Do the boogie-woogie
He co-founded his first blues band at 16 and cut his first album at 17. Today Joachim Palden is one of the world's most celebrated blues pianists. Days before his performance at the Simply the Blues music fest in Mumbai, he speaks to Dhiman Chattopadhyay about his upcoming album and how listening to blues music can help drive the blues away
There are few pianists in Europe who play the blues and boogie-woogie on the piano like Joachim Palden. Born 1960 in Vienna, he was 13 when his parents introduced him to Jazzland, Vienna’s top jazz club. “All I wanted to become was a Blues and Boogie musician after that,” he tells us.
A band founder, at 16
My father was a blues jazz fan. So when I decided to form my own band at 16, my parents encouraged me. I co-founded the Mojo Blues band. A year later, I won a Boogie Woogie piano contest in Zurich and got a record (album) deal. And then in 1982 I came out with my first album Be Baba Leba Boogie. The title track stayed on the Austrian radio charts for nine weeks, reaching number eight.
I have worked with Eddie ‘Lockjaw’ Davis for over 20 years. And a partnership of over three decades with British pop star Dana Gillespie.
Date with India
I have performed in India thrice before. The first time I came must have been over 15 years ago. We played at the Taj Mahal Hotel in Mumbai. We even played the blues at a wedding in Bangalore once, during a tour. And no, people were not unhappy at all. In fact the blues recital made them happy!
I don’t think blues music is synonimous with sadness. It’s a form of music that expresses your inner feelings powerfully. To that extent it may bring out the sadness but it also helps you deal with life and its obstacles better.
My third album Guilty is coming up. The album features sax-man Big Jay McNeely and Britain’s top acoustic guitar player Ian Sigal.
The Simply Blues Festival will see Dana GIllespie and Joachim Palden perform at St. Andrew’s auditorium in Bandra along with headlining acts by renowned Indian Blues musicians on Dec 8, 2013 from 8 pm to 10.30 pm. You can buy the tickets at the venue or go to www.boookmyshow.com.