A Conversation with Julian Priester

  Back in August of 2008 I was fortunate enough to be commissioned to expand People, Places & Things to an octet. The concept was to feature three prominent musicians of Chicago in the 1950’s and create new music in a more “modern” vein. The group included Ira Sullivan on tenor, Art Hoyle on trumpet/flugelhorn and trombonist Julian Priester. If you’re reading this I’m assuming some familiarity with these musicians and especially Priester’s presence in so many of the “right moments” of Jazz history. From early recordings and performances with Sun Ra, Lionel Hampton, John Coltrane to his inclusion in pre-headhunters Herbie Hancock projects and more recently the Dave Holland Big Band.

I interviewed each one of these musicians to expand my knowledge and feeling of what Chicago may have been in the heyday of the 50’s. Of course in the process I got a lot of insight into music and life in general. I hope to have edited these pieces, but like many ideas of mine time has gotten the better of it. I’m including most of the interview with Julian Priester un-edited. We started out talking about the presidential election (you’ll have to excuse my poor interviewing skills, I’m no Terry Gross).

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