Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lester Bowie interview

“I’ve been a researcher — I consider the stage as my laboratory”: trumpeter Lester Bowie (1941–1999), interviewed by Terry Gross of NPR’s Fresh Air, explaining why he wore a lab coat when performing.

I am fortunate to have heard Lester Bowie on six occasions — five times with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and once with the New York Hot Trumpet Repertory Company, aka Hot Trumpets. Five trumpets, that was all: Bowie (the group’s founder), Olu Dara, Stanton Davis, Wynton Marsalis, and Malachi Thompson, up from New York to Boston’s Emmanuel Church for an hour of music, then back to the airport, circa 1981 or so. I remember the Dizzy Gillespie tune “Groovin’ High” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” Yes, it really happened.

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Some have gone and some remain

[Photograph of Lester Bowie circa 1989 by John Kelim, licensed under a Creative Commons license. Thanks, John, for sharing your work.]

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