Live with CHRIS TANNER

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It’S always a bit dangerous. You know yeah. I can imagine how many, how many of those you have two two yeah, that’s nice. I just found out that you’re from australia. Originally i’m actually not danish.

That’S right! No! I’Ve been living here, 11 years, that’s great yeah! So you know the australian guys, uh clarion players. I know some of them yeah sure yeah talked already to some of them like alex hutchinson, yeah and uh jack wired, well, who’s, originally american, but yeah yeah.

So so you lived there a long time before you went to uh copenhagen right. I grew up in melbourne. Yeah um, yeah and uh yeah started playing when i was about 14

I played, i played saxophone first actually and then uh. I heard carl hurd play the clarinet and i went i want to do that. So i bought myself a clarinet and bought myself so uh.

You had like teachers that were like allowing you to to learn jazz early on or how did you develop uh? That kind of i i saw i just started playing with other musicians. Actually i started playing on the street quite a bit with uh with a band called the hudangas, an australian band and uh yeah. I i mean i wasn’t very good at the start, you know, and then it was more the more i did it the better. I got it, you know um, so it was more doing by trying or crying by doing or you know, like uh getting improving by by doing it more yeah.

You had regular lessons in the clarinet, not so much. No, no, i had uh. I i played piano when i was eight um, so i learned how to read um and then i then i started a saxophone when i went to high school and uh played in some bands at high school and and was reading and that sort of stuff, and Then yeah i just decided to to to make the switch, because i knew it was actually quite hard to do. It’S not the easiest instrument in the world. Usually it’s the other way around yeah, exactly yeah, all right.

You played the alto or the tenor i played. I played all: of. Them. Actually. I, played i started on soprano and then um?

And then yeah played tanner and alto and some baritone, but but i don’t play saxophone anymore, but i don’t have a very good instrument, so i don’t you know, play it yeah and it’s i find it hard to double i. You know you eventually studied music in australia or something else or was no i’m just i’m just self-taught. Basically, i’m not. I just uh play it. I play play professionally and and challenge myself in different ways.

You know yeah started playing gigs as a teenager. Like 15 16 started working yeah and then i was playing professionally when i was about 15

