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tv   Tavis Smiley  PBS  December 3, 2013 12:00am-12:31am PST

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tavis: good evening. from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight a conversation with grammy-winning trumpeter chris botti. then we turn to a conversation with booker t jones. his latest cd is called "sound ."e alarm both will perform tonight. e are glad you joined us. a conversation with chris botti and booker t jones coming up right now.
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♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. tavis: since his 2004 debut, trumpeter chris botti has established himself as a top- he has jazz artist.
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worked with everyone from yo-yo ma to barbra streisand. he says the instrument is one of the most difficult to play. it is not frustrating for those who love to listen to his work. here is a cut from chris botti in boston. ♪ tell me more about why the trumpet. >> the decision i made
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when i was a kid to choose the trumpet, first, it was the power of television. on tv and thought, that's cool. a couple years after that i had a good band director who gave me a miles davis record. in comes the trumpet sound, and it was so different from all that i heard. they play a the instrument with such joy. personal, it his own brooding spectacle, and it touched me. i felt that is what i wanted to do for the rest of my life. i just knew i wanted to play the trumpet for the rest of my life. practice, 5, 9
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hours a day. his suits, iked don't know why. i love him, but those outfits are a little wild. i am a little more casual now. i wear suits exclusively on stage primarily because i lax,tly ran into dock at and he said, i love your playing. you are so fantastic. whereas suit every time you are on stage. how would you describe your sound? you have sold enough records that your friends know your record when they hear it. how do you describe the sound you have created over the years? >> the records are completely different from the live shows. why would you do that?
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davisyou look at miles his best albums were kind of blue and sketches of spain, which were the most restrained oriented, the most lyrical of any record ever made, and a few total the amount of time he actually played on those records, it wasn't nearly as crazy as he got on other albums. of the average person goes to a concert and sees joshua bell perform and stand up on their seat and say, fantastic, but when they go home they listen to chopin. they want something that puts them in a romantic place. a lot of my records are that way, but when you come to my show live i want to bring all the visceral chops to the table. i want people to walk out of
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their blown away. i want them to hear beauty most of all. ,avis: what do chris botti joshua bell, and tavis smiley have in common? >> we all went to indiana. tavis: a shout out to the hoosiers. i lived on reed hall. >> what floor? >> the fifth floor. >> i lived on the third. few i met josh he was a years younger than me, but i remember him pulling up in a porsche convertible, and he was all that. a fantastic guy and a great musician. now we have become friendlier. not the although it is when itto school
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comes to music, it is the largest music school in america. the beauty of it is there is nothing that goes on in indiana, so you had better get to the practice room. you are not going to clubs. there is no distraction. i was practicing 8, 9, 10 hours a day. i am so grateful for that time there. tavis: i didn't realize when i was a fresh man because reed hall is so close to the music holding, i didn't realize all hade future great artists been in that dorm because they could walk across the street to the music school. i look on that now and appreciate the fact i was around so many artists. it didn't rub off on me. i should have kept up my saxophone lessons.
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that you do not have in common with me. you stuck to your craft and got really good at it. you have got some great collaborations on this one. >> there is herbie hancock, david foster, the great mark knopfler. dire straits.rom i have been fortunate enough, if i look back in my career, though one decision i made that aided in 1982than most was when i moved to new york city for the first time, it was the first explosion. big fan, i really up --t went and set wentin set up a glass ceiling. i thought he has it covered.
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i am going to go over here and try to develop my own sound. one of the ways i did that was to be the trumpet player and jazz musician singers go to. later my big rate eating the solo player for staying. that aided me in so many ways. that really aided me to separate , butom straight up jazz taking elements of jazz and making it into fusion. how does being nla versus ?ew york impact your craft >> i am super lucky.
