Mark Soskin listened to a litany of great jazz pianists growing up in Brooklyn and attending Colorado State University, where he was pursing classical studies before the jazz influences ushered in a switch to Berklee College of Music in the 1970s. The various styles and approaches to music went into forming his musical personality, as did listening to saxophone players. The result, over the years, has been Soskin's presence as an outstanding pianist offering his skills and sensibilities to a wide array of settings with the likes of Joe Henderson, Randy Brecker, Billy Cobham, Buster Williams, Eddie Henderson, Stanley Turrentine, Herbie Mann, John Abercrombie, Claudio Roditi, Sheila Jordan, Gato Barbieri, Fathead" Newman, Mark Murphy, Slide Hampton, Bobby Watson and more.
But some of Soskin's most memorable listening experiences may have been those of Sonny Rollins. Soskin's most high-profile gig was the 14 years he spent with the saxophone colossus, so there were naturally many special moments. But more than that, he says, were countless moments of extemporaneous Rollins. Woodshed Rollins. Backstage. Behind the curtain. Before the gig. Fly on the wall. Those, too, made an impression.
AAJ contributor R.J. DeLuke spoke with Soskin about lessons learned from Newk, as well as the pianist's latest disc, One Hopeful Day (Kind of Blue, 2007).
Check out Mark Soskin: Creating an Ever-Hopeful Day at AAJ today!
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