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Mark Guiliana Interview

Mark Guiliana Interview

Mark Guiliana Interview

05

NOVIEMBRE, 2022

By: Manuel Borraz

Pictures by: Fernando Tribiño

 

 

It was October 14th, and Mark Guiliana was waiting for us at the bar of Teatro Pavón, minutes before his European tour with Jason Lindner (piano) Jason Rigby (saxophone) and Jasper Høiby (double bass) began here in Madrid. In this case they were playing for JAZZMADRID22 in collaboration with Villanos del Jazz, playing Mark Guiliana´s own compositions in a jazz quartet format.

Mark Guiliana is a great personality, versatile and original. It is remarkable his work and investigation into electronic music in parallel with jazz. All his trajectory has made an impact in both genres and aesthetics and his ways of thinking and playing are so open to many sonic possibilities handling projects which are between nu-jazz and contemporary jazz, like the quartet he brought to JAZZMADRID22 

 

In&Out. Hi Mark, it is a pleasure to have the chance to talk with you today. We would like to know how do you combine these two different jazz genres or aesthetics in your everyday life and how do you handle this close and at the same time different worlds? 

Mark Guiliana. I understand that these two worlds by definition are different, but, to me, they are actually all the same thing that comes from one place, so the ideas come from one place and then, as they get more specific, maybe they end up one far from another, maybe one idea starts here and ends up on an acoustic piano or another idea ends up in a synth, but because they start from the same place in my mind they are very similar. I think that this is helpful, and I am so deeply inspired from many kinds of music that makes me try to represent all those influences every time I play.

When I was young I thought that if I was playing jazz I could not let people know that I liked Nirvana, but of course all the elements can match together and end up leading in a more personal statement. For example, I love flamenco since the first time I came here in 2013 with bassist Avishai Cohen. I really felt flamenco as a deep influence to me, and of course this is not obvious in my music – I am not playing flamenco as a style. But to me, there may be influences that are more obvious or deliberate from the ones you can draw a straight line from the influence to the way I play, and in other cases some other influences act as an inspiration that I take but are not so evident in my playing, even though they are still there. If I can play drums as Camarón sings, that is what I want to do, so it will not be obvious in a ¨drummistic¨ way, but still the spirit is in there.

 

Does that mean that aesthetic limitations do not interfere with the freedom you feel and the creation itself? 

Correct, everything is possible as long as the choices that I make at that moment are the best for the music.

 

How do you see the scene in New York, USA… and the world when it comes to the use of new sonic explorations and sounds of digital technology, analog synthesizers, aso. and how do you use it, affects your creations and think about it in your everyday life? 

I think that everybody nowadays has access to make music like that, so it is exciting to explore. Anyway, I also really appreciate the relationship that can be created with an acoustic instrument. Sometimes with electronic instruments after a very short relationship, in the beginning of it, the electronic instrument can let you already create something, but there is no shortcut with the relation of a player and a drum or saxophone, so we are talking about a very different timeline. So I really value someone who has committed his path to an acoustic instrument, because it takes a long time to find oneself in that place. In the end, I am always happy when I use both.

If you buy a synth and you turn it on it will sound cool because it has been programmed to reproduce a specific sound, but if I have to pick up a saxophone it will not sound cool, it could take years to sound good, so there is something about that commitment in the relationship, you have to earn it, and sometimes with electronic instruments this comes sooner and effortless… of course excepting people who are the masters of it.

 

How is it to come here today to play with a master like Jason Lindner, who knows a lot about the synth world and with whom you have a long past playing in different kinds of proposals and artistic paths such as David Bowie, Donny McCaslin, aso? How do you feel doing this project with him?

It is great! As you may know, he has not only played piano in the last 15 years but has included a lot of keyboards and synths at his concerts. I know him from a long time ago, when he was just playing piano in New York with Avishai Cohen (bassist) and he had his own band playing piano, these are my first memories of him. So when I invited him I said to him: “you can say you do not want to” because I am aware of his commitment to his electronic path, but I got very happy when he said yes, because it is very refreshing to play like this as we have not played in this way for a long time. Moreover, the relationship is so strong that communication is easy and feels natural.

On what do you focus your musical energy right now?

I think that energy means to just keep going, it might sound simple but sometimes it is enough. I simply try to put my head down and just keep going because if I put my head up sometimes the world is a scary place and it might not encourage you to go ahead, and sometimes if you look back you may feel tempted to do today what you were doing in the past, only because at that time people liked it, and that is dangerous too. So I just try to keep making what feels right on the day I am living. If inspiration is present I just take advantage of it, and I am not worrying about where it sends me. I am just glad with the fact that inspiration exists, because it might not always be there. Inspiration is the seed and I am not worried about what it becomes, I maintain the energy and just keep going, trusting in what I do. Trusting in the process, trying not to be too calculative, of course you might be scared of what’s next but also I try to settle into that.

 

You have just released  “The sound of listening”, an album which is deeply influenced by Thich Nhat Hanh and his concept of the inner silence required to truly observe the world. In this album in which you count with great players as Shai Maestro, Jason Rigby and Chris Morrisey you combine all your projects but the jazz quartet predominates in an introspective way. How did this project come to Earth?

Only the title and the music are inspired by Thich Nhat Hanh. The pandemic was an introspective moment in my life, so his teaching was very helpful for those moments and it made its way into the compositions. I am a person who is always doing things, being in movement, without asking the meaning of them, and in the pandemic everything changed, I was at home, I totally stopped and that made me raise big questions and think of what I was doing.

 

You have created your own label, why?

I created a label in 2014 because I often got impatient due to the great amount of time that happened between making an album and releasing it. I just wanted to mix some music and put it out. Also, I released two albums on the same day which probably a traditional label would not have liked. So it was less business-minded and just focused on doing something and setting it free. That was the intention behind my label.

 

You are on tour now with your jazz quartet. What will happen next?

Today is the first day of the tour and we will be in Europe for two and a half weeks. Most of the time I will be playing the music I will perform tonight and, after that, we will go to the USA and play at Village Vanguard, and so on. But also my inspiration and ideas now are looking to the future, I have three albums in my mind that I would like to record and they are all different. Sometimes I have to be patient and let it develop by itself. Nevertheless, I feel very lucky to have both outlets (Beat Music and the Jazz Quartet) but I want to keep for each one its own space, the space they deserve.

 

Do you choose which project to do next based on the people you are in contact with,  taking into account the energy you receive from each musician?

Totally, this is also a great motivation. I feel I am always kind of one record ahead in my mind.  I have an idea for a little bit more electronic album. In addition, when we recorded “The sound of listening” we recorded twice as much as what we released so next year probably there will be another album with these songs.

 

Like your album “Family First alternate takes”?

Yes, but in that case it was the same takes and now it will be an album made out of new and different tunes.

