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Luba Mason Interview Page 4

luba masonLM:  I sure am.  (Both laugh.)

Jazz Monthly:  Ruben Blades.

LM:  Yeah, that song, Renato and I were saying we should have a duet on this album and we’re kind of brainstorming all these people I could do a duet with, people from Brazil, blah-blah-blah, and then it was just one day he said “Well, how about your husband?”  (Both laugh.)  And I know what a lover of Brazilian music Ruben is and I think one of his alltime dreams was to sing in Portuguese one day.

Jazz Monthly:  Oh, nice.

LM:  And so Renato and I came up with the idea of—this was one of the covers.  It is a cover.  It’s written by Pedro Caetano.  It’s one of two covers on this album and it was one of the covers that I had originally set out to do at the beginning of the project, and Renato and I figured this was the one that was gonna be the duet but Ruben will sing in Portuguese, I will sing in English.

Jazz Monthly:  And it’s a beautiful interlace.…

LM:  And it’s called “E com esse que eu vou” and translated it means “And It Is With You That I Go” and we turned it into this kind of flirtatious back-and-forth kind of a song.

Jazz Monthly:  Yeah, sort of like “Baby, It’s Cold Outside.”

LM:  Sort of kind of, and I have a feeling that when we perform this live, it’s gonna end up being like a 15-minute song.  We’re just gonna be adlibbing at the end, just going on, and we had quite a bit of adlibbing at the end but, of course, we had to cut down to the whatever, the three and a half minutes it is.

Jazz Monthly: You guys just behave live, now.

LM:  Yes, and, you know, it’s funny.  Even just recording it, Ruben had actually recorded his part first, and I was there when he was doing it and I kind of just fed off of him and, I’ll tell you, so many people when they listen to that track they ask me “Who is that?  Who’s singing that?”  And I say it’s Ruben, it’s Ruben Blades, and they go “What?”  Because they’re so used to all of his, you know, that voice he has when he sings the salsa that needs to cut through all the brass and the percussion, and all of a sudden he’s coming down and sexy in Portuguese and kind of screwing with the rhythms and stuff.  He’s really just wonderful on that song.

Jazz Monthly: Yeah, it’s a fantastic song.

LM:  It’s fun and you sense it when you hear it.  When I watch people when they listen to it, they kind of get these little smiles on their faces.

Jazz Monthly:  Well, Luba, this is just a fantastic project and it’s emblematic of your great career, it really is.

LM:  Thank you.  And I have to say this album is kind of a culmination of everything that I’ve done in the past. Not only am I coming back to my roots as a musician, but it has all those wonderful elements of jazz and pop and just whatever influences musically I’ve had in the past.  It all comes into this album and this album also represents where I am right now in my life.  I’m more mature, I’ve experienced things, I was able to write easier because of that.  I’m not 19 and just writing for the first time.  I have some life experience behind me and I have something to say.  So I think all of that just kind of comes through and I was just so happy to be challenged, that I was able to challenge myself and go to the next level to write in this album.  I’m very proud of that.

Jazz Monthly:  Yes, you should be because it’s just fantastic, and I want to once again congratulate you, Renato, Ruben, everyone, and we didn’t talk about him, but he’s one of my great friends, and I know you will second this, he’s just a fantastic bass player.

LM:  Oh, I was just gonna say before we finish this conversation, we cannot forget Jimmy Haslip.

Jazz Monthly: Yes, and he is a monster musician.

LM:  Oh!

Jazz Monthly:  But he’s an even greater person.

LM:  I so second and third and fourth that.  He is a teddy bear, first of all.  He’s just a lovely, beautiful human being, kind and generous.

Jazz Monthly: Yes, absolutely.

LM:  In addition to being the monster musician that he is, and he’s just humble that way and how beautiful is that?

Jazz Monthly:  I want to be like him when I grow up.

LM:  I agree, I agree, and when we did the session, when we were recording, his wife came and made us banana bread that day.

Jazz Monthly: Oh, see, that’s Jimmy and his wife.  They’re the coolest.

LM:  Yeah, and he brought his daughter with them who they just got a little puppy for her that day.  It’s like this is Jimmy Haslip.  He’s still like even this family guy, this great guy.  And I also want to add, I’m so looking forward to bringing him and Hubert Laws down to Panama to the Panama Jazz Festival in January, where we will be basically launching this CD, so I’m looking forward to that.

Jazz Monthly:  So everybody get down to Panama. What’s the release date for Krazy Love?

LM:  The release date is January 27th

Jazz Monthly:  Mark your calendars for the release of this great record and the festival. The festival is cool and you’re gonna get to see the great Luba Mason with her fantastic band and you get to actually hear this great music that we’ve been talking about for the past few minutes.  Luba, we could talk for another four hours.

LM:  I think so, yeah.

Jazz Monthly:  Because you’re just a beautiful person, a great musician, a great artist, and I just love everything you do, and I want to say keep doing what you’re doing, keep making great music, keep your flava strong, and keep that seriously cool, funky complexion you have about music.  I love that.

LM:  Thank you, thank you.  I know there’s so much of this music out there and there needs to be more as opposed to this just watered down stuff that you hear on pop.

Jazz Monthly: Yeah, absolutely.

LM:  It’s unfortunate, but yeah, I think that’s what music is all about.  It’s the complexities.  It’s all the different elements that you gotta just bring in there and make it really interesting and exciting.

Jazz Monthly:  Yeah, then it becomes something that you feel opposed to just hearing.  You hear it and you feel it, yes.

LM:  Absolutely, absolutely, and it’s very organic that way too, I mean, when it comes from your experiences, your personal experiences.

Jazz Monthly:  Yes, Luba, thank you so much for spending such a great block of time talking about your great career, the music and all of the wonderful artists that you have around you, it’s been a pleasure and a treasure, my friend,  and have a great time down in Panama.

LM:  Thank you.  Smitty, thank you so much for your generous time for this interview as well.  I appreciate that.

Baldwin “Smitty” Smith