Monthly Archives: August 2016

Zayn Interview & Note

Zayn Mohammed

zayn-txAppearing at the Latitude Music Festival was Zayn’s prize for winning the 2016 season of the UK Sky Arts TV series Guitar Star. Rock producer Tony Visconti, of David Bowie fame, welcomed him to the stage as, “an incredible performer, a consummate artist, great guitarist, great musician and a visionary!” George Benson, who like Visconti was a judge and mentor on the series, appeared via video on the stage screens with these words, “Zayn has a been an outstanding performer, because he shows what guitar is all about. Its about invention, it’s about personality…he’s truly a star.”

Once on stage he embodied two seemingly incongruous qualities, humility and rock star cool. For the television viewer it seemed like a dream come true situation for the young jazz guitarist – as he played the director intermittently cut to slow motion closeups of various teenage girls in the crowd swaying to his music. It was a joyous and well deserved culmination of an arduous competition. Unseen by viewers was the harrowing experience he endured, which is the stuff from which musicians’ nightmares spring.

After graduating from Berklee College of Music, Zayn spent some years in New York City honing his craft before returning to London. Shortly thereafter his London flat was burglarized and all of his laptops, computers, and hard drives were stolen. Yet another nightmare for a musician – in an instant years of work and irreplaceable media were lost. With nothing left to lose, he auditioned for Guitar Star and emerged as the clear winner.

Clearly, he’s been tested, but also blessed. After he left the stage at Latitude, Melvin Benn, the festival’s founder, told Zayn he wasn’t made for the little stage, he was made for the big stage. His perceptive observation was spot on, a delicate flower would have withered in that intensity. Not only did Zayn survive, he clearly thrived. Subtle, intense, emotive, inspired, inventive, resilient, resourceful, passionate, eclectic, and continuously evolving – that’s Zayn Mohammed. Life has given him an exciting fresh start, and I’m eagerly anticipating the next chapters of his musical adventure.

Listen below to part 1 ZAYN’S GUITAR EXPERIENCE —

black mp3to download

Listen below to part 2 THE MAIN INTERVIEW —

to downland

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Below interview related videos

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Zayn playing Breezin’ for George Benson

Below is 12 y.o. Zayn on Sky Television in the UK

Below Zayn in 2013 testing a Godin Nylon String @ Guitar Center playing Nardis

Below Zayn as a student @ the 2013 Berklee Folk Festival –
1. MANOUCHE/GYPSY JAZZ (GUITAR) : “Danse Norvigienne” – Django Reinhardt
(2nd Guitar: Mike Bono, Violin: Patrick McGonigle)
2. NORTH/INDIAN FUSION (SAROD) : “Lotus Feet” – Shakti
(Piano: Nicolo Ielasi. Tabla – Kabir Uppal)

Below Zayn as a student @ the 2013 Berklee Folk Festival – Part 2 playing Oud

The great Lenny Breau mentioned by Zayn

Below MonoNeon (thanks to Zayn for this great tip)

Below back in their student days at Berklee, MonoNeon and Zayn

Mentioned by Zayn, Bireli Lagrene and Sylvain Luc

Bireli Lagrene (Gypsy Project) – Place De Broukere (Samois 2002)

We spoke about Dave Brubeck not reading music (for four more interesting facts read the rest @  Here’s the 1srt of their 5 things you didn’t know about Dave Brubeck

Brubeck enrolled at what’s now University of the Pacific in 1938 with plans to study veterinary medicine. He eventually switched his major to music, though, and he tore through his classes until he had to enroll in keyboard instruction his senior year. At that point, Brubeck had to admit to his professor that he couldn’t read a single note of music, even though he played jazz as well as anyone.

Brubeck’s professor and dean informed him that they couldn’t let a student graduate with a music degree if he couldn’t read music. Brubeck shrugged off their worries by saying he didn’t care about reading music; he just wanted to play jazz. Brubeck’s other teachers protested that he was a very gifted musician even if he couldn’t read music, so the dean cut a deal with the jazz man: Brubeck could graduate, but only if he promised never to teach music and embarrass the school by revealing his shortcoming. Brubeck later laughingly told the website JazzWax, “I kept that promise ever since, even when I was starving.”

Here is someone else mentioned who doesn’t read music, but can play just about anything on guitar.  Here’s yet another side of Louie Shelton doin’ some chicken picken

Zayn mentioned he felt Derek Trucks was a kindred spirit after hearing this song.

Another of Zayn’s major influences — John McLaughlin with Shakti, 4th Dimension, and Remember Shakti with the late great Shrinivas

Another big influence Tigran Hamasyan

Zayn mentioned Jan Garbarek as a huge influence, but I didn’t recognize the name — seeing it, it then looked familiar. And stored away on vinyl I even have an LP :-O

The saxophonist who recorded in Africa whose name escaped me is Pharoah Sanders. (the name of the album is: Maleem Mahmoud Ghania-The Trance Of Seven Colors with Pharoah Sanders.)

Barbara Dennerlein interviews & notes

Barbara Dennerlein


If you search YouTube for “hammond b3 organ jazz” and sort by view count, not only does she occupy the top two spots, but an astounding four of the top five videos! Even if you eliminate “jazz” from your search, she’s at number two just behind Billy Preston, and she still has two videos in the top five.

Fittingly, in 2014 she was inducted into the freshman class of the Hammond Hall of Fame. First round inductees were identified as the pioneers, innovators, and trailblazers who possessed “The Sound,” “The Soul,” and were “The One.” The sound signified that candidates had an immediately recognizable personal style and sound that had become influential over time. The soul signified that inductees had integrated the use of the Hammond in a unique way in whatever genre they represented. The one signified that inductees were identified primarily as Hammond players.

Now the YouTube B3 sensation has released a HQ DVD, and she’s been busy with interesting projects since we last spoke (you’ll find those interviews if you scroll further down this page.) As usual, there are plenty of audio clips for your enjoyment.

To listen to the interview click the play button or download the MP3


BONUS AUDIO — As mentioned in the interview above, while still a teenager, Barbara played an unrehearsed gig in a Munich jazz club with two English musicians from the Hugo Strasser Band (Alan Waterson /drums and Eric Stevens / bass.) Recorded at the Schwabinger Spritzen on April 9, 1983 by Hans Dennerlein. May only be used with the permission of

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BARBARA DENNERLEIN (earlier interview from 2012)

barbara Barbara Dennerlein is a superlative Hammond B3 player, the first person honored as Germany’s Ambassador of Jazz. On the week of her fortieth birthday German television did a retrospective and rebroadcast several concerts she had done over the years, and she was invited to be the sole studio guest on a special “Best of” show with Harald Schmidt [Germany’s David Letterman.]

She’s recorded with an eighty piece orchestra, but she is also at home doing a funky concert as a duo with organ and drums. She’s aware of her musical legacy and the reputation she’s established, but she’s also open to challenges outside of jazz — from Bach to blues.




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Print Interview

READ OUR EXTENSIVE CAREER RETROSPECTIVE INTERVIEW @ ALL ABOUT JAZZ (sorry no audio available)  This is one of my most read interviews.

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Videos related to 2016 Interview

4 of the top 5 search results for “Hammond B3 Organ Jazz” when sorted by view count


Start watching closely 25 seconds into this clip and you will see the “mysterious head” appear — which was mentioned during the interview.




Clip about the Christmas Soul album

Mentioned in the interview, her first national TV appearance

Mentioned in the interview, Ohne Filter

Mentioned in the interview, ZDF Jazzclub

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