Our guest this week is the kind of person who knows pretty much everybody, and pretty much everybody knows him. He has worked with household name artists from Miles Davis to Dave Matthews, and he’s spent a lifetime studying music and passing it along.
John D’earth is a performer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, and educator, and he’s got a nearly 40 year run playing a weekly gig at Miller’s in Charlottesville, Virginia — presumably some kind of world record. And we’re in luck because he brought his trumpet and his piano to our chat, and sometimes plays them both at the same time, explaining some of his theories and concepts. Wait until you hear him compare and contrast, by trumpet, the “academic blues scale” versus what he calls, the “grand” blues scale.
We talk about Sonny Rollins, who John says is the greatest improvisor of all time. We learn a new phrase about what it means to “humpty dumpty” a tune in jazz. And we learn about John’s inspirations, from Charles Mingus to Jimmy Hendrix.
John believes “what the audience really wants is to see something authentic go down.” I think we’ve captured that here, but you judge for yourself. Enjoy these moments, with John D’earth.
- Website: https://music.virginia.edu/faculty/jdearth
- Wikipedia Page: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_D%27earth
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