Since I was a young kid, I felt like I had an internal impulse to make music. I started writing songs when I was 9 years old. In high school I started to become exposed to jazz through WRTI, the radio station there. I started getting into more advanced forms and more mature and deeper musics. I developed a thirst for the more complicated music. I liked Rush. I went from listening to hard rock, to progressive rock, to electric jazz and fusion, and then into acoustic jazz. Luckily, I was in Philly at the time when I started getting into Jazz-jazz. I’d go to jam sessions with really old-school, hardcore jazz guys—Bootsie Barnes, Tony Williams, Eddie Green, Al Jackson, Mike Boone, Byron Landham—at a club called the Blue Note, this really big community club, packed with people—a good cross-section, but it was mostly a black neighborhood club.
I would learn a tune or two a week out of The Real Book, and my Mom would drive me there from Germantown. They’d welcome me up on the stage, and I’d call “Stella By Starlight” and they would launch into some intro that was all so new to me. I had no idea how they knew it. It wasn’t in The Real Book. It was a great education for me about what jazz really is. It’s not what you learn on the page; it’s this whole tradition. So I really got a good dose of that—the spirit, improvisation, connecting with people, lifting things off the ground. That’s how I fell in love with jazz. - Kurt Rosenwinkel
( Really love his velvety touch and thoughtful lines on the guitar. Beautiful! - Ed )