SaveOurSoul interview with Marlon Saunders from Jazzhole
9 May 2003
SOS: Can you briefly tell us something about Jazzhole?
Marlon: We started out as a 10 membergroup in the whole acid jazz scene around 1993, when we kind of started performing. A lot of artist were coming out of the States especially from New York. You had US3, Jazzhole, The Beginning of the Roots, M'Shell Ndegocello, Groove Theory alot of that music was beginning to happen. We were caught up in that mix, that was a great thing. We did two recordings for Mr.Blue Moon, Atlantic and we've done the last two recordings "Blackburst" and "Circle of the Sun" on an independent Beave Music.
SOS: I've heard that on Blackburst you changed musical directions.
Marlon: Completely! On Blackburst we took more a down tempo, more electronic as a feel as opposed to the CD before which was "And the Feeling Goes Round" which was still including rap and acid jazz elements. Blackburst was a smoother transition, a smoother ride. It allowed us to play with a lot of different sounds that we hadn't been playing with before. And also in terms of arrangements we were able to do different things with the arrangements.
SOS: What is your part in Jazzhole?
Marlon: My part is pretty much as coproducer, cowriter, and i tend to be the male voice that you hear through out the record. The male singing is done by me.
SOS: Do you know at forehand how the next Jazzhole project will sound like or does that depend on the input of the guest musicians?
Marlon: A lot of times we just have like little snippets of ideas. Little ideas that Warren and I usually will have and sometimes John and Warren will have. We never set out to be like the record is going to be kind like this. I think the fact that we have our own studio allows us the opportunity to play around with a lot of things which will allow us to discover a specific sound or discover the direction. We have that flexibility and availability of time to be creative and find out what is that we're looking for.
SOS: Are John and Warren founding members of Jazzhole as well?
Marlon: Yes they are! Warren being the main brainchild behind the project.
SOS: On "Circle of the Sun" your latest Jazzhole album you play different styles of music like Brasilian bossa nova and some soulful grooves. Is there a particular reason to play multiple sounds on one album?
Marlon: We did it because we were really at a place where we wanted to experiment with a lot of different things that we may have listened to individually. When we go through out New York we hear different kinds of music that has been influencing us. We incorporated these influences in what we were already doing with ourselves.
SOS: We wonder where you find these guest artists playing with you.
Marlon: We kind of stumble on them. Warren discovered Mazz Mlani, the violin player on the album, in the subway in New York. He heard her playing, he took her card, they exchanged numbers -she's a beautiful lady- and he told her we were working on a CD. That's how they met. Kaïssa Doumbe from Cameroon we met on a session. We came in and she was singing and Warren and I look at eachother like "yeah" we definitely want to work with her.
SOS: Besides particpating in Jazzhole you just released your solo album "Enter My Mind". Is that pure soul music?
Marlon: It's pure soul.It's kind of like a modern day reminiscent neosoul record. A combination of elements of Curtis Mayfield, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder.
SOS: What is your favorite cut on the Jazzhole album?
Marlon: My favorite song has been for the past two weeks the title track "Circle of the Sun". I've been really feelin' that song a lot.
SOS: Okay Marlon, thanks for the interview.
Marlon: Thank you guys. I really appreciate you've taken the time to talk to me. Peace and Blessings!