Terell Stafford is as likely to credit his influences as he is to impress his listeners. Coming to jazz comparatively later than many players, and even with his busy schedule as a sideman, leader and educator, he remains devoted to exploring the music's roots, while expressing a relentless desire to learn more.
Stafford's latest release, This Side of Strayhorn
(MAXJAZZ, 2011), began with a commission for an educational project from the Cityfolk arts outreach group, with Stafford and his quintet later deciding to record some of that material. The resulting album explores both familiar and lesser-known Billy Strayhorn
compositions. It's also Stafford's first CD to hit the Billboard
charts, reaching number one on JazzWeek
's Jazz Radio Report.Andrew J. Sammut
spoke with Stafford about the challenges of putting together a Strayhorn tribute that stayed true to its roots in the blues, while bringing something new to the table. He also spoke at length about jazz education, and how his own background has shaped the way he's now teaching younger, aspiring artists.
Check out Terell Stafford: Trial and Inspiration
, today at All About Jazz!Photo Credit
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