Hermeto, Joe McPhee and instruments

Sometime ago Ray Moore and I were disussing multi-instrumentalists. I was saying how awed I was by Hermeto Pascoal and his band, that they all play multiple instruments, and sound great. Unrelated stuff like piano, flute, and euphonium…all on a level to make great music. We decided that some of it was the idea that they think less about the instrument and more about the music.

Today I was reading an article on Joe McPhee in the Fall 2005 issue of Signal to Noise. Joe McPhee says:

People say to me, “How can you switch between instruments?” It’s because I don’t make a distinction. I don’t think “saxophone”, I think “music.” …It doesn’t matter to me what instrument it is. The instrument is simply a tool.

Get the right tool for the job, eh?

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2 thoughts on “Hermeto, Joe McPhee and instruments

  1. Speaking of Hermeto, he once stated that he didn’t even practice at all! See this quote from the 1979 interview:

    Watanabe Sadao: How much do you practice your instruments these days?

    Hermeto Pascoal: Not at all. Every morning I wake up and spread all the instruments on the bed, staring at them – then I pick up one of them, thinking “today’s one!” and spend the whole day with it.

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