El Pais: November, 2012

At this moment, you have a new cd with RTF and another one with your old colleague and friend Gary Burton. It looks like, as you are getting older, you like going back to your own musical history. Do you feel nostalgic about the `good old days`?

Well, I don’t feel nostalgic, but happy to make new music with old friends and great musicians.

I want to know more about your new Concerto for Jazz Quintet and Chamber Orchestra. Is it completely written?

It is written, yes – but also has many places for the quintet to improvise. I enjoy putting jazz musicians together with orchestral musicians. We learn a great deal from one another.

What motivates you to go on playing and travelling around the world after all these years?

I like to live life and I enjoy making music with my friends for audiences everywhere.

Your concert in Madrid is already sold out, wich is really amazing considering that we in Spain are living a devastating economical crisis, as you know. The conclusion may be that we need music as much as food or a place to live. Do you feel that way?

My mission is to bring the joy of creating everywhere I can. When I can bring some pleasure I become happy myself.

Michel Camilo and Tomatito recently played at the same venue as you in Madrid, the Auditorio Nacional, and they ended their concert with “Spain” (they also played La Fiesta”). I have the feeling that you redefine Spanish music (whatever it means) while combining jazz, flamenco and Latin with your own stuff. Do you agree with this?

I personally don’t attempt to define anything in music – but my Spanish Heart is real.

We all know how much you like flamenco, but what about Brazilian music?. I saw your beautiful pictures of Copacabana in your Web Site, and it looks like if you have a love affair with that country.

I love music of all cultures. Of course, Brazilian music has played a big part in my life as well as many other forms, because of Airto and Flora and my first RTF band.

Talking about Brazil, do you know Keth Jarrett’s album Rio?. What is you opinion about Keith`s present music?

Keith remains a poetic and beautiful force in modern music. His music is timeless.

2 years ago, I saw you playing at the Blue Note with Eddie Gomez and the late Paul Motian, and it was completely amazing. At those concerts you were playing very “free,” like in your beginnings. Do you have any plans to play that kind of music in the next future?

The musicians and the musical plan will always change – because life is change. Forms of music also will always change depending on the current intention to communicate.

In this tour, you are playing with 2 young and very gifted young musicians. What do you expect in musical terms from Christian and Brian?

Both are master musicians and together we have an easy rapport. There is a lot of give and take in our music. It’s always a lot of fun.

For ending, what are we going to hear at your concert next Sunday, in Madrid?

You will hear the trio for sure – I’m not sure what we will play :-)

— Chick

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