And it's a generational thing‚ too. When people start growing up and the fans get older as the players get older‚ the context definitely changes. Bob Dylan!? You could get grounded for having a Bob Dylan record at my mom's house‚ and now he's establishment. That's part of what we're seeing with the jazz-jam or the jam-jazz scene starting to blend. Guys like Marco are starting to get older‚ and people take you seriously when you get older -- and you become a better player.
And‚ it seems like you start to enlist the support of people who came before you. I love to see Steven Bernstein playing with you guys‚ or Bobby Previte‚ guys who might be a little older but who are that much more in touch with heritage and are kind of acting as a conduit to connect the younger guys to that tradition.
I'd be nothing without the musicians who are twice my age who I've been lucky enough to play with. The nonverbal information that's conveyed when you play with Johnny Vidacovich or Steve Kimock‚ or any of these guys who were my age in the '70s. There's no substitute. You've got to stand there with them. It's amazing.
How about Josh Raymer [drummer of Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey]? He's a few years younger than you guys. Is this a new wave coming up from below?
Yeah‚ dude. Raymer is a part of a wave of musicians coming up in Tulsa who remind me of Brian and I when we were starting out. They're all 20‚ 21‚ and feisty as hell. There's a jam every Monday‚ Tuesday and Thursday at coffee shops and jazz clubs that these guys all go to. Raymer was the shining jewel of that scene.
When Brian and I took some time off last year‚ we hosted the Tuesday night jam for a few months. We were the rhythm section for whoever wanted to come up. Since Jason Smart [prior JFJO drummer] doesn't live in Tulsa‚ it was an open drum chair‚ but Brian and I could hardly hang with Raymer. He actually made us sit back on our instruments and give him a little room. He was so powerful. Just blazing. Brian and I had to play half as much stuff to get the jam cooking as a result. I'm used to having to really dig in to get the thing cooking‚ and the same is true for Brian. As soon as Raymer stepped up there‚ though‚ we didn't have to jump the car anymore. It just started right up. And plus‚ he's a hell of a guy. He's all over Lil' Tae.
Yeah. It's so driving. And it's cool to hear him sliced up the way that Tae [Meyulks] did it.
Yeah. Meyulks is a great editor. He knows what to choose and what to discard. A band like Jacob Fred needs a good editor sometimes‚ somebody with a subtraction wand.

It's funny because -- going back to your bass playing -- I have been noticing the subtraction wand. I don't know if it comes from playing with a diversity of acts‚ but you're obviously not jump-starting the car anymore. Having seen you with Marco a bunch lately‚ you seem to stay so reserved and supportive‚ which was a surprise to me. It's far more minimalistic but still really cool.
Yeah. The role I play in Jacob Fred wasn't anything I ever really chose -- the lead bass thing. We were an octet for six years and there were so many soloists that‚ when we became a trio‚ it was just Brian. So‚ we had to figure out some way for me to solo and still have the whole band playing. Brian hit on the idea of playing bass lines with his left hand‚ like a B3 player‚ and that let me go off. But I was never like‚ "I want to have an octave pedal and play lots of solos!" It was more of a functional role. Somebody needed to solo and we needed a soprano voice. That's how the octave pedal thing started.
I do love doing that‚ and I get a lot of joy playing that sound‚ but it's not like I go to play with other guys and say‚ "Here's the deal: I have an octave pedal and I'm going to play a lot of solos." That's what Jacob Fred needs. It's not what Reed necessarily needs. When I'm in other settings‚ I do what that setting needs. In the Duo‚ Marco's the bass player‚ so I feel like his paradigm for the relationship between keyboard and bass is relative to his two hands. When I play with Marco‚ I need to be his left hand and not much more than that. Then he can go off with his right hand.
It has very evident‚ liberating effects on his playing.
Exactly. The farther he improvises‚ the more I stick to the bass register. It really does amazing shit for him. On that tour we did a couple weeks ago‚ I'd never heard him play like that. After the Woodstock show we came off the stage and Andrew Barr and I both simultaneously said‚ "Marco‚ that's the best piano I've ever heard you play." We were wide-eyed. He is definitely finding a part of himself that he's glad to find.
I think your playing has the same effect on Andrew‚ too. Between the show in NYC and Troy‚ he was playing on a whole new level‚ just having become accustomed to having you behind him. He could stretch out a lot more‚ it seemed.
Maybe the best thing that's come from my use of the octave pedal‚ taking on the role of a soloist‚ is that I've learned what it feels like to wish the bass was doing something else. Brian's an incredible bass player with his left hand‚ but I know what it feels like to think‚ "I wish the fucking bass player would just sit still. I wish he would stay in the lower register. Why's he always got to go play that high shit?"
I now have the opportunity in Marco's band or in Tea Leaf Green to be what I wish the bass player would be‚ and that's something I probably wouldn't have learned without taking on the role of a soloist. I almost think everybody should play bass‚ and every bass player should play a lead instrument. If you're a bassist‚ you need to know what it feels like to need one‚ and vice versa. I'm one of the rare few that gets to know both ends.