【英日対訳】ミュージシャン達の言葉what's in their mind


【英日対訳:キース・ジャレット】インタビュー: with Stuart Nicholson, Feb.'09 (1/2)

Keith Jarrett Interview Conducted By Stuart Nicholson: February 2009  




Q: Yesterdays was recorded in 2001 and to me it’s at once intense, creative yet playful and seems to encapsulate your remarks in the LA Times that jazz musicians don’t have to break down doors all the time. So what is your rationale when you select pieces to perform with the trio?  




KJ: Rationale? I don’t have one, I don’t have a conscious concept. Just to give you an example. Tribute [the double CD set of standards – plus two Jarrett originals – recorded October 15, 1989 at Philharmonie, Köln] was a tribute to Nancy Wilson, Charlie Parker, Coltrane and people like that in jazz. There was quite an in depth review of it, I’m not sure if it was a German reviewer or could even been British, anyway, it was very in-depth and he had developed this theory that as we were playing each song we were quite aware of who the recipient of this tribute was.  




I had to debunk his whole theory when he talked to me a little bit, I said not only have you developed this theory, painstakingly probably, and worked it out but I have to tell you that you’re absolutely not correct. There was no thought of these singers and players at the time we did the playing – that came after the fact when I realised there was a connection between the songs and what someone had done, for example, when I think of “All the Things You Are” I think of Sonny Rollins, and so on. So there is no rationale, no game plan with the trio.  

その人がそれを僕にちょっと話した時、僕はそれは全く違うと思って。きみはその理屈をたぶん一生懸命考えたんだろうけど、悪いがぜんぜん違うよ、と。僕らは演奏中、そんなシンガーやプレイヤーを全く意識していなかった。あとで演奏を聴いた時に、それが以前誰かが演奏したものと繋がっていることに気づいたんだ。例えば「All the Things You Are」のことを考えるとソニー・ロリンズが思い浮かぶ、みたいにね。なので僕らのトリオには方針も計画もないんだよ。 


Q: So you just hit on songs?  




KJ: That’s about as in-depth as you get! I hit on them, like baseball or something. For example, if you take Yesterdays, if I were to analyse the different facets of it and say what was the rationale for those particular choices I couldn’t – I remember we were coming out of three or four concerts that were all free music [with the trio], and then we did a soundcheck in the hall [April 30, 2001 at Metropolitan Festival Hall, Tokyo] and it seemed like songs would work better than free stuff and we had not played any tunes at all on this trip, yet.  




So one of the things you hear [on the album] is relief, we were just relieved not to have to be in charge of every split second, so answering your original question, we didn’t feel we had to push the envelope as we had been pushing the envelope at those other four concerts for every split second. Rather than rationale there are reasons that provoke us into saying yes, this works, no this doesn’t work, this hall is good for this, it’s not good for this, and then the music arrives in a certain package.  



For example, the whole music of The Survivor’s Suite [recorded Ludwigsbeurg, Germany April 1976 and released by ECM] was written – and this is something that’s perhaps not known widely at all – that suite of pieces was written specifically for Avery Fisher Hall in New York, because I knew we were going to play there, I think it was opposite Monk as part of the festival. I knew from playing in Avery Fisher Hall many times the sound was not precise enough onstage to play fast tempos, [the sound] got blurred – so I decided to write the music for that evening. I felt it was important as an evening of music and that’s the first place we played it and it was written for that hall and then it became something we did at other places. 



So there was a rationale to that, but I think very few people would ever say, “Would you conceive, Mr. Jarrett, of writing for a specific hall?” I probably would say, “No.” But the answer lies in the fact that I knew the hall to be very poor for certain kinds of things and if you listen to The Survivor’s Suite you’ll notice there are no fast tempos.  



Q: Interesting. Religious music, of course, is conceived entirely with the acoustic space in mind.  




KJ: That’s right. Anything on that record was “free” speed, not tempo speed, so that was that story. I think that explains more or less how we go about this stuff.  