 

 

We have reached the end of the interview. It was a great pleasure to have you here today, thank you for your words. We look forward to listening to you in a few minutes!

It was great, I wish it had been longer. Thanks, I enjoy living the present moment and it is great to play with these musicians in this jazz quartet. It is such a joy, I cannot wait.

Written by Manuel Borraz

Noviembre 05, 2022

Fred Hersch Interview  JAZZMADRID21

Fred Hersch Interview JAZZMADRID21

Fred Hersch Interview
JAZZMADRID21

Madrid International Jazz Festival

13

DICIEMBRE, 2021

Entrevista: Manuel Borraz

Fotos: Rafa Martín/CNDM

On November second, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the greatest jazz piano players of all time. After his last duo concert in Hamburg with trumpeter Dave Douglas, Fred Hersch came to Madrid, where he played with Avishai Cohen an intimate acoustic performance at Auditorio Nacional de Música (JAZZMADRID21), playing jazz standards and his own compositions in his unique, buoyant masterful way. 

Well known for his long jazz career, sideman in the past of jazz legends like Joe Henderson, Stan Getz, Bill Frisell… composer and piano bandleader, Fred has contributed to jazz music with an extended creative artistic work with many formations and formats. Despite his complicated life situation due to contracting AIDS in 1984 and coming back from death after a two months coma in 2008, Hersch is still touring the world, creating amazing music and leaving a legacy that will last long. The morning before the concert, in the living room of a hotel, Fred Hersch shared with us some aspects of his approach to music nowadays, his feelings and how is he living the current moment.

In&Out JAZZ – Welcome to Madrid, we are delighted to have you here. How are you feeling?

Fred Hersch – I am good, thanks. I don’t remember now, but I think that the last time I was in Madrid it was with the trio. Something I can tell you is that lately I remember good halls and good pianos around the world, how they work or the difference between them, specific ranges that sound better depending on the model. 

In&Out – You have had a close relationship with the piano for more than 40 years and you are still touring, most of the time in small formations like this concert with Avishai Cohen or by solo performances. What is your relationship with the piano now?

F. H. – I love it and I feel really loose. Since the pandemic, fortunately, all of the concerts where I have played have been with musicians that are in the flow of the music, not much is predetermined. I have played with Enrico Rava, Dave Douglas, now with Avishai Cohen all of them are different but great. I find it hard to play with musicians that are too much inside their heads. I always say to people I love my work. I make stuff up and I get paid for it. It’s a great job.

In&Out – Then… was playing piano solo concerts a natural consequence of your life, due to your needs and loves, or was it a conscious decision?

F. H. In 1977 in New York I was hanging out a lot at Cork Bradley’s, where all the piano players were hanging out. There were lots of piano players and bass-piano duos there, with Tommy Flanagan, Hank Jones, Jimmy Roles, Kenny Barron… I remember Rolland Hanna said to me: «you would be a very good solo player, you should really develop that», and he was a very good solo player, so I did it. In 1980 I gave my first solo concert and my first solo album came out in 2001. I have equal solo albums and trio albums. Playing solo… is very challenging, you can´t take a break for the drums solo! (laughs)

In&Out – You have used many different approaches, textures and creative skills in your performances, we could say that your piano playing has a very sensitive and refined touch, where do you think that this art of playing comes from?

F. H. I played classical music, not so much in public but for me, but I grew up listening to it. I did not listen so much to popular music. When you listen to a lot of great piano players and piano music you can hear the possibilities of the piano, so I never transcribed solos but I got ideas and tried to incorporate all these elements, for example: the piano can be a drum set, an orchestra, a singer, a horn, it can go in opposite directions, multiple directions or play different voices. This is a feature of my playing and I find it interesting to do… You don´t read into the piano but different piano players have their own particular sound, not the notes but the way they engage with the instrument. 

In&Out – The pandemic has greatly affected a lot the sector of music and culture, how did you deal with the Pandemic from the beginning of it until now?

F. H. I actually did not even touch the piano for months during the pandemic but, among many other things, I did meditation -but not Zen. What I do is, I sit everyday for 35 minutes, although is difficult to do it when being on the road.

When I started meditating, I realised that I had been meditating for my whole life with the piano, so instead of the breath as the encore, it was the sound the anchor, how you actually make the sound and how you put this sound in rhythm, this is active meditation. It is not about what you play -a hype chord or something fast-, it is about the feeling. 

In&Out – Also, during the Pandemic, you did one album, Songs From Home, right?

F. H. Yes. That album, Songs From Home, was simply me playing songs I like just to make people happy. So, people could be with me relaxing in my living room while I play songs that I Iike and, in that way, we all have some nice moments together.

In&Out – Talking about the Pandemic and the difficult moment of global health, we know you have been dealing with health issues for years, how did your health situation affect your playing?

F. H. – I was very sick I almost died twice, and when I came back things changed, so there is kind of a pre period and post period. It was 13 years ago, since then I know my playing has changed but I cannot tell you how.

Also, when you get older, your memory is not so great, your repertoire gets smaller and now, after a year without practicing or playing music in the pandemic, I appreciate music more. I have got to the place I always wanted to get to, where on the one hand I care deeply about the music but on the other I just do not care about whatever it happens. 

In&Out – You said tonight, with Avishai Cohen, the main focus will be on improvisation, but also, you have been using composition for a long time. Which area takes precedence in your life?

F. H. Nine of the last twelve albums were live because I do not like the studio so much. I feel that is real jazz, my best stuff is live. But as an artist I’m conscious of my career, and I know you cannot just do always the same thing, otherwise no one would pay attention. 

In&Out – You have been teaching for many years in institutions, and also influenced big musicians like Brad Mehldau, Ethan and Sullivan Fortner… what do you think about the institutionalization of jazz?

F. H. Well, in order to set things to students or to make a model for jazz education, it has to be driven by information, not by theory and transcriptions… In a way I was lucky because I did not have a teacher before I went to New York, and I was an apprentice, that was what everybody did at my time: I played with Joe Henderson, Stan Getz…

I composed my own pieces very late. Now everybody has the goal of having their own band with their own music and I think is equally creative to play something somebody else wrote. Not everybody is a great composer, something great for me is something that sticks, like a Sonny Rollins solo that I can almost sing… I would never write it down, for example, but I sing it. 

In&Out – Did you enjoy being a sideman? As I see you do not do it anymore.

F. H. Lately I do not tour with other people as a sideman, people do not think of me as a sideman anymore, they think I am busy or that it would be too much expensive, aso. There was a time that I was a sideman, when I was thirty, and I learnt from that. But now it is different.

In&Out – How is jazz education now?

