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AN INTERVIEW WITH SABIR MATEEN

June 17, 2005
Special for THE NEW TIMES HOLLER!
© Amir Bey, 2007
SABIR MATEEN; photo by Iztok Zupan
SABIR MATEEN in Milano, Italy, photo by Dario Villa, 2007
SABIR MATEEN in Milano, Italy, photo by Dario Villa, 2007
On May 11, multi-instrumentalist, composer and bandleader Sabir Mateen led a big band, Juxtapositions Plus! at CBGS'S LOUNGE featuring:

Sabir Mateen Tenor & Alto Saxophones, Flute, Clarinet & Alto Clarinet
Roy Campbell, Jr. Trumpet, Flugelhorn, Pocket Trumpet, & Flute
Jason Kao Hwang Violin
Jean Cook Violin
Jessica Pavone Viola
Masako Yokouchi Cello
Matthew Heyner Bass
Hill Greene Bass
William Parker Ndugon Goni, Sintir
Rashid Bakr Drums
Michael Wimberly Djimbi, Percussion
Ravish Momin Percussion
I recently talked with Sabir and asked him a few questions about his ensemble Juxtapositions Plus!:

BEY: What is the concept behind Juxtapositions?

MATEEN: Well, Juxtapositions is a mixture of musical cultures and sound in one sound. Basically Juxtapositions consists of myself, Matthew (Bass), Masako (Cello) and Ravish (Percussion).

BEY: You use a lot of strings, including two basses, a viola, cello, two violins, and William Parker on Ndugon Goni and Sintir in Juxtapositions. What inspired you to go that way?

MATEEN: The inspiration of this enlarged band was something I wanted to do for a long time, mixing European Strings and African Strings together. I always wanted to do a string project. I've written many tunes for strings anyway, but never performed in public. Actually I wanted to do a larger band with more horns & strings (Euro and African) but finances wouldn't allow it. I'd like to do more of this and I plan to do so in the future and get a good recording. The guy at CBGB's didn't do a good job, even though I'm satisfied with the music and a good part of the recording.

BEY: Are there any future plans for Juxtapositions or any upcoming performances by you?

MATEEN: I'll be playing at The Vision Festival, and here are three dates and times:

Friday, June 17, 7PM Other Dimensions IN Music Meets The Sound Vision Orchestra
Sunday, June 19, 7PM Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra w/ Juice. I'll be a special guest and playing Tenor Saxophone in that ensemble.
Sunday, June 19, 11PM Matthew Shipp -Piano, Sabir Mateen -Reeds, William Parker -Bass, Han Bennink -Drums

Note: The Vision Festival is being held at Clemente Soto Velez, 107 Suffolk Street, for further information, call 212-696-6681 or check out www.visionfestival.org
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