Thursday, December 06, 2007

Interview to David Axelrod " The Axelrod Tape "

Quote David Axelrod web site :

An award-winning producer for Capitol Records who produced, great jazz, funk, and soul records during the 1960s and '70s, from Stan Kenton to Lou Rawls to The Electric Prunes to Cannonball Adderley. David Axelrod created his own distinct style. He has earned one Grammy and five nominations, along with seven gold records. Serious jazz lovers will recognize his name.
Axelrod freely uses drums, horns, strings, string bass as well as woodwinds along with key board, in his compositions. Poetry has been an influence on his compositions. He is considered a visionary and the father of fusion.

As I wrote in a previous transcript I got in touch with David
Axelrod's son Dana to interview "The Maestro" .
Interviewing him for the first time was a strange sutuation for me, I
was very shy to ask all the normal questions that every Jurnalist would
like to ask, after all what more can I ask to a living legend like David
Experience, Sampling, Productions, Origins, Taste...

David Axelrod for me is a kind of " Deep Composer ", I never knew
what to call his Style, so deep so intelligent, a kind of "Baroque
orchestral message". Funk Jazz tinged ...Out of any " regola " Free from
music standards, a kind of Archetypal music.

The first time I heard him was like an illumination,
"Who can mix Classical moods , Jazz , Soul , Funk and Rock together
with God's blessing"?

So I started to research as always... and collecting... new experiences!

Song of Innocence
Song of Experience
Rock Messiah
Earth Riot

Loads of productions, lots of them sampled by big modern artists like
DJ Shadow, DR Dre and many more...

It was like living in the 70's when I received the "tape" with the
recorded answers, it was pretty strange for me receive a tape in 2007
but this is all part of the legend that is Axelrod...

I don’t have a tape recorder any more, shame on me! How times have
I found the "tape recorded" interview so cool because, Axelrod
answered me directly. Answers without questions... for me it was a type
of poetry.
When I listened to the tape I decided to put the interview here on
Jazzmotel, laid bare without questions, just like a kind of statement,
David Axelrod "SPEAKING BY HIMSELF" to answer me... the interviewer...
A true privilege and one interview I will never forget.

In the internet and electronic era it is quite cool receive a tape,
so this my friends is the "Axelrod tape!"

How you doing Alessio?

Everything is fine here in the States. It couldn’t be better.

Well, sampling and music seems to be here, although they are cutting down on it, and I don’t mind having my music sampled. I think it’s kind of neat, that so many people are interested in it, especially if it’s done right.

No, I wasn’t angry when I first heard myself being sampled, I thought it was kicks. I broke up laughing. Then came some serious samples, and if you can get someone like the way Dre did it, the way he did Next Episode, when he sampled The Edge, and what I used as the intro, he put behind the first four bars of the band. And it worked, it really did work.

Also Diamond D, the way he did things when he sampled Mental Traveller, when he put the guitars in different places than I did, and I kind of liked it, as much as what I did was the only way I had done it.

So what’s the sense of getting angry, it’s going to be done anyway, you just have to hope that whoever does it does it musically.

Well downloading is here, and it won’t be a problem once the majors figure out how to utilize it and sell their product on it. The only thing I don’t like about it, is the sound itself. Certain things become very tinny, especially if they have any kind of orchestra, the orchestra sounds very bad. If you using a quartet or a quintet or something you’re far better off. I just don’t like the sound

Well before the sixties and seventies, I was just into a great deal of jazz, as a matter of fact as from about 1954/1955 through the early 60’s, that’s all I listened to. But as I said, before that, I was listening to jazz and rhythm and blues,. People like Amos Milburn and Little Milton and others and especially T-Bone Walker.

Learning music on my own was very very difficult. I don’t recommend it. Did it add to my personal style?..Probably. Because I was already writing before I got involved with certain rules that had to be supposedly applied with. I broke those rules and now that I know better, I still break them. But you better learn. Whether it’s your own or whether it’s within a school. I’ve often told Randy Newman, who I’m very very fond of, that I envy his education at USC (*University of Southern California). A degree in music is a great help.

I don’t hear a lot of cohesive albums any more. It’s like concept-albums seem to be out. I don’t know why that is because I love concept albums and I’ve been doing them my whole musical life, starting in 1967. So why that’s not happening now I don’t know. Maybe it’s the labels. If so, they’re making a mistake. If someone has a good idea for a concept, it’s always going to be cool. Check out people like Alan Parsons

Yeah, I would like to tell your readers to check out

They will really enjoy it.
And… thank you

All the pictures curtesy of

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