F. H. Jazz education consists now of students who do it like a duty, they learn and can play but nothing is personal, it is more craft than art, and then there are musicians who have big influences and take it personally. They take music from other countries or from hip hop or classical contemporary music wherever, so there is not much swing inside so maybe it’s jazz but not jazz, although there are very accomplished musicians who have found a way to speak to their generations and to themselves.

When you suggest playing or writing down what Herbie wrote in 1963 it makes people develop a lot of fear but if it is something new you cannot be afraid of, you just have to embrace it. Also, now we have a group of people who have doctorates but never tried to make a living out of music, so it is very academic, and that fact can make people competent but it does not make them creative artists.

In&Out – How was jazz life back then for you?

F. H. When I went to New York I was 22 years old and it was very simple, you had to be able to know how to swing, how to compose, to read music, have the tools and be prepared to return phone calls… Now everybody is expected to be a bandleader, composer, social media expert… what is expected nowadays is different than before.

In&Out – What would you say is missing nowadays?

F. H. One thing that is missing is listening not only to what happened in the 70s but to the whole history of jazz. Throughout these times there have been and there are amazing pianists.

Man has to understand the different trees of jazz piano. Like, for example, Duke Ellington, Monk, Herbie Nichols, Andrew Hill. That would be one tree, or James P. Johnson, Art Tatum, Fats Waller, Oscar Peterson… that is another. 

Unfortunately, people don’t listen to albums anymore.  We read to the note, aso. Our attention has got shorter due to new technologies, and this is affecting a lot the education we are having.  

In&Out – Is jazz nowadays more skills centered than an artistic expression?

F. H. Most of jazz students want to know: «how can I do this?» but you just have to try things and commit mistakes until you learn… it is not I am going to do this and this and I am going to be a good jazz musician, it is a language and you have to speak it, and so, it takes time.

In&Out – The history of jazz has a very concrete, determined character, geographic origin… but the different paths that it has taken are creating a very thick and lush forest. Jazz is now being played around the world. Do you see a difference for example between European jazz and jazz in the U.S.?

F. H. Before, Europeans and Japanese wanted to know the authentic way to play this music, but now, there are a lot of European players who do their own thing: Enrico Rava, Bollani, John Taylor, Jan Garbarek, aso. You can put a lot of jazz music in ECM category or Avant Garde category, there is some in the middle but most of it is this. There is not so much swing anymore, but more straight 8ths odd meters, aso.

In&Out – I suppose that man learns a lot also playing with great characters of the history like you did in the past. What did you learn from playing with true legends at that time?

F. H. Playing with Joe Henderson for 10 years I learnt a lot. Sometimes he played great but sometimes not so well, or he started okay and at the end got amazing, so I learnt not to panic at a moment of the concert because it is a long trip. The trap I got into once was worrying about what I was not able to play, like young pianists who can do amazing technical things, but they cannot do what I do, so you have to know who you are.

There is no law saying «you have to do that«. So, you just play one phrase, then another, then another, loving them, like meditation… every breath is a little different from each other, some days you are focused and some days you are not. I like to think that I normally do good performances but sometimes I am more inspired. For example, in Village Vanguard, which is my home, I feel like I am in my living room, I do not have to worry about a thing. 

In&Out – It seems that your meditation practice has affected a lot the way you express and conceive your playing, did it influence you as well in the way you listen to jazz? 

F. H. When you listen, you cannot see what are people doing, you can just hear it. In a lot of shows I close my eyes, even in my own concerts, I do not look, I pay attention, it gives me a center. I like to take one track that I like, close my eyes and I listen to it seven times in a row, and each time I listen differently, how do people phrase or deal with harmony, if the drums are ahead of the beat, how do they deal with it…

In&Out – How would you qualify good art then?

F. H. – I always say good playing is like pizza. Basically you have sauce, cheese, dough and when you are playing solo you have rhythm, sound and the way you connect with what you play, these are the three most important elements. We all have had terrible pizza but when you get good pizza it is so great, bad pizza can fill you up, but good pizza…what a difference… wow! You can feel it was made with care and the best ingredients and skills… 

In&Out – So, do you influence yourself from other forms of art?

F. H. – I go to art museums, enjoy visual arts, theatre, other kinds of music, all kind of classical music. I like to explore everything, I like to learn stuff from different artists or periods or cultures and connect with them. You cannot only do jazz, maybe when you are young… but at this point I cannot just practice jazz, the closest I get is taking one tune and playing it for twenty minutes. I search for new stuff if it gets boring, I go to a different thing.

In&Out – How free do you think jazz music actually is?

F. H. – A tune is like a picture frame. It gives you a limit, that is the basic form, harmony, melody, or words… To me, the three great revolutions of jazz were Louis Armstrong, who invented scat, stepping up front of the band and being a really great soloist. Bebop era is the second, this is basically said: jazz is not dance music, it is more complex, virtuosic, people were writing their own things… and then Ornette Coleman, who was like: «I am just going to play on the feeling of the tune or I am not going to play any tune at all«. Of course, there are a lot of amazing great musicians but for me this is where the real innovation lies.

In&Out – How do you see the evolution of the jazz industry? 

F. H. – In the past years classical music and jazz albums sold were rated about 2%. And within jazz there were always singers and guitarists who sold more records than instrumentals, but it has always been a very small percentage of the music industry.

In&Out – In your opinion, why is this percentage so small?

F. H. – In both of those genres, the more you know, the better you feel when you listen, and more satisfaction you get, and you can at least have an opinion about it. In pop, big famous artists and their projects are driven by personality and sometimes it is more entertainment than art. Jazz and classical music, without any willing to be pretentious, is another kind of artistry, but it has always been a tiny part of in the industry…

Some people would say: «I like smooth jazz«, which is not actually jazz of big bands or whatever… and that can be great, or not. You know, there is nothing wrong with entertainment: sometimes you just want to have some fun. But in terms of artistry, not so much. It is another layer… just a deeper one.

In&Out – I guess society has also changed a lot. How do you see the acceptance of the LGTBI movement in jazz nowadays?

F. H. – Let’s say you have 5% of population of gays in the world, just to say a number, and not all of them belong to jazz or are jazz fans. I was one of the first ones to really come out and I like to think that it gives people confidence to say it too. When you play with other musicians it’s very intimate and you don’t want to bring sex into it.

Specially in the U.S. now they are tending towards women instrumentalists and people of color. Honestly, I don’t care what race or sex anybody is when I play with them, I just play with musicians that are compatible with me. When the music starts and I close my eyes, the music is what matters. I went to a multiracial school with no ethnic majorities so I did not think about it much, and then I played with lots of musicians…

A lot of people, for example, would wonder why would Joe Henderson  have a Jewish white gay piano player in his band… but if you are gay and in the closet, it is harder to express yourself also in life and in music. Now we have people who don’t know which sex they are, aso. That’s the next frontier.

