Category Archives: Interview

Vanguard Online Interview with Kevin Godley

Kevin Godley Spacecake

Kevin Godley’s Spacecake – Interview
RYAN PRICE
JUNE 18, 2015

Kevin Godley’s long and illustrious career in music is something to be marvelled at. From his early success as a founding member of the successful rock band 10cc, and duo Godley and Creme, to becoming one of the most sought after and innovative music video directors of his generation, he has well and truly done it all and worked with some of the biggest names in music in the process. Spacecake is a truly entertaining and honest account of one mans experience of the sleazy world of Rock & Roll and the heights of musical success.

I just finished the book, I found it to be very funny which I didn’t expect. Was that a conscious effort to try and make it that way?

Kevin: When I first started writing it it naturally seemed to fall out like that. I have a tendency to look at life as a series of absurdities. So it kind of wrote itself in that respect.

The book has been described as part-autobiography / part-creative manual. What was the initial idea?

Kevin: Well, I’d never really considered writing a book before, but the more I thought about it the more I thought it’d be a good challenge. The thing that was mostly interesting was the fact that it could be an interactive experience, that I didn’t have to rely on the written word for people to be entertained by the book. They can actually see things and listen to things while they are reading. It’s more of a 3d experience, which is exactly what it should be.

Looking back at your first steps in music with Hotlegs and the success of Neanderthal Man, you reflect in the book that you feel as though you sold yourself in many ways to the commercial aspect of the industry. How much did this experience contribute to the formation of 10cc and its success?

Kevin: I think everything we did up to that point contributed to it whether we knew it or not. What we were doing essentially was learning by doing. Although some of the stuff we did we didn’t think was great, every time we did anything it coalesced in our brains without us knowing it was happening.

I get the impression in the book that Strawberry Studios in Stockport was the perfect environment to find yourself and to have that period of trial and error?

Kevin: We were incredibly lucky. We were in a unique situation in that we were away from the main hub of the music business being out of London and in the sticks. Therefore we had the run of the place when it wasn’t being used as a commercial studio and we were allowed to play, which is exactly what we did. We played as opposed to working. The whole experience was a sort of voyage of discovery.

For the rest of the interview, please visit the Vanguard-Online website!


The Classic Rock Music Reporter Interview with Ray Thomas

Ray and John
Ray Thomas in the studio with John Lodge

Saturday, January 31, 2015
Ray Thomas (Moody Blues) Interview: “Sex, Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll are a Thing of Memories; I’ve had More Than My Fair Share”

-An Exclusive Interview with Moody Blues legend Ray Thomas …
Ironically on a “Tuesday Afternoon”

By Ray Shasho

-Interviewed December 30th 2014

There were many similarities between The Moody Blues & The Beatles. Both had an entire band that could sing harmoniously and at times almost identical alongside one another. Each band member was also able to perform solos flawlessly. Both bands became good friends and even shared the same manager (Brian Epstein) for a spell. The Moody Blues became part of ‘The British Invasion’ and supported The Beatles on their final UK tour in December of 1965. They followed the tour with their first trip to the U.S. appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show.

In 1967, Moody Blues mates Ray Thomas and Michael Pinder performed on the studio tracks of “I Am the Walrus” and “The Fool on the Hill” from The Beatles, “Magical Mystery Tour”album. Both bands also mimicked each other’s artistic strengths … originality, prodigious songwriting & musicianship abilities and shared everlasting worldwide popularity.

NEW RELEASE …The Moody Blues 50th Anniversary re-mastered release -‘The Magnificent Moodies’ –Esoteric Recordings (Cherry Red Records) An Official (Deluxe 2 CD) 50th Anniversary Edition of the Moody Blues debut album is now available.

Re-mastered from the first generation master tapes, along with all the singles the band recorded between 1964 and 1966. Notably, this collection includes 29 previously unreleased bonus tracks.
-‘The Magnificent Moodies’ is available to purchase now at Cherry Red Records and amazon.com.

RAY THOMAS is the legendary co-founder, flautist, singer and songwriter for The Moody Blues. Thomas demonstrates an unimaginable musical feat spanning over five decades. It was Birmingham mates Ray Thomas and Michael Pinder who actually formed The Moody Blues in 1964. They recruited guitarist Denny Laine, drummer Graeme Edge and bassist Clint Warwick. After signing on to Decca Records, they recorded their debut album‘The Magnificent Moodies’ spawning the hit “Go Now” (#1 UK, #10 U.S.).

In 1966, Clint Warwick left the band. Thomas & Pinder eventually brought in longtime friend John Lodge to replace him on bass and vocals. That same year, guitarist and vocalist Denny Laine quit to form an electric string band and was replaced by guitarist/vocalist Justin Hayward … and the classic-lineup of The Moody Blues was inaugurated.

For the rest of the bio and the interview, please visit the Classic Rock Music Reporter website!


Vintage Rock Interview with Patrick Moraz

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The Patrick Moraz Interview
(2014)

By Shawn Perry

In some ways, keyboardist Patrick Moraz has attained a scent of mystique since the 80s. The keyboardist who played with not one, but two, top-shelf bands — Yes and the Moody Blues — was fairly visible in the 70s and 80s. Once his membership with the Moodies expired under tenuous circumstances, Moraz sought refuge with his piano, and issued numerous solo albums, rooted very much in classical and jazz modes, far and away from the radio-friendly music he’d made with the Moody Blues.

While Moraz’s credibility and musical contributions have been recognized, it’s only been recently that his place in progressive rock and affiliation with Yes have been reinvigorated through the release of tribute records he’s played on like Light My Fire: A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors and the reissue of Yes’ 1974 album Relayer — the only Yes album Moraz appeared on — in high-definition stereo and 5.1 surround sound.

There are numerous other tribute albums he’s played on, plus other sessions, including some with Yes members, but Moraz also continues to compose and record his own music. In fact, he has a new band with drummer Greg Alban called The M.A.P. (The Moraz Alban Project) that he says he wrote and arranged a majority of the material for. The veil of mystique that once shrouded Patrick Moraz, at least to the public at large, is about to be lifted.

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Tell me a little bit about your participation on the Light My Fire: A Classic Rock Salute To The Doors CD.

I was contacted several months ago by a very good friend Billy Sherwood, whom I have the greatest respect because he’s a great producer; he’s always around doing all kinds of productions. I probably was one of the very first musicians to be asked to participate in the classic rock tribute. (Laughs) Funny enough, my agent proposed that and asked, “What would you like to play on? You know, you have the choice of all the music.” Of course, I’d like to play on “Light My Fire” because it’s the most known hit by the Doors and it’s their greatest. But anyway, so I think five or 10 minutes later he got back to me on email and said, “Well, I’ve got to tell you, this title has already been taken, so give me another list of titles.” So I started with “L.A. Woman,” of course, and that was it. Then I started working on it, and I worked online, like little sessions are being done like that. I took quite some time to do it, because I also wanted render homage to the Doors and to Ray Manzarek. Funny enough — funny enough, I mean, it’s not funny — but suddenly enough, Ray Manzarek passed just about two weeks, one week or two weeks before I heard that I had delivered the tracks. That was it. The CD came out and it came out actually on the 24th of June, and I really enjoyed listening to it and all the work that had been done. I really enjoyed what Jimi Jamison did singing “L.A. Woman,” especially, and Ted Turner on guitar from Wishbone Ash, and Scott Connor and — funny enough, of course, Billy Sherwood on bass, because the Doors didn’t have a bass player. So it made the whole thing really much more fuller sounding. But I really was very surprised, and shocked to hear that Jimi Jamison had passed. That’s why I did homage on my Facebook and stuff, and my newsgroup and so on, because I didn’t know the guy — I knew of his work, of his voice, of his presence. He was a fantastic singer.

For the full interview, please visit the Vintage Rock website!


Classic Rock Music Reporter Interview with Patrick Moraz

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Monday, September 15, 2014
Patrick Moraz Interview: The Extraordinary Keyboardist & Composer/ Prior Member of ‘YES’ & ‘The Moody Blues’

By Ray Shasho

-Interviewed June 24th 2014

Swiss native Patrick Moraz is the extraordinary keyboardist and composer for no less than two legendary rock groups … ‘YES’ (1974-76) and ‘The Moody Blues’ (1978-1991). His first solo album entitled ‘The Story of i’ was hailed by many critics as a musical masterpiece.
Patrick Moraz is busier than ever these days. He was recently featured on the new CD ‘Light My Fire-A Classic Rock Salute to The Doors,’ Moraz performed on the opening track … “L.A. Woman” with the late Jimi Jamison (Survivor) and Ted Turner (Wishbone Ash).

Moraz was also one of the performers on the recent ‘Cruise to the Edge’ which also featured … ‘YES,’ Steve Hackett, UK, Queensryche, Tangerine Dream, Renaissance, Strawbs, Tony Levin and a host of other progressive rockers.

Patrick Moraz has several upcoming and surprising releases to watch out for including … (MAP) ‘The Greg Alban Project,’ which will feature Lenny Castro on percussion and John Avila from ‘Oingo Boingo’ on bass, Patrick Perrier, and Matt Malley. A CD entitled… ‘A way to Freedom’ due in the very near future, and a Cantata in the final works for SATB Choirs in 7 movements, paying homage to ‘Our Planet.’

PATRICK MORAZ: began his fascination with the keyboards at a very young age. He attentively watched and listened to Romanian concert pianist Clara Haskil while living at the same house in Vevey, Switzerland. Moraz attended the Conservatory of Lausanne and studied Harmony and Counterpoint (the Art of the fugue). Patrick’s father managed restaurants which included theaters and stages, and Patrick was able to meet such music luminaries as … Louis Armstrong, Maurice Chevalier, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, and Duke Ellington.

For the rest of the bio and the interview, please visit the Classic Rock Music Reporter website!


Hit Channel Interview with Carmine Appice

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Interview:Carmine Appice (Cactus,Vanilla Fudge,Beck Bogert & Appice)
Δημοσιεύθηκε 8 Σεπτεμβρίου 2014 | Από thodoris | In English

HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: September 2014. We had the great honour to talk with a legendary drummer: Carmine Appice. He is best known as a member of Vanilla Fudge, Cactus, Beck, Bogert & Appice and Rod Stewart’s backing band. He has also played with Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd, Pat Travers, Michael Schenker, Ted Nugent, Blue Murder, Rick Derringer, Paul Stanley, Marty Friedman, Sly Stone and many others. Read below the very interesting things he told us:

Cleopatra Records is releasing rare live and studio recordings by Cactus, Bogert & Appice and Travers & Appice. Are you happy with the release of this stuff?
Yes, I am. I mean, considering what they are, the object was to get out what were lying around and were not really released. The Bogert & Appice stuff was basically stuff that I had lying around and we had recorded it in the early 2000s and never released. And we decided to put a label together to get out a lot of stuff that I had and that my friends had, that we never released. So, basically what we did was: the Bogert & Appice one (ed: “Friends”) was an EP which had 7 songs laying around and the Cactus lives: “Live in Japan” and “Live in the USA”. We recorded “Live in Japan” in Japan and we decided to actually do it and release it. And “Live in the USA” was something that another company in Europe released and they didn’t have license to do it. So, we decided that we release that also. As far as I am happy, I’m pretty happy with that all, but you know, there are not like big budget items. We didn’t spend $100.000, but I’m very happy with the playing, the sound is really good and the performances are awesome.

You just finished a summer tour with Vanilla Fudge. What are you future plans?
Next week, we are going to finish a new Vanilla Fudge album, called “The Spirit of ‘67” and we did all those songs from 1967. My brother Vinny (ed: Black Sabbath –drums) and I, we played a show in New York City, called “Drum Wars”. We are going to release “Drum Wars” live CD also. We don’t have any “Drum Wars” product out there and it was a really cool show that we recorded and we decided to get the tapes and work on it. The sound is really good, we have mixed everything and we are releasing that. Then, the next thing I do is I have a show called “The Rod Experience”, which is basically three members of the Rod Stewart group. We did the 1979 “Blondes Have More Fun” tour and we play pretty much all the songs that we did in 1979. We have a guy who looks and sounds like Rod. So, it’s a kind of historical tribute show featuring an all star group and members of the Rod Steward group. I’m going to take that to China in November and that’s fun. I believe we are coming to Greece with the Metal All Stars tour. I am gonna featuring in this tour along with Zakk Wylde (Black Label Society), Joey Belladona (Anthrax) and Gus G. (Ozzy Osbourne). I believe this December we will come to Greece. I don’t have the dates in front of me, that should be fun. I have a lot of cool stuff to do until the rest of the year.

How important was the cover of “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” (The Supremes) to the career of Vanilla Fudge?
I think that was historical. That was very important. I don’t think we would have done it without having that song as a hit.

For the rest of the interview, please visit the Hit Channel website!


Rolling Stone Interview with Terry Bozzio

2014-TERRY-BOZZIO-Press-Photo-photo-by-André-OzgaDSC1193-1024x682
André Ogza

Zappa Drum Legend Terry Bozzio on Touring the World’s Largest Tuned Kit
The Missing Persons/Fantômas/Korn pounder hitting 40 American dates playing giant, melodic kit

BY CHRISTOPHER R. WEINGARTEN | August 26, 2014

Terry Bozzio — one of rock drumming’s most formidable and brain-circuiting forces — is currently touring America, playing solo dates on “the world’s largest tuned drum and percussion set.” Best known as the hurricane behind Frank Zappa’s late-Seventies and early-Eighties work, and the hit-maker behind new wave powerhouse Missing Persons, Bozzio, 63, is hoping to shed his reputation as technical solo shredder. Following successful tours in Europe and Japan, “An Evening With Terry Bozzio,” is the first time he’s touring a melodic solo percussion performance in North America — hitting 40 dates, playing on two-and-a-half octaves of tuned tom-toms and eight notes of bass drum. We caught up with him to ask the drumming legend exactly how he’s lugging this thing across America.

How are you doing?
Man, I’m in hell right now!

Do tell…
I’m on my way to San Diego for the first gig of the big tour here and we snapped a serpentine belt in my SUV, so we’re trying to find a garage to fix it in and make the gig on time.

So, wait, are you doing this tour in your own SUV?
Yeah, I always do that. We tow a trailer with my drums — it’s me, my wife, and my tech — and that’s how we do it.

So this is your first solo tour of America doing this?
Yeah. Essentially for me, personally, it’s like doing same thing, different day; it’s just packaging. My problem’s always been how to market myself, so now I have a booking agent and a press guy who’s come to bat for me and they believes in me. The idea of a solo drummer is a difficult thing to get across to people. They think of the thrashing and bashing of a typical rock-concert drum solo. And what I do is not that [laughs]. So, basically, I’ve been doing the same type of playing under the guise of a drum and cymbal commercial for 25 years — maybe 30 years now — for Sabian or Drum Workshop drums. And what I’m doing now is taking it to a more public level.

It certainly got our attention more than a drum clinic would…
So, what I do, is my drums are tuned to chromatic and diatonic pitches and I have, I guess, I have two and a half, three octaves or so of notes to play on the toms. And then I have the eight different white notes of the piano as my bass drums. So I’m able to accompany myself much the same way a pianist would — with his left hand playing the bass notes and the right hand soloing against it. And that’s how I approach the drum-set. It’s very melodic, it’s compositional — it’s also improvisational — but I improvise in a compositional matter, it’s not just patterns and shredding and crap that you go, “Man, this guy does that perfectly. If on only if it meant something, you know?” L.A., it seems, has a glut of those kind of players that are just really enviable in their technique but don’t really say much, or maybe they don’t want to something that would make a producer not hire them for a session. So, for myself, it’s a pretty much a complete musical statement on the drums, and it doesn’t lose the primitive and the bashing and that fiery rock stuff that happens on the drum set. Otherwise, I’d just be a pianist or a marimba player.

It’s kind of a neat thing that it’s happened this year in the States because this is the 50th anniversary of my first drum lesson. It’s kind of neat how life and fate all work together, and here I am sitting in a broken car, sweating, hoping I’ll make the first gig. [laughs]

For the rest of the interview, please visit the Rolling Stone website!


Rockshot Interview with Jon Anderson

Jon Anderson by Tami Freed
Jon Anderson Press Photos. Images not for sale. (Tami Freed)

INTERVIEW: JON ANDERSON. CREATING NEW SPIRIT.
AUGUST 23, 2014 by TIM PRICE

On a cool English afternoon Tim Price, connected with the legendary Jon Anderson in a sunny California. We learn how a new project with violinist extraordinaire, Jean-Luc Ponty, became a Kickstarter campaign. We delve into the works of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, King Crimson and Yes and the historical content continues as two towns who helped to create history as founders of Association Football* in 1888 are discussed. We also hear about sport being the inspiration for a classic song. We may just have the answer to all those mysterious lyrics.

Jon, I am calling you at your home in LA from here in the Black Country, UK, heartlands and home of Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club (Wolves).

Never heard of them! Hah, I think they used to have a goalkeeper called Farm in the 50’s

Wolves were one of the 12 founding members of the English Soccer League, as were Accrington Stanley where you were born in 1944. On a similar note Robert Plant is Vice President of Wolves; do you envisage involvement in the same way at ‘Stanley’?

I am with them in spirit all the time and I’ve got my Accrington Stanley Football Shirt in the closet which I wear now and again!

Unfortunately, Jon, Accrington are currently bottom of the English Football League right now and they even had their football boots nicked out of the dressing room after their last game, so it is a pretty bad state of affairs!

Well, it’s the story of my life!

Talking about sport, the song Going For The One which is solely an Anderson composition, didn’t the idea for the lyrics originally come from when you were watching the horse racing on Grandstand a BBC Sport TV show?

Yes Siree! It was about Horse Racing, Golf, all types of sport and how sport keeps us on edge, and going for it, you want your favourite team to win, every horse to win, every golfer to win, in their subconscious millions of people will watch one game in the hope that one team wins and the other team looses and all the collective energy that people put into watching sport, it is just so cool.

Going For The One, is probably one of Yes’s faster and most shrill tracks and difficult to do really, Steve Howe even said that, but I would imagine this is an ideal track for Jean-Luc Ponty to take on with his electric violin and your new band, what do you think?

I will definitely think about that one.

For the rest of the interview, please visit the Rockshot website!


Music Tried and True Interview with Jean-Luc Ponty

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By Ray Shasho
-Interviewed August 8th 2014
An Interview with Jean-Luc Ponty:

Prodigious violinist/composer/ Jean- Luc Ponty and legendary ‘YES’ lead vocalist/ songwriter/ Jon Anderson have united their musical mastery to originate the Anderson Ponty Band, and with the formation of a new musical venture enters a debut album soon to exhibit new music and classics re-imagined. Anderson & Ponty are also excited to include their fans in the experience. Music enthusiasts can pledge to their Kickstarter campaign (already in-progress) entitled the Jon Anderson & Jean-Luc Ponty Project. By contributing you can receive various items related to the project including an invite to the dress rehearsal in Aspen, Colorado where the CD will be recorded, VIP show tickets, and an invitation to the post show band party.
As of August 15th …$67,576 has been pledged, but a total of $95,000 is needed to hit goal with only 8 DAYS to go! (The minimum pledge is only $1.00) The project will only get funded if they hit goal by Sunday August 24th at 1:55 PM EDT. Join the ‘Jon Anderson & Jean-Luc Ponty Project’ and help these incredible legends reach their goal for recording a new album… Contribute and join in on the musical journey HERE

The musical blend of Jon Anderson’s angelic vocalizations of progressive rock virtue and Jean-Luc Ponty’s awe-inspiring instrumentation of jazz-fusion & classical essence… will undeniably be spectacular!

JEAN-LUC PONTY was taught by his classically trained parents who were also music teachers. He learned to read musical notes before he learned the alphabet. Ponty was taught the violin and piano, but at the age of eleven his father asked him to choose only one instrument so he would be proficient with a single instrument instead of mediocre at several.

After graduating from the Conservatoire de Paris, it appeared that Jean-Luc was on the way to a prodigious classical music career and eventually performed with a major symphony orchestra. But Ponty also began to establish a musical appetite for jazz music which led to Jean-Luc recording his debut “bebop” album entitled Jazz Long Playing in 1964.

For the rest of the bio and the interview, please visit the Music Tried and True website!


