2017. július 20., csütörtök

Jack Gillen, guitarist

Jack Gillen, guitarist. Should I have added jazz? Maybe. I am sure, the jazz is the best way to play the most beautiful themes about life! The jazz gives us everything what the music, what the instruments is able to do. Yes, Jack is a jazz guitarist. It is not a bar, this is the freedom of music, as I think! Jack, congratulate on your play! Jack Gillen, please, say something about yourself?

First of all thank you for the kind words! Im a professional guitarist from London. I started playing classical guitar when I was 7 or 8, and was pretty hooked on it from the beginning. Classical guitar remained my main focus until about the age of 15 when I became obsessed with Jimi Hendrix, which was a bit of a gateway for me to get deeper into the blues, which then led me to Jazz. After studying Jazz at Leeds College of Music for 3 years I moved back to London, and have been working in the music scene here ever since! Id say my playing is rooted in blues and soul, but is sort of filtered through a jazz lens as well.

As I listen Here's That Rainy Day. This song is full of soul, full of music! Great! What is the secret of your play?

I'm glad you enjoyed it! I listened to lots of different versions of Heres That Rainy Day, and payed attention to all of the different ways of interpreting the harmony and the melody - two of my favourites were the Nat King Cole version and the Paul Desmond/Jim Hall version. I also learnt the lyrics. In general when Im learning a Jazz standard I try to check out a few contrasting versions, and especially try to track down the original/ earliest version of the song I can find, which in this case is sung by Dolores Gray. Its always interesting to see how the songs have morphed since their first incarnation, and a lot of the time there are some really interesting things going on in the original versions that get lost along the way. (Check out the last 4 bars of the form in the original All Of Meby Ruth Etting - this is a good example of a beautiful moment in a song that you dont really hear in later versions!) I think doing this extra work helps to give you a bit of a deeper understanding of the song, and gives you more informed options when you come to crafting your own interpretation. 

Jack, what about jazz?

What I love about Jazz is the freedom - its a music where the individual can really express their own voice, and the only limit is their imagination. When youre listening to a great improviser there is always the feeling that anything can happen, and in terms of the original music coming out of the Jazz world, its pretty wide open stylistically at this point. Along side this personal freedom though its the interaction and connection between musicians that I love to hear - there arent many things more exciting than hearing masterful musicians having a musical conversation!

Only jazz?

I love lots of different kinds of music and I try to be open to everything. For example, Ive recently been listening to Brad Mehldau, Bon Iver, The Bad Plus, Ahmad Jamal, Beethoven, Dvořák, Solange, Childish Gambino and Blake Mills, just to name a few! If I get burnt out from listening to one type of music for too long a period of time, there will always be something different that I can check out that will excite me. Im also of the opinion that everything you listen to (if it connects with you), will stay with you, and will manifest its self somehow in your musical expression - I think its quite a cool thing that my musical output will be informed by so many different flavours, and Id say this is fairly common with musicians of my generation, as we all are used to having such easy access to huge libraries of incredibly varied music online. The only danger is that its easy to flit between lots of different things and not get deeply into any of them, so if I find an album that connects with me I try to commit my self to staying with it for a while, and really getting to know it. 

What I think or feel, I would like to show to everybody. The guitar is one of the best tools to do this. How do you see it? 

I agree, the guitar (or any instrument for that matter) should be a tool for expression - it can be easy to forget this sometimes when youre working hard on some new cool sounding chord voicing or scale, but we should always remind ourselves that these things are just tools to express something!

Jack, what is your actual project?

At the moment Im composing every day, and am planning to get my own band up and running very soon. Its going to be instrumental music that features plenty of improvisation and interaction but isnt necessarily jazz - hopefully it will combine elements of all the music that I love, and will somehow work! Im also aiming to release regular YouTube videos, which will be my own arrangements of Jazz tunes and pop tunes, as well as some improvisations, and possibly some transcriptions (Im currently working on Coltranes solo on Moments Notice, so if I ever nail that then Ill record it and post it.) I didnt post anything last month as I was so busy but Im going to try my hardest to get back into it - please subscribe to JackGillenGuitar if youd like to hear what Im doing! I also work closely with an incredible singer songwriter called Stella Angelika - shes definitely one to watch as there will be lots of great soulful music being released soon.

Jack, guitars, amps! Everything what we would know about these!