In&Out – Now before we end, we would love to know if you have any upcoming projects.

F. H. – I am doing a string quartet plus a trio project. Nowadays this seems fashionable but I just did it in my own way… it will come out in January. It contains 8 movements of a suite and the different movements go together as a unit. They are based in my meditation practice.

Also, with Enrico Rava we will record an ECM album in a couple of weeks. They have a particular way of working and it will be interesting to make it. After Songs from home I realized that meditation could be an interesting subject, maybe I will do something about it or maybe my next project is a live I recorded with Julian Lage, who knows! We are just listening to it, you never know… or a jazz trio album, who knows.

Written by Manuel Borraz

13 de Diciembre de 2021

AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE INTERVIEW  JAZZMADRID21

AMBROSE AKINMUSIRE INTERVIEW JAZZMADRID21

Ambrose Akinmusire Interview
JAZZMADRID21

Madrid International Jazz Festival

03

DICIEMBRE, 2021

On the evening of November 21st, I had the pleasure of interviewing one of the flagships of the renewal impulse that runs through contemporary black music, the Californian trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, one of the most restless and creative musicians of his generation who is reshaping the jazz tradition.

The interview was done moments before his live quartet, completed with Micah Thomas, Harish Raghavan and Kweku Sumbry, took the stage at the Fernando Fernán Gómez Theater, within the Madrid International Jazz Festival 2021.

 

In & Out JAZZ: Why is Origami Harvest not released on vinyl yet?

 

Ambrose Akinmusire: Oh, I have a very easy answer: because there’s a lyric, just one lyric, that Blue Note didn’t like. And they didn’t want to get slapped by people. That’s the only reason. I won’t say what the lyrics are! It was pushing a little hard… That’s the only reason. 

I have read that your parents were very religious and that your mother played piano in church. In your work there is a spiritual dimension that goes beyond the music, similar to the spiritual dimension of John Coltrane. In your opinion, what personal and musical elements must coexist to reach that spirituality?

For me it has to be a willness to wrestle with the ego and to get rid of the self. So the music can come inside you and come out as opposed to everything being produced from your head. So all of the practices that I do is to make sure that the music can just come out as it wants. So I practice technical things on my trumpet so the music doesn’t run against any technical limitations, and I do practice on myself and my ego so that when the music comes inside of me I don’t judge it. Si I think that is maybe the first thing that must happen or at least is the thing that I’m focusing the most on. Other things… I guess it’s just openness. Even as a jazz musician or a creative musician checking out other music and checking out other opinions, having conversations with people. And also… being willing to make mistakes and to fuck up and say “I’m sorry”. Even in life you can just… even as a creative person I try just do what I gotta do and if I fuck it up say: “Sorry, my intentions weren’t bad”. That’s also part of life so… I think those three things are the things I am focused on for a long time. 

You seem incredibly free in everything you do. What does the concept of freedom mean for you and for your music?  

No one has ever asked me that…  Free… When I think of freedom I think of dancing within a frame because if there’s no frame, then it is chaos. If there’s no rules, there’s no frame, then it’s chaos. So for me it is finding ways to be creative with all the rules. Musically that’s what freedom means for me. But if we talk about free jazz and the free movement, I think that free jazz is what comes after the blues, you know. It’s like the next sound of the blues, where the blues is a little bit more optimistic, the free jazz and things associated with that are just expressing the pain in a very visible way. And freedom on my instrument just means being able to play what music says to play. 

So, in that way, it means a lot of practice…

It means too much practice. I practice a lot, yes. I practice to be free. I even practice if I play an ugly sound… The freedom in terms of technique is to not be there. I practice so I can be on stage and just play what it comes through. I know that I’m not the one making the music. That also is a form of freedom. I don’t have the pressure to come up with all this amazing stuff because I really believe that it’s already there. I just have to submit to it. If I can do that it just comes out.

You are the medium.

Exactly. And that’s free. I don’t have to create it, I just have to stand there. I have done all the work before that.

You are always searching for new ways of expression and you’ve displayed a huge range of sounds and styles throughout your career. Does your work start from improvisation?

When I was younger I could write music very easily and then I stopped for many years, I stopped writing music. And then I realized that I have to find ways of walking to the muse and sometimes that’s writing the story or playing games with numbers, but that’s just to get me to the point where I’m interacting with the muse, and often all that stuff goes out of the window when I’m there. So the process of getting there is always changing but the getting there is where the creativity comes out.

Do you have any method to identify when you are on the right path?

Oh, no. When you are in the flow, you’re in the flow, you know? It’s like in basketball: after shooting you know if you are in the flow. It’s like you enter that magic zone and you just know. It’s just a feeling of something else taking over and you really have to fight to not come up with that. Things that take you out of there are judgement and ego. So when you are there… I feel it. And I rush to put it on a paper before my ego says it sucks or it’s amazing.

Do you record yourself?

Yes.

Every time?

Not every time, but a lot. 

Do you come back to those recordings?

No, not really. Sometimes, if I have a big project, I’d listen to the stuff and try to see if I heard something. 

What is your experience with Fresh Sound Records?

I did one record with Fresh Sound, the first one, and my friend Walter Smith did one or two that I did. The experience was great. Jordi was very supportive to a lot of musicians that nobody knew who we were. I didn’t meet him until years later. He’d always respond to the emails and send the money… he was cool. He let us do whatever we wanted to do. Furthermore, he didn’t say: “I want a jazz record”. My first record has an opera singer, it has all this crazy stuff, you know… I really have a lot of love for Jordi and what he’s done for not only me but for my generation and the generation before us, just giving us a start and giving us experience in recording and creating a CD. I think that without Fresh Sound a lot of people wouldn’t have careers and maybe a whole generation wouldn’t had been heard. 

You have managed to innovate from a deep knowledge of traditional music but what are your references or pillars in music?

Joni Mitchell, number one, Björk, John Coltrane, Clifford Brown, Bud Powell and Benny Carter. Those would be my strong people. Björk is the last musician that I really want to play with. I’ve played with Jonny, I’ve played with Herbie (Hancock), Wayne (Shorter), Kendrick Lamar… all those people I’ve played with but not with Börjk. If I go to one of her concerts I would sit in the front row… I can’t wait. I know it’s written. I really like people that you hear and think “Where does this come from?”. You can hear references but they just drop it down so complete, out of nowhere.

That’s exactly what you’ve done.

Oh, no! (Laughs). Thank you…

What are the most important learnings you got as a musician, since your beginnings with Steve Coleman and the Five Elements until today?

Oh, very easy. The most important thing I’ve learned is simple: try to be a good human. Just try to be a great human being. Be responsible for how you make people feel. That’s the biggest lesson that I’ve learned. Because I’ve got to meet and play with all my heroes and that’s the one thing they all have. Herbie, Wayne, Ron Carter… all these people. They all feel the same, they are generous, open and warm. So that’s been the biggest lesson so far in my career.

