Vince Mendoza

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I first heard Vince Mendoza‘s music through my parents, who had albums of his collaborations with Joni Mitchell. Then around 2003 I discovered his wonderful album “Epiphany” which I then listened to for a whole summer. I was blown away by the music and all my heroes were on that record: my late teacher John Taylor, Marc Johnson, Peter Erskine, John Abercrombie, Kenny Wheeler, Joe Lovano and Michael Brecker! After that I checked out as much as I could from Vince’s writing, digging his own records, but also his work for Björk, Jim Beard, John Scofield, Herbie Hancock, Peter Erskine, Larry Goldings and much more.

In this conversation we talk about his collaborations with Herbie Hancock & Joni Mitchell, transcribing, his writing process and “Epiphany”.

Chris Weisman

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“This guy will change your life!” That’s how Larry Goldings hipped me to Chris Weisman. Well, Larry was right.

Chris has such a vast output… eclectic, yet always unique. A singular songsmith of the highest order – nobody does what he does.
At first I was overwhelmed by the sheer amount of music he has out. But that changed after I found the right entry point. For me, it was his album “Play Sharp To Me”.

Soon I couldn’t stop checking more of his albums, deeply immersing myself in his catalogue. I got so inspired that I wrote a song for him. In the credits to each of Chris’ albums on bandcamp it says “Write me”. So I did and send him my song. This was how his reply started:

This is SO SURREAL. I became very into your podcast literally in the last two days.

We started having long email conversations, hipping each other to various things. Naturally I felt the urge to get him on the podcast. Having read that he didn’t really do interviews I was hesitant to ask. But he was already sharing all this interesting stuff about his process, and somehow I felt we were already in it… Finally I asked him and he said he would be happy to do it!

For the next stage of preparation, Chris sent me ALL of his albums plus early demos. I usually know a lot of the music of the guys that I’m interviewing… but this never happened before! So when the actual day of the interview came I felt so weismaned-up … And what a great experience it was to connect with Chris. I think of this conversation as a celebration of his music and a gateway into his creative mind.

Bill Carrothers

pianist Bill Carrothers interviewed by Pablo Held

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Bill Carrothers has been a big influence on me since my teenage years. I first heard him on Bill Stewart‘s classic record “Telepathy” which completely turned me around. From then on I tried to find as much recordings of Bill that I could. I remember finding lots of help and inspiration in a transcript a lesson that he gave. (you can find this on his website).

As I tell Bill right in the beginning of this interview, anyone who’s serious about harmony and this music in general should listen to him. Hearing his music changed me forever.

We talked for a long time and Bill was very generous, giving lots of insights into his process + he even plays a couple of things at the piano during our conversation! I hope you enjoy!!