– by Jennifer Barone, featuring some questions from the audience from Tuesday Nights at Club Deluxe!
We've decided to turn the spotlight on one of our favorite and frequent musicians at Club Deluxe–Colin Williams! Not only does he love to play with our poets, he does it well and has been known to sing the blues too. Is there anything this man can't do? Yes, he truly is a "Bad Ass on the Bass." Read our little interview and find out some interesting facts on the man behind the bassline.
Q: What jazz tune makes you totally lose your shit when
you play it and why?
A: I like any and all blues. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To, because no one ever plays it. I also like all the New Orleans Tunes, like Down By the Riverside. So Nasty. As a club owner once told me, "girls with clean panties are nice, but girls with dirty panties are even nicer, heh heh heh." Man, I miss New Orleans.
Q: Compare and contrast: Charles Mingus and Shakespeare:
A: Shakespeare put the ancient world into English. If you read Lucan's account of the witches of Thessaly, you'll see where Shakespeare gets his ideas for the witches in MacBeth. If you read Seneca's Thyestes, you'll see where Shakespeare got his ideas for Titus Andronicus. Shakespeare is the link between the ancient world and the modern.
Likewise, Mingus is the missing link between crazy modern jazz and swing. Mingus was Duke Ellington's bass player until he chopped up a trombone player's chair with an ax. Mingus understood swing, but he went and tweaked it. Most of the crazy modern cats got their start in Mingus' band. Like Shakespeare, he's the link between the elder statesmen and the young turks.
Q: How did you first get into jazz and what song did it for you?
A: David Friesen's Early Morning Rising ! He plucked the strings below the fingerboard, recorded it, and looped it back over and over again. Then he took the bow and rapped it against the fingerboard like a drum, recorded that and played it back so that it was perfectly locked in with what he had down. Then he bowed a melody on top of all that. Took my sixteen-year-old breath away!
Q: Is the marriage of jazz and poetry a happy marriage or a rocky one?
A: It's a Happy One at Deluxe, but I've seen it get ugly at other clubs. Everyone respects each other here.
Q: Any recommendations as to what instructions you'd like to hear when poets ask for your accompaniment?
A: They're actually really clear.
Q: You sometimes take off your shoes when you play. Is it for comfort or because the band makes you?
A: The P.A. System feeds back because I stomp so hard. Sorry.
Q: If you had to ex-communicate one poet and choose one to listen to all night who would they be?
A: Yeah, I'll take the fifth on that one. What question could possibly be more awkward than that?
Q: Who's hotter Jennifer, Ingrid or Katarina?
A:You know, Aphrodite, Athena, and Hera asked Paris the same question. But I think Paris had an easier time of it. It would be easier to find some blemish on any of them, some defect of carriage, some gaffe in any of those goddesses than in any that frequent Deluxe. Suffice to say they have all made my bass skip a beat.
Q: Any favorite musicians on Tuesdays you love jamming with?
A: Shane really impresses me. I love James' energy. Stacy's tone is flawless. We've got a good crowd.
Q: What was the most moving and/or shocking Club Deluxe moment so far?
A: That woman who did a Margaret Cho routine invaded my comfort zone. Man, where did that come from?
Q: What jazz artist and album do you recommend to listen to while between the sheets with a special lady?
A: Oooh, the last track on Joshua Redman's Timeless Tales for Changing
Times is perfect. So is all of Kind of Blue. Don't even try Bill Evans' trio, though; the girl will hate it.
Q: Do you have a favorite poet or poem?
A: Yes! Catullus!
You will feast well with me, my Fabullus, in a few days, if the gods
favour you, provided you bring here with you a good and great feast,
not forgetting a radiant girl and wine and wit and all kinds of
laughter. Provided, I say, you bring them here, our charming friend,
you will feast well: for your Catullus' purse is full with cobwebs.
But in return you will receive a pure love, or what is sweeter or more
elegant: for I will give you an unguent which the Venuses and Cupids
gave to my girl, which, when you smell it, you will entreat the gods
to make you, Fabullus, all Nose!
Q: What's your favorite Katarina Club Deluxe cocktail?
A: I always get wine.
Q: If your upright bass was a woman, what would her name, nationality and appearance be like?
A: My bass is a woman, and she is Romanian, elegant, petulant and
impatient, like all great beauties.
Q: Club Deluxe has seen you tear it up on the bass and sing the blues, will we ever see the day Colin reads a poem?
A: Only time will tell.