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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  December 5, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PST

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tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight to conversations with exceptional musicians. we begin with the eight time , andy nominee dave koz then we will turn to a conversation with the great charlie haden, one of the most influential and acclaimed jazz a chancend will have to hear him in a performance that closes this show. we are glad you joined us. a conversation with dave koz and charlie haden coming up now. ♪
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>> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: eight time grammy nominee dave koz cb brings joan albright, richard elliot to reinvent classic songs from the 60's and 70's. the album features hits from sly
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and the family stone, blood sweat and tears, and chicago. let's hear a clip from the beatles "got to get you into my life." ♪ ♪ tavis: for cap to grew up in the hood like i did, you think the elements, but it only goes to show how brilliant when an and mccartney are. it is their song, but the others but distinct on it, and when you
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hear it in my neighborhood you think earth wind and fire. >> you know i love you. tavis: i love you back. >> this project is a labor of love. to i wanted i had it in my head for so many years. it is the matter of timing when we would do it. there are sogs, many so attached to these horn bands that represents the golden era of music where every song with kicking horn section so much excitement. earth wind and fire, tower of sly and thego, family stone, james brown, for a young horn player going -- growing up, this is what i wanted to hear and why i became a musician. tavis: you are a musicologist.
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you know this stuff front and backwards. what is it about that era that made it such a fertile time for horn players? >> there was a lot more playing, a lot more musicianship. happen,ay that doesn't but now music is made in the laboratory almost. you get one guy working in one studio. they send it to another guy. it is musicianship, there is nothing wrong with it. some great music is made that way. these bands we are talking about, they played together nonstop. when they weren't in the studio they were out doing 250 shows a year. being in that proximity with each other, knowing each other, the way i play the saxophone versus the way gerald albright
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plays the saxophone, we approach the instrument so differently, yet if he are going to play together we have to come up with something. tavis: you all play together differently, but how do you know it is going to blend into something we want to hear? how do you know it is going to work? >> you bring up a very good point. we didn't know. brown, aoduced by paul legendary jazz producer. we all looked at each other and said, let's pray this works. the do we agreed to doing the album, but here are four soloists not used to playing with saxophone players. in high school we all played in a big band, but it had been years since we had to blend with another saxophone player. the first track was a classic. we all put our horns up and hit
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record. >> let's hear a clip. ♪ >> these great or infection parts. -- these great section hearts. tom scott who did arrangements for everybody from michael , allon to paul mccartney the steely dan's stuff, so we had great arrangers doing the arrangements, so when we put our words to our mouths, we looked at each other and said, i think this is going to work. i am a musicow lover. because there are so many great horn sections and great hits, you could do earth wind and fire and have a great album of horn solos, so how did you figure out what made the cut? you have 12 tracks on here?
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>> there are 12 tracks. the most difficult aspect of making this. with thenference calls four of us, and john burke the record executive. we would all be lobbying for our favorite songs. there was probably a list of 100 songs, and we would keep chipping away at them. some were party songs, kool and the gang. great horn lines, but we want to play melodies as well, so we have to pick songs that had great melodies so a little more meat on the bones. that is why you have songs like rise which was made famous by herb albert. we were on the phone one time on a conference call the day after dave brubeck passed away, and we were talking about that song he is known for, take five.
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it was one of the greatest songs ever written for the saxophone. we said, why can't we do it with dust us? we had one of the great arrangers gordon goodwin who versionis spectacular for us to play. it is kind of the centerpiece for this album. there are some great, not just the horns. >> i have a great story about -- michaele a mold. make donald. ald.cdon i called him up. he is a great friend. he is coming up on our cruise,
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which you are coming on. we will talk about it later. i said, mike, i want to talk to you about this album we are making. he told me a story that he was shocked. he said, i was shopping at home depot two weeks ago, and the image of michael mcdonald -- this at home depot song came on. .e took a moment somebody should cover that song because it has never been covered by anybody other than tower of power. said, i am taking this as a sign from god that i need to do this project. mentioned the cruise. this is a great rooms. you do this every year.
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-- a great cruise. in rome, and we are cruising the mediterranean to sicily. go to athens. it is like you are marinating in music. we have got michael mcdonald, kurt weiland. peter white will be there on the ship. artists.0 headline grand central station, plus ecb's incredible ports of call. thee are no strangers on ship. we have 40 shows to do. we have done two weeks so far, and we have been having the greatest time. it is not something we know is going to happen any time that right now.
