1-You were born into a musical family: you mother played piano and your father was a saxophonist. What make you choose the drums ?
TLC - I chose the drums because my grandfather was a drummer and my father played drums as well, so they were in the house and I just picked them up when I was about 7, and I guess I had an aptitude for it and just never stopped basically. I also actually played saxophone first for a couple of years, from 5 to 7.
2- With all those people you have worked with, which one do you believe is closer to you musically ?
TLC - Closer to me musically, I don’t know….. that’s a hard one…… I really appreciate so many different artists that I have worked with; I think you should be likeminded with people I have always felt likeminded with Herbie Hancock; he has been one of my favorite artist to work with over the years, Wayne Shorter as well, but there is so many amazing musicians that I have played with and it feels so natural like Danilo Perez, Gerald Clayton ….. there is so many people it’s quite impossible to say whom I am the closest to. I am very close to Jack DeJohnette musically as well but I don’t play with him because we both play drums.
3- "The Mosaic Project" is a celebration of female artists. In this project, you are joined by some of today's most celebrated female instrumentalists and vocalists in the world. How this project was born and how difficult was it to make it come true.
TLC -The Mosaic Project was born from a gig I did in Israel during the Red Sea Jazz Festival with Esperanza Spalding, Geri Allen and Tineke Postma about 6 or 7 years ago. And from that moment I thought this is a great foundation for my next CD. So that quartet was the foundation for the mosaic project. Then I decided that there were so many other women that I had worked with and enjoyed playing with and singers as well . I just wanted to celebrate everybody and it almost became like a retrospective of my carreer and a celebration of all the female artist.
4- What about your performance at Sani Festival. What are we going to see and listen ?
TLC -I can’t wait to get there. I heard the place is very beautiful. I have only been to Greece once and that was in the 80’s with Wayne Shorter; we played in Athens. I look forward to hear some music and meet people
5- Money Jungle, the 1963 album recorded by Duke Ellington on piano, Charles Mingus on bass and Max Roach on drums, is an enduring classic of jazz. Fifty years on, you takes on the challenge of reinterpreting the album for the 21st century. Critics & review have acclaimed this project (“Her subtitle, Provocative in Blue, is apt: not only are all the tunes built on the basic blues structure, she also offers her own incisive take on the serious issues facing modern society. This audacious project feels good in the body and soul while, simultaneously, challenging us to wake up and take a look at the world around us. Ellington, Mingus and Roach would be proud” Daniel Spicer 2013 – BBC). How did you start this audacious project. and how does it feel to get recognition on such challenge ?
TLC - “Money jungle provocative in blue” I started it many years ago. I started arranging songs from the record mostly the title song I played on couple of gigs. I always felt attracted to the CD in a mystical kind of way, not sure exactly why but I always felt like it’s something I want to revisit. It was on my list “project to do” but I did not realize that it was the 50 anniversary of the record. We approach the same songs in a different way trying to keep the classic Duke Ellington melodies when I change the harmonies and the rhythm on most of the pieces . We just try to modernize it in a sense . But I can’t really answer the question why I did it.
It feels great to be recognized. it always feel great to be recognize when you do something honest. This was an honest effort for me. I doubt deep making those arrangements so I am very very happy that people appreciate it .
6- What are you working on these days ?
TLC -I am working on Mosaic part 2 . In January we started recording. I think it is going to be a great record featuring Lalah Hathaway, Lizz Wright and many others. I also just produced Dianne Reeves new CD and I also have a group, a quartet and we are working on a project, it’s not finished yet, it’s more RnB, jazz.
TLC - Thank you very much and I look forward to be in Greece.