Yeah what kind of work was around at that time coming up uh mostly mostly bars and clubs and parties weddings that sort of thing you know so i never i’ve never done a um you know like a chair job where i had to play the first clarinet or you know uh regularly i’ve never done any of that sort of session work so it’s always just being gigs like traditional jazz swings mostly traditional jazz yeah yeah yeah yeah and uh i went on a tour actually to uh to russia when i was when i was 19. yeah i just read it on your website yeah that’s great five weeks right it was yeah it was the whole tour was five months um and the first part of the tour was uh uh what was it it was like you know some petersburg tomsk and then it was like from yeah siberia and ukraine and kyrgyzia and kazakhstan it was it was it was a 104 hours on russian trains 31 gigs in 30 days what’s your favorite tea vodka yeah this was with that band you just mentioned yeah the who dangers yeah yeah and that was basically traditional jazz with a with a funky punk style influence you know sounds good to me yeah yeah and this was your band you were booking the gigs or how you guys ended up in in another part of the world we we had um we had a couple of agents in in one in some petersburg for the east side and one in uh like uh in siberia to help us get those jobs in in siberia for example and kyrgyzia kazakhstan these were uh gigs like you you knew them from before like bars restaurants or these were more concerts in concert a couple of the guys in the band had uh had been busking around europe and when when they were in amsterdam they met um and uh dinka who’s i can’t remember his last name but uh but they were busking and so it was three aussies and three russians and uh they just started they joined up and started playing together and they were playing jelly roll morton and king oliver music you know that sort of 1920s jazz and yeah they were just having a good time and then a couple of them went to russia and then the year after we organized it were sponsored by the australia arts council yeah so i think we got 20 000 australian so we could buy the tickets to go to uh to russia and then after russia we went through scandinavia and yeah then we we started making some money you know um but it was real a really great experience i mean any funny road memories come to mind many missed trains or yeah you know a few there was a bomb on a train once um we were it was the middle of the night we were all woken up by babushka you know just going in something in russian basically get off the train get off the train and so the whole train was out you know uh on the side of the train while they yeah apparently someone jumped on the train said there’s a bomb and then jumped off to the moving train and so they stopped to train them so that that made the trip a bit longer you know that was from coming uh donetsk i’m not familiar with uh traveling by train is this um trans-siberian uh route somehow i don’t think so no no we did some of that um i think when we went to volgograd for example that that sort of from where was it moscow so there was a bit of that um that one saratov uh yeah are you russian no i’m not you know no i’m sure he’s pleased yeah yeah but uh i’m going back and forth i’m my wife is russian i’m i’m living in saint petersburg most of times oh crap i’m here for some christmas jobs surrey to play churches right and you and you play mostly classical or you play jazz i play multi jazz but during christmas i play mostly classic oh fantastic wow well started basically when the lockdown started in mar in march like i think i in summer i started to to uh start doing these interviews and um okay how many have you done uh well i’m not sure i think you’re number 120 around that okay i’ll send you the playlist you will be surprised who’s there i’d like to say actually yeah and so tell me you played so many times than in denmark that finally you met your wife there or you you said you guys know we’re used to going back and forth all the time look i mean you know it was one of those things we kept going back every couple of years uh to do tours and then yeah one thing led to another i mean i’ve known my wife since 2001 and we got together yeah the middle of 2006 for example so and then she’s danish yeah and so yeah and then we yeah got married in 2009 and yeah i’ve been living here since then went back in between we had yeah yeah we’ve been back a couple of times but it’s you know it’s really expensive um and yeah i mean it’s it’s hard when you have a life there and no life here and when you got to sort of make the decision to do one or the other i mean yeah and how did you arrange how did you fit in uh you you learned the language or or how did you make connections i speak danish but it’s it’s not great you know okay i mean i mean i i yeah i mean my kids uh have have taught me a lot i think you know i’ve learned more danish from them than say going to a school um yeah so you just know the guys to play with there or i mean basically you yeah over the over the years i’ve ma i’ve managed to you know build up quite a network of friends and musicians and and so when i moved here it was relatively easy to fit in and you know get some jobs and and then i started playing at charlie scott’s uh the bar that i play in every tuesday okay and yeah that was about that was about 11 years ago when i started playing there so we’ve been playing every tuesday for about 11 years um and yeah when the lockdown happened and we just we just made it online streaming you know with a guest every week oh beautiful that’s on the on the website did you stream yeah yeah that was that’s that’s on facebook live yeah on the on on his uh facebook page on the bars facebook page yeah yeah i just saw that you commented on the on the the streaming about me giving an interview sorry i just saw that you you commented on the on the the streaming that i shared yesterday probably yes i think i’ll leave yeah i listened to yeah that that was charles scott’s that’s charlie scott yeah yeah yeah that’s a nice place yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah that’s where i listen to your playing yeah okay so you you made a nice deal with that bar or is it one of those tough jobs um he’s a good friend of mine i’ve known him yeah over over ten years and uh yeah persuaded him to have music in his place and so yeah we’ve been we’ve just been doing it ever since [Music] what about that la fontaine is it still going yeah it’s still going uh maybe obviously it’s not going now but um yeah i think they’re doing it really tough actually because that’s that’s really a late night bar and when they started opening up in the summer again um then it was you could only open till 10 o’clock okay and then it shut you know and the owner just he didn’t he didn’t open it because it just wasn’t it wasn’t worth it he felt i think um i have nice memories because i don’t know when it was but i when i visited copenhagen i i there was a jam session on a certain day or every day yeah they usually had this sunday the sunday jam yeah yeah did you did you go and sit in or yeah i played and it was a nice i think it was a nice drummer or or a chromatic harp player or something something was going on there yeah yeah it’s a lot of fun yeah there’s some good musicians in this town i mean it really is you know some fantastic um you know yes patella tillo you know for example a fantastic clarinet player and and fantastic 10 applied um yeah yeah i think what about this uh uh morton drummer morton um no i forgot the last name yeah anyway i mean replaced there are great players but i remember remember uh seeing a concert as well there with uh the great band but anyway the names are different in every country to heart that’s true yeah so any recordings that come to mind like i mean you you play the saxophone but somehow you decided to switch to clarinet what was the initial yeah i mean i i this i was listening to jelly roll morton and i heard uh i’m a simeon play the clarinet and i was really uh i’m moved and i really wanted to sound like that you know and then i later listened to some you know albert nicholas and louis russell’s orchestra and barney begard in uh duke ellington’s orchestra so these were early recordings from the 20s you know early 30s so you were you were a strange kid listening to that kind of music totally total weirdo absolute nerd you know um but yeah that’s what i liked i mean and and now i’m sort of proud of myself that i stuck by that and i didn’t get persuaded into stealing cars or you know robbing houses so it kept me off the streets or did it i don’t know yeah well i don’t i don’t know you that well but uh it’s the truth you’re telling me so you will uh kind of just absorbing like how it could or should sound and then imitate it or you transcribed or you took a book or a teacher i just uh imitated basically yeah um i tried a little bit to transcribe things i found it really hard and you know didn’t really have the tools like you do today like you know you can slow down uh youtube for example and really learn a lick properly you know um so but yeah i just imitated basically played with the record yeah no yeah