そのとおり。あのレコードに収められているのは、どれも "自由な" 速さであって、テンポとして決められた速さではない、そういう話なんだ。僕達がこういうことをどう扱っているか、これでだいたい分かってもらえると思うけど。 


Q: Yesterdays – you mention you did four free concerts beforehand, but 2001 was actually a very rich period for the trio [four albums were recorded from the trio’s 2001 tours]  




KJ: Ah, yes. I was the first person to notice, of course, because I have a list “must come out” releases. This tape must come out, this tape – forget it, we don’t need this. So I had recordings from all over the place from a few different years, and I made list on a couple of sheets of paper in case my plane went down or something silly like that, and someone would see that and know what I wanted next. And it’s a funny thing. I noticed that in the end, although I was choosing from over several years, I kept choosing pre-9/11 on the year 2001. And I have no explanation for that.  




Q: Well, I was going ask if the inner man was celebrating putting that awful illness behind you [Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, popularly known as ME, which afflicted Jarrett from the autumn of 1996 for over two years].  


そう言えば、うかがおうと思っていたのですが、あの大変なご病気から回復されて、あなたの内なる魂もさぞかしお喜びでしょうね(慢性疲労症候群: 通称「ME」は、1996年秋から2年以上、彼を苦しめた)。 


KJ: Yes. That could be. If that’s true then there’s something going on now too. It started at the end of [2008] at Carnegie Hall with the trio and everything jumped, skyrocketed!  




Q: Well, I hope it’s being documented. Can we go back to the beginning of the trio, and the ECM three CD box set Setting Standards which documents its beginnings [Standards Vol. 1 and Standards Vol. 2 and Changes recorded January 1983]. What was the ethos of the trio then, and how it has evolved?  


それは是非、聴いてみたいものです。ところでトリオの始まりと、その記録であるECMの3枚組CDボックスセット「Setting Standards」(「Standards Vol.1」「Standards Vol.2」および「Changes」。1983年1月録音。)の頃に戻ってお話を伺いたいのですが、当時のトリオの理念と、それが現在までどのように発展してきたかを教えていただけますか? 


KJ: Well, interestingly it evolved all by itself, as long as we keep the same principals just not possessing the music as though it’s ours and just going in as a player in a group. It evolved like that, it depends on the purity of Gary and Jack and I at that time, and that’s all it depends on – plus our health of course – but really the purity of intent. There’s not another group that has this MO, at least I’ve never heard of one, but it’s not that we’re casual, we’re the exact opposite. I’m not hearing any more, like I heard ten years ago, “Why are they still playing standards?” I’m not hearing this from critics. I’m seeing them saying just listen to them playing, not so much “that’s the third time they’ve played this song,” but the fact we’re changing without any preconceived notion of what kind of that change should be.  




Q: Equally, the Standards Trio has always had its alter ego, The Changes Trio  




KJ: Yes  




Q: And later albums such as Inside Out [recorded at London’s Festival Hall in July 2000] and Always Let Me Go [the two CD set recorded in Japan in April 2001] prompt me to ask about this aspect of the trio’s performances. Sometimes you impose form, sometimes the roles of the instruments change and I was wondering if you get the same degree of fulfilment playing in the freer realm as you do playing – for want of a better word – inside.  


その後リリースされた『Inside Out』(ロンドン、ロイヤルフェスティバルホールでの録音。2000年7月。)や『Always Let Me Go』(日本録音の2枚組CD。2001年4月。)といったアルバムを聴いて、トリオのこうした演奏の側面について聞いてみたいと思ったのですが、形式に則った演奏をしたかと思えば、各楽器の役割を変えたりしますね。そのような、より自由度の高い領域での演奏は、うまい言葉が見つかりませんが、形式の「内側」での演奏(訳注:ここではスタンダードを演奏すること)と同じレベルの充実感を得られるんでしょうか。 


KJ: Well, we’re a little bit busier, so it’s a little harder to feel fulfilled! But Gary told me something interesting after he heard Always Let Me Go, he said, “Really this is the only group I’ve ever played with” – and he’s had a lot of free experience, he was with Albert Ayler and playing with a lot of guys playing free music – he said, “this is the only group where it constantly changes inside of the freedom and it’s not boring. It isn’t like you start out in high gear and that’s where you stay and no colours ever shift.” But it’s not something I’d want to do constantly, because it’s like going outside your planet, at some point you’ve got to come back.  