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it is so much fun. getting the chance to be on stage with richard and mindy and gerald, we have known each other for so many years. we are having the time of our lives. ofis: we are running out time. you cannot bring your horn and not play any ink. >> i am going to quiz you. tell me whether you can recognize this. ♪ tavis: how about this one? ♪ i got it. one more. ♪
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got it. you didn't stump me today. >> i never stump you. you are an encyclopedia. more, you want this and "summeralbum is called horns." if you are on that cruise you may very well see me. did i just invite myself on stage? whence we will give you your own show. >> you don't want anybody jumping off the ship.
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jazz musicians don't get any better than the bassist charlie haden. this year's recipient of the lifetime achievement award, playing and turned to jazz in his early 20's. he has taken the base to being an integral sound. it 1969. jazz history sound ushered in a new era of jazz. charlie went on to play with great artists. if i try to include all of your accomplishments in this introduction we would never get a chance to talk. >> it was 59. nois: we am folks have
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regard for history. how did it feel to be so honored by the grammys? >> it felt wonderful. they are my peers. they do great work. they care about music. thatn't realize about lifetime achievement award. it goes back to 1962. i said, i am in some heavy company. i got to thank everybody. it was an honor for me. tavis: you belong on that list. why was the base such a background instrument before you ?elped push that thing up front >> it has always been like that .p until the big band era
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jimmy brenton of course. he was a guy that really brought the base to the forefront. people really see how important the base is. when i was a little kid singing to the radio with my family, my older brother played race. -- bass. that.was when you listen to the symphony orchestra and there is no base part there is not that much debt -- depth. that is why i like it -- depth. it is like laying in a rain forest. in a: i love that, playing rain forest. back.t we go
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you were singing first. >> my mom used to rock me to sleep. one day she was rocking me to sleep, singing. she was a great singer. i started humming harmony. started me, when you humming harmony i knew you were ready. i started singing when i was 22 months old. i was the youngest person in iowa to have a social security card. that's what they tell me. was wonderful. musice very lucky to have
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. tavis: i want to fast-forward. there is no way i can do justice to your career. you have been at this for years. started singing to your family in iowa. at 15 you get struck with polio. tell me about that. >> we had a show in omaha, nebraska. i was running around with my dad , and all of a sudden i got faded,h, and i kind of so we called the doctor to come out. i had a temperature of 105. the epidemic was happening. , always wanted to ask my mom
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but there was apparently no medicine. on one side of my face. tavis: you couldn't sing. you have been singing since you were to, and you were struck with polio and could not sing. >> since it was in the throat , but it didn't affect my lungs. it eventually went away. other than that i was fine. i traveled all over the world. all of a sudden, i was doing birthday concerts every birth a
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at the blue note -- every birthday at the blue note. and told the hotel ruth, i have never had a headache like this before. every day all day long. she said, we have to take you to the doctor when we get back. they never did come up with a diagnosis. cancer, but wasn't they did all kinds of tests for muscle disease, and they couldn't find anything they could tell me i had. i had polio when i was younger.
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what do you make of the fact that it stayed at bay for so long, allowing you to advance this entire career? >> i wish it would go back to at bay. how has it impacted you in the last couple years since it has come back? >> i had troubles with my throat. i cannot eat, so i have a tube going into my stomach. i haven't eaten solid food in two years. tavis: no solid food in two years? >> i do special nutrition. tavis: but you still play your bass? >> i play my bass.
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house. tavis:my is that true people just come to your house? the house and hang out. if i got a chance to play with you i would come over, too. >> ruth is a wonderful singer. they are some sophisticated ladies. say some nameso to you. some of theith greats, and they have been honored to have you alongside them, but when i say arnette what comes to mind? >> charlie parker and bebop. club in l.a. his
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i said, i heard you play. i would love to play music with you. he said, i have got to finish this gig, and i will come over. open the door because there was music all over the doorway, all over the dresser. . took the cover off he said, ok. what i really wanted to do was the inspiration of a piece rather than just chord structure. it was like hearing reborn to me. >> you pick something and play this.
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>> turn it upside down. like athat sounds coleman story. >> he was a beautiful person. all met each other in l.a., .nd then we went to new york i tell this story. one of my students asked me, why do you close your eyes when you play? was playing -- ornette was playing. i looked up the bar. there was charles mingus, every
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great bass player in new york staring right at me. tavis: you play with your eyes closed? >> yes. tavis: if i brought this down and ask you to play, could you do it with your eyes closed? bring this, and let's see if we can work this out right quick. first let me say what an honor it was to have you on this program. >> thanks for having me. tavis: i am going to shut up after i say that is our show for tonight. good night from adelaide thanks for watching. keep the faith, and enjoy. ♪ ♪
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♪ >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with and roberty sunday
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randolph. that's next time. we will see you then. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you.
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