Sasha Dobson's Journey Out Of Jazz And Into Songwriting | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Sasha Dobson's Journey Out Of Jazz And Into Songwriting

Play associated audio

Smith Dobson was one of the most sought-after pianists of the Bay Area when he died in a car crash in 2001. He was part of a musical family — his wife, Gail, a jazz singer; his son a drummer. His daughter, Sasha Dobson, was a scat singer who followed the family's jazz muse until her dad's tragic death.

Then, Sasha picked up the guitar, started playing in her friend Norah Jones' band, and now she has her own solo career; Aquarius, her first album of original songs, has just been released. Click the audio link to hear her conversation with NPR's Lynn Neary, and read on for highlights, including some that didn't make the radio version.


Interview Highlights

On leaving jazz behind

"It's actually still pretty hard for me, because I get so much energy from that music, and I don't know how to be a part of both worlds. Especially these days, you really have to title yourself to move forward in your career. But I wish to do both forever. I still love that music; I still harbor a torch for that knowledge. I just don't quite know how to filter it into what I'm doing now. It's just not my way anymore, especially socially. Picking up the guitar really opened up my life socially in a totally different way."

On Puss n Boots, her country trio with Norah Jones

"We were just comrades, you know? Pals on the scene. We both lost touch for various reasons. And one day years later we ran into each other, and that was it. I mentioned that I was thinking about playing guitar, and she was like, 'Oh, my God, me too.' ... Most of the covers that I would offer up were old jazz numbers, and most of the covers that Norah would offer up were more like Hank Williams and so on. [Country music] was maybe something that we embraced first because it's simple in its chord structure; you can dive in. That's part of the reason I love guitar, is that I only needed to know a few chords."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Amazon Deal With Simon & Schuster Raises Questions For Other Publishers

Amazon has received a fair amount of bad press lately over its long-running dispute with the Hachette publishing house. So Monday's announcement of a deal with Simon & Schuster took some industry watchers by surprise.
NPR

From NFL To 'Scandal,' Whole Foods Buys TV Ads To Boost Its Brand

A pioneer in selling organic, sustainable groceries, Whole Foods now finds itself beset by competitors. So it's launching its first national ad blitz to sell socially conscious consumers on its story.
NPR

Obama Has To Balance His Base Without Hurting Dems In Red States

If Democrats have a chance of hanging onto Senate seats in southern states, they need to do well with African American voters. But for President Obama, that creates a difficult balance between turning out the base and energizing GOP voters who don't like him.
NPR

In Silicon Valley, Paying For Access To Peace Of Mind

The San Francisco area is the home to the high-tech sector and has a history of embracing Eastern spirituality. Now the two meet in the yoga and meditation classes popular with the local tech workers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.