Category Archives: Interview Notes
Video clips relating to subjects covered in the interviews.
Nathan East is one of the world’s premiere session musicians. He’s perhaps best known as Eric Clapton’s favorite bass player, but that’s also Nathan on Michael Jackson’s “Bad” and Daft Punk’s recent Grammy winning album. Of course he’s a founding member of the highly successful jazz group Fourplay.
Some of his other credits include: Anita Baker, Herbie Hancock, Babyface, B.B. King, George Harrison, Elton John, Stevie Wonder, Savage Garden, Sting, Quincy Jones, Al Jarreau, Kenny Loggins, and The Manhattan Transfer.
His debut self-titled album will be released March 25, 2014, with guest appearances by Michael McDonald, Sara Bareilles, Stevie Wonder, Eric Clapton, Kazumasa Oda, Bob James, Chuck Loeb, Ray Parker, Jr., David Paich and his son Noah East.
NOTE 2018: If you prefer to read, this interview is now available in print form on my Steemit page here, or on the Internet’s most popular jazz website AllAboutJazz here.
Guitarist Mike Seal first caught my attention at the end of 2014 as part of the Jeff Sipe Trio. At that time I described him as an extraordinarily talented young musician, an assessment shared by many, including the legendary dobro virtuoso Jerry Douglas. This summer the three time winner of the Country Music Association’s Musician of the Year award invited Mike Seal to join his band. At the beginning of this exciting new chapter in his musical journey, it seemed like an ideal time to speak with him.
Mike has been active on the Southern music scene for over ten years, touring with The Jeff Sipe Trio, The Black Lillies, The Jeff Coffin Mu’tet, and sharing the stage with musicians such as Kofi Burbridge, Oteil Burbridge, Col. Bruce Hampton, a.m.m.
Mike’s grandfather was a gifted self taught gospel guitarist in rural Virginia, and his older brother, Rob Seal, is a multi-instrumentalist (guitar/mandolin/violin/banjo) who is active on the bluegrass music scene. Mike is married to Megan Lovell who is a very accomplished lap steel and dobro player. She and her sister Rebecca front the popular Americana roots band Larkin Poe. The band frequently tours with Elvis Costello, and has opened for the Tedeschi Trucks Band.
During the interview he solves the mystery of his unique technique, talks about his influences, and his trial by fire initiation into the Jerry Douglas Band at the Bluegrass Festival this past summer in Telluride, Colorado, a.m.m. There are several audio clips which showcase his remarkable musicianship and the breadth of his musical interests – jazz, bluegrass, and even two classical pieces. I’m eagerly anticipating an album from this extraordinarily talented musician.
Hit the play button to listen, or click R on the guitar pick icon to download the mp3
Interview related videos
Below — Jeff Sipe Trio with Mike Seal, Taylor Lee bass, Jeff Sipe drums
Mike Seal on guitar with the Jeff Coffin Mu’tet in 2011, playing “L’Esperance” by Felix Pastorius (bass) and Jeff Coffin (sax)
Mike Seal with The Black Lillies
The Jerry Douglas Band with Mike Seal on guitar
Mike Seal playing J.S. Bach
Mike Seal and Jonathan Keeney playing Girl with the Flaxen Hair by Claude Debussy
Mike’s wife is Megan Lovell (lap steel guitar) of the band Larkin Poe.
(look close and you’ll see Mike riding in the back of the truck.)
Here are some clips of the stunningly talented Mark O’Connor, can’t thank Mike enough for turning me on to him.
And a fantastic blues player to boot!
Talk about a strange coincidence, during the interview I mentioned to Mike that Dan Seals 1985 song “Headin’ West” was the first time I heard Jerry Douglas play. Here’s is a clip from the 90s of Jerry Douglas and Dan Seals doing that song — but instead of Jim “Moose” Brown on guitar, it’s Mark O’Connor on fiddle!
The great Phil Baugh mentioned in the interview
Mentioned in interview TTB backstage with Jerry Douglas & Taj Mahal
Jeff Healey’s amazing 5 finger technique
Appearing 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 —
Listen below to part 2 THE MAIN INTERVIEW —
Below interview related videos
Check the Video Start Page for a video of Zayn
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
Bireli Lagrene (Gypsy Project) – Place De Broukere (Samois 2002)
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
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 http://www.barbaradennerlein.com
Scroll to the bottom of the page for related videos
BARBARA DENNERLEIN (earlier interview from 2012)
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.
YOU CAN WATCH THE ENTIRE INTERVIEW (2012)
READ OUR EXTENSIVE CAREER RETROSPECTIVE INTERVIEW @ ALL ABOUT JAZZ (sorry no audio available) This is one of my most read interviews.
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