From New Orleans via New York
Today is Fat Tuesday. How does jazz pianist Michael Wolff’s music relate? “When I was a kid,” says Wolff, “I grew up in New Orleans, and to me all the stuff I’ve been doing is blues-oriented. And jazz takes in whatever is going on — funk, blues.”
His latest CD, “Dangerous Vision,” features renowned tabla player Badal Roy and East Indian sounds Wolff calls “those people’s blues.” He got interested in the music seven years ago, when his parents brought back cassettes from Ethiopia and he heard a mixture of African and Indian music. “I thought it would be perfect for me, the exotic thing,” says the New York-based Wolff, who fronted the band on “The Arsenio Hall Show” and has played with everyone from Nat Adderley to Warren Zevon. “Dangerous Vision” has a distinctly different style from song to song, and a cinematic scope. “I think in feelings and I feel the music in colors,” he says. “Some of my favorite composers are [soundtrack artists] Thomas Newman and Mark Isham. They make sure every tune has its own tone and smell, that each individual song is focused and had a point.” Wolff and his backing quartet, Impure Thoughts, play two shows at Scullers Jazz Club tonight.
BOSTON GLOBE, Jim Sullivan, February 8, 2005