Interview with saxophonist, Tim Green

Tim Green is one of the most interesting saxophonists that you can hear in New Orleans.  Occasionally he travels but most of his career has been within the city.  Over the years he has played with many of the greats that people associate most with the city- Walter "Wolfman" Washington, Irma Thomas, Cyrille Neville, Mem Shannon and many legendary others.  

His affection goes out most to original, creative, music projects.  He is interested in so much music and has brought himself to a place where he can insert very creative ideas in almost any context without breaing the balance or excitement.  He was a large figure in many explorational bands from, Gulfstream and the Stick Band in the 80's, to Michael Ray, Naked On The Floor, and James Singleton, Dennis Gonzalez, and others like Fred Wesley in the 90's.  

Tim has a very deep linguistic or conversationalist playing style that really has its best place on stages for live audiences.  Where the musical "moment" happens is where he strives to be and his best work is there.  For that reason, you won't find records under his name.  His genius and where it resides really emerge in this relaxed, and probably pretty rare, interview. 

Part 1- start in music; intense musical awareness starting at age 4; growing up in Connecticut; starting an "underground" radio station; meeting many greats; start on soprano saxophone; hearing and meeting established greats in new York and Boston-McCoy Tyner, Mingus, George Adams, Stan Getz, Blue Oyster Cult, Earth, Wind and Fire, Tower of Power; early interest in 'Ethnic' music and friendships with musicians in other communities around Bridgport; meeting Grover Washington Jr and advice given.

Part 2- Musicians' awareness of the importance of heir own work; when the decision to come to New Orleans was made; the pain associated with learning an instrument and the desire and drive to get past that; beginnings in playing music with others; desire for formal studies and starting at Berklee, 1978; problems with Berklee; meeting the 'passport' to New Orleans; serendipitous winning of trophy at the St. Patrick's Day parade in the French Quarter; deep lessons for a negligent saxophone teacher.

Part 3- what music was being played in the St. Patrick's Day Parade in the late 70's; picking up first work in New Orleans; pressure to take up tenor and playing with Irma Thomas; when his career direction started to emerge; Gulfstream, The Stick Band and work in other little groups; Kalaamu Ya Salaam suggests Tim to Ellis Marsalis; comparisons between past and present audiences and the acceptance of original music; car and piano restoration, the value of self-reliance.

Part 4- moving into playing with Naked On The Floor, James Singleton, Michael Ray and groups that were most compatible with the culmination of Tim's development; how you got gigs in the old days; difficulties in presenting creative music now; being on the same path as when his music life began; dalliances with the music business and conflict of ideas; playing with Anders Osborne and being able to convince him that a live recording was the way to go; sessions with Daniel Lanois; revisiting his line of development through YouTube.