Jay Geils made his mark playing blues and his fortune playing rock and roll. But his first love was jazz. Jay—who died on April 11, 2017 at age 71—made that clear when I interviewed him at his split-level home in Groton ten days before a date at Tempo, a Waltham restaurant, to celebrate the […]
Al Kooper (1995)
“I was pretty much robbed all my life….” The big bucks versions of “The Cutting Edge 1965-1966,” the latest entry in the Bob Dylan bootleg series (note: not actual bootlegs), includes a 20-track disc of a single song, “Like A Rolling Stone.” It brings to life one of the most famous recording sessions in history […]
Mose Allison (1994)
“One of my first public appearances was at a talent contest. I sang and played Fats Waller’s ‘fododo-de-yacka-saki want some seafood mama.’ I could just see the teacher saying, “This boy is going straight to hell.” Wondering what Mose Allison was up to lately, I checked his […]
Nina Simone (1992)
“I don’t think I’m difficult. Not at all.” The prospect of interviewing Nina Simone was thrilling. And slightly terrifying.
My Dinner With Ornette
“I’m interested in bringing instant enlightenment.” I met Ornette Coleman for dinner on a late fall evening in a fashionable restaurant in downtown Boston. He was in town to meet the press a week before a December 15, 1984 concert at Berklee Performance Center with Prime Time, his “double” […]
Burt Bacharach (and Elvis Costello, Part 2)
“No one has to push me to be complex.” If there has been a musical menage à trois more sublime and more successful than that of composer Burt Bacharach, lyricist Hal David, and singer Dionne Warwick, I can’t think of it.
“See, I’ve always had this identity crisis, whether or not I was a jazz or blues musician.” For decades Boston blues fans could sleep easy knowing that David Maxwell was on the scene. From the 1970s until February 15, 2015 – when Maxwell died at […]
Bob Dylan speaks: the MusiCares speech
“A lot of people don’t know this, but the blues, which is an American music, is not what you think it is. It’s a combination of Arabic violins and Strauss waltzes working it out. But it’s true.” – Bob Dylan After reading provocative excerpts from the 30-minute speech Dylan gave at the MusiCares […]
Oscar Brown Jr.
“Liberating the slaves is not popular.” It’s a mystery: What killed Oscar Brown Jr.’s career? Rule out drugs, booze, out of control ego or any of the usual suspects in tales of show biz ruination. The cause of Brown’s baffling fade remains unclear, but undoubtedly had to do […]
“What I consider ‘me’ is a funky blues player.” From Dupree’s home in Ft. Worth, by phone August, 1995 Hang on and get ready for a super-funky-blues/soul ride thanks to some truly amazing video. Cornell Dupree, the subject of this interview, is the main man here and it’s a treat to hear and watch him […]