Thursday, October 02, 2003


Courtney Pine interviewed in the Metro newspaper this morning:

"I realized that jazz gave me the most freedom - stuff they couldn't even teach you in school or university. The more I listened to Sonny Rollins or Miles Davis, the more I wanted to be like them. Jazz forces you to research the essence of what we are as human beings. I'm now called a jazz musician, even though I started as a reggae musician. You can play jazz and incorporate reggae or Indian influences (say) - all the soul music in this world.

"I try and play music for now, not in past styles, so it's a modern attempt at jazz music...

"I'm Britain's number one-selling jazz artist and nobody wants to give me a record deal. Jamie Callum, a young white pianist, has signed a deal for £1 million to the same label that is looking after my material. You can't make money out of black artists, so it is just not going to happen. Take this whole 'urban' thing now. That's what they call it because they don't want to call it 'black' music."

I suspect the issue also involves arcane music biz definitions about what they think of as 'commercial' (Pine isn't supposed to fit the bill, whatever his influences), and the question of TV and advertsing spin-offs. Nothing to do with anything so imaginative as music, of course...

Courtney Pine's new album, 'Devotion', is out now.

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