Mike Essoudry - © 2008 Brett Delmage
Mike Essoudry - © 2008 Brett Delmage
The Mike Essoudry Octet is performing at the NAC Fourth Stage on Saturday February 6 at 8 p.m. See our detailed show listing.

Drummer, composer and band leader Mike Essoudry talked with Brett Delmage about the musicians, how he composed the music, and what listeners can expect to hear.

Some highlights from the interview

“Generally the way I write is melodic, not necessarily chordal. The beauty of the Rhodes is that it can cover a lot of ground... particularly the way [Adam Daudrich] plays it. It's got that bell-like sound and it has chord capability, so if I need it, it's there. The sound of a single-line melody can really cut through on a Rhodes, where sometimes on a piano it doesn't. So I can actually have him double lines with horns and not get it lost in the mix of a octet.”

“I like the compositional element of an Octet. .. the range of larger groups... the textural possibilities- that's a big one for me.”

 "Sometimes you might think 'this might be ok'... and you say 'oh wow – that sounds really good.'”

 “Because [as a drummer] I'm not the melody player, I can't put the emotion that I want to put into the melody because I'm not playing it. So sometimes that makes it a little tricky.”

 “It's music that you can really ride on... it's technical to be sure but the overiding thing is that it's listenable for sure... lots of various melodious things.”

Listen to the interview (9 minutes): [MP3]

Updated 2015 March 2: deleted incorrect reference to Ottawa Jazz Happenings