Scat Chat

PD: How’s Hollywood?

KA: It’s beautiful. We’ve had a wonderful week.

Are things more surreal on the Sunset Strip than, say, at the Blue Room?

Did you say surreal? I guess I never really thought about it like that. But they are definitely different.

What do you do with your free time in Hollywood?

I really don’t have much free time. I wait for people to call for interviews, or I go to interviews, or we have rehearsals or sound check. When I do have free time, we try to go to the beach. Yesterday, we went to a barbecue with Joe the Barber. That was nice.

So you don’t buy a celebrity map and stake out Alex Trebek’s mansion?

No, not really. Are we going to talk about the new album?

Uh, sure. Does covering pop songs instead of standards on Wild For You open you to a broader audience?

I think so. The more far-reaching we can be artistically, the more people we can reach.

Does singing Elton John and Joni Mitchell tunes also help introduce new fans to the strictly jazz stuff?

Certainly. We get so many walks of life coming in to hear our music, and a lot of it — the Brazilian stuff or the French stuff or even some of the bebop and scat-singing — is completely new. It’s all an education to them.

Was it hard picking your favorite songs of the ’70s? I’m sure you’re disappointed you didn’t do any Led Zeppelin.

(Laughs) There were several songs — even a few that we had recorded — that we chose not to put on the album. It was very hard to choose. These were songs that I grew up with. But it seems to have worked out very well.

Does jazz translate across the world?

It definitely does.

Does Kansas City have we-don’t-appreciate-what-we-have-until-it’s-gone syndrome?

Probably not any more than other cities. I’ve always thought Kansas City was a wonderful place, and they embraced me from the beginning. But … I always encouraged people to take steps toward bringing in people who really appreciate the music, but they were always afraid of chasing away the customers they did have.

Categories: News