Enrique - When did
you begin to feel interested in music and why?
Scott - As
far back as I can remember. I grew up listening to a variety music
played in the house by other family members with very different
Why did you choose guitar instead of any other instrument?
Scott - I
started out with piano, then went to alto sax, and finally found
guitar. I guess I just fell in love on the musical instrument trail.
Main influences since the beginning until now?
Scott - I
started improvising on guitar because of BB King. But over the past
16 – 17 years of playing I would say guitarists such as Jack
Wilkins, Tal Farlow, Jimmy Raney, Johnny Smith have been influential.
I also enjoy more modern players such as John McGlaughlin, Pat Martino,
and Pat Metheny. I’m much more influenced by other instrumentalists
such as Ornette Coleman, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter, Steve Lacy,
Thelonious Monk, Andrew Hill, Eric Dolphy, among others. I enjoy
their overall concept of improvisation, composition, and group playing.
Studying with Dave Liebman for two years had a huge influence. Compositionally
and to some extent in my improvisation, I have a lot of influences
in the 20th Century Classical world as well as music from the Far
East, too many to name.
Who are your favourite musicians in Jazz and also out of Jazz?
Scott - There
are a lot. In jazz Dave Liebman is definitely one of them. I would
say John Coltrane probably had the strongest influence on me in
jazz. Ornette Coleman, Paul Bley, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, your
fellow countryman Paco de Lucia were all big influences. I enjoy
Dave Holland’s and Dave Douglas’ music a lot. All the
Daves. I also love Amnesiac and Kid A from Radiohead, two forward-thinking
albums from the “popular music” world with an excellent
compositional concept. There are many other artists in and out of
jazz; but I won’t take up all of your time. I like diverse
selections from a lot of different people.
Which musical works have specially impressed you, and what kind
of music do you usually to listen to?
Scott - I
have very eclectic musicals tastes. There are many different pieces
and recordings that I could name: Andrew Hill’s Point of Departure,
Miles Davis’ Sketches of Spain, John Coltrane’s Live
in Antibes, Charles Ive’s The Unanswered Question. In my music
collection you will find John Coltrane, Andrew Hill, Bill Evans,
Dave Douglas, Charlie Parker, Lennie Tristano next to Charles Ives,
Bartok, Ligeti, next to Nikil Banerjee, next to RadioHead.
Why did you choose Dave Liebman for your first recording as a leader
instead of any other musician of similar international level?
Scott - Dave
is one of the only improvising musicians who plays with such intensity
and fire, whether it be loud, soft, ballad, lots of notes, few notes,
etc. He can capture any sound from the saxophone, is always listening,
and knows how to leave space and interact with a group in his improvisation.
I guess that I am always looking for intensity.
monsoon - Scott Dubois Quintet
Soul Note 121409-2. 2004
Tell us about the musicians in “Monsoon”.
Scott - We’ve
been a group since 2000 and with Mark Ferber since 2001. It seems
to be a combination that really works. Loren Stillman and Jason
Rigby really complement each other as the saxophone front line and
Mark Ferber and Thomas Morgan have really developed a strong connection
after playing together for these past four or five years. Loren
has his own trio and has records out on a few different labels.
Jason, Thomas, and Mark are playing with a lot of different groups
and are touring Europe often as sidemen.
Enrique - How did
it all begin with such a prestigious label as Soul Note, was it
intentional to begin your career with them?
Scott - I was very
happy and fortunate to be able to record for Soul Note. I have always
been a big fan of their catalogue with musicians such as Steve Lacy,
Paul Bley, Cecil Taylor, Dave Douglas, etc and was very pleased
to hear that I could be part of the label. They really seem to care
about the music more than how well an artist is known or how much
an artist sells. That is a very rare thing these days: people who
produce and market music just for the quality.
Do you have any kind of ritual when composing? Do dreams or the
unconscious have something to do with this process?
Scott - Composition
is a weird thing. I can be on the subway here in NYC, eating Indian
food, or staring at the wall and an idea just sort of floats into
my head. I then build upon that initial idea and see where it goes.
Sometimes I can be playing the piano or guitar and just hear certain
ideas that spark other ideas. Very mysterious.
How long do you spend playing daily?
