American jazz singer David Post is a regular visitor to Russia, performing mainly in St. Petersburg. This Sunday, Moscow audiences get the chance to hear a singer who has been compared to Chet Baker and Mel Torme at the Butman club. We caught up with him before his performance.
American jazz singers sometimes spend more time touring in Russia than elsewhere. Why is that?
The enthusiasm for jazz here is wonderful. In the USA, jazz is not as popular as it is in Russia. Thus, it makes sense that jazz singers from USA come here. I certainly am having a blast!
Every time you come to the new Russian city, you have to play with the local bands. How they are in quality?
I am super impressed with the players here. They are well-studied, creative and very easy to work with. There is a family feeling in the jazz community in St.-Petersburg, which is where I mostly play. I can't say who plays the best, but the rhythm section from the St.-Petersburg Jazz Philharmonic Big Band is certainly one of my favorites.
How long do you rehearse with the new band?
Most gigs we do not rehearse at all, which is pretty standard in jazz settings. I call a tune, the key, set the tempo and we begin! Determining who solos next, fermatas, endings of tunes are all set up with subtle gestures. There are conventions within the genre that make this pretty straightforward.
Whom are you performing with on July 6th concert at Butman Club on Taganka?
I do not know, but I trust the management to partner me with some great players.
(The Vladimir Nesterenko trio will accompany David Post — TMT).
How can a jazz vocalist stay fresh and interesting?
It is a lifelong study to be a good musician in any genre. As a singer, I keep listening, I pull out more obscure pieces, I write my own material ... all to stay fresh. I only sing pieces that I truly love.
Do you understand the pronunciation of the Russian jazz singers?
There is usually a pretty strong accent. But I applaud these singers. I can't imagine singing jazz in Russian very well. These people work hard.
Do you get a chance to visit the concerts of Russian singers?
I do attend some concerts by Russian singers, especially my friend Guzel Sayfutinova. Also, so many of us get together to perform at the famous late night jam sessions at The Hat Bar in St.-Petersburg.
What are your recommendations for Russian jazz singers?
Do what the instrumentalists do. Learn jazz theory. Learn to improvise as if you are an instrumentalist. Listen to great singers and perhaps even more, to instrumentalists. Also, don't push the voice. It is a subtle art. And most of all, find your own art. Make it something that is meaningful to you, not just entertainment.
David Post performs on Sunday at Butman Club. 8.30 p.m. Verkhnyaya 21 Radischevskaya ulitsa (In Steak's restaurant in the Taganka Theater. www.butmanclub.ru