Jazz Monthly: Yes, I think you’re so right in that music definitely has therapeutic values, and I guess we should say that music that is directed in that way has therapeutic value because there are different elements of music, there are different factions, and there’s different intent with music in that whatever touches the heart and mind affects the rest of the body, and so it’s all about how it affects us.
Jazz Monthly: But I think the way you compose your songs, I think it really does have therapeutic values and that’s a very cool thing, and I really would love to see more research and use in that regard because I think music has a healing power that would totally enhance the medical field, but that’s another subject. (Laughs.)
CH: Well, you know, it is another subject, but I’m gonna touch on it real quickly.
Jazz Monthly: Oh, sure, go ahead.
CH: I’m in this program right now seeking to get my Masters in music therapy. There is a whole country of schools that have programs in music therapy and we deal with people from as far as having autistic mental disabilities to mental retardation and severe physical handicaps, and it is amazing and why I say it is amazing to see before your eyes what we’ve all theorized and talked about and said, but to see people who have never spoken before begin to speak, Smitty, I’m telling you, it is a sight to see and if you wanna talk about sending chills up through your spine, it is absolutely amazing the therapeutic value that you’re tangibly seeing. We’ve all seen it with people who have all of their limbs and all of their senses, but to see people who have been disparaged with mental or physical handicaps to see their lives change, that is the true test of the healing power of music.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, well, I certainly want to invite you back to talk more about this subject soon because it is a subject that I am so interested in and have such a passion for because I think there is so much there that is untapped and that is not available to the public. I think the knowledge of it and the advances of it is not available to the public, and I think that is something that is huge that we have not tapped into to really take advantage of. Now tell me a little bit about how people can get your record.
CH: As of July 22nd the CD was actually re-released nationwide in the stores. It is available on the East Coast in J&R Records in New York. It’s in Virgin record stores. It’s across the nation in Barnes & Noble. On the West Coast it’s in Amoeba stores. There’s one in Berkeley, there’s one in Hollywood, and I think there’s another one [San Francisco], so it’s there. I went personally and checked it out to make sure.
Jazz Monthly: (Laughs.)
CH: And then of course online it’s at Amazon.com, iTunes, Rhapsody, and at a whole plethora of online downloadable sites.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, I love the artwork. Nice shot of you on the cover. That’s cool.
CH: Thank you.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, man. And talk to me about the band, the cats that really supported you with this great record. Just run down the roll call.
CH: Well, if you want to say the most notable guy who’s on there who’s played with a whole plethora of anybody who is anybody was Artie Reynolds on bass. He actually played on several tunes. He played on “Rain Song,” the favorite. He played on “Springtime,” which is another nice groovy drive-with-the-convertible-top-down kind of song. Artie has played with I can’t even begin to start naming how many people he’s played with and who he’s been the backup for. I believe he did something with most, most recently, actually, Earth, Wind & Fire came out with like a Broadway play and he personally got picked by Maurice White to be the lead bass player for that, so what better way to get signed off on as far as getting your thumbs up of approval from Maurice White?
Piano I have Johnny Mercer. I had actually a couple of keyboardists. Phenomenal, I mean, Johnny Mercer, Fred Lamour, and these are guys who are in terms of the public pretty much relatively they’re not any particular named person, but these guys are phenomenal. Fred Lamour played on a song called “Missing You,” which is actually one of my favorites. And if you listen to “Springtime” and all of the nuances that he puts in that song, it’s just—it’s off the chain.
Jazz Monthly: Oh yeah, that’s why I love that song, man. That’s a great track.
CH: And if you know anything about music, it’s all about who your supporting cast is gonna be.
Jazz Monthly: Yes.
CH: Your supporting cast can make or break you.
Jazz Monthly: Yes, absolutely, and you’ve got some great supporting cats on here, man, I mean, because there’s a great vibe with this supporting cast and yourself. There really is and it shines with the music. So tell me about what’s happening with Curtis now. What’s happening with Curtis Haywood? What’s coming up?
CH: Back in September, I did a little opening for Melissa Morgan and Melba Moore. They were actually in concert together. Just this past Saturday I opened up for Harold Melvin’s Blue Notes.
Jazz Monthly: Yeah, man. “If You Don’t Know Me By Now.” (Both laugh.)
CH: So I’m hanging with the old school crew, you know?