Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Catching Up With Jimmy Haslip Part 4!

Wrapping up my conversation with bassist extrodinaire Jimmy Haslip:Continued from
Part 3

A two part question - Will there be a solo record in the future and what worlds are left  to conquer at this point? Is there a specific project or person you are dying to work with?
Also, with the advent of such platforms like Spotify etc. What are your thoughts on file sharing and do you think the business has fallen short in keeping up with some of the new technology avenues that listeners seem to be pursuing?

J.H. - "The focus for me now is producing and composing. Playing is always in the forefront as well and I have been doing quite a bit of all three. As I mentioned before,  I have a third recording that was released last year and I will be re-releasing it this year along with a re-packaged version of my second project, RED HEAT.

I am enjoying working with many of my favorite musicians on all the production projects I have currently been involved with...I may start a fourth solo project late this year or early in 2014.

As far as Spotify is concerned.  I do feel ripped off as an artist as they (SPOTIFY) work out financial deals with recording companies and took full advantage of not negotiating with the artists.   This has been a slap in the face and the only thing you can do, if you can afford to, is to hire a lawyer and get your music taken off the service.

Bottom line,  I think really there are many sites that are taking advantage of the artist and then there are some sites/services that have a royalty system appropriated for the artist that still are unfair with how they divide the monies with the artists. This has put a serious dent in all artists’ Royalties, making this process a significant reason for the decline in both artists income. Recording companies have suffered as well and this has closed the door with money available for production projects and artist development.

Technology is a double edged sword. The business as we knew has fallen apart and yet, in many ways, the artist is now given more control over there music.

As an optimist, I believe this will create a new vision for music and a new way to conduct business.     We shall see where this leads us.  It may never return to the healthy business it once was, but I only hope that music and the artist can still be appreciated to some degree as it all once was." 

Finally, I have asked this question to every one from John Abercrombie to Bob James and received some interesting responses. What makes a good critic? I played sax but have seen numerous Internet flame wars where musicians seem to think the critic needs 25 years on a band stand to be remotely qualified which is the equivalent of saying only an Oscar winner can review a movie.

J.H. "I think someone who is in tune with the specific genre they are critiquing is an important element.  Also someone who has a deeper knowledge of music would qualify.

It may not be completely necessary, but it would help to know forms, songs, have listened to a lot of classic recordings and even may understand what a goof solo sounds like.

For a Jazz critic, even knowing a lot of Standards would help and someone who is passionate about all types of music.

Some one with an open mind and would not have a limited tolerance for the music he or she listens too.   
All these things would benefit a critic to do an upstanding job in writing about a live show or a new release.

I don’t think that 25 years on a bandstand would be the one and only pre requisite
but possibly playing an instrument would help on some level.
That said, it’s a tough job !"

I want to thank Jimmy Haslip for his time and invaluable help in putting this interview together. I hope you join me in eager anticipation of what lies ahead for an artist who is arguably the finest bassist of our generation.