Room for improvement

I was recently in Germany for a gig with Carlo Mombelli and I bought a Balkan music CD, Baro Biao: World Wide Wedding, by Romanian brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia. As I write, I am listening to Avishai Cohen’s Gently Disturbed. And I am also listening to Theory, the new Mombelli album on which I played the trumpet.

My favourite restaurants are Lapa Fo in Emmarentia and Melville Café. My choice of restaurants is really dependent on how I am feeling.

I really don’t have a favourite place in Cape Town because I am not there often. But when I am there I enjoy eating at the Fish Market.

If friends were visiting from abroad I would struggle to find a place to take them to, especially music venues. But what I would do is take them out to places such as the Cradle near Magaliesburg.

If we had to hang out here around Johannesburg, it would have to be in Newtown or Melville. I guess I hang out mostly at people’s homes. For me it’s not so much about the places but about the people. I always like to introduce my visitors to other interesting people who live in this crazy town. In terms of cities I find the people in Jo’burg are a bit easier to know, a little more open.

I don’t have a particular preference for where I like playing although I prefer the Jo’burg audience because they get emotionally involved. I find the Jo’burg crowd more receptive. But, then again, I had a great time playing at the Cape Town International Jazz Festival.

I don’t have a favourite or best CD. I find I don’t like using words like best or better. I wouldn’t say Miles Davis is better than Dizzy Gillespie. I think everyone has something to offer. There’s no way I would disappear with only one CD as I would lose my mind. I love to explore all the time. I do have albums that I will go back to every now and again, but those I won’t mention.

In terms of artists I would love to play with, I would jump at the opportunity to play with Thelonious Monk. I like his music, although he would have been a challenging person to play with. I would also have liked to play in the big bands, like the ones led by Count Basie or Duke Ellington. I would have loved to play with Joe Zawinul and Maria Schneider to name a few; there are too many to mention.

It’s been a while since I was at the cinema. The last movie I enjoyed was Spike Jonze’s Where the Wild Things Are. I don’t watch much television, although I do go to the theatre quite a lot. When I was in Cape Town I watched De Vloer Op, an improvised performance. Before that I watched Sello Maake Ka-Ncube’s Closer at the Market Theatre.

I think the live-music circuit could be improved. For instance, a lot of clubs in Europe are supported by governments because of their ­cultural importance. I wish we had a venue here that records live music and archives it.

Marcus Wyatt is part of Paris/Jo’burg, an experimental jazz collaboration by French and South African musicians, and will be at Wits Theatre on June 5 and 6 at 8.30pm. He spoke to Percy Zvomuya



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