When the payoff is good, that's all that matters.
I realized that this morning as I was finishing a quick preview article on saxophonist David Murray. I had been trying to get in touch with him for a couple weeks. Well, I started putting in a sincere effort maybe about a week ago. Murray had been on tour with Terri Lyne Carrington and Geri Allen in Europe and the only number I had for him was an overseas cell number. I'm always reticent to do interviews on people's cell phones as it is. The sound quality can be hit or miss and that can make me miss some subtleties of the conversation, which normally can deepen the discussion when they're heard. Then there's the time change difference, coupled with not knowing when someone might be asleep or not.
After a few attempts to leave texts at the international number, and a voicemail left on the same number (at least I think it was his, but I'm unsure since the outgoing message was a French female voice), I got Murray's domestic cell number from Kahil El'Zabar, with whom Murray will be playing next weekend. At the start of this week, Murray was back in the states. No luck. My deadline was already stretched and I was starting to pull something together last night, based on my knowledge of Murray's career.
Then, at 10:00 pm, the phone rang. There he was!
We wound up talking for half an hour, him being very candid about his partner El'Zabar (bassist Harrison Bankhead will be with them too, on Sunday, Dec. 11), about being a musician with an original voice and massive discography, among other things. So I scrapped the whole article I had started and began fresh. It was much better as a result. It'll run in Pittsburgh City Paper next Wednesday. Check it out, and check out the group that weekend. No one had to pay to see the World Saxophone Quartet back in September, so it shouldn't hurt to pay to see Murray, El'Zabar and Bankhead.
And Awaaaaay We Go!
4 years ago