そうだなあ、僕らは他のバンドと比べると少し忙しい(いろいろなことをやっている)ので、充実感を得るのはちょっと難しいかもしれないな!でもゲイリーが『Always Let Me Go』を聴いたあと、こんな面白いことを言ったんだ。「ホントに今までやってきて、こんなグループはどこにもないよ。」ってね。彼はアルバート・アイラーや、多くのフリー・ミュージック・プレイヤー達とも一緒に演っていて、たくさんの経験をしてきたんだけど、その彼が「フリーやってて、常に変化が起き続けていて退屈しないのはこのグループだけさ。ハイギアでスタートして、やみくもに吹き散らかし始めたらずっとその状態で、色合いの変化もくそもない、なんてのが絶対ないんだから。」まあでも、僕はそういうのを常にやりたいとは思わない。自分の世界の外へ出るようなものだからね。いつかは戻ってこないといけないんだ。 


Q: Can you expand on how you collectively approach this area of improvising?  




KJ: Well, to me it’s like applying the solo gestalt to three people, and trying to lead, without being a leader – if the bottom feels like it’s going to fall out finding some little spice to throw up in the air, so there is some element – it isn’t typical free music, it’s more like three stream-of-consciousness’s. I’m more in charge when we’re playing free stuff than when we’re playing tunes because I’ve had such an enormous amount of experience playing from zero in solo concerts, so I know I’m hearing the guys looking to me for little road signs, it’s good because what it means is those are the moments when the music does shift and the colour does change, otherwise it would be just be like sweating and playing triple forte! Maybe Jack starts it by playing something and I have to find a way in, and since I have the only instrument that has to do with harmony per se, I’m the one who has to deal with structure also, they don’t necessarily.  




All through my jazz listening life, I was always more interested in listening to piano-less groups than with piano, so it’s hard to be a pianist in a free situation because the instrument itself is looking at you and saying “Why aren’t you using combinations of my notes?”  



So it’s a kind of give and take.  



A lot of free players will probably not consider those albums really free music, but my answer to them, if they were ever to say that, is the answer I gave someone when I gave a Bach transcription as an encore for a solo concert. He came backstage and decried the fact that it was not completely improvised, and I said “Yes it was.” And he said, “No it was a Bach piece.” And I said, “But I didn’t plan on playing it!”  



Q: Touché! One important aspect of your playing is your respect for melody, both written and improvised. I wonder if you could let me have your perspective on the importance of melody, which, to me at least, is often being lost in jazz in favour of patterns.  




KJ: Yes, I agree. I would say the “cleverness” syndrome has taken the place of melody. It’s like everyone has come down with this terrible disease in jazz. First of all you are always expected to do your own material, which is a strange thing to do if you’re a poor composer but a great player. If you are a great player and luckily you know what great melody is about things can happen that can’t happen otherwise.  




There was a class on melody when I went to Berklee school, I didn’t learn anything in that class but I thought it was an immensely innovative idea. I already felt I knew what melody was and what good melody was. It was held by a guitarist and I can’t think of his name, I think he was from the South West, the deal was you’d go in and it was like a melody class, melody writing – and it was like Jeez, what’s this about? And that was exactly the point, it was boring in its concept but it provoked the awareness that – in other word, if you need to be made conscious of something the only way to do that is by finding how bad you are at it.  



One of the first exercises we were given was eight bars and you could only use whole notes and half notes and you’re supposed to write a melody and bring it in. It’s almost what I’d tell piano students, they’d play a lot of licks, I could tell they were not coming from them, they were coming from mechanical patterns. And they would say, “How do you do what you do?” And I would say, “Don’t even ask that question, ask yourself why do you do what you do? Do you like what you just played or not?” “Well no. Not really” And I’d say, “Okay, I want you to play a fifth in your left hand, C and G, anyfifth, anywhere, in your left hand. And just wait and if you don’t hear anything in your head to play don’t start playing and when you do start playing, if it’s not something you like, stop.” And they come back and say, “You know, I never discover anything I like and I wait forever and nothing happens and nothing goes through my head.” And I’d go, “Okay, that’s the first stage. Keep doing it.”  



