While exploring many different sounds and concepts, your jazz compositions maintain strong roots in the big band tradition. What’s the relationship between tradition and experiment in your music?
Tradition is never anything static. Tradition is important to study, to understand and to fully grasp, but it can never replace or be a surrogate for your own artistic identity and originality. While I respect tradition, I am not a traditionalist. I’m an experimentalist. I utilize tradition as inspiration and catalyst for my own personal artistic explorations that seek to transform culture and society, not reinforce or reproduce either.
For example, in my big band writing, I employ a lot of traditional ‘tropes’ but at the same time, metamorphosize them with odd-meter grooves, 16-tone harmonic writing (beyond the 12 tone), George Russell’s lydian chromatic concept applied to orchestration, etc.