I first noticed David Virelles’ name in 2011. I was checking out which bands were playing at the Village Vanguard, which is when I saw that Chris Potter had a new pianist in his group. I had been following Chris’ music heavily for quite some time back then, so naturally I was curious about a change in his line up. Since I don’t live in New York, I asked a friend of mine who lived there at the time to go and secretly record a set for me.
I was struck by David’s unique style, which to my ears brought something new to the table compared to what was considered en vogue that time. It became quite noticeable how David quickly influenced a new generation of musicians, making important contributions to the music of today. I’m happy I could include David in this series of interviews.
Topics include David’s relationship to his mentors Henry Threadgill and Barry Harris, leaving space, practice routines, warming up, material that David has been working on recently, the process behind a couple of his own albums, Andrew Hill, playing with Paul Motian and much more.