Leading Questions: a deeper look

Steve Korn

Steve Korn

Seattle drummer Steve Korn is an integral part of the Seattle jazz scene. He leads his own quintet, and works with many of Seattle’s hottest resident players, as well as prominent national artists who come through the city. He’s a published author and an active educator and clinician. And, on top of all that, Steve is an outstanding photographer.

In 2008 he launched the Leading Questions project on The Seattle Jazz Scene to combine his deep understanding of jazz with his photographic talents to bring attention to players he feels are important contributors to the Seattle jazz scene. His open ended statements provide the catalyst for revealing insight into his subjects. His portraits are the result of a personal and individual approach to each musician. The results, especially when viewed in combination with Steve’s essays about each portrait session, provide a wonderful look at some exceptional members of our jazz community.

Here’s his Leading Questions look at three of these musicians, all key members of Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra, with brief excerpts from each interview and essay.

Clarence Acox

Clarence Acox

Photo by Steve Korn

  • Someone once told me… that band directors are born, not made.
  • When I was 14 I… heard a recording of Count Basie & his Orchestra playing “Easin’ It” and it changed my life.
  • The drums are… the life-blood of all America music.
  • The piece of music that… starts with simple phrase and is developed, knocks my sox off. People underestimate the importance of development.
  • (read the entire interview)

“If someone asked me about Clarence, I would say he is a sweetheart of a guy, and it seems odd to me to say that, because Clarence doesn’t act like a sweetheart of a guy. He’s not effusive or emotional, but if you talk to him and listen closely, you can hear how much heart this guy has…”

(read the entire essay)

Mark Taylor

Photo by Steve Korn

Mark Taylor

  • Someone once told me… “Nobody cares about your creativity or your original music”. Wrong.
  • When I was 14… I discovered Bird, Cannonball, and Phil Woods.
  • The saxophone… is my voice.
  • The piece of music that first… mesmerized me was Charlie Parker with Strings “Just Friends”
  • (read the entire interview)

“Saxophonist, Mark Taylor is one of the first musicians I met and worked with when I moved to Seattle in 1994. Over the years he has always been among my favorite musicians to work with as well as one of my best friends. In addition to being an incredible musician, he is one of the most down to earth, good-natured people I know.”

(read the entire essay)

Jay Thomas

Photo by Steve Korn

Jay Thomas

  • Someone once told me… hold your horn up when you play. Hmmmm I’m not sure if it matters unless you’re in a big band.
  • When I was 14… I decided I wanted to be a musician.
  • The trumpet is… beautiful but unforgiving…if I pick it up to play it demands my full attention…if I don’t want to commit then it would be best to leave it alone.
  • The piece of music that taught me a lot… when I was young was Lover Man…Thorlackson used to play it for me on piano and we had fun playing…it’s an easy tune and fun to play.
  • (read the entire interview)

“It really communicates what I see in Jay, the person. The direct view into the eyes of a guy who is all about his music and the journey through life that he follows with his horn. That’s Jay. And, he’s really blowing here, not pretending. I don’t think Jay would look right pretending to blow.”

(read the entire essay)


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One response to “Leading Questions: a deeper look

  1. this is fascinating — simple, direct, revealing. Let’s have more….

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