Interview with Diane Marino: If the music is without soul, what’s the point? Video

Jazz interview with jazz singer Diane Marino. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Diane Marino: – I grew up in Queens, NYC.  My mother played piano “by ear” and so after a piano was brought in the house, I was naturally drawn to it. I began to play songs I heard on the radio, also “by ear”. Soon after I began to study classical piano and of course learned to improvise when I was given my first “fake book”. My formal piano training was classical- I attended the HS for Performing Arts and then the Mannes College of Music, where I earned my Bachelor’s degree in piano performance.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the jazz vocal? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the jazz vocal?

DM: – When I first started singing I of course learned the standards which included swing and traditional ballads. My “teachers” (as far as Jazz piano) were the great pianists I listened to via records – Another factor –probably an even more influential – was the knowledge I earned by playing with other people- listening to their ideas and  applying what I heard from their playing.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

DM: – I think I’ve developed my sound by being drawn to particular artists and being so affected by what I like to hear. There’s something that gets triggered when you are drawn to listen to one particular style more than another. In time your own style develops by how it’s affected you.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

DM: – I always return to my classical roots to keep my facility and endurance to where it has to be. My jazz playing always benefits greatly after I’ve been practicing Beethoven, Chopin, etc!

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?

DM: – I love the blues and so there’s a lot of that in my playing and singing that’s evolved over time.

JBN.S: – Which are the best jazz albums for you of 2017 year?

DM: – There are more and more  great CD’s coming out every day…Hard to pick-I’ve enjoyed Dee Dee Bridgewater’s “Memphis- Yes, I’m Ready” and Jazzmeia Horn’s “A Social Call”

JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

DM: – There has to be a balance between intellect and soul in music- If the music is without soul, what’s the point?  At that point the intellect becomes mechanical and has nothing to do with conveying emotion to the listener.

JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

DM: – I think some of my more recent memories from a gig and/sessions has to be from my experiences recording with saxophonist Houston Person. Rehearsing with him for my “Loads of Love” CD, (2013) was like taking a master class. He strives to keep everything naturally occurring and spontaneous, even with written arrangements. His playing is so soulful and right on target for whatever song we were recording.

JBN.S: – Many aspiring musicians are always looking for advice when navigating thru the music business. Is there any piece of advice you can offer to aspiring students or even your peers that you believe will help them succeed and stay positive in this business?

DM: – The music business is a difficult one at best.  The best advice I would give to someone is to stay true to yourself and do what you believe is right for you. Ultimately it’s yourself you should want to please … Especially in recording…Once it’s done, it’s for forever. You’re the one that lives with it from then on, no matter how well or not it was received.

JBN.S: – Аnd furthermore, can jazz be a business today or someday?

DM: – Jazz, like any other style of music can be a business. I strive to keep myself musically happy in live performance and recordings- but at the same time realize that people want to be entertained when they buy a CD or go out to hear live Jazz. “Audience-friendly” Jazz is the way to keep Jazz alive today. It has to relate to the audience- always.

JBN.S: – Which collaboration have been the most important experiences for you?

DM: – I have to say that the collaboration with Frank Marino (bassist and my husband BTW) has had the most effect on my musical life. Frank and I began playing together in 1981. I was not performing jazz per se at that time. More piano/vocal/pop and standards. He was instrumental in encouraging me to broaden my musical knowledge and repertoire to include traditional Jazz instrumentals and vocals. We frequently perform as a Piano/Vocals/Bass Jazz duo and augment the group for Jazz concerts.

JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

DM: – Young people should be encouraged to interpret the standard Jazz tunes in their own way. For example, stylize the tune differently- (Latin, Brazilian, etc.). Change the time signature. Be creative and make the song all their own. There is the challenge.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

DM: – Music can transport you to another place and time. Likewise it can convey your spirit and emotion of your life to a listener. I think there is a kind of spiritual freedom that comes through music- particularly in jazz.

JBN.S: – What are your expectations of the future? What brings you fear or anxiety?

DM: – I hope to keep finding more musical inspirations to work on and sing/play/record. It is always exciting to see a project you really believe in come to fruition. The fear/anxiety comes from the possibility of someday not finding an outlet for the freedom of expression we all need.

JBN.S: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

DM: – I wish more attention could be given to songs written with actual great lyrics and melodies that will stand the test of time. It seems not so much anymore these days.

JBN.S: – What’s the next musical frontier for you?

DM: – Not sure what the next musical frontier will be for me… I’ll know it when it happens, though-Just like my new project came to me by keeping my ears open for fresh material. I do hope to do more touring though… I am happiest when I’m performing to a receptive audience!

JBN.S: – Are there any similarities between jazz and world music, including folk music?

DM: – Through jazz I developed a great admiration for Brazilian music- Melodic, rhythmic and harmonic complexities and grooves seem to offer the best of both worlds. I include a good deal of Brazilian tunes in my performing/recording catalogue – and of course I sing them in Portuguese! The beauty of the melodies demand their original beautiful language!

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

DM: – I’m still listening a lot to Gloria Lynne- may even do a follow-up album of more of her songs in the near future.

JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

DM: – I really don’t know when in time I’d like to travel to- Maybe 10 years from now to see what kind of sound is generally accepted as “Jazz”. It means so many things to different people and seems to be changing more and more all the time. As to where? Italy, of course!

JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

DM: – My question to you would be, what do you feel is the more generally accepted form of Jazz today? Why is there such a wall between the traditional and smooth-Jazz audiences as well as vocal and instrumental jazz?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Deep down, many of us know why we love jazz, even if we can’t always put it into words. Though we might be jazz fans for different reasons, most of us have similar stories we tell about how we first discovered and became enamored of this special music. Even if we can’t all always agree on the “best” records, styles, and musicians (and sometimes we can’t even agree on what jazz is and isn’t), we are still a community with a lot of shared values – and we all agree that jazz is important to us. Since jazz is important to us, we want to share it with others and ensure its continuation in the future. Why do we play this music. Why do we love it. What makes it special. What do these specific musical sounds represent. What do we want to take away from this music emotionally, intellectually, spiritually, etc.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Diane Marino

Spread the love

Facebook Comments