Laura Mvula

Sometimes you can’t predict in which direction an interview will go. When I spoke with Laura Mvula we didn’t nerd out about theoretical stuff. In the beginning you can notice me wanting to go in this direction. But instead we get something much deeper and more meaningful: Laura opened up about her life as an artist, the constant challenge to stay present and to reach what she calls “the freest place”. We touch on how she deals with expectations and how that helps her to be even more honest in her work. I felt like I really got to know Laura and I’m thankful for her honesty and generosity.

Scott Colley

Scott Colley is an amazing musician. He always serves the music in a very engaging and creative way, never letting his incredible facility on the instrument getting the best of him. This is one of the many things I admire about him, so naturally I am glad I could talk to him about that.

We also cover his longtime relationships with Herbie Hancock, Andrew Hill, Jim Hall and Chris Potter, as well as the special occasion when Scott subbed in the Wayne Shorter quartet. We listen to a track from “Empire” together, my favorite Scott Colley album. Scott reacts spontaneously to what we hears, which is something I always like. And he shares his memories of studying with Charlie Haden and Fred Tinsley, working with drummers Bill Stewart & Brian Blade and gives great insights into his compositional process and musical mindset.

I’m glad to share this with all of you now. Enjoy!

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Mike Gibbs

I heard about Mike Gibbs through my good friend Sebastian Gille, who invited Mike to arrange his music for a special project with the NDR Bigband. I was amazed by Mike’s writing right away. Everything he does sounds so rich and full yet very open at the same time. He’s a true master who has worked with so many of my personal heroes: Joni Mitchell, Jaco Pastorius, John Scofield, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Bill Frisell, John McLaughlin, Steve Swallow and so many more.

After a while we got in touch and we embarked on a deep exchange via email, talking a lot about our shared love of Gil Evans’ writing, sending each other music to listen to and exchanging lots of sheet music. I asked him so many questions about all of his encounters with the great masters and he always took his time to answer very thoroughly.

On the other hand he seemed very interested in my trio and our way of playing together, asking for lead sheets of my tunes and commenting in depth about our newest recordings. He even turned up out of the blue on a trio gig at the Vortex in London and after that followed the trio to Almeria, Spain where we hung out for three days.

It’s very inspiring to see him staying that interested in the current scene, eager on learning more and deeply immersing himself in the music all the time. I want to be like that when I’m at his age!