David Gilmore: Getting To The Point
DG:I mean he went to the New England Conservatory himself (Note: David's dad, Marvin is Boston area business man with a big soft spot for music, and has owned the Western Front, a reggae club in Cambridge for over 20 years). I wouldn't say my family encouraged me towards music, but they didn't discourage me. In retrospect, maybe Berklee wouldn't have been the best choice. It seems like the best players go for a while and get out. I feel good that I went to college and finished up with a degree... and paid my loans off after ten years for the piece of paper hanging up on the wall. It looks good and the frame is real nice (laughs). Actually, who cares how you learn it, as long as you learn it.
AAJ: Did you start playing with heavy cats right away, when you got out?
DG:Yeah, I missed my graduation by two days because I went out with Steve Coleman. That was my first professional gig. That was 15 years ago, so I was 22 or 3. I had taken a year off between Clark and NYU. I joined the Black Rock Coalition right at the beginning. Kevin Bruce Harris and Geri Allen must have told Steve about me. Kelvyn Bell was the guitarist in the band before me. He's on the first two records. That was my first real thing, touring and stuff, but it wasn't paying the bills. I was managing a bookstore at the time, as well.
AAJ: Did you do the Kevin Bruce Harris records after the Coleman records?
DG:No, the first thing I did was "Sine Die on Sting's label, Pangea. I met Sting and all.
AAJ: He's got Chris McBride, now. I know you played on Chris's last cd. That'd be a nice band, with you and Christian McBride, huh?
DG:Well, actually, my brother, Marque, did a couple of gigs with Sting you know. He was playing on a project with Katia LeBeque and they had some gigs in Spain and Italy and Pompeii. Christian was on the gig as well. Then September 11th hit and the cancelled the rest of the gigs that they had scheduled. It was a special side project for Sting..
Anyway from '87 to '94 I played with Steve.
AAJ: Are you one of the Five Elements?
DG:I guess so, yeah I'm on those Five Elements records and more. I guess I'm water (laughs).
AAJ: Yeah you, Reggie Washington and Gene Lake. That's a rhythm section right there.
DG:I recommended Gene for that gig. Then my brother and Rodney came in for an audition and Gene, well, he just wiped everybody clean, man. Amazing, amazing player.
AAJ: Great cat too. I love his solo cd (http://www.allaboutjazz.com/reviews/r0301_107.htm)
DG:Oh yeah. In between all that I was still working part time "regular jobs. I actually did gig with Sam Rivers before I graduated, but during Steve's time I also did a couple of Kevin Bruce Harris records. He was in Coleman's band at that time, before Reggie Washington. I played with Ronald Shannon Jackson real briefly and then Don Byron.
AAJ: What about Cassandra Wilson?
DG: I only did a couple of gigs with her. Steve produced that record ("Jumpworld , 1989) and I wrote one of the tunes on it. I came close to doing a record back then for Muse because Greg Osby was producing a bunch of sessions for them. But he was trying to get me and another of his guitar players to do a cd and I just wasn't interested in doing a record with another guitarist. I'm on a couple of the Lonnie Plaxico sessions that came out on Muse.
AAJ: What happened to Muse's output?
DG: I know that Joe Fields sold one of his catalogues that he owned and made some money. Maybe that's why they do less recordings. Cindy Blackman, who I play with, just got done with her obligation to Muse.
Every once and a while I did gigs with my own thing but I never pursued it heavily. In '91 I had my daughter, and I was going through some heavy personal things around that time. Looking back, that consumed a lot of my space, you know, and a lot of my focus. And then I started working with Trilok. Right before I went over there to work with Trilok, I quit Steve's thing. Trilok flew me over there, to Germany, to check me out and then rehearse, so it wasn't a sure thing. But I wound up playing with him a couple of years ("Bad Habits Die Hard , "Believe ). That was during Lost Tribe, too. Like '89.
AAJ: We've got to talk about Lost Tribe, with Fima Ephron (www.globalbass.com/archives/feb2002/fima_ephron.htm), Adam Rogers, Ben Perowsky (www.perowsky.com) and David Binney. Killer band!
DG:Well, we never made money with Lost Tribe, either.
AAJ: And you were on a major label!
DG: High Street, a branch of Windham Hill. They kicked in some miniscule tour support to do the states one time. We opened up for Steve Morse.
AAJ: I actually saw Lost Tribe with MMW on a co-bill thing.