My two main electric guitars are a Fender Stratocaster and a Gibson 335. The Stratocaster is an American Deluxe that Ive had since I was 15 or 16 - I cant remember exactly what year it was made but around 2007 or earlier. Ive messed about with different pickup combinations quite a bit since then - the original noiseless pickups didnt have enough of the classic chimefor me so theyre all vintage style single coils now, with a slightly hotter bridge pickup. I also tried a P90 in the bridge at one point, which was pretty cool but just a bit too different from the other pickups.
The 335 is a custom shop 58 reissue - its got a very fat neck which took some getting used to but I love it now. I got this guitar around the time I was getting into Jazz as I thought I needed a jazzierguitar, and Im also a huge B.B. King fan so that was another factor. I tried out about 7 or 8 custom shop Gibson 335s in the shop, and this one was by far the best - its probably my nicest guitar, but I still have a huge soft spot for the Stratocaster, so I go back and forth between the two guitars.
My main amp is a Headstrong LilKing-S, which I believe is basically a more powerful Fender Princeton. Its hand made by an American company and is a beautiful sounding amplifier, but its actually in need of a repair at the moment. While its out of action Ive been using the BluGuitar AMP1 which is also a great sounding amp, and is really great for gigging with as its so easily transportable! Im putting it through a 1x12 Two Rock speaker. I also play a mahogany Atkin acoustic steel string, which is a beautiful guitar hand made in England.

Finally. Plans! 

My plans at the moment are to compose lots of music, and to get my own band up and running! Apart from this Im just going to work hard on the projects Ive already got going on, keep practicing, and keep on creating and sharing music with people.

Jack, thank you very very much for your interwiev!

Thank you.

2017. július 9., vasárnap

Michael Friese, guitarist

Michael Friese, guitarist. Playing jazz? This is the best way to show us how deep and various is the soul of human. We are able to feel the how deep and various is the soul of human. We are able to feel the different of moment. I very like feeling first and understanding the music.
Michael, thank you very much to expend time on our interwiev. Michael, please, say something about yourself?

Many thanks for this invitation. I'm German, born 1955. I growend up in a home where my father often played jazzy music. We've had a lot of instruments around, so I got some opportunities. As a young person I wanted to become, actually, a musician. However, something others happened. I became a journalist. By the way, I never wrote one single line about music in my whole working life. But as a private individual I always remained loyal to the music, practiced hours and hours and played a lot.

When did you see that the jazz is your direction? When were you sure this is the best way for you?

I've got the understanding for the enlarged chords very early, provided by my father. He pointed me out what a diminished chord is or how a Major's 7 chord sounds and what it means. At the age of twelve or 13 I heared beside the rock musicians the first jazz musicians playing their guitars and special lines. For example, Joe Pass. Wow, this was so difficult and impressive. I also wanted – no, I must - be able to do this also. And thus I tried to learn the international language of jazz.

Do you accomodate what I mentioned before? Feeling and understanding?

Absolutely. Let me add another to three words: expressiveness, freedom and at the same time discipline. Jazz is an art form which requires open ears. A person who has never dealt with it before, therefore, it will be heavier for him. And with increasing complexity he'll decline the jazz. Who keeps open himself, nevertheless is recompensed with big musical moments. This is valid for the listener just as for the player.

Michael, what is the most important inspiration when you pick up your guitar? Trice? Something happend or what else?

First it's simply the desire to play the guitar. I feel physically how my fingers want to touch the strings. An addiction. Then there is the reason that I have a melody in my brain the whole day long and I like to allow to asound now in the evening. That often leads to a whole composition. I wrote nearly 100 compositions, distilled on my YouTube channel. Shure not every is good, but I wanted to play and record them anyway. Sometimes I'm inspired to such songs by a private, tiny event.

Jazz exclusively? Do you have time or energy to play or run on other style of guitar music?

Oh yes. I love bluegrass music. I like the virtuosity from flat picking in the teamwork with violin, banjo, mandolin and bass. Moreover, I am a big friend in the baroque music, especially from Johann Sebastian Bach. This or that I sometimes play on the guitar. But I also hear Gustav Mahler. László Halmos and Igor Stravinski belongs to my favourits, not to mention Béla Bartók.

Michael, I would like to know something – no, everything – about your sound! Guitars, amps everything else!

Allow me to start with the backing tracks. I generate them by myself using the wellknown program "Band In A Box“. It permits the application of real instruments. My guitar goes via a Behringer-Mixer directly into the sound card. I play clean, just add a little bit of reverb. I do the mastering with a special Magix-program. Here I put some more bass to the middle and lower sound section und light up the higher region. Very close to that sound is an amp I use on live performances: Vintage Polytone Minibrute III. My favorite guitar is a Gibson ES 175 from 1990. She is so ergonomic and fits in her size to my 1.80 meters. Moreover, Gibson full resonance guitars have this silky sound I prefer. This is also valid for my Gibson Super V CES from 1979. A very rare instrument on which I'm a little proud of. If I play accoustic I take my Martin guitar. I still own a 12 strings Gibson Hummingbird which I play, however, seldom. For classical music I take a Spanish classic guitar. Shure I know, that these instruments are expensive and it took me some dekades to collect them. In fact more cheeper instruments will spend the same fun and even nearly the same sound results. My early teacher told me, the right hand makes the music on a guitar. So I often play with my index nail which generates this very creamy jazz tone.

Last, please say something about your plan!

Well, in fact I don't have a real plan as a musician. In three years I will retire my job, hoping to find more time for live appearances. Hopefully.

Michael, thank you very much and best wishes in the name of the hungarian fans!

Thank you very much.