the creator. I only say it that way because once the art leaves the creator audiences have the ability to interpret symbols and meaningfulness on their own basis.

For this record my sincerest statement is one of appreciation. I appreciate the love and unity from past to present and I hope this is reflected in every aspect of this project. A year and a half ago Freedmantown was nothing more than a name to me. Since the beginning stages of this project I traveled back and forth between NYC and Houston libraries of records dedicating much of my energy to studying as much as possible about these defining moments in the history of the U.S. This record wasn't intended to flaunt a new found knowledge as much as it was an occasion to present just a fraction of my journey."

Part One of my interview: http://www.criticaljazz.com/2012/09/reggie-quinerly-freedmantown-interview_7635.html