By LA Weekly
By Henry Rollins
By Weekly Photographers
By Shea Serrano
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Dan Weiss
By Erica E. Phillips
By Kai Flanders
And inspiration was part of the motivation forLand of the Sun.
One of the things I love to do is to get people together that have never played together before, or I’ve never played with before. I know how beautifully they play, and I want to inspire them even more. I had met Miguel Zenón the summer before in the North Sea Festival. He was playing with David Sanchez’s band, and I heard him play the alto, man . . . And after playing with Ornette and Lee Konitz and Paul Desmond and loving Bird, there aren’t many alto players that really come close to that kind of sound. But when I heard Miguel play, I said, “I rarely hear anybody play the alto when you don’t even think about what instrument he’s playing.”
Did the recording go smoothly?
We ended up using the first take of every tune. Because usually the first take is the most inspired.
You just finished a new Liberation Music CD and played some live gigs with Ornette’s old sax partner Dewey Redman. What else have you been doing?
A thing with Alice Coltrane — her new record just came out. She’s playing organ and piano; it’s with Jack DeJohnette and I and Ravi her son, who was a student of mine at CalArts. I’ve stayed in touch with her over the years, but she hasn’t been playing. We played a duet. She said, “What do you want to play?” And next thing I knew, I was tuning my strings, and while I was tuning, she started playing. When you hear it, you won’t believe it.
Your output is phenomenal. How do you keep it up?
I’ve always felt that I have to do my part to keep creativity in the realm that we live in, and to make things a little better and try to touch other human beings in a deeper way. Right now especially, we need as much beauty in the world as we can get, because every day the average person is bombarded beyond their control with brain-damaging, dysfunctional, high-decibel backbeat. Horrible. Is there a word horriblebility? I told this story at one of my last concerts, in Israel with John Scofield. I told them, “I had this dream that I took over all the radio stations, all the television stations. And whenever someone turned on their radio or television, they heard Bach, they heard Ravel, they heard Art Tatum, they heard Django Reinhardt.” And everybody applauded.
How are you handling your ear ailment?
I have grown to adjust to the fact that I have very, very sensitive ears. The ear doctors tell me it’s like the volume is turned up in my head — every time I take a hearing test, it goes over the limit. Usually when people have my condition, which is called tinnitus, they start losing the highs and the midrange. And I’m just the opposite — my hearing is becoming more acute. So the ringing in my head, I just pretend like it isn’t there. But you know, I try to stay away from things that can
What’s up with your triplet daughters and your son?
My kids hip me to all the latest bands. And Josh just made a beautiful record. You know, he had this band called Spain, and now he just did a new one, a solo record, that’s phenomenal. The girls, Rachel, Petra and Tanya — Petra just made a record with Bill Frisell where she plays violin and sings, and it’s really, really beautiful. And the three of them are singing country music, like where I came from, and they’re much better than the Dixie Chicks.
Country and folk music runs in the family.
I gotta do more, man.