You are an artist who has taken jazz to another level. Was this a premeditated idea and where does your creative force lie?

Was it premeditated? Yes and no. Yes in the sense that I believe in innovation; a lot of people don’t and more specifically I believe in innovation being a part of the Black tradition. So yes, it was premeditated. But, did I sit down and say: “I want to come up with something new”? No. Do I think that I came up with something new? Not really. But I understand why people say that. 

‘Origami Harvest’ is a jazz-hip hop album, but ‘On The Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment’ is more of a blues album, like it is connected with your first album. How do you feel about this?

It’s connected through very specific comparison: it’s me knowing who I am in the last album and who I was in the first album. I was there standing with my eyes closed in a suit, feeling the pressure and all this, and in this last one it’s me standing near in a hoodie with my locks, and the first one had all these colors coming at me while the last one is just a stark black and white with no design… Also musically: the first album starts with a trumpet intro and the last album starts with a trumpet intro, so there are some things there that in a way make me think as if the last album is the first album grown up. And that’s the way I feel about it. It feels like the right time to complete the circle. And also, I’m a little less… I don’t want to say “optimistic” but I’m much more connected with reality now than then. I feel like now I’m super straight in everything like in aesthetics, my personality, I don’t give a fuck what people think about me and all this other stuff, and I don’t feel the pressure in anything… In the first album I thought I was walking into something so grand and now I feel like at any moment I can walk away from this and be fine. So that’s another thing about these two albums and how they are linked to each other.

So now that the circle seems closed, what is your next project?

To start multiple circles, not just one anymore, and have them developing all over the place in coexistence.

As a modern jazz reference, what kind of advice would you give to new generations of jazz musicians? 

Just work hard and say “Fuck it!”. Not often… (laughs) but don’t be afraid to do that. And be a good guy. Also for me, the inspiration and the reason I do this is not about me for a long time. I do this because now there’s two or three generations underneath me that look up to me, so I know that I’m the inspirations for thousands and thousands of people around the world like some of my heroes, like the way Roy Hargrove was for us or Winton (Marsalis) or Herbie (Hancock), I’m that for a lot of people. So that’s been clear for me for a while. But before, yeah… I didn’t even have the luxury of thinking about inspiration. I was just working my ass off. I often tell my students that it is a luxury not to be inspired. Being an African-American and having such a culture, you know, people were slaves for three hundred years and stuff… they weren’t inspired to pick cotton, but they had to do it. So I imagine that playing the trumpet or creating music is easy, you know? I also grew up with my Mum and saw here working 9 to 5, five days a week and sometimes working overtime on a weekend doing something she didn’t like doing… so that’s inspiring for me. That’s always been there since I was a kid. So I personally never had deep vaults of being uninspired. Sure there are times where I don’t feel like practicing, like some times you go to bed and don’t want to brush your teeth, but you have to do it. So that’s the way I see it.

What does music mean to you?

It’s humans trying to sonicly represent love and nature. I think that’s what it is for me.

03 de Diciembre de 2021

Interview with Luca Kézdy, JazzMadrid21

Interview with Luca Kézdy, JazzMadrid21

Entrevista a Luca Kézdy

JazzMadrid21

FESTIVAL INTERNACIONAL DE JAZZ DE MADRID

01

DICIEMBRE, 2021

Luca Kézdy no es una violinista al uso, es una artista peculiar con carácter y gran personalidad, polifacética y con una visión única. Su sensibilidad y escucha atenta se manifiestan en un directo potente y en una adaptabilidad a diversas situaciones, músicos y estilos diferentes. En su paso por Madrid, previo a su participación como artista invitada en una serie de conciertos ofrecidos por Carita Boronska Trío en el Café Central, tuvimos el placer de hablar con ella y entender más sobre su mundo interno, artístico, su pasado y sus motivaciones. A su vez, Carita Boronska nos acompañó en la entrevista y organizó un bonito concierto junto a Nantha Kumar, tablista de música karnática del sur de la India y Sean Clapis, guitarrista de jazz. También contaron con la participación del bajista José Ramón Abella en algunos temas en una propuesta divergente, llena de matices y colores de múltiples lugares del globo.

 

 

Kézdy Luca – A szeretet próbája – The Proof of Love

In&Out JAZZ – Es bueno tener una personalidad como la tuya aquí en Madrid, cuentas con una manera de hacer música muy personal y libre, parece que no perteneces a ningún género musical en concreto, pero te adaptas a cualquier músico y situación musical. ¿Cómo ha sido tu relación con la música y tu educación para llegar a este lugar?

Luca Kézdy – Empecé mis estudios de violín clásico a una edad temprana, y, a pesar de mi buena relación con el instrumento, más adelante me decanté por estudiar matemáticas y física. Sin embargo, finalmente acabé estudiando estética y durante este período tuve un interés muy grande por el jazz, sobre todo por la improvisación, que siempre ha formado parte de mí. Sentía la necesidad de ser mejor con mi instrumento y este afán de explorar hizo que desde muy pronto en la universidad tuviera un trío acústico formado porguitarra, darbuka y violín, en él escribía mi propia música. Fue entonces cuando estudié jazz con un profesor de violín y uno de piano simultáneamente y toqué con distintas bandas, siempre con una mentalidad abierta para tocar con cualquiera en cualquier estilo. En muchos géneros musicales diversos he experimentado situaciones estimulantes.

In&Out – ¿Cómo es tu relación con el violín y con la música a día de hoy?

L. K. – El violín es exactamente como yo, este que sostengo entre mis brazos vino a mí a los 12 años y lo conozco como la palma de mi mano. Mi relación con la música es, como para todos los músicos, muy cercana. Cuando toco música me siento en casa. Por ejemplo y como curiosidad, fui capaz de solfear música mucho antes de poder escribir. Siempre he estado rodeada de música debido a que mi madre es pianista clásica y cultivó en mí una buena relación musical, así que podría decirse que la música para mí es como mi lengua materna. Considero que la música es una conversación, lo que prima es la comunicación entre los músicos, escuchar a quien tienes enfrente de forma directa y ofrecer una buena respuesta.

In&Out – ¿De dónde surgió la idea de realizar este concierto?

Carita Boronska – Hace dos semanas tuvimos el placer de participar en la Womex, feria de Oporto, organizada por Babel Arts, compañía para la que ambas trabajamos. Al finalizar uno de los eventos en Womex hubo una jam session en la que nos unimos y disfrutamos de la conexión que tuvimos en el escenario, fue entonces cuando le pregunté a Luca si le gustaría venir de invitada a uno de mis conciertos. La verdad es que no creí que fuera algo que fuera a suceder tan pronto, estoy muy contenta y agradecida de que esté hoy aquí con nosotros.