and yeah just i mean listening to me is so much of it too like you know listening to things over and over and over again and hearing things differently and um yeah and trying to trying to imitate that that passion or that vibe that that sound yeah but that interests me yeah when it comes to practicing is there something that you that you’re doing or find that helps you to to stay in shape and to grow and to work on something what’s the process yeah i’m i’m starting to practice some showro music actually at the moment because it’s a little bit more technical and it’s something different um but mostly i practice scales and and long notes and and just going from the lowest note to the highest possible note for example and and trying to keep everything consistent in tone and sound you know and loud and soft so i have a variety of color yeah you know a variety of options so it’s uh more like the technical aspect of the instrument that you’re working on yeah or is it also you play jazz by yourself at home in your room yeah sure yeah i might play over some changes some bebop uh changes or uh i might work on a bebop head or you know and and yeah try and play it in other keys and try and work work through different things you know like take a tune and yeah play it in four or five different keys to uh to see where it sits on the instrument and how it yeah yeah french system german system a french system yeah yeah i play a buffet uh i see a green line i actually played that carbon fiber see no cracks at all oh no cracks at all that’s right i just wanted to maybe ask you um i have a green line that i i would like to check in like a luggage when flying in the airplane did you ever check in your clarinet or was it always hand luggage that’s always hand luggage for me on i think it should not crack right yeah i don’t think it would i don’t think it would 50 or something i think you’d be really unlucky for correct they don’t crack do they i mean they’re they’re basically you know glue essentially yeah um but they’re a good instrument i don’t you know like this i i think i got a good one actually i’ve heard horror stories about buffet and how they can be inconsistent you know um just played that one and it felt great and you decided yeah it was really happy it had nothing to do with uh that you played outdoors a lot or was that a thought too yeah there was a bit i mean i had a i have a prestige um and it was just getting a bit old uh i think i just blown it out you know it had just you know done too many gigs uh and even even even over overhauling it a lot it was still like i wasn’t really happy with it i wanted to change so i got a different one and uh yeah it took me a while to play it actually it was like so different a little bit smaller and it was so it took me a while to really uh find out what is this and it was so much brighter actually the green line yeah it’s quite a bit yeah um but yeah i’d love to love to try other clarinets so just can’t afford it that’s the store to go there in in copenhagen to try out godfors this is a yeah that’s really good actually um yeah and i always take my instrument there to be repaired or overhauled yeah and i have a good they have a good selection of clarinets actually but yeah nothing i can afford though it’s not going to happen so so you’re not teaching you’re just playing no i’m just playing yeah yeah so i’m playing tomorrow at a church playing some christmas music outside so i’m going to try my clarinet outside i think it’s going to be four degrees well yeah so but they’re paying what can i say in front of the church in in instead of inside the church yeah because of corona you know yeah well the temperature is more or less the same inside or outside the church usually oh this is a slightly newer church i think maybe it’s probably warmer but yeah yeah i know that’s true that can be bloody cold those churches yeah and how did you met how do you manage i think it’s an interesting question for for for clarinet players uh in general that i mean we are not bass players that you know i need a bass player can you play that gig or can you come here yeah was it always is it always you that are the driving force to find where is your next gig or how how is that i’m in a couple of different bands so that’s sort of helped me like with norbert susamil he’s a german trumpet player um and then with fessa all of us a linguine and so i’ve been lucky because i’ve had those bands where those jobs have come in and i’ve been on tour with them so i had that option right um and then i’ve had other little projects you know like a benny goodman project and then uh i’ve had more traditional jazz options you know i do need an extra horn and then i also sing so so that adds you know some personality to that behind the clarinet you know being able to sing four or five numbers or or seeing the whole gig you know that’s what you do yeah okay so it’s more that you’re getting the call for for that band we we we’re gonna have a gig or a tour and it’s it’s you just have to say yes or no yeah yeah that’s that’s the gold edition i think yeah yeah i’ve been really lucky i mean just to be able to have some sort of personality you know and uh yeah but it doesn’t stop i mean i still have to work on the clarinet every day sure it’s not like that’s cool i’ve got some gigs oh actually i got some gigs i gotta learn how to play it again you know so these uh australian gigs that are listed on your website this is when you were a teenager or twenty ager yeah it was probably from about 19 to yeah when about 30 31 that was yeah they still exist those kind of festivals that he played you know that oh no why not at the moment i think a lot a lot of them are cancelled and a lot of them obviously this year they’re friends yeah i don’t know when those sort of things are going to happen again when it comes down to festivals um yeah it’s very grim isn’t it i mean it’s not yeah it’s what has happened this so you guys with with one of those bands or all the bands you’re playing you guys have like you have a steady gig like in that bar you said tuesday night but it’s or they’re also like traditional jazz festivals where you guys are kind of the headliners every year sure in in um in denmark there’s a there’s a few like there’s a silica ball uh the riverboat jazz festival and then there’s some other other ones as well like femu and you know some island festivals um so we can find you there every year but yeah some maybe every second year um i think that’s a great thing i think because uh tell me if i’m wrong but i think it’s it’s a great thing that is mostly known in the traditional jazz uh scene that the same band you can see them every year at the same festival it’s not if you’re if we’re talking about other music festivals it’s you’re not going to play there every year no no that’s right i think that’s a big plus of that kind of yeah i mean that’s the same with like silkeborg i mean it’s such a big international um and mostly traditional jazz festival um and yeah you don’t you don’t usually get it two years in a run in a row i mean i have done it a few times two years in a row but with different bands for example so yeah what’s the combination you feel most comfortable with playing like with what kind of what kind of uh sidemen and what instruments and what kind of i like the basic uh new orleans traditional lineup trumpet trombone clarinet and then rhythm section you know i really like that always have enough power to to be heard on the clarinet between those guys yeah yeah yeah um i can be pretty loud how do you do that i have a open mouthpiece and a hard read actually so i have a 5jb vandoran and a three and a half plus um v21 read you know these ones yeah so i you know and you know some of them in the box they can be just too hard you know so but if i go if i go any lighter then they’re all too soft you know it’s sort of one of those yeah it’s better to play without reads that’s for sure that’s right nice do you ever play these um the plastic the synthetic reads yeah i i tried uh just i’m open-minded but uh i also play wooden wooden reeds yeah yeah yeah by the way if you’re not familiar with i recently discovered there are uh fedordov reeds russian reads they’re fantastic i must say okay and do they grow their cane in russia uh well i’m not too familiar i don’t think so no but there are two brothers one is in russia and one is in austria and uh okay send me some samples and uh i was really amazed how good those reads are but as you know it’s all about the marketing we all know just vandoren and that’s right rico and uh who knows what else is around yeah so there there is other there’s other options that’s for sure yeah have you played in switzerland at any time yeah i played at a ascona and montreal [Music] and i think of where else there has been others i just can’t remember um yeah uh yeah i can’t remember but yeah that’s grown up fantastic really pretty part of the world um and montoya i mean yeah we were with the houding as that time so that was was that was that on what kind of open air or main stage or backstage or it was uh it was inside yeah it was an inside concert and it was oh what’s that what year was it 1997.

97 yeah yeah yeah and uh so it was it’s central san golon yeah yeah i played there too that was good that was on a big stage and that was with another band with uh the united nations which was you know a french trumpet player and uh swedish trombone player and it was a swiss bass player and [Music] a dutch banjo player and what’s the name of the bass player remember uh like he was the owner of the festival or something like that no no he wasn’t actually no i was a friend of a friend but yeah our bass player couldn’t do it so yeah yeah yeah and how do you balance family life now with with uh being musician i mean you you’re basically gone from time to time for a couple of days or weeks or that’s right yeah so maybe a weekend you know i don’t do too many long tours i mean yeah it’s just not possible it’s not very fair you know um and you know my kids are five and soon to be eight so i mean they’re getting older and they more understanding and they’re a little bit easier to you know activate and keep amused so their mum can do other things for example you know but yeah i don’t i don’t do too many of those like uh long tours and they’re just not around anymore so there’s also that maybe my family like me for that your wife is a musician too no she’s a researcher yeah any final question any final any plans or wishes uh anything is in the pipeline that you were that you’re doing these days or that you wanted to do soon well not really i’m actually pretty happy just playing my regular gig and you know hanging in there and practicing and but i don’t know what the what the future will bring and yeah like lifestyle is expensive in copenhagen how you compare it to paris london or yeah i mean i guess it’s pretty expensive but uh i mean you pay a lot of tax um but you get some things out of it if you get sick for example the the health systems you know pretty good so i mean it has its benefits in a way but um yeah it’s okay all right and i see you already have your christmas uh sweater on that’s right you’re prepared for tomorrow it’s nice yeah you have the tree and the whole thing with the kids this is a this is a card my son and i made and it’s like a mirror image yeah yeah that’s happening and uh yeah i take you into the lounge room but i think my wife’s watching you can see the tree if you like you don’t know each other that well exactly yeah yeah it was a pleasure talking to you chris yeah thank you so much and um take care and have a great christmas yeah you too and uh see you somewhere in the future hopefully i’m sorry cheers

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