Over the past fourteen years, I’ve been privileged to have many conversations, serious and hilarious, with the most admirable musician Jon-Erik Kellso. He picks his words carefully, often as whimsical commentaries on some passing absurdity. Jon doesn’t need twenty choruses to speak his piece, but what he says is solid.
Thus it was a pleasure and a surprise to find this video interview done by the gracious Monk Rowe for the Fillius Jazz Archive at Hamilton College September 1997 (at that time I’d heard and admired Jon on recordings but hadn’t yet encountered him in person) at Jazz at Chautauqua . . . those familiar with the Hotel Athenaeum will recognize the wallpaper.
Monk leads Jon-Erik through his fortunate blossomings as a musician, improviser, and trumpeter: along the way there are quiet irreplaceable insights about the trumpet’s role in the improvising ensemble, a loving tribute to Milt Hinton, and much more.
I’m not sure what Jon-Erik, in 2018, thinks of his young self, but this boyish fellow acquits himself with easy grace:
For many more of these wonderful interviews, some done by eminent musicians as well as the amiable Mr. Rowe, visit here. And for a splendidly tonic infusion of the Kellso magic — cage-free and organic — check this out.
May your happiness increase!