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i have been on a world tour. yorklace i am most is new i think when you reach a certain level you become an international act. to me they let me play one night a year, and then i am out. it is more fun for me to come to l.a. tavis: since you have got your horn with you i am going to ask you to play something. before you do that, your latest project is called impressions. by chris play out botti. ♪
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♪ [applause] tavis: booker t is among the best. an accomplished musician, songwriter. he played the trombone, piano at school, the organ at church. iconice produced the green onions. he has worked with everyone from willie nelson to neil young and his ownuced dozens of
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albums as well as a lifetime grammy achievement award. his new cd is called sound the alarm. let's listen to a clip. ♪ ♪ tavis: i should start by asking, what are we sounding the alarm about? >> we are sounding the alarm because i am hot. tavis: you are hot, but you said
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it so cool. this is one of the collaborations. a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice. anthony hamilton, the southern , gary clark junior. >> poncho sanchez. them all.ot the king of calling in favors, you have laid with dust about -- speaking of calling in favors, aboutve played with just everybody. why so many collaborations? >> there are all these great people. the best in me. >> when you say it rings out the best in you, dad brings out the
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best in you, is there a particular genre? what kind of music rings out the best in you? >> the truth is there is more than one genre. gospel music. then around the corner on beale street i spent many hours there. then there is classical music. as i grew up i learned to love latin, tito puente. then there was hank williams coming over the airwaves from tennessee. i do love a lot of types of music. >> this is a crazy question to ask him a but the air i you grew you grew up the era
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in, how many choices did you have to not live in memphis? >> i was extremely lucky to live around the corner from a studio. to have a job and to walk through the curtain at stax records was an amazing thing to do at 14. kids: i don't know many today at the age of 14 who would be disciplined enough to work a paper route to earn money to take music lessons. maybe buy some video games. why were you working so hard as a kid just in your money on music lessons? >> i loved it. it was what i wanted to do after school. baseball, but there was also practice time.
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i still practice every day. tavis: i can hear a record without even knowing it is you and know it is you. how do you define your style? you created your own thing. gospels a combination of music roots in the church and classical training and my love of the blues. i am not sure other people have but being borns, , andmphis, tennessee playing on beale street, those elements created this t jones style. -- this occurred t jones style. this: the reason i love instrument so much is because long before i heard of ray charles, i am a kid growing up
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in a pentecostal church. for yearsr director at my pentecostal church in indiana. i fell in love with this instrument through the church. you mentioned ray charles and he was taking that instrument and secularizing it. similar journey? >> let me say something about the pentecostal temple. iwas raised methodist, so would stand outside the pentecostal church and listen. some goodyou want usic, come check us out.
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wax my teacher was an organist there. it was a no-no to bring this kind of music away from the spiritual environment, and we were doing something that was not kosher. i understand it that way. we caught hell at home for doing this. much leisure. the reason i wanted to become an organ player is because i heard -- play.es lay. it just struck me that was what i wanted to do with my life. that was the instrument i gravitated to.
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that is how i wound up sitting at that instrument trying to find a way to sound like ray charles. tavis: every instrument has its own voice, but there is something about that instrument that resonates. how would you describe how the oregon -- how the organ speaks o us? >> you can try to make that thing thing. unlike a piano. in a few seconds the sound is going to die down unless you strike it again. once you strike an organ, it is going to stay with you until you make it louder or softer or let it go. it is a little like a human voice, so you can put human characteristic with it. tavis: how would you incorporate it with the rest of your body of
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work? this fits in how? >> this is something of a 360 to me. it was my return to stax records. music is music that would have been made had stax not gone to some of the hiccups, some of the changes that house the and because ofer the financial problems. i think if stax had been able to live all this time, this is the kind of music they would make. this is what it would have evolved to. i am very proud of this music. i am happy to present it on stax record. tavis: it is called "sound the
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alarm" with some beautiful collaborations. --ery special treat. t booker t is going to plant out with two songs. enjoy them.ill i have enjoyed this conversation. thank you for coming on. thanks for watching. as always, keep the faith. ♪
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>> for more information on [applause] ♪ >> ♪ well i was born under a bad sign ♪ ♪ born under a bad sign ♪ i've been down since i began to crawl ♪ ♪ if it wasn't for bad luck i
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wouldn't have no luck at all ♪ ♪ ♪ hard luck and trouble my only ♪iend born under a bad sign ♪ ♪ i've been down since i began to crawl ♪ ♪ if it wasn't for bad luck i wouldn't have no luck at all ♪ wine and women all i crave ♪ ♪ big leg and woman getting carry me to my grave ♪ ♪ born under a bad sign
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♪ i've been down since i began to crawl ♪ iif it wasn't for bad luck wouldn't have no luck at all ♪ wasn't for bad luck i wouldn't have no luck at all ♪ ♪ [applause] >> for more information on today's show, visit tavis smiley at pbs.org. tavis: hi, i'm tavis smiley. join me next time for a conversation with the rider and then india are
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re-. writer peter yarrow and india arie. that's next time. see you then. ♪ >> and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> be more.
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hello and welcome to "this is us." this week we're coming to you from freedom, california, and the home of studios. they have live deejays on the air playing a unique blend of music that's made them one of the top stations in the region, and they do it all from a tiny space inside this former motel, as they like to say, it's pure pork business. along with the keepers of the pigsty, you'll meet one of the most talented singers to emerge from the bay area. incomparable star and businesswoman irene dallas. the man who helped launch the industry when he invented pong the video game and architect who spent more than three decades re-creating the city of san francisco. we've got a lot of great stories to share, and it all starts now. ♪ this is up this is us ♪

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