October 10, 2019
Anthony Strong is an English pianist, author and singer. We interviewed him.
What made you desire to be a jazz singer/musician?
I fell in love with the harmony. I went to music school to study clarinet when I was 14 years old and was offered jazz piano lessons. I remember being totally mesmerised by the first few chords I heard my teacher playing and, since then, I was hooked. I’d already been singing a little bit and playing piano by ear before my jazz studies, but it was at college I started to sing and play: the gigs paid a lot better if you could do both!
In your opinion, what is jazz today?
Jazz continues to be a thriving and exciting art form. I am what in the jazz scene they call ’straight-ahead’, because I like radio friendly jazz, but there’s so much vibrant and exciting modern jazz music coming out from all corners of the globe right now. People like Jacob Collier come to my mind, he’s really pushing the boundaries and making music like nobody else has done before. So inspiring.
Let’s talk about “ME AND MY RADIO”: how did you choose, arrange and write the songs in it? And how did you choose the musicians you recorded with?
I wrote the song list over about a 6 month period, it started at around 20 songs and I slowly whittled it down over the months. I demoed every song in my home studio playing the instruments myself to get an idea of how they would sound and some of the arrangements just ‘shone’ more than others. The album almost wrote itself! As for the musicians, I was really keen to choose the guys I’d been playing with on the road. They are the band that most audiences hear me play with, we have a great understanding of each other and they also really understand how to play both jazz AND pop music. It’s not a very common situation, they just ‘get it’. They are really swinging but also really groovy at the same time.
Jazz Singing: an espresso with Anthony Strong copyright Jazzespresso 2019.
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