This is a never before seen clip from the Charlie Hunter interview i did for “Icons Among Us” documentary. I loved interviewing Charlie. He is such an intelligent person who has proven himself to be a leader in the “do-it-yourself” belief system as a musician. For all of us in the film crew, he was a great interview and was happy to sit down and talk about the subject matter that our documentary deals with. This clip was shot at Preservation Hall during the NOLA Jazz Fest, Post-Katrina.
What he says here is really important, especially coming off my recent trip to Newport and listening to what George Wein says in a quick interview he gave to Chris Thomas ( of which i will follow up this post with). When the two interviews are viewed back to back, it’s easy to see both Mr. Hunter and Mr. Wein are the true forward thinkers in “jazz” music today and true icons among us ! included below : Charlie’s interview excerpt transcribed ..
“Well you know I think I tried, maybe I didn’t try, but you know the whole concept of labeling things is, it’s really a manifestation of, of living in, in a capitalist system where you need to bring things to market, you need to commodify things. And the easiest way to commodify a product is to, to name it and label it and give it a, give it a very specific focus so that the audience who you are hoping to, to buy, your target audience, they’ll, they’ll be like boom this is product A and then boom they’re to product A. And a lot of that is kind of like manipulating the reptilian mind and our, our normal human tendencies towards that kind of group thing you know. And you know I, in the early stages of my career I tried to fit into that cause I didn’t understand how to relate all of the, the kind of cultural things I wanted to within this very, very narrow kind of a, a viewpoint. But I found that, that ultimately you know by slowly cutting off every possible (laugh) avenue of remuneration I could have for myself, I’ve come to a nice happy medium of being able to play the music that I want with the kind, the people I want, or the audience I want, more or less generally. Which is great. And I just think it, it’s a lot harder work, you really have to put your nose to the grindstone. But ultimately it ends up being a lot more rewarding because you feel like you’re really a part of, at the end of the night after finishing your gig, you just leave it there. Just feels good, you feel like you’ve communicated with the audience, they accepted you for what you are, and maybe that audience is, is only a hundred people instead of 10,000 people. But to me you know as long as I can manage to make a living and play for that kind of audience, that really makes me feel like I don’t have to look over my shoulder, I don’t have to feel like I’m, I’ve kind of, in a few years I’m gonna be really embarrassed you know. Although I have been embarrassed, but that’s all part of the process you know” ~Charlie Hunter 2007
This entry was posted on Saturday, August 15th, 2009 at 12:59 pm and is filed under Icons Among Us, Video and tagged with capatalist system, Charlie Hunter, Icons Among Us, jazz, Preservation Hall. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.