With over three decades playing in some of L.A.'s most innovative and interesting musical projects, violinist/composer Jeff Gauthier threatens to succumb to the irony of being better known as the founder/CEO of Cryptogramophone Records. Now in their tenth year, Cryptogramophone has outgrown underground status, even meriting a feature in trendy Details magazine. Boasting a roster including Nels Cline, Vinny Golia, Peter Erskine, Don Preston, Steuart Liebig, Alex Cline, and Gauthier's Goatette, Cryptogramophone also provided a safe haven for the long awaited creative rebirth of Bennie Maupin. Gauthier produced sessions regularly win glowing notices, and the label's artistic cred far outweighs its founding inspiration: Gauthier's desire to keep alive the profound compositions of his late friend, Eric Von Essen.
Despite the label's enviable achievements under Gauthier's guidance, all his committed efforts on behalf of L.A.'s creative music community have left him with little enough time to pursue his own musical visions. Even this interview, which intended to limit itself to Gauthier's musical present, frequently veers into Crypto talk--after ten intense years the boundaries blur. Inspired by his acclaimed new album, House of Return (Cryptogramophone, 2008), an enthusiastic reception at New York's Jazz Standard, and an exciting solo project, Jeff Gauthier, esteemed artist, seems poised to step out from behind the shadow of his savvy business self.
Check out Rex Butter's informative interview, Jeff Gauthier: Fiddling with the Future at AAJ today!