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Sunday, February 18, 2024

Michael Bisio - Sunday Interview

(Photo Albert Brooks)

1. What is your greatest joy in improvised music? 

The connections. At their best these connections are beyond, they are all encompassing, ever expanding, and profoundly intimate, our higher selves. Surpassing what I can hear, see or feel in the ordinary sense, yet the journey begins with these. And if everyone (musicians, audience and beyond) is willing, an environment is created that envelops everyone, everything in unbelievable beauty and joy. Don’t postpone the joy !!!

2. What quality do you most admire in the musicians you perform with?

Their decision to initiate the process leading to joy and the courage to follow the path.

3. Which historical musician/composer do you admire the most? 

There is easily a boatload, an ark load even. Impossible to pick one. The first that come to mind are Charles Mingus, Hampton Hawes, John Coltrane, Karl Berger, Ornette Coleman, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, and Charlie Haden. Recently I have developed a deep admiration for Yusef Lateef. Each one leads to another.

I do understand from my very short list these are all artists who have moved through the tradition. The tradition is to move the tradition forward.

4. If you could resurrect a musician to perform with, who would it be?

Pablo Casals

5. What would you still like to achieve musically in your life? 

I would like to travel more. At my advanced age probably an unusual goal. I might not travel as well as I did when I was younger but am certainly willing and never quite understood why it didn’t/doesn’t happen more.

6. Are you interested in popular music and - if yes - what music/artist do you particularly like?

I guess it depends on what you mean by popular music. I read it as current, contemporary. If that’s true I will admit to a passing interest at best. The other day I heard Eminem on the car car radio and dug it. Does that count ? Certainly Jimi Hendrix has more than lasted for me as have Sam Cook, Marvin Gay, Laura Nyro, Van Morrison, James Brown and certain Leonard Cohen works.

7. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My confidence level. Only when I reach the beyond do I feel confident.

8. Which of your albums are you most proud of? 

This seems a slippery slope so I’ll just say the next one .

9. Once an album of yours is released, do you still listen to it? And how often?

The route to release has many facets. Usually by the time it is out and the initial promotion completed I’m ready for a break. That break can last months or years, usually both. It doesn’t mean I don’t love it. It means I need distance to move forward. When times passes I generally appreciate them more not less. That being said: “And how often?” Not very often, but it is nice/comforting to revisit old friends.

10. Which album (from any musician) have you listened to the most in your life? 

It would have to be either The Great Concert, Charles Mingus or Complete Communion, Don Cherry

11. In hindsight, what would you have done differently during your career?

I might have become a luthier.

12. What are you listening to at the moment? 

Just the other day a component of my stereo system burnt. I’m sad to say I’m not listening to anything at the moment. The system was given to me by my friend/producer Mike Panico of Relative Pitch Records. He also worked for SONY and when they were moving they were simply going to dispose of it. I pulled up in front of the building and Mike rushed out with it. It has great sentimental value to me, as well as sound and I’m trying to get it repaired. So far it is proving very difficult to find someone to work on it. Suggestions are appreciated.

Reviews featuring Michael Bisio on our Free Jazz Collective - Without a doubt a steady flow of reviews since our very beginning in 2007. Check them out!


Michael Bisio said...

Thank you Stef and The Free Jazz Collective

Michael Bisio said...

Thank you Stef and The Free Jazz Collective