Category Archives: Uncategorized
Here is my interview with Jimmy before the start of the 2017 John McLaughlin Tour
Jimmy Herring is one of the world’s premier progressive rock guitarists. He has the uncanny ability to fuse the visceral power of rock with the ingenuity of jazz harmonics without diminishing the essence of either. In this wide-ranging one hour interview he shares his thoughts on music and his musical influences. From John Scofield, Jimmy Smith, and chicken pickers, to his favorite Howlin’ Wolf song, and lots more.
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In 2012 I spoke with Jimmy again to catch up and get some background about the recording of his great CD Subject to Change Without Notice — for example, he shared his thoughts about the musicianship of his son (who played cello on the CD), and the artistry of his daughter (who painted the cover art.)
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MEET THE RINGERS – Carlock, Herring, Krantz, Landau & Mbappe
On this episode I speak with all three guitarists from The Ringers: Jimmy Herring, Wayne Krantz, & Michael Landau, plus their fantastic drummer, Keith Carlock. The band brings together five extraordinary musicians, world class players who collectively have recorded and toured with many of the best known and most respected artists on the planet. Steely Dan, Michael Jackson, Bonnie Raitt, Seal, Sting, Joni Mitchell, John Mayer, James Taylor, the Allman Brothers Band and m.m.
These are musicians’ musicians, guys who put the music first, and who want to have fun on stage playing to people who love music. It is a rare treat to see three of the most gifted guitarists on the planet together on stage in the same band, backed up by an equally talented drummer and bassist.
In remembrance of his loving spirit and musical gifts. He passed away in January of 2014 at the age of 51.
Ronny Jordan is a winner of Gibson Guitar’s award for Best Jazz Guitarist, he’s been nominated for a Grammy, and is a jazz artist who has made it to the pop charts. He’s known as one of the earliest and most successful jazz artists to draw upon the energy and vitality of hip hop. His music is perhaps best described as Urban Jazz, a blend of jazz, hip hop,and R&B — but certainly not limited to that.
His message is positive and spiritually uplifting, his grooves are addictive, and his playing is ingenious. He is completely self-taught, and in addition to his musicianship, he is an accomplished producer, arranger, and composer. He uses the studio as creatively as possible, and on his latest album he introduces his fans to midi guitar — doing string, keyboard, and bass parts on a midi guitar.
Ronny was born and raised in London, the son of a pentecostal preacher with a very interesting life story which he shared in this interview. This wide-ranging interview took place in late January of 2013, Ronny talks about the awakening of his talent, his early career, his big break with Island Records, and his recordings. Gifted, creative, and humble — he is all-about-the-music.
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.
Duane Allman at 70
I colorized several photos of Duane Allman and posted them in a photos gallery.
On November 20, 1946 Duane Allman made his world debut in the delivery room of Saint Thomas Hospital in Nashville. Had he lived, he would be celebrating his 70th birthday this month. With that in mind, I wrote an extensive profile piece about Duane Allman for AllAboutJazz that you can find here.
Because Duane Allman’s playing had such an impact on me, it’s not surprising that he was mentioned in several of my interviews. So below I’ve put together a special bit of audio dealing with Duane Allman and the band he founded, drawn from my interviews with seven different musicians. Six of the seven are Grammy winners. Although Joey Molland of Badfinger doesn’t have a Grammy, he was at the epicenter of popular music during the time Duane Allman played with the Allman Brothers Band. For example, he played on George Harrison’s album All Things Must Pass, John Lennon’s Imagine, and performed on The Concert for Bangladesh in Madison Square Garden — and he met Duane Allman.
I hope you enjoy the article and the audio below.
- 0:00 Do You Remember the 60s?
- 5:22 Jerry Jemmott
- 15:41 Jaimoe
- 21:06 Chuck Leavell
- 30:40 Badfinger’s Joey Molland
- 41:11 John McLaughlin
- 43:18 John Scofield
- 52:20 Derek Trucks
We’ve been looking at the same photos for decades. Now, thanks to modern technology there is a way to bring them to life. So, in celebration of Duane Allman on his 70th birthday here’s my birthday gift to fans.
Feel free to share, but please be fair and ask folks to visit talking2musicians.com so they can hear the audio and find a link to the article about Duane.
colorized by Alan Bryson for http://www.talking2musicians.com
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.
Matt Slocum is a prominent keyboardist on the Southern music scene, best known for his work with Oteil Burbridge, the Lee Boys, and Susan Tedeschi and his role as Jimmy Herring’s go-to keyboard player. Last year he was recruited by Bruce Hampton to join the Aquarium Rescue Unit’s 30 year anniversary tour. He’s also a member of the band King Baby, who just finished recording their first album which will be released this fall on Abstract Logix.
He was born in Massachusetts, where he began studying classical piano at an early age. As a teenager he moved to Alabama and continued his musical education at the Alabama School of Fine Arts. At the 1991 Berklee College of Music Summer Performance Program he was ranked among the the top ten of the attendees.
We get into all of that and more, and listen to some audio of Matt’s work with Jimmy Herring, Bruce Hampton, and King Baby.
John McLaughlin, Jimmy Herring, Susan Tedeschi, Derek Trucks
Alex Machecek, John Scofield, Scott Sharrad, Louie Shelton
Ronny Jordan, Devon Allman, Eliot Lewis, Oz Noy
Carl Mörner Ringström, Joey Molland, Michael Lee Firkins, Ray Russell
Oteil Burbridge, Etienne Mbappe, Jerry Jemmott, Nathan East
Chuck Leavell, Barbara Dennerlein, Jon Batiste, Matthias Bublath,
Gary Husband, Matt Slocum
Jaimoe, Jeff Sipe
Various Instruments Interviews
Anne Drummond, Jim Hart, Rod Melancon, The Ringers: Jimmy Herring, Mike Landau, Wanye Krantz, Kieth Carlock
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.