With melody Ornette is a good example, there’s naivety in his music, but there’s something natural there that you can’t teach. It’s either there or it’s not, and I’m not sure there are rules, like there are in architecture. If you graph a good melody it probably looks good as a graph. I’m working on the Bach violin concertos now to play with a violinist and some of the slow movements, if you just look at [the sheet music] the intervallic motion and the immense amount of juice that’s there is in the shapes, something very, very meaningful in the shapes even on the page.  



When I look at music, I can tell by looking at it if there is anything to do with melody in this music, because there should be a shape there that gets you intrigued, and it has to be asymmetrical, a really good melody stands out as a perfect thing, and it couldn’t be bettered. If it can’t be bettered then it’s a good melody. And then there’s the harmony. It depends on how a person writes, but what I used to do was I’d have the melody start on paper, I just was so involved in getting it down the way I heard it I’d just write a bass note just so I’d know what the contrapuntal relationship is. I would say that people who write using chords and melody as a guide are most of the time going to be bad melody writers. Because chords are vertical and melodies are lateral so if you start thinking of chords too early in the writing of something, you may overlook the one great thing you could have come up with in the melody.  



And then there is this mystery place in the melody where you don’t know what chords should be there, and that’s what you have to discover later. You just have to come up with voice leading or some chordal – there’s a piece I wrote called “So Tender,” which is on a couple of our albums, the trio recorded it, and I did it with Airto and when I did it with Airto, Ron Carter was playing bass and it was in the studio and he looked at the music and said, “This can’t be right.” And I said, “What do you mean Ron?” And he said, “Well, the second eight bar phrase starts with a dominant chord,” and I said, “That’s right Ron.” He said, “How can that be? It’s just not…” He was thinking from his rule book. I said, “Ron, wait until you hear the whole piece, you’re looking at the chords. Wait until you see how the melody and chords connect, and then tell me it’s wrong.” And he didn’t say a word after that! It’s a matter of how the multiplicity of elements connect that makes the melody and the voices below the melody make perfect sense and that is something you might never guess from only looking at one of those elements.  

「謎の場所」があって、そのコードを後で見つけなきゃいけない。ボイスリーディングとか、あるいはいくつかのコードを考えたりして。でもそんなことする必要があるのか?僕が書いた「So Tender」っていう曲があって、いくつかのアルバムに収録されてるけど、トリオでも録音したし、アイアート・モレイラとも一緒にやったんだ。その時のベースはロン・カーターだったんだけど、彼はスタジオで楽譜を見るなり「おいこれ、絶対間違ってるぞ。」って言うわけ。「どういうことだよロン?」「ほら、この2回目の8小節フレーズ、ドミナントコードで始まってるじゃん。」「いいんだよそれで。」「なんで?いやありえないって。絶対違うでしょこれ…」彼はいつもの自分のやり方で考えてたんだ。なので僕は「ロン、まあ待てよ。曲を全部終わりまで聴いて、コードを確認してくれ。メロディとコードがどうつながってるかを見てからダメって言ってくれよ。」と。彼はそうしてくれて、あとは何も言わなかったよ!つまり、メロディとそれを下で支えるコードやベースラインが完璧な意味を持つのは、いろんな要素がどのようにつながってるかということだから、その中のひとつの要素だけ見てても絶対分からないんだ。 


Q: One of the problems for pedagogy, of course, is that there is no such thing as a definition for “a beautiful melody.”  




KJ: Many, many great composers – let’s say Prokofiev, for example. An incredible melodist, he strings the melody out over a longer period of time than you would expect and because of that you become intrigued. Like, we thought this would resolve itself last week! But it’s still going on and there are still more chords to be found there, more groundwork that somehow makes sense. That’s a certain kind of magic and I don’t think you can teach it.  


偉大な作曲家はそれこそ沢山いるけど… 例えばプロコフィエフを例に挙げると、彼は信じられないほど素晴らしいメロディストで、こっちの予想を上回る長さのメロディを紡ぎだして魅了するんだ。例えるなら、先週解決すると思ったものがまだ続いてて、もっと多くの和音が出てくるし、メロディを支える下地の構造も増えていて、それが何とか成立してる!みたいな感じかな。あれはもう、ある意味魔法みたいなもんだね。教えることなんてできないよ。 


Q: I think so too. Today you have to have the instant melody, or instant hook, for instant gratification. We have spoken in the past about Mozart, who was a supreme melodist  




KJ: Yes