The Django Chats With Saxophonist Nick Hempton
By Ken Fowser
Saxophonist extraordinaire and Django favorite, Nick Hempton, will be performing live this Friday in celebration of his latest album, “Slick” at The Django. Reserve HERE. Our music director, Ken Fowser, was able to catch up with Nick on his inspirations, influences, travels, and of course adult beverages.
KF “What inspired your latest record, Slick? Also, what an incredible band you have on this album, featuring Peter Bernstein on guitar, Kyle Koehler on organ, and Fukushi Tainaka on Drums.”
NH “At the end of 2019 the band was cooking- we’d been playing together a lot, and the groove was so good it just felt like we had to get it on record. Then Covid came along and gave the album nearly two years to age and mature before we could release it.”
KF “Anytime there’s organ on a record, it brings such a specific vibe. What are some of your favorite recordings featuring the organ?”
NH “I dig all sorts of organ records, but the Sonny Stitt/Don Paterson sides are on regular rotation. And I’ll take any of Lou Donaldson’s organ records any time- in fact I sent Lou a copy of “Slick,” and he said it reminded him of one of his!”
KF “I see you’ve been getting back on the road a bit with a few tours, and even getting across the pond, how has it been traveling and touring post-pandemic?”
NH “Touring during the pandemic is tricky- every country and region has their own rules and guidelines. I just got back from six weeks in Europe, and I’m lucky I got there when I did, because all the clubs I played in Germany just shut down again. But folks are so hungry for live music, it’s a real gas to get out and play for them again.”
KF “We are looking forward to having you back, live and on stage this Friday at 7PM. What’s your go to Django cocktail, pre or post gig?”
NH “The bartenders at the Django are fantastic, and I’m sure they can make you the most complicated, fruity, parasol-adorned cocktail you can imagine, but I’ll take a gin martini, dry with a twist. And a dozen oysters while I’m at it.
“Highly entertaining, hard-driving and solid swinging modern jazz… creative, intense and superb.” – Edward Blanco, E-Jazz News