L. K. – Sí, desde luego, nuestro sello se llama Babel Arts y tiene una serie de eventos llamada Babel Nights. Organizan jam sesssions no solo en Budapest sino en numerosas ciudades de Europa, como por ejemplo Amsterdam, Viena, Barcelona… Disponen de una amplia red internacional, es un sello al que le interesa sobre todo World Music y Jazz. En la afterparty de Womex fue donde nos conocimos, un evento pensado para construir relaciones, que realmente funcionó para encontrar a Carita.

In&Out – Has tocado en muchos tipos de formaciones musicales, a solo, a dúo, en grandes formaciones… ¿En qué tipo de agrupación te encuentras más cómoda, tienes alguna preferencia? 

L. K. – Mi formación favorita es el dúo, en él puedes tener una conversación con una persona y centrar tu atención y escucha exclusivamente en ella. Yo, personalmente, disfruto mucho de este tipo de interacción. 

In&OutSanta Diver es tu banda principal, y curiosamente es un trío, ¿nos puedes hablar un poco de ella?

Sí, Santa Diver se trata de mi banda principal y es un trío (risas) como un dúo, pero con batería. Es muy estable la forma de trío, la empecé en el 2006 con Dávid Szesztay, contrabajista, y nos encanta tocar juntos. Para mí, fue un reto y un gran experimento tocar música de ese modo. Al principio tocamos en la escena underground pero tras el segundo álbum encontramos lugares inesperados y fabulosos donde exponer nuestra música. Dávid Szegö, batería de Santa Diver se unió en el 2015. Dávid es muy enérgico y tiene una manera de tocar muy característica, por lo que completa el trío de manera excepcional. Actualmente contamos con cuatro álbumes, todos ellos con la discográfica Babel Arts, así que nuestra relación es muy longeva. Nuestro último álbum, que acaba de salir, se llama Blue Horizon.

In&Out – ¿Cómo llegaste a usar FX y cuál es la influencia que ha tenido en ti la libre improvisación?

L. K. – La improvisación para mí es el mejor juego que conozco, es muy divertido, y si puedo improvisar con otra gente lo es incluso más aún. Improvisar para mí es muy fácil: no tengo que pensar, solo dejo que la música fluya dentro de mí. 

Debido a la naturaleza simple de nuestro trío, me pareció fundamental enriquecerlo con un abanico de colores mayor a través del uso de FX y a su vez también quería acompañar, no solo hacer solos, es decir, no tener que cumplir el rol típico del violín, sino salir de esos parámetros y encontrar diferentes opciones. Formar parte de la banda desde diferentes ángulos: detrás de la banda, acompañando armónicamente… Los nuevos sonidos son muy inspiradores para mí, me abren el espectro a buenas y nuevas ideas.  Por ejemplo, uso un PitchShifter con el que toco armonías, un Delay para crear notas largas y crear capas de sonoridades, distorsión a través de mi pedal Overdrive, con el que tocando el violín y haciendo pizzicati, este se vuelve una guitarra… Sin lugar a dudas en el trío el sonido es más excitante gracias a estos efectos, y, desde luego, el público ha sido el primero en valorar y agradecer el uso de FX.

In&Out – El violín es un instrumento que carga a sus espaldas una larga trayectoria histórica, una tradición y un repertorio amplio y un gran abanico de intérpretes. ¿Tienes alguna influencia violinística?

L. K. – Mi primer gran referente del violín fue Stéphane Grappelli, me parece que es difícil oírlo en mi manera de tocar, pero para mí Grappelli fue revelador. El segundo sería Zoltan Lantos, un violinista húngaro que estudió música karnática en India durante 10 años, conoce la tradición karnática a la perfección y la usa de una manera muy característica. Otro ejemplo de influencia en mí sería Jean-Luc Ponty

In&Out – ¿Qué proyectos tienes en perspectiva?

L. K. – Ahora estamos girando con nuestro álbum Blue Horizon, hemos tocado en diversas localizaciones y festivales de Europa y este diciembre tocaremos, por ejemplo, en Barcelona, en Jamboree.

Está planeado para febrero hacer un tour en España, estamos cerrando ahora mismo las fechas. Actualmente estoy componiendo nueva música, el material del próximo álbum ya está concluido y a pesar de que podríamos grabarlo ya mismo lo haremos más adelante porque ahora estamos promocionando Blue Horizon.

In&Out – ¿Con qué tipo de músico te gusta tocar?, ¿cuáles captan tu atención?

L. K. – Lo más importante es contar con una audición atenta y escucharse el uno al otro. Yo no tengo ninguna preferencia por un estilo en concreto, para mí lo más importante es escucharse y conversar. De eso se trata la música. Sin esa atención plena solo somos producción y todos podemos hacerlo y reproducirlo, pero en la atención y la escucha es donde radica el buen arte.

In&Out – En el proceso compositivo ¿cuáles son tus influencias? ¿Van más allá de la propia música?

L. K. – Me inspiro mucho en la naturaleza. Si la naturaleza es arte, esta es mi fuente principal de inspiración. Me gusta correr en el bosque, hacer fotos, tengo exposiciones de mis fotos… Cuando nos azoró la COVID no había conciertos, y empecé a escribir mucha música con mi piano, pero más adelante comencé a pintar y este evento fue revelador e inspirador para mí. Voy a ofrecer en el Palace of Arts en Budapest en el 2023 una exposición donde tocaré música sobre Béla Bartók. El objetivo es trabajar con su música, hacer adaptaciones y pinturas sobre esta y exponerlas en conjunto.

In&Out – Ayer ya tocásteis el primer concierto aquí en Madrid, ¿cómo fue la experiencia?

C. B. – Fue fantástico, disfrutamos mucho de esta combinación de músicos. Desde hace unos 15 años vengo realizando este proyecto con Nantha Kumar, tocador de tabla oriundo de Bangladesh, con quien grabamos un álbum de chillout basado en música para cine. Fue un proyecto de gran envergadura para el que contamos con más de treinta músicos involucrados. En él participaron muchas cuerdas. Siempre he compuesto música para violines, sobre todo música para cine pero no para proyectos propios y ha sido genial, me alegro de que se haya consagrado en el concierto de hoy. Además, Luca no es solo una violinista, tiene una personalidad excepcional como músico y artista, se adapta de manera maravillosa y la conexión que hemos creado era de los más agradable.

L. K. – Lo disfruté mucho. Al principio, estaba algo nerviosa porque tuvimos poco tiempo para ensayar, pero fue muy buena la adaptación, los músicos son fantásticos y la música me ha encantado. Además, es genial trabajar con una mujer artista, de la talla de Carita Boronska y más aún dentro de la escena jazzística, teniendo en cuenta que, especialmente en este género, las mujeres participan en el jazz casi siempre siendo cantantes. Siempre que he topado con una mujer que toca un instrumento la experiencia ha sido buena. Me encanta poder hacer música en esta ocasión con una mujer tan talentosa.

