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Was there anything that Joey DeFrancesco brought to the table that you felt was different from past musical partners?
Theyíre all different, but itís not an intellectual exercise for me. My thing is not talking about music. Itís about doing it. Other people talk about it, and they make a living talking about it. I make a living kind of singing it and playing it. If it feels right, and itís the right kind of vibe, then you should just go with it. On this, everything we tried worked, and we did it in two days. It took actually longer to mix it than to record it. In the old days, when I started, thatís how they made records.

Iím assuming everything was pretty much played live in the studio on this album.
Yeah, absolutely. The thing about jazz is the spontaneity. Thatís the thing I love. In my song ďGoldfish Bowl,Ē it says, ďJazz, funk and blues, folk music with a beat, and a whole lot of soul.Ē Thatís kind of the mixture of what I do. But the emphasis is always on spontaneity and improvising. When I play live, I never sing a song the same way twice. So to understand it, you need to have come to a lot of gigs. You canít really tell by the recordings.

Iíve always thought of your voice as almost like a tenor sax, in terms of its texture and power. But listening to you next to Joey, I hear a lot of overlap between the wide, windy organ sound and your voice. Did it feel different to be working with someone who has that much body in the way he plays his instrument?
Well, itís whatever feels right and feels good. All the instruments influence me vocally, whether it be saxophone or guitar or organ or piano. The different thing about this is that these guys are such brilliant soloists. And Joeyís kind of like a genius in his own right. So it puts a different spin on it. Itís a challenge, and a challenge is always good. We all need challenges, right?

You often get grouped with certain other people from the British invasion: the Beatles, Eric Clapton, the Rolling Stones. But itís an association youíve resisted.
Those were the people that were popular because they were promoted, and they made it on ďThe Ed Sullivan Show.Ē There were tons of other people apart from that. There was hundreds of people that were in bands playing skiffle. There was literally hundreds at that time. I was never part of any invasion. I had to make it totally on my own.

What do you think of the music industry right now, in terms of what itís promoting?
I donít really think anything about the music industry, because Iíve never been into pop music. Mose Allison said that he made it in spite of the music business. I made it in spite, and Iím still making it in spite of the music business. I have absolutely nothing to do with the music business as you know it.

Are you interested in contemporary jazz?
No, not really. I still go back to the original stuff. When I listen to it, I get more from it ó the stuff I didnít hear the first time around.

Do you have an example?
Well, Louis Armstrong, for instance. And lots of vocalists, like Ray Charles, Bobby Bland, Sam Cooke.

In terms of Armstrong, what do you return to?
I just go back to the All Stars, from the í50s, with Jack Teagarden.

Interesting, most people would say the Hot Fives or the Hot Sevens. Why are the All Stars your favorite?
I donít know.. Why do you like a certain painting? I donít know.

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