This will not be news to regular listeners to The Jazz Podcast: for a few months, the programme, started in February 2017 by Rob Cope and Dan Farrant, and with a catalogue of well over a hundred episodes, has had a co-host, Australian-born harpist Tara Minton. As seems appropriate, Tara first joined the podcast for its show for their episode released on Australia Day in January 2021, the interview with the Israeli-born saxophonist of Marbin, Danny Markovitch. She has taken on a central role ever since.
The main section of the latest episode, released last Friday 17 December 2021, consists of an interview by Tara Minton with French soprano saxophonist Emile Parisien. He is there mainly to tell the story of his new album on ACT, Louise, but the interview ranges far more broadly into topics around fostering the creative spirit… and even unicorns. Click on the image here to go straight through to the podcast
In the interview, Tara asks Emile about his memories of the much-missed Manchester- born pianist John Taylor. The question was unexpected, and brought back a particular memory. Parisien was in the band led by Stephane Kerecki at the Les Saveurs Jazz Festival on 17 July 2015, the night when JT had a fatal heart attack on-stage and was taken to hospital where he died the same night. (NEWS STORY).
Now, six years on, Parisien reflects on that shocking and saddening experience. And the way the story evolves tells the listener a lot about the character, the stature, the depth of Emile Parisien as a person and a musician.
There is a thoughtful yet clearly emotional tone of his voice right from the moment JT’s name is mentioned and he prepares to tell Tara Minton the story… in English rather than his native French. It is very moving. Rather than listening to the words themselves, I found my self marvelling at the way he told the story: the gaps, the pauses, the way he just recounts the facts and lets them tell the story. And yet one can intuit and understand the emotion. Improvisers in general and Parisien tell stories with authenticity, they bring up their emotions from a deep well…
The title track from the album by the three French musicians and three Americans of the Emile Parisien Sextet has been released as a single (on YouTube below). The full album is out on 28 January 2022.
Thank you to Rob Cope and Tara Minton for asking me to join the opening and closing sections around the interview, and to give a few topical thoughts.
LINKS: The Jazz Podcast