Hit Channel Interview with Jean-Luc Ponty

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Interview:Jean-Luc Ponty (Anderson Ponty Band,Frank Zappa,Mahavishnu Orchestra)
Δημοσιεύθηκε 4 Αυγούστου 2014

HIT CHANNEL EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: August 2014. We had the great honour to talk with a legendary violinist and composer: Jean-Luc Ponty. He has a very successful solo career and has played with Frank Zappa, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Elton John, Stanley Clarke, Al Di Meola, Return to Forever, Allan Holdsworth and many others. He is currently working with Jon Anderson of YES on the first album of Anderson Ponty Band. Read below the very interesting things he told us:

How did you get in touch with Jon Anderson?
We knew each other from the past. When I was with the band Mahavishnu Orchestra with John McLaughlin . When we toured in 1974 or ’75 in the U.S we did one show with Yes. The two bands together. And then, maybe 10 years later I was in the offices of Atlantic Records in Los Angeles, coming out of a meeting because that was the record label I was with at the time and Yes was also in Atlantic Records. He was walking in to a meeting, so we cross passed. We were introduced and we talked briefly. I told him that I really admired his singing and creative songwriting and he said that he liked my violin playing and my music too and even suggested at the time that we do a project together at some point. But then, we never met again and you know life goes on and we put in contact again a year ago. A producer of his was talking about me doing a violin solo on his song “Go Ahead”. And when we got in contact, we came up with the idea putting a band together. So, it’s funny that it happens so late. But better late than never.

You are writing music for the debut album of Anderson Ponty Band. Can you give us some info about its sound?
It’s always difficult to describe sounds with words. I would say that there is his musical personality, which means the way he sings, the kind of melodies he always wrote with arrangements that are a lot more up-to-date in terms rhythms and sounds. But we are going to play a very limited number of classics of each other. Because I know the fans are always happy to hear some pieces that they liked in the past and we like to play still today. But some pieces we did –him and me- are still sounding very good today. So, we keep that. The idea is to keep the musical personalities of the original sounds, but the production on it will be more modern.

Why you decided to start a Kickstarter campaign for the recording of the album?
That was really a management’s choice. We have a manager in common, he is who put us together, and he had interest from record companies. No problem. But, I guess he wanted to keep control and use today’s ways of producing an album as opposed to the old way when an artist had no other choice than signing with a record company. He decided to go this way and then Jon and myself said: “It’s ok. Let’s do it. Let’s see how it works”.

For the rest of the interview, please visit the Hit Channel website!


Herald de Paris Interview with Al Kooper

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Rock Icon Al Kooper, Super Sessions 5.1

By Al Carlos Hernandez on July 30, 2014

HOLLYWOOD (Herald de Paris) – In a career that spans fifty years, Al Kooper has managed to turn up at key points in the last five decades. He is often referred to as the “Zelig” or “Forrest Gump” of rock.

Herald De Paris had the opportunity to speak the man, the myth, the legend, Al Kooper.

He said, “I guess they called me Forrest Gump, I think because I was involved in so many situations in a small time period.”

As far as his influences are concerned, Al says, “I don’t think anyone was influenced by me in the beginning, I started in 1958. I didn’t have that much to offer until 1965.”

Kooper started out as a guitar player but quickly became known as a keyboard player, as Al explains, “Because I played the organ on ‘Like a Rolling Stone’”. He is well known for his organ playing on Bob Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone.” He played off and on with Dylan for many years, both live and in the studio.

In 1958 Kooper began his professional career as guitarist in The Royal Teens (“Short Shorts”). He reinvented himself into a Tin Pan Alley songwriter with cuts such as “This Diamond Ring” by Gary Lewis and the Playboys. He also went on to write for artists such as Gene Pitney, Keely Smith, Carmen MacRae, Pat Boone, Freddie Cannon, Lulu, Lorraine Ellison, Donnie Hathaway and was later sampled by The Beastie Boys, Jay-Z, The Pharcyde, and Alchemist to name but a few.

In the mid-sixties Al was a member of The Blues Project and then founded Blood Sweat & Tears, remaining only for their debut album Child Is Father to the Man.

Regarding Blood Sweat & Tears he said,” I just had become a pretty good arranger by then and wanted to add a horn section to new songs that I had written that called out for them.”

For the rest of the interview, please visit the Herald de Paris website!