Jazz trumpeter Harold Little is a pure Washington DC native whose musical history is also deeply rooted in the Go-Go culture. Raised and influinced in a musical family and an alumni of the Duke Ellington School of the Arts, Harold’s go-go chapter in his music history includes playing with such bands as Chance and the original Pure Elegance.
In 2010, Harold released his jazz acclaimed CD “Daddy’s Groove”, which celebrated airplay across the US and abroad. Now he has returned with a brand new project. And within one single in particular, entitled “All Blues”, he incorporates a strong page from his Go-Go influence. With the release of this new single, we decided to have a sit down question and answer session with him.
So, let’s get started…
Thinking back, when or what event led you to decide to create music?
Harold Little: I was raised in a musical family. My father was in a band. My uncle Brute was a big time promoter who hired bands in the 70s. Musicians were always around the house growing up and my father would take me to band rehearsals and concerts I would see bands like Rufus, Parliament, Emotions, etc. So being in a music environment led me to play trumpet and create music.
Besides such bands as Chance Band and the original Pure Elegance, can you give us a quick look at some of the marks you have made within the Go-Go culture?
Harold Little: After Pure Elegance, I played with Funk’s band Proper Utensils for a hot minute (I taught Benny all of the horn parts before Funk fired me). Then Chuck Brown for a minute. After Chuck, I started my own jazz band. In between time, I was like a contractor playing with local R&B, Latin and GoGo bands. People don’t know, but I helped Donnell Floyd’s band transition from 911 into Familiar Faces. Back then, he would hire me to do the so called jazz set along with Boolah Roper. I would bring in some of my Jazz friends to help.
Blah Blah Blah… I’ve got a lot of first hand Gogo stories. lol
This new single, “All Blues”, can you tell us what this single is about about and how it came to be?
Harold Little: My current project is in progress but, I’m releasing a series of singles before the CD drops. The first single is “All Blues”, which features Byron “BJ” Jackson on Bass, Vince Evans on Keys, Big Wyllz on Drums, Nicky Barnes on congas, Derek Redfootz Freeman on Percussion, and Bryan Mills on Sax. It took about 3 days to learn and record four songs, but a century to coordinate everyone’s schedule.
“All Blues” is one of the all time jazz standards that I arranged to fit the Go-Go genre. Of course, Chuck Brown was the first Go-Go band to incorporate Jazz in his music, so I thought I would be the first to do an all instrumental Jazz/Go-Go song.
If you had to describe this single in three or four words, what would you call it?
Harold Little: Grown Folks Music!
How would you describe your music/art/entertainment for a public audience who may have never seen you before?
Harold Little: My music is deeply rooted in old school 60s & 70s jazz and R&B music. But because of my DC background, my music and approach to playing trumpet influenced by Go-Go. If you listen closely, you’ll hear some Go-Go cliché in my playing.
Have you recorded any previous CD’s or posted any audio files on the Internet? (What type of recording process did you use? Who produced your recording?)
Harold Little: I have a self produced Jazz CD titled “Daddy’s Groove” that was released in 2010 that got airplay across the USA and abroad. I was fortunate to have some of DC’s finest musicians on the project, to include Mark Prince (Drums), Gerry Gillespie (Keyboards), Yusef Chisholm (Bass), Tommy Guns (Percussion) and Frankie Addison (Sax). We all got together and recorded the songs that night and I came back the next week to record the horns and it was a wrap!
What do you think makes you and your style unique from other artists?
Harold Little: It’s hard to put into words, but my style is simple yet slick at the same time. I incorporate a mix of rhythmic approaches, space and hip harmonics in my improvisation. Most of all however, I can swing!
What image do you think your music conveys and why did you choose this type of image for your music? (Please, do not avoid the image issue! We want the fans to get to know you better)
Harold Little: My music expresses a soulful, intellectual groove. It conveys a kind of adult cool image reminiscent of the 70s when good music was the norm.
What do you feel distinguishes “an artist” from just a musician?
Harold Little: A musician is one who plays a musical instrument or sings at a level comparable to a skilled professional. An artist posses the characteristics of a musician, but has the element of self expression. We artist use an instrument as our voice to express our perspective. In other words, an Artist creates path into our world. In my case, music is constantly playing in my head and I want to share it with the world.
Art & Music has an impact on both young and old. Everyone loves a celebrity, so what advice do you have for the youth of today?
Harold Little: There are no short cuts to learning your craft so you must practice! Only the artists who are serious musicians reach a plateau of greatness and the only way to get there is to work hard and practice!
If you had the opportunity to change something about the music industry, what would it be?
Harold Little: Given all the corruption in the music industry, I would make it felony to cheat or take advantage of an artist or musician. Most artists play for the love of music, and the gamers use that to take advantage. Often time, artist
and musicians get ripped off without recourse. It can be dirty in this game.
How do you think you would like to be remembered by everyone when all is said and done?
Harold Little: I wish to be remembered for my large heart and warm spirit. Musically, I should be remembered for my style and innovative approach to music and playing trumpet.
Do you have a website of any type? What are some of the details fans can find by going to your own website?
Harold Little: My website address is www.haroldlittle.com where you will find my bio, press releases, photo and video gallery, message board and most of all my schedule and music store where you can purchase my CD and download songs.
Okay… Just for fun… fill in the blanks!
Without music, I would be: Dead.
Music is: love and love is music if you dig what I mean!
My music makes me feel: like makin’ love!
I write the songs because: the world needs it.
Support music because: it’s hip!
Harold Little’s single “All Blues: Go-Go Perspective” can be purchased at:
ALSO… CHECK OUT THE VIDEO CLIP BELOW: