"The lanky musician has a warm, infectious personality that seems to lift the mood of anyone he comes into contact with. His playing reflects that spirit."
Clarinetist Gregory Agid has called New Orleans his home for several years and is now breaking out as a member of the new generation of New Orleans jazz musicians, brandishing his clarinet in the air as he performs onstage before audiences--wielding it further into the modern mainstream of jazz. "The novelty of the clarinet kind of died off in jazz during the fifties when Charlie Parker became popular," Agid says. "Since then, clarinetists haven't greatly influenced the scene. The clarinet has generally been stereotyped as 'old-fashioned' since it's commonly used to play older styles of jazz, and its sound is rarely marketed as 'modern.'" While remembering the advice and insights mentors gave him about the legacy of New Orleans jazz, Agid is eager to move the music forward--infusing his own personality and experiences into a generational kaleidoscope of local sound. "My music is very much based on the musical traditions upheld by musicians before me," he explains. "I see myself as being in a cultural continuum of music--picking up where the greats left off and moving the music to the next logical next step." He knows, like other musicians, that music is constantly evolving--as required for its purpose of communication. "I'm a listener," he adds. "I feel that I listen and then react, and that's a big part of my music. Jazz is this wonderful medium for expressing our true selves and anything else without repercussions, and this communication is the most important aspect of the music. Jazz is sophistication, sexiness, pure joy, and sadness. If my music hasn't touched you in some way, I haven't done my job."
Gregory Agid Quartet's Jamz (sporting NBA Jam-inspired album art) is out now on Bubble Bath Records, showcasing the clarinetist and bandleader's versatile jazz chops and fluid band dynamic. Here's an album teaser!