I began to play classical trumpet when I was 8 years old in Wales, but I started to play jazz later when I was 17 years old because in Wales there was mainly a classical music scene. I only began to play jazz when I studied at
Trinity College of Music London.
M.L.: When did you make the decision to become a musician?
A.D.: I was 8 years old but I thought I was going to be a classical musician. I started to listen to Big band music (Glenn Miller
and Frank Sinatra) and then started to check out Miles Davis. When I was 17 I decided to go to
Trinity Music College in London and from then on I only played Jazz. There is a strong tradition of performing music in Wales and an emphasis on music from an early age.
M.L.: Who are your models?
A.D.: Many. I love the classics like Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Chet Baker and
Woody Shaw. But also pop bands like Radiohead, Sting and The Police
and Ben Folds Five. It's a varied inspiration. Also I have been influenced by Welsh brass band composers.
M.L.: If you could live in another era, when would it be?
A.D.: I would like to have lived in the 60s because there was a great musical scene with Miles, Coltrane and all the
Blue Note music. It must have been an exciting period and there seem to have been a lot of experimentation, with less emphasis on commercial activity in the music industry.
M.L.: If you get our instrument right now what will be the first song you would like to play?
"I Have Never Been In Love Before" by
Frank Loussier … a beautiful song.
M.L.: Do you think it is still important today for young musicians to know traditional jazz music?
A.D.: I would say it is important but not essential. In London there are many good musicians that don't have a traditional background, but who are writing good original music.
I would say it cannot harm you to study and transcribe all the classic jazz standards. You can learn music in different ways. Everyone is different in the way they learn. I come from a background of transcribing the music of Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and others and I learnt from those people.
M.L.: Now something about your new album. There are only compositions of yours, no standards, is that right?
A.D.: Yes, there are only my compositions which the band has arranged together. The CD really is
'band' CD. We've worked together over a period of a year, practicing the music together and the music is arranged in a certain way.
M.L.: What about your sound? You never use the mute or special effects. What is your approach regarding the sound?
A.D.: I like the idea of not playing with the mute. I have experimented a lot over the last few years of playing with the mute and flugelhorn which is a common thing for trumpet players. Miles uses the mute a lot, Kenny Wheeler uses the flughelhorn… also Paolo Fresu uses the mute a lot, so I liked the idea of trying to play purely with the open trumpet sound... It is just what I hear in my head. If I was hearing the mute for my songs I would have used it. There is no real plan.
M.L.: What do you expect from this Italian tour?
A.D.: Firstly, it is great to play in Italy. I am a great fan of Italy. Hopefully the Italian people will like our music and we will be asked to come back in the future. We see it as the first of many tours; because this band is a long term project and we want to stay together as long as possible.
M.L.: How many people listened to you when you were in Japan?
A.D.: When we played in the Tokyo Opera House there were 1,200 people and we were really well received. Japanese people are really very appreciative.
M.L.: An artist with whom you would like to collaborate...with your band of course
A.D.: If he is listening, we would like Sting to collaborate with us.... I saw Paolo Fresu playing in London and he's a player that I admire. I
also admire Enrico Rava a lot…and also
Falvio Boltro.... as well as being great musicians these players have an iconic image and are inspiring musicians
M.L.: Would you like to mention someone important for you career?
A.D.: The guys in the band. As I said, it is a band project and we work for each other.
M.L.: How did you meet all together?
A.D.: I met Eivind (Lodemel) and Lorenzo (Bassignani) in Trinity College of Music
where we were all studying and I met Reinis (Axelsson) in a jam session in London. After we started to play together we took a house for a year and Eivind used to live close to us, so we could rehearse all the time.
M.L.: A real European band...Sweden, Norway, UK, Italy...
A.D.: I hope we can say something for European Jazz...I love American jazz but I do not think European Jazz gets enough credit.
M.L.: You think there are particular influences coming form the country of each other?
A.D.: Definitely...we all have different backgrounds...Eivind has a real classical upbringing and
Reinis brings quite a Scandinavian influence
M.L.: Do you like to imagine yourself as a musical experiment?
A.D.: When we rehearse we do experiment a lot. Often during the rehearsal the atmosphere can become really tense as everyone has got an opinion or ideas. But it is interesting because we have all different cultural influences and we are trying to develop an original sound by experimenting with different genres of music.
M.L.: Future Projects?
A.D.: Well. We have just started our independent label COFFEE AND APPLE RECORDS and we want to release as many CDS as possible of our music and to promote them by touring.