Niagara Gazette — And in Militello’s opinion, people young and old need to experience jazz.
“Jazz is a unique art form,” said Militello. “Why would you let it die? Why would you work at making it harder for people to experience it and see it?”
Many jazz fans have experienced plenty of Militello. The alto saxophonist toured in the early 1970s with the Maynard Ferguson Band, has worked as a member of the touring group featuring “The Tonight Show’s” Doc Sererinson and toured with the Dave Brubeck Quartet from 1982 until Brubeck’s death in December.
Speaking last week before his Friday performance, Militello said after having recently come off the road, he was looking forward to the jazz fest as an opportunity to play with some fine musicians and “challenge” himself to push himself as an artist.
“That’s what the fun of this is going to be,” he said.
Militello said a show plays out often depends on a “judgment call” by the musicians involved, both in terms of how they feel and the feedback they’re getting from the audience on any given evening.
“Sometimes, I just get a feeling to do something and I just go ahead and do it,” Militello said. Sometimes it’s just a feeling you get from the crowd. You have to be ready to go with the flow with what comes natural.”
“I can honestly tell you that there is a non-verbal communication with the audience. I close my eyes when I play, but I can feel my audience. It’s something you can’t completely describe, but it’s one of the reasons we do what we do.”Contact City Editor Mark Scheer at 282-2311, ext. 2250.