Thursday, May 30, 2013

R.Stewart & Marcus Printup

Robert Stewart and Marcus Printup: A Dialogue Between Two Jazz Greats

By Shelah Moody

Have you ever wondered what jazz musicians are thinking about when playing together onstage, when the fluid, melliferous and serpentine improvisations of the regal saxophone interact with the fiery declarations, squeaks and wa-wa’s of the mighty trumpet? Indeed, it sounds like an intelligent conversation between two kindred spirits.

This insightful dialogue between saxophonist Robert Stewart and trumpeter Marcus Printup took place after the two musicians played together with trumpet icon Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra in the Bay Area this spring. Stewart and Printup had not seen each other in five years.

Robert Stewart

One of the most accomplished and original saxophonists of his time, Stewart, who was born and raised in Oakland, CA and currently lives in SF, began playing music at age 17. Stewart is a completely self- taught musician as well as a devout Muslim. He was dubbed “The Reverend” by his Wynton Marsalis, who recruited him to perform with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra. Stewart performs with Marsalis and LCJO on the Columbia/Sony recordings: “They Came to Swing” and the Pulitzer Prize winning oratorio “Blood on the Fields.” In the Bay Area, Stewart has performed with his own band at venues such as Yoshi’s, Pier 23 and Rassela’s in San Francisco. Stewart’s solo albums include “Heaven and Earth,” “The Movement,” “Nat the Cat,” “The Force,” “In the Gutta,” “Soft Ballads” and “Judgment.”,

Marcus Printup

Born and raised in Conytheers, GA, Marcus Printup is one of the most accomplished trumpeters of his time. Printup, whose music was partly influenced by his southern Baptist church experience, attended the University of North Florida on a music scholarship and went on to win the International Trumpet Guild Jazz Trumpet Competition. Printup has been touring and recording with Marsalis and the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra since 1993; and like Stewart, he played on “Blood on the Fields,” which explores the legacy of slavery in America. Printup’s solo albums include “Song for Beautiful Woman,” “Unveiled,” “Hub Songs,” “Nocturnal Traces,” “The New Boogaloo,” “Peace In The Abstract,” “Bird of Paradise,” “London Lullaby,”
Ballads All Night,” “ A Time for Love” “Homage.”

Marcus Printup: Reverend! Man, it did my soul good to see/hear you tonight with Wynton Marsalis. It is indeed a blessing!

Robert Stewart: I felt the same regarding yourself, my blessed

brother! No trumpet player of our generation plays with such unmitigated

soul / force. You are my favorite, indeed!

Marcus Printup: I have to thank you. I listened to the CD you gave me tonight of us playing together back in the 90's. Hearing that recording reminded me of who I am,

musically. That has escaped me through the years. I hear veracity

in my sound that isn't there anymore. I still have it inside but I have to

find it again. Hearing us play back then is the first step.

Robert Stewart: That was a spiritual day. The living force was

upon us, indeed. I'm overjoyed that someone elected to record / document our

musical excursions that evening. Your soul-force remains within

you. Your dilemma lies in performing ORCHESTRATED music (READING)

on gigs all night. This HINDERS your ability to completely release your individuality.

It's impossible to completely delve into your soul, when you have to be overly concerned about an upcoming written section that you must hurry back to play. This is the reason

John Coltrane elected to play avant-garde or completely free music by

the end of his life; he had an epiphany. Consequently, Trane agrees with my

stance wholeheartedly.

Marcus Printup: When I said you have "God" in your sound, I really meant it. I'm

listening to the way I'm playing alongside you and I hear it in my sound too.

I need more of that! I feel like something just woke up inside me that

has been dormant for years. THANK YOU BROTHER!

Robert Stewart: You echo my sentiments precisely, my beloved

brother! You are of a rare breed, indeed! Al-Hamdulillah! (Praise is due

to Allah / God).

Marcus Printup: Man, before I die I want to do another one with you. Let's make it

happen. You inspire me brother. PEACE!

Robert Stewart: In Sha llah (God Willing), we will perform

together again. You are the only trumpet player of our generation that I

would want to record with. Your sound is unrelentingly UNIQUE. You

have been truly blessed by the Lord of the Worlds. Ma Sha llah! (It is the

will of Allah - God). Stay strong & may the force be with you.

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