C. B. – Nunca me sentí como una cantante, siento que estoy expresando música y estoy usando mi voz, pero uso mi voz como un instrumento. 

In&Out – ¿Tenéis pensado seguir colaborando en el futuro?

C. B. – Tenemos que organizarnos todavía, nos estamos conociendo, pero espero que podamos hacer más cosas juntas.

L. K. – En el caso de que Carita esté en febrero en Madrid me gustaría que colaborásemos juntas. De hecho, siempre nos gusta contar con la presencia de un invitado en nuestro trío. Tocamos, por ejemplo, en una ocasión, con Stefano di Battista.

In&Out – En 2016 tocaste un concierto a dúo con el aclamado saxofonista Chris Potter en Nueva York, ¿cómo fue la experiencia?

L. K. – A través del jefe del Instituto Húngaro, quien me ofreció la posibilidad de organizar este concierto, tuve la oportunidad casi surrealista de tocar con Chris Potter en Nueva York. La verdad es que fue fantástico, y lo invitamos a ser invitado en Budapest con mi trío para realizar un concierto en la Academia Liszt, donde cuentan con un gran hall de conciertos. Lamentablemente, tras aceptar la invitación y con todas las entradas ya vendidas para ese gran evento, la noche anterior al concierto Chris tocaba en Italia donde había una manifestación en el aeropuerto que lo retuvo y no pudo llegar para la fecha acordada… Fue una verdadera pena, pero tocaremos en el futuro en otra localización.

Escrito por Manuel Borraz

01 de Diciembre de 2021

Eduardo Cardinho. Seamus Blake/ Xavi Torres/ André Rosinha/ Bruno Pedroso

Eduardo Cardinho. Seamus Blake/ Xavi Torres/ André Rosinha/ Bruno Pedroso

Eduardo Cardinho

Seamus Blake, Xavi Torres,
André Rosinha, Bruno Pedroso

24

SEPTIEMBRE, 2021

Eduardo Cardinho, vibráfono/ Seamus Blake, saxo tenor/ Xavi Torres, piano/ André Rosinha, contrabajo/ Bruno Pedroso, batería (Jazz Palacio Real, 2021)

Texto: Manuel Borraz

Fotos: Pepe Ainsua

Cedidas por Eduardo Cardinho

Jazz contemporáneo traído de la mano de Eduardo Cardinho, natural de Leira, Portugal. Este vibrafonista  que sin llegar a la treintena cuenta con varios álbumes propios, una trayectoria consolidada y un buen nivel de experimentación, escucha y desarrollo personal, trae en esta ocasión al Festival Jazz Palacio Real 2021 de Madrid un concierto junto a Seamus Blake (saxo tenor y EWI), André Rosinha (contrabajo), Bruno Pedroso (batería) Xavi Torres (piano).

 

 

Eduardo Cardinho | Pinehouse Concerts

Eduardo Cardinho no deja indiferente, su pasión, entrega y escucha es fácil de observar y oír en un entramado de temas que se desarrollan en una estética jazzística contemporánea, donde la tradición deja paso a un refinamiento en el que la espacialidad, la influencia de la fusión y del even 8ths y una clara intercomunicación juegan un papel fundamental. Cardinho lleva ya tiempo tocando con André Rosinha y Bruno Pedroso, ¨grandes compañeros y amigos¨ según afirma y esto facilita una unidad rítmica sólida y una comunicación fluida.

Para esta ocasión Eduardo Cardinho encaró el concierto con temas de su álbum publicado en 2019 In Search of Light con la discográfica Nischo Records y también con temas nuevos que se adecuaron a un concierto que contó con una unidad estética clara desde el inicio hasta el final y donde tanto Seamus Blake como Xavi Torres tuvieron una magnífica comprensión de la música y elevaron la energía de manera magistral.

A Seamus Blake lo conoció en Oporto en una jam session hace unos años y le fascinó su sonido, así como la gran conexión que sintió a su lado, “es una gran oportunidad tenerlo hoy aquí con nosotros” nos cuenta, entusiasmado. Pero desde luego no hay que dejar de lado la asistencia de la sección rítmica que hizo un magnífico trabajo, así como la destreza de Xavi Torres, por su entendimiento de las situaciones, acompañando y ofreciendo gran sensibilidad.

En el concierto del pasado 24 de julio el uso del silencio, la versatilidad rítmica, las estructuras variadas y un gran sentido del groove hicieron del concierto un viaje lleno de sensaciones, melodías al unísono con el saxo que vibraban y energizaban, largos desarrollos, libertad rítmica, mixed bars, solos bien estructurados y una viveza clara de la música en directo.

Eduardo Cardinho em quarteto no SeixalJazz

Eduardo Cardinho tiene un pasado que recoge una formación en música clásica, música en la que se formó y creció hasta que conoció a Jefery Davis, quién dio un giro a su carrera musical, poniendo su atención desde entonces en el jazz. Su conexión entre Portugal y Holanda, país en el que se formó, desarrolla en él una apertura a diferentes maneras de aproximar el jazz y le brindó la oportunidad de explorar la escena jazzística europea y conectar con numerosos amantes de esta música, ampliando sus miras y recibiendo clases o tocando en directo con grandes músicos como Abe Rábade, Anders Astrand, Ruud Wienner, Markus Leoson, Rainer Seegers, David Friedman, Bart Quartier Ben Street, Jordi Rossy, etc.

Entre sus intereses destaca su adoración por el hip-hop y el rock. Esta versatilidad de gustos concluye en un desarrollo musical y jazzístico en constante transformación desde su primer álbum Black Hole (se publicó en 2016 con Carimbo Porta-Jazz Records). Desde luego, traerá futuros e imprevisibles proyectos.

Actualmente lleva a cabo varios proyectos como: Eduardo Cardinho Quinteto, João Guimarães Group o Fred and Nelson Cascais Remembrance. Eduardo confiesa que le apasiona y tiene puesta su energía para futuros proyectos en los que hará uso de sintetizadores, electrónica, tocando teclados y vibráfono y desarrollando un proyecto versátil que saldrá a la luz en un futuro cercano. Quedamos a la espera de sus nuevas propuestas y de conocer cómo se desarrolla la carrera de esta joven promesa.

