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Interview:
Luis Resto double-dips new projects for Jazz Cafe shows
 

By GARY GRAFF
For Journal Register Newspapers

» See more SOUND CHECK

Luis Resto is doing a bit of double-dipping this week.

Since he didn't hold a former release celebration for his 2012 album "One Small Light," the Royal Oak-based musician, composer and producer -- who won both Grammy and Academy awards for his involvement in Eminem's "Lose Yourself" -- decided to finally do that on Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Jazz Cafe in Detroit's Music Hall Center.

But wait, there's more.

Resto will also premiere "The Cut," a multi-media piece blending his music with photographer Michelle Andonian's images of the Dequindre Cut section near Detroit's Eastern Market. They're two very different projects, but that variety has long been Resto's calling card.

"It just fits into what I've always done, which is go in and screw around with possibilities," says Resto, 51, who was born in Ann Arbor and raised in Garden City, studying at the Interlochen Center For the Arts and U-M before working with the avant jazz group Antares and then Was (Not Was). Besides extensive studio and live work with Eminem, Resto's resume also includes work with Anita Baker, Patti Smith and Stevie Nicks, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Slaughterhouse and more.

"The Cut" in particular represents a new foray for Resto. An outgrowth from a project he did with Andonian and his brother Mario Resto for the Henry Ford Museum, it gave him a chance to compose from and interpret -- though not always strictly -- his impressions from her photographs. Fortunately, it's something that runs in the Resto blood line.

"My grandmother used to play piano at silent movies," he recalls. "So I approached it thinking about how she used to play and thought it would be pretty intriguing if I could approach the stills and video clips in the same way, but kind of in the way I do it, in the studio tinkering with possibilities."

Working in a loft space in Eastern Market, Resto says, "It was the perfect situation for me to be able to walk in with my latest geekdom, whatever it my be -- my iPad apps or iPhone apps. And then I had the different acoustic instruments I've always been into, a grand piano and a set of vibes. If I had the wherewithal I'd probably have an accordion as well, but you have to limit some of the options.

"It became a playground for me to search out and use sounds for the sake of the sonic possibilities. I got to combine my jazz background, my Latin background, my studio history with Don (Was) and everything else I've done. It seems like all those things rear their head while 'The Cut's' happening."

Resto considers "The Cut" to be a living, active concern, and he's also happy that the "One Small Light" album will get it's due as well. "It never had a proper CD release trajectory," Resto notes. "It deserves its moment." But he is, not surprisingly, on to a number of next projects, including Eminem's upcoming album and Resto's own new material.

"I'm glad to mark what I've done recently, but I find I'm never stopping anymore," says the father of two. "I just keep pushing that window of possibilities further and further, which is very exciting. It's the only way to be creative, I think."

Luis Resto performs "One Small Light" and "The Cut" at 9 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, at the Jazz Cafe in the Music Hall Center, 350 Madison, Detroit. Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door and include a copy of the "One Small Light" CD. Call 313-887-8501 or visit www.jazzcafedetroit.com.

Web Site: www.jazzcafedetroit.com

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