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Like most jazz fans, I love Brazilian music. Why the marriage between jazz and Brasilian music works so well is hard to put into words. Perhaps it is the deeply moving sense of melody, or the adventurous sense of harmony, or the driving rhythmic core, or perhaps it is just the profound joy that both musics bring to this world. Regardless, in my personal collection of recordings and in my trips out to see live music, I have often sought out artists who have deep interests in jazz and Brazilian music. One such artist is Laura Dreyer.
I have had her album “Mysterious Encounter” on constant rotation in my stereo over the past few years. The album is a wonderful example of the grace of Brazilian jazz. Having played a few cuts from the album on the radio show in the past, I was very excited and hopeful to convince Laura to do an interview with me. Luckily, she agreed to do so. I am very pleased to share this wonderful and insightful interview with you here.
Aidan Plank: Is there anything you would like the WOBC audience to know about your music?
Laura Dreyer: Although I am a saxophonist, I think of myself as a composer first. I have always tried to write compositions that are melodically and rhythmically strong, with improvisation sections that are interesting and make sense harmonically. I think that is why I am attracted to Brazilian music. I have spent many years researching Brazilian musical styles and try to be as true to those styles as possible (When composing in the Brazilian jazz idiom, of course), but I also like to apply those principles to other styles of music.
AP: How would you describe your own music?
LD: Well currently, Brazilian jazz as well as jazz fusion. Again, I like strong melodies, interesting harmony, and rhythmic syncopation. Some of my music is more funky, some more traditional. I also like to interact with the band when I improvise. I think interaction is THE most important element in “Jazz.” I have deep roots in be-bop!
AP: Who influenced you as you were learning this music?
LD: As a writer, I started out being very influenced by musicians such as Bobby Hutcherson, Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson, Wayne Shorter, Tom Harrell, Lyle Mays, Pat Metheny, and then later became so immersed in Brazilian composers like Egberto Gismonti, Dori Caymmi, Jobim, João Bosco, Gilberto Gil (The list goes on and on…).
I have also had some great saxophone teachers who influenced me a lot. I studied with Joe Henderson for a year before I moved to New York. He was a profound influence. I also studied with Joe Lovano briefly and he helped me with phrasing and rhythm. I had 2 great composition teachers, Jim McNeely, and Lyle Mays. I studied with Lyle for 5 years. He really transformed me as a composer. When I was learning jazz, I went to every jam session that would let me in the door. I went out to hear jazz almost every night of the week when I first moved to New York, and when I was in San Francisco. I think I absorbed a lot by osmosis!
top 30 is a weekly section of the blog where we share the 30 artists/albums that received the most play on WOBC this week. click on any entry to visit the myspace, last.fm, bandcamp, or website of that artist.
really excited about these guys from san francisco. this is their second release out on slumberland, and it sounds like a mix of best coast and new order, but on sleeping pills.
yeah!!!! this sunny, viscous single from real estate fits right in on any muggy summer afternoon. isn’t it so nice when a band from your hometown is actually good??
playing a show at the grog shop’s b-side liquor lounge on july 27, with oberlin cuties teengirl fantasy. want tickets? hit us up!!
12 JULIANNA BARWICK The Magic Place
13 HANDSOME FURS Sound Kapital
14 DESTROYER Kaputt
15 SAN CISCO Golden Revolver
16 GROUPER AIA: Dream Loss/Alien Observer
17 SELEBRITIES Delusions
18 ICEAGE New Brigade
19 BATTLES Gloss Drop
20 CULTS Cults
21 SHABAZZ PALACES Black Up
22 WHITE DENIM D
23 COM TRUISE Galactic Melt
24 CHAD VALLEY Equatorial Ultravox
25 BLACK LIPS Arabia Mountain
26 BJORK “Crystalline” [Single]
27 SONIC YOUTH The Eternal
28 NEIL YOUNG A Treasure
29 BILL CALLAHAN Apocalypse
30 GIVERS In Light
and be sure to stay tuned for an upcoming review of last sunday’s moonface show at the grog shop!! spoiler alert: it was really good.
moonface – organ music not vibraphone like i’d hoped – spencer krug (wolf parade, sunset rubdown, swan lake, etc.) returns again, with yet another weird moniker (is there a formula to these?), and if you like him, you will like him. (is that not helpful?)
pictureplane – thee physical – pulsing aerial dance beats chopped and screwed in outer space. everyone is starting to sound like shannon funchess, and pictureplane is doing the best job of it. check out ‘trancegender’ for those deep house vocals and a catchy, swelling hook.
brian eno with rick holland – drums between the bells – rick holland is a ‘thinker and a writer’, according to his blog. brian eno is an ‘ambient legend’, according to more internet.
WOBC is proud to announce our official participation in the first ever COLLEGE RADIO DAY, taking place October 11, 2011.
“The aim of College Radio Day is to raise a greater, national awareness of the many college and high school radio stations that operate in North America by encouraging people who would not normally listen to college radio to do so on this day. It is hoped that those people who do tune in like what they hear and become regular listeners. The organizers of College Radio Day believe that college radio is one of the last remaining bastions of creative radio programming, free from the constrictions of having to be commercially viable, and a place where those involved in its programming believe passionately in its mission.”
Top 5 Adds is a weekly section of the WOBC Blog that displays the Top 5 most played new albums at the station. Each album links to the band’s myspace, Last.fm, or other music player so you can check them out for yourself!
1. Pure X – Pleasure // Austin, Texas’ Pure X–though you may remember them as Pure Ecstasy—finally released their debut full-length album: the aptly named Pleasure. Regardless of their slight name change, these dudes are still making the same signature dreamy garage pop, washed out in reverberating fuzz. Check out ‘Easy’ or ‘Dream Over’ if you’re sitting on a porch and just want to exist.
2. Memory Tapes – Player Piano // The biggest difference between Player Piano and 2009’s hit Seek Magic is the prominence of Dayve Hawk’s voice; while previously obscured behind echoed filters and glistening chillwave (back when we were still excited about it), on Player Piano you can actually… hear it. Whether or not this is a positive thing remains to be determined.
3. Com Truise – Galactic Melt // Deep, retro synthesizer vibes.
4. Bon Iver – Bon Iver // It got a 9.5 on pitchfork!! Isn’t that exciting??
5. Selebrities – Delusions // New-New Wave.
summer programming has officially begun! check out the programs page for the updated schedule of 2011 wobc summer programming.
our summer hours are monday through friday, 8am to 4pm. be sure to tune in!!