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Al Cohn: Interview 2

Interview Two: The Broadening World of a Player/Writer

The American saxophonist and composer talks to Tomkins about practice, other musicians and compositions.

Interview: 1982

Source: Jazz Professional

Interview Text or Transcript

On occasions, when I’ve been hired to write something, I have set out to give it a jazz feel—sometimes it was a mistake, too, because that’s not what they wanted. When you’re writing on order, so to speak, you have to please the one who’s paying for it. And sometimes you have to know what they’re talking about, when they don’t. They say: “Bring me something that swings”, and you have your own idea of what swings, but that’s not what they meant at all. So we need interpreters.

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