Thursday, April 11, 2013

Excerpt from Interview with Mark Bingham

Which memory from Hal Willner, Hubert Sumlin, Little Freddy King, and John Sinclair makes you smile?

I'm afraid the Willner memories have to remain un-speakable for the sake of the future of humanity.
Don’t remember anything about working with Hubert Sumlin except thinking that he didn't play like he did in '63 and he wasn't really engaged.

I see Little Freddie King riding his bike in the neighborhood. We just made a 45 called Great Balls Of Butter for the Caracara label. Freddie and Wade Wright (his long time drummer) make fun records- most of the time one take, always live vocals, no fixing. They accept what they do and don’t engage in studio "enhancement".

I can do a spot on John Sinclair impersonation. On a WWOZ radio show I pretended to be him and listeners called in to talk to him and didn't know it was me instead. Our out of print cd with Andre Williams called "fattening frogs for snakes" from 2001 was one of the weirdest sessions I've encountered in 47 years of recording. Andre wins the prize for changing his mind most often and giving the musicians contradicting instructions until everyone involved was utterly confused. John did his part and watched the action.
                                                          Mark Bingham and John Sinclair. Photo by Patti Perret

Why did you think that New Orleans (music and culture) continues to generate such a devoted following?

I don’t think there is such a thing as New Orleans music anymore- outside of tourism marketing. People all over the earth fall for marketing. Since the 18th century, New Orleans and its culture have been consistently defined by outsiders for their own economic interest.

We do have a healthy live music scene here at a time when many American cities have hardly any live local music. New Orleans musical offerings are far more diverse than what is sold around the world as "New Orleans music". Remember that "tradition" and "preservation" started as an economic concepts and that things only need to be preserved to keep them from rotting. A living musical form has no need for Preservation.

What does the Blues & Jazz mean to you and what does offer you?
Blues and Jazz are important but meaningless words anymore... Music is too vast and too global anymore to define styles, although, of course, we try to define anyway. Blues can be almost anything but mostly what is billed as blues in 2013 are people singing like angry bears backed up by fuzzy guitars playing at too fast tempos that don’t groove.

Maybe everyone should read Deep Blues by Robert Palmer and go back to listening to Wolf and Muddy to remember what happened, what Blues was at one time?

Jazz is now more of a college sport than an art form. I will listen to Monk forever but I couldn't tell you who is who anymore in alleged jazz. Most well known jazz players I know are psychopaths and most managers and lawyers of jazz musicians seem to be petty criminals with egos as big as their artists. The Jazz business has become organized crime minus the organization and the money. Maybe it was better when organized crime actually was the boss?



No comments:

Post a Comment

thank you for reading, and for your feedback i bow