Nobody improvises with a band quite like Mark de Clive-Lowe.
A grand pianist and jazz technologist who fuses acoustic and electric sounds, he brings his new quartet to Berklee College of Music as part of The Checkout Live series next Wednesday, followed by an appearance on Thursday at BRIC JazzFest in Brooklyn.
Watch the webcast of his Berklee concert, from Cafe 939’s Red Room in Boston, on Oct. 17 at 8 p.m., via Facebook Live and at this page on wbgo.org. Along with his keyboards and live electronics, the band on tour will feature Teodross Avery on saxophones, Corbin Jones on bass, and Gene Coye on drums.
Months ago, I talked with de Clive-Lowe about his most compelling recording to date, and one of my favorite jazz albums from last year, Live at The Blue Whale (Ropeadope). It’s the only recording I know of where a bandleader samples his own musicians in an improv scenario, in real time.
In this podcast, Mark discusses some of the artists he likes to sample from, including saxophonist Marcus Strickland and trumpeter Keyon Harrold. Then he pays tribute to some of his jazz heroes from the past: Yusef Lateef, Sun Ra, and the still-thriving Ahmad Jamal.
We also detailed his approach for a Jazz Night In America video short, in which de Clive-Lowe equated his artistry to the hip-hop term known as “the needle drop.” He finds unexpected moments in a live situation, immediately clones them, manipulates those fragments through a variety of sequencers, and filters them back to his ensemble to render an orchestra of sound.