Eduardo Cardinho Quarteto | EA LIVE Sessions (full session)

Escrito por Manuel Borraz

24 de Septiembre de 2021

Hermon Mehari, Entrevista Y Reseña: A Change For The Dreamlike

Hermon Mehari, Entrevista Y Reseña: A Change For The Dreamlike

Hermon
Mehari, Entrevista Y Reseña:
A Change For The Dreamlike

28

ENERO, 2021

Hermon Mehari, trompeta/ Tony Tixier, piano/ Peter Schlamb, piano, vibráfono/ Ryan J. Lee, batería/ Kae Dilla, Rhodes, sintetizador/ DeAndre Manning, bajo/ Hugo LX, batería, producción/ Tesfal Tsehaie, voz/ Karl McComas-Reichl, bajo/ Jeff Hill, batería/ Zach Morrow, producción de batería

 

Texto: Begoña Villalobos

Fotos: Nancy Pappas, James O´Mara

A Change for the Dreamlike, distribuído por MiRR/ L´autre es el nuevo álbum que el compositor y trompetista, Hermon Mehari realizó durante el confinamiento por la pandemia en Francia, donde reside. El disco se grabó en un granero de la campiña francesa de una forma peculiar, junto a colaboradores cercanos al autor, como Tony Tixier al piano, Peter Schlamb al vibráfono y Ryan J. Lee a la batería. 

El nuevo álbum es una excusa para hacer un repaso del trompetista. Haciendo una retrospectiva de su trayectoria, este músico emergente maestro de la trompeta, crece en la comunidad tradicionalmente musical de Kansas City. Es un prolífico colaborador de la escena internacional de jazz actual, tanto en EEUU como en Europa, y participante activo en el colectivo de música parisina MiRR.

 

 

Hermon Mehari – Dreamscapes ft. Hugo LX

Kansas City es un lugar especial porque es uno de los pilares de esta música. Ha habido varias generaciones de músicos que han aprendido unos de otros y han mantenido viva la tradición. Bobby Watson  fue y es una de las mayores influencias musicales para mí. Me tomó bajo su protección y realmente creyó en mí. Poder interactuar con alguien que es parte del «árbol» es muy importante para comprender. Las personas de una generación antes que la mía, también han moldeado mi voz, como Logan Richardson. También mis compañeros como el baterista Ryan J. Lee, el vibrafonista / pianista, Peter Schlamb y el bajista Ben Leifer me han enseñado mucho. Los músicos de Kansas City son con los que me siento más conectado, así que trabajo con ellos tanto como puedo hasta el día de hoy, a pesar de que estoy basado en París. El Medio Oeste ha contribuido al corazón y el alma de esta música, y eso se puede ver en la música de Pat Metheny, Logan Richardson, Bobby Watson, Charlie Parker y muchos otros (Hermon Mehari).

A diferencia de su álbum debut (Bleu), A Change for the Dreamlike es un disco muy personal, como dice el autor, es una especie de diario centrado en el presente, en las visiones, los deseos, fantasías y recuerdos que conforman una mixtape de sueños y conexiones personales. Se nota la raíz africana en su música, sobre todo en su segundo trabajo, el álbum del que nos estamos ocupando, que es más introspectivo que el primero ya que ésta pensado desde otro enfoque y en un momento de reflexión vivido por el músico en el confinamiento.

El sonido de la trompeta, conectado con los ritmos de raíz africana, es el hilo conductor de todos los temas. Shenandoah es el tema que abre el disco, una referencia a la canción popular del S. XIX, un tema que siempre quiso grabar. Let´s Try this Again, tema de ágil conversación entre trompeta y piano con Tony Tixier. En A Conversation with My Uncle, Mehari acompaña la narración de voz de su tío con la trompeta. Eritrea, tema grabado junto con el D.J parisino Hugo LX en la producción de la batería y Peter Schlamb al vibráfono, que colabora en los dos discos de Mehari. El estilo compositivo de Eritrea ésta basado en la música eritrea, siendo un registro a la memoria de su padre, de la historia sobre el camino que su padre hizo como refugiado, durante la guerra entre Eritrea y Etiopía. La balada, All Alone, de trompeta, Rhodes y sintetizador con Kae Dilla. I Cry for Our People registrada con Ryan J. Lee, tiene que ver con el dolor en relación a la diáspora africana. 

La integración de mis raíces africanas, inherentemente ligadas a la cultura afroamericana, es algo inconsciente para mí. La forma en que escucho la música se desarrolló a través de mi educación cultural. Además, he pasado la mayor parte de mi vida estudiando música afroamericana. Yo diría que la única forma en que he incorporado consciente y decisivamente mis raíces ha sido recientemente en mi último disco con las canciones «A Conversation With My Uncle» y «Eritrea». (Hermon Mehari)

Hermon Mehari – All Alone ft. Kae Dilla

El estilo de Hermon Mehari es contemporáneo, de técnica brillante y una fuerte presencia melódica. Un sonido suave, elegante y profundo. Una delicia para el oído. Destacado recientemente en álbumes como el de Alexis Valet Library of Babel, Electric Tinks de Peter Schlamb, High Skies de Matt Villinger, The Escape de Benjamín Sanz, Power de Hugo KL, por citar algunos. Fue miembro fundador del grupo de jazz Diverse, junto al batería de Ryan Lee y el bajo de Ben Leifer. 

En términos de trompeta, la mayoría de mis influencias más fuertes no son trompetistas. Siempre he gravitado más hacia el saxofón y la voz. En términos de sonido, tengo un tono menos metálico, un poco más dulce y redondo. También refiné (sigo refinando) mi sonido a través de lo que se considera «pedagogía clásica» (un término engañoso), al haber estudiado en el conservatorio y seguir buscando el consejo de los más grandes productores de sonido de trompeta. Dicho esto, por supuesto que me han influido los trompetistas fuera del ámbito clásico, en particular Clifford Brown, Miles Davis, Louis Armstrong, Nicholas Payton y Ambrose Akinmusire. Escuché a Ambrose, hace más de doce años por primera vez, me abrió los oídos a muchas posibilidades diferentes con la trompeta. (Hermon Mehari)

El álbum presentación como líder de Hermon Mehari, titulado Bleu (2017), es un trabajo compositivo sobresaliente. La banda que selecciona para el primer álbum a su nombre, grabado en sexteto, es un desfile de figuras de primera línea, como Aaron Parks (piano, teclados), Logan Richardson (saxofón alto), Peter Schlamb (vibráfono), Ryan J. Lee (batería), Rick Rosato (bajo)

En la actualidad tengo algunos proyectos en los que se estoy trabajando al mismo tiempo: un dúo con el pianista de Florencia Alessandro Lanzoni, un dúo con Peter Schlamb, un proyecto de cuarteto analógico inédito con Peter, Ryan Lee y Ben Leifer, y mi seguimiento de » Bleu «. (Herman Mehari).

Hermon Mehari Plays «I’ve Grown Accustomed To Her Face» (feat. Aaron Parks)

Escrito por Begoña Villalobos

28 de Enero de 2021

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