If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then seasoned jazz trumpeter Rob Juice’s performances pay homage to the influence of the legendary jazzman Miles Davis. According to Juice he is, “flirtatively” true to the Miles Davis tradition of trumpet playing. “Miles had a way of playing his horn … it was how he lean[ed] his notes. You may ask, ‘how do you lean a note?’ Well, it is a different kind of flavor.”
Juice’s most recent work, BadBoy Love, has been nominated for Best Jazz Album of 2010 by the Chicago Music Awards to be presented later this month. Juice, a lifelong trumpeter, is a fan of jazz greats Louis Armstrong and Miles Davis.”The trumpet is one of those kinds of horns that … has to be connected to your heart in a sense,” he says.
Juice began playing the trumpet and writing music in the seventh grade. Although he admits he was initially smitten, by the saxophone, it was an old beat up coronet that bewitched and beguiled him with the sensuousness of its sound.
While being nominated to the Chicago Music Awards is a humbling experience, Juice says prefers appreciation over fame and prestige. “It is the love that people give you when they hear your music [that matters]” he explains.
Juice comes from a tradition where reading music is as important as playing music, because it is an art form. “[In] today’s music there are so many ‘mouseketeers.’ They sit with a mouse and click … and they call themselves musicians. But if you ask them what key the song is in, they don’t know. I would really like to inspire people to sit down and learn the discipline of being a musician,” he concludes. –tony binns