School of Jazz: Ian McKain-Pitts and Aidan Moore serve as guest DJs
Drummer Ian McKain-Pitts and saxophonist Aidan Moore from Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma will virtually join Abe Beeson on Evening Jazz tonight at 8 p.m. (Oct. 1) as guest DJs. Listen to the show and read their Q&A.
Which instrument do you play and why?
Ian: Drum set and all other forms of percussion. I wanted to do band starting in 5th grade at my school. I had taken piano lessons for a few years before so I figured I might as well give being a percussionist a try. From there on and also from when I got my first drum set in seventh grade, I’ve just never looked back and never wanted to.
Aidan: I play the saxophone and bass. I started playing the saxophone because I really liked the sound and I thought it was a really cool instrument. I started playing the bass out of necessity at first, because my friends were forming a trio and they didn’t have a bass player, but the more I played and the better I got, the more I started to really enjoy playing it.
What’s your all-time favorite jazz piece?
Ian: Oh man, this is tough. If we’re talking about big band pieces, I’d have to go with the "Channel One Suite" by the Buddy Rich Big Band. I know it might be a bit of a cliché, but that piece is the quintessential Buddy Rich tune and I always gets chills listening to it. Combo/small group-wise, I’d have to go with either "Naima" by John Coltrane or the Ray Brown Trio’s rendition of "Summertime."
Aidan: My favorite piece of all time is “You and I” by Jacob Collier. This was the first one by him that I heard, and it introduced me to his fantastic harmony and incredible musicality. It’s entirely a cappella, but even without any instruments, it still has incredible rhythmic feel and movement.
Who is your jazz hero?
Ian: I’d have to say either Tony Williams, one of my all-time favorite jazz drummers, or my band director Casey Whitson.
Aidan: My jazz hero is probably Jacob Collier, who as mentioned above, is a genius of harmony and is intensely musical. While known for his incredible voice, he also plays guitar, bass, drums, piano, and more, at a level beyond most musicians. He has a really advanced understanding of all the theory behind what he does and he actually makes music with even the weirder music theory concepts. His rhythmic feel and groove are also really powerful, especially in his more recent albums. All of this as well as his creativity and humor, evident in his writing and performance, make him a personal hero of mine.
Ian: Jazz is just something else. I’ve played a lot of different music over the years, but jazz is just the beautiful, complex, and extraordinary gift of music that keeps on giving.
Aidan: I started playing jazz in 7th grade when I got in to my middle school’s jazz band. I auditioned not out of an interest in jazz, but instead out of an interest in music in general. I wanted to audition because jazz band was the best band you could be in, and also they played more exciting music than the concert bands. But I started getting more into it, especially as I went into high school, and it started to be a real passion of mine. In addition to really enjoying the music, it became a way to have fun with my friends doing something we all loved. It’s something that I hope to study in college and continue doing for the rest of my life.
IAN'S AND AIDAN'S PLAYLIST
"Delilah" Clifford Brown/Max Roach (Clifford Brown & Max Roach)
"Boplicity" Miles Davis (Birth of the Cool)
"Corcovado" Stan Getz/Joao Gilberto (Getz/Gilberto)
"Magic Flea" Count Basie Band (Straight Ahead)
"The Real Blues" Ray Brown Trio (Summer Wind)
"Lonely Woman" Ornette Coleman (The Shape of Jazz to Come)
"Clair de Lune" Kamasi Washington (The Epic)
Follow Ian's and Aidan's jazz trio at tritonejazz.com.