Scott - It
depends on the day but anywhere from 2 hours – 8 hours. It
depends on if I have rehearsals and gigs as to how much is just
practicing. I try to practice at least 1 – 3 hours per day
but I usually end up playing (with rehearsals, sessions and performances)
about 7 or 8 hours per day.
© Will Gamble
© David Chen
© David Chen
© Colleen Chrzanowski
So you define your music as Progressive Jazz... would you include
synth guitar in your sets?
Scott - It’s
hard to classify music with labelled categories. I would define
my music as modern or progressive jazz for the lack of better terms.
As far as synth guitar, nothing is ruled out at this point.
Enrique - Facing
a close future, how do you think musicians will promote their work
if CD’s finally disappeared – as it’s being told
– which ways do you think that will be used?
Scott - Good
question. Somehow I think that fans of creative music like to have
some sort of product in hand for the collect-ability of it so I’m
not sure if all music will only become a computer file. Perhaps.
I think that the whole MP3 Player/Ipod phenomenon can be a good
thing for jazz and improvised music. Jazz players have for the most
part never made that much money from their CDs and this is more
exposure. If people can carry around their entire CD collection
in a little box, maybe they would take the time to listen to other
things besides the one CD they grab before work or a trip. I think
the ones who should be worried are the big record companies and
pop stars. The world has too many of those.
Enrique - What do
you know about Spanish Jazz? Has Dave Liebman told you about the
Spanish jazzmen he has played with?
Scott - I
want to know more. Liebman has talked about playing with a lot of
wonderful European jazz musicians. He’s over in Europe often.
I would like to bring my group over to Spain and I hope to meet
and work with other Spanish jazz musicians.
Who do you dream of playing with?
Scott - Hmmm, there
are a lot of people. I would love to keep working with Dave Liebman.
Andrew Hill, Dave Douglas, Dave Holland, Brian Blade are a few more
people with whom I would love to work. It would be wonderful to
work with Wayne Shorter.
Enrique - How do
you think Jazz will develop in the future, or, in other words, how
do you see the future of Jazz?
Scott - Judging
on what’s happening around me in New York, I’m pretty
optimistic. There are so many great players and composers here.
I think the music will continue to challenge the player and listener
rhythmically and harmonically and keep seeking influences from outside
© David Coulter
Pachi - How do
you feel American Jazz scene for a musical proposal like yours?
Scott - Well,
we have had a good response here. There are a lot of different schools
of thought with the jazz scene in the US. You have a certain group
that only wants to play and only believes in jazz before 1948. You
also have players that only want to play free jazz and nothing else.
And then you have people like me. I love all types of jazz and music
from many different periods. There are really different scenes here.
Did I answer your question?
Are you aware of the movements and development of European Jazz?
What’s your opinion when compared to the current situation
of mainstream American Jazz?
Scott - I
know a lot about and play with a lot of the players from Europe
that are in New York and therefore hear a lot about the European
scene. Evidently there are a lot of great developments now with
some great younger European players and of course you have great
older players who have been playing since the days of Django Reinhardt.
I was in Paris in 2000 and got to check out Henri Texier’s
group. I enjoyed if very much. Europe has always been more supportive
of the arts than America. I also think Europeans are more open-minded
in a lot of ways for new and different ideas in jazz and improvised
Pachi - Could you
tell us about not very well known musicians that we should know?
Suggest some interesting names among the “unknown” ones.
Scott - There are
really too many to name! New York has a great scene of young players
playing a lot of original compositions in the jazz and improvised
music genre. Donny McCaslin and Ralph Alessi are great but I wouldn’t
call them “unknown”. I am playing with a great young
drummer named Ted Poor. You’ll definitely hear more about
him in the next few years. I’m also playing with a great young
sax player from Canada named Peter Van Huffel. I think we are going
to record this year so you’ll hear a lot more about him in
the next year or two.
Sergio. What are
your future plans (recording projects, collaborations with other
Scott - I plan on
going into the studio to record a second CD for my group sometime
this spring or summer. I’m doing a week tour of Canada with
the Peter Van Huffel Quintet this April, and have other performances
in New York City and different jazz festivals in the US and Canada
with my group and other groups. You can see listings by checking
my website at http://www.scottdubois.com.
I hope to also bring my group over to Europe sometime in the next
year or so.
© Enrique Farelo, Tomajazz 2005