There is nothing like being put on the spot and having to literally improvise an interview with someone, who is not only one of the world’s leading exponents of the trumpet, but also of jazz. He can improvise around the most complex of bebop charts, as if it were as easy as taking a breath.
On 25th May 2012, (not the 24th, as I suggested) the world class jazz musician and trumpeter, Randy Brecker, was in Edinburgh to perform with the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra. This was the 2nd of a series of 4 concerts the big band and Randy were doing throughout Scotland, as part of a tribute to Randy’s brother – the influential saxophonist and composer, Michael Brecker. During the afternoon of this Friday, Randy delivered an inspiring workshop, talking and demonstrating wonderfully on the trumpet, about his musical journey.
Post workshop, I had the good fortune of meeting Randy to say a few words, thanks to SNJO’s orchestral manager, Lindsay Robertson. At this moment, I cheekily asked Randy if he would be interested in writing a blog for my music tuition site, Most Entertaining. This didn’t materialise as imagined. Instead, he ushered me to follow him, not realising where I was headed. I discovered myself sitting on a leather sofa in his dressing room, chatting to him while he sat at his dressing table trying to wind down from his workshop, before he was to set off again to do his sound check. I decided there and then, that even if he were open to contributing a blog, to retrieve it from a man, who is constantly on the move and has a hectic tight schedule, was going to be virtually near impossible. So, seeing that I had got off to a good start, by the fact he allowed me to join him in his rare few minutes of quiet, I decided to do a short interview with him. Miraculously, for the workshop, I had brought along my Zoom recorder. I got it out and plugged it in, whilst scrambling together in my mind some questions to put to Randy, who, by this point, must have wondered, ‘who an earth, is this guy?’
At the start of proceedings, I have a little laugh as I begin the first introduction, realising for the first time the unexpected situation I found myself in. Despite my ‘improvised’ questions, Randy exudes a natural integrity and humility, expressing on a number of occasions, well deserved praise for the Scottish National Jazz Orchestra and its place on the world stage. Click on the link below to listen to my 5 minute interview with Randy Brecker.
Randy Brecker Interview
Finlay Hetherington; is a freelance trumpet player and educator, who is also director of tuition for Most Entertaining Ltd.