Wednesday, April 07, 2004
Today, it is noticeable how much attention do the jazz musicians pay to the qualifying in different theories. Practising has always been high in importance, but it would never take over the values of the theoretical studies. Why? Because practical studies are based on the capital of the theories, and not the other way.
Do you feel sacrificing something of your life to be an active jazz musician?
No, I don’t sacrifice my life for music. My work would suffer from each loss in my life. In fact, I could say that my work in jazz music is switching between active and passive mode.
In the modern world of music, is it possible to cut a poor figure in the making of jazz? Could we draw a line between the “good” and the “bad” interpretation?
Ofcourse, there is poor interpretation occuring also in jazz. But I would be careful when idenifying the “good” and the “bad”. I would rather prefer to say what I do like or not find recognisable. I show my respect towards every musician. Before drawing a line between the artists I shall be much more experienced in music.
It is said that jazz may appear as a style without the recognition of its spirit. What does it mean in Estonia?
Maybe, it will mean playing the standard pieces in a corner of a restaurant. There is the routine appearance, wherefore audience remains passive towards the music. In this case, the spirit is gone.
Who is among your favourites in Estonian jazz music? Why do you find their music outstanding?
I find all the Estonian musicians dealing with jazz recognizable - there is no audience for performances throughout the year. Moreover, Estonia lacks in places for performances, and the jazz education could not be afforded till recently.
In your opinion, what are the most important characteristics of a musician’s personality to meet the fame in jazz music? Do you find it important?
Ambition, novelty, talents, artistry and commercial skills. Even though one might find all those characteristics in himself I believe that fame is incidental to the musician. Most jazz musicians, including myself do not focus on this issue.
Have you done co-work with foreign jazz musicians? What success have you gained in this field?
Thus far it has mostly been my co-work with the foreigners during the jam sessions. When going abroad I usually look for a nice jazz club where to talk with the local artists in a verbal and musical language. I found even courage to jam in Blue Note in NY. These occasions have always been colourful, and have greatly developed my skills as a musician.
What new opportunities could appear for an artist with the international relations in music?
Most of all, with the establishment of good international relations outstanding opportunities might appear for the development of one’s skills in music. For second, new output and distribution channels for music could be found.
What festivals or places for performance could be suggested for presenting one’s skills in the international arena?
I believe that there are no clubs or festivals where musicians should not go to perform. If you find the audience that loves your work you must have found yourself in the right place.
Please, tell about the current opportunities of the Estonian jazz musicians to have their albums produced by world famous labels?
The strategy is the same everywhere – exciting product and good promotion. Ofcourse, we could emphasize on the exotic appearance of the Eastern European music. I have found it effective for instance when performing with our Russian spoken reggae band.
How could the music producers find their new talents in Estonia?
There should be competitions for finding the talents in jazz, cause we don’t have any clubs where the stage is opened to the unknown artists. It is great that we have the festival Tudengi Jazz for the young people and Jazzkaar where musicians take part together with foreign artists.
Could the publishing of your music by a well-known record label give you access to the new means in the making of music or just recognition as an artist?
First comes recognition, and then the new means in the making of music are to be found.
In the finding of an output abroad, could we notice vantage-ground among Estonian senior artists?
Elder musicians remain less ambitious. Opportunities are opened to everyone. Music has not set borders to any age groups.
According to Tanel Ruben racism finally disappears through the multi-cultural enrichment of the international music landscape. What is your opinion?