Posts Tagged Ben Monder
Matthew Warnock is a great guitarist and educator with a impressive CV which includes stints teaching and studying in many US universities. Matthew is coming over to teach in the UK at Leeds College of Music and I hope we can meet up at some point to hang out. You can check out his playing on his Youtube channel.
Q: What/who were your initial influences?
I first got interested in guitar by listening to classic rock and blues, so my earliest influences were Jimmy Page, David Gilmour and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Once I got hooked into jazz, I was influenced by some of the usual suspects, like Wes Montgomery, Pat Martino and Mike Stern, but I have always been drawn to cats like Lenny Breau, Ed Bickert and Ted Greene.
Q: Are you gigging much at the moment and any projects in the pipeline?
I spent most of 2011 living in Belo Horizonte, Brazil where I was performing 10-15 times a month, so I was gigging a lot and getting the chance to play with some great Brazilian musicians. I recently relocated to Manchester, and have decided to gig a bit less right now because I want to really focus on finishing my first record. The album will be all solo-guitar, and I’ve got the tunes worked up already. I just need to get into the studio and begin the recording process.
Q: What’s your ‘desert island’ guitar or have you got it!?
My desert island guitar is the Koentopp Telecaster that I own. It’s a custom build by Dan Koentopp, a Chicago luthier who makes the most beautiful sounding guitars I’ve ever played. So, I’m lucky in that I searched for years for a guitar that really brought my personality and musical intentions out in the sound of the instrument, and I finally found those qualities in Dan’s guitar.
Q: Best (jazz guitar) gig you’ve ever seen?
I would have to say that it was a tie between the first time I ever saw Ben Monder in Montreal, he was playing with his quartet and they absolutely killed it, and a Mike Stern show I saw this summer in Brazil, where he played with a Samba trio. Both of these shows were full of energy, the bands were interaction at a very high level and the intensity was just electric. Two shows I will never forget.
Q: Which guitarist(s) would you recommend for other people to check out?
A few of the guitarists that I really like that I think more people should check out are Lenny Breau and Ed Bickert. Two Canadian guitarists, well Lenny was a transplanted Canadian, who I grew up listening to and two of the best chord players in the business. I will never get tired of hearing either of those guys play, in any ensemble, and I always try and turn people on to their records whenever I get the chance.
Joe’s a great guy and great player who I had the privilege of hanging out with and playing a few gigs when he came over to the UK in Sept last year. He’s got some great CD’s available via CD Baby and iTunes, check them out.
1/What/who were your initial influences?
John Coltrane, Grant Green, Jim Hall, Sonny Rollins, Bill Evans, Lee Konitz, Wes Montgomery, Maynard Ferguson, Ricky Nelson & James Burton on the ‘Ozzie & Harriet’ TV show.
2/Are you gigging much at the moment and any projects in the pipeline?
I am gigging, but not *much*. The scene in NYC is pretty pitiful! I’ll sum it up in a slightly tongue in cheek comment (it is only slightly tongue in cheek):
‘The jazz gig scene in NYC is currently so bad that players are stabbing each other in the back for the best free (no pay-not ‘free jazz’) gigs…’
3/What’s your ‘desert island’ guitar or have you got it!?
If I had to pick one I would pick my Forshage ‘Ergo’ guitar-assuming I would have access to an amplifier.
Of course I would not prefer to pick only one guitar, so I will also mention my cherry red Epiphone ‘Sorrento’ w/P-90 pickups; my Gibson ES-330 ‘Longneck’; my ‘WD’ semi-hollow ‘Tele’; my cranberry red Epiphone ‘Riviera’; an early 1950s ‘Black Guard’ Fender Telecaster with neck pickup capacitor removed (I don’t own one, but if anyone wants to give me one, or the funds to purchase one, I assure them it will employ it to produce much inspired music!); a Lloyd Loar signed Gibson L5 ( again, awaiting the great generosity of a patron), & that should do it…
4/Best (jazz guitar) gig you’ve ever seen?
Pat Martino at the ‘Bottom Line’ in NYC, with the ‘Catalyst’ rhythm section circa 1974.
5/Which guitarist(s) would you recommend for other people to check out?
Let’s start with Joe Giglio, who is always trying to expand his musical palette by playing in many different contexts ranging from: ‘Guitar Trio playing standards in a fresh & modern way’; ‘Solo Guitar’ both traditional & modern; ‘Free/Avant Garde Jazz’ with small & large ensembles; ‘Hard Edged Blues/R & B/Rock’ in the NYC style; Traditional ‘Americana’ style music played with a modern consciousness, …
Also: Grant Green, Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell, Ed Bickert, Ted Greene, Lenny Breau, Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, Ben Monder, All the ‘Kings’; Robert Johnson, Julian Bream, Eddie Lang, Dennis Budimir, Joe Diorio, Jack Wilkins, Carl Barry, Dan Johnson, Dan Martin, Sonny Greenwich, Derrick Bailey, Bern Nix, Pat Martino, Joe Puma, Sonny Sharrock, Chuck Wayne, …
Thanks Tiago, for someone who hasn’t played jazz for that long it sounds like you’ve got some great influences there!
What/who were your initial influences?
What got me into jazz was Pat Metheny, later on I started to listen a lot to Miles and Coltrane and also Wes Montgomery. I’m still in the beginning of playing jazz guitar, I’ve been playing guitar for 4 years and started playing jazz 2 years ago. Now what I’ve been listening more to modern jazz and that’s probably my biggest influence so far.
Are you gigging much at the moment and any projects in the pipeline?
I’m not gigging much but a fair bit actually, but nothing regular so far. I’ve a couple of active projects, one of those being a modern jazz quintet (guitar, saxophone, piano, drums and double bass), we play originals which is really fun, and a more standard oriented quartet (vocals, guitar, double bass and drums). Apart from that I’ve also been playing trio (guitar, double bass and drums) in a jam session where we are resident musicians. In the future I would like to try to get more with busy with this (or another) trio since I love to play in a formation like this.
What’s your ‘desert island’ guitar or have you got it!?
Difficult one since I’ve never played many jazz guitars. I really like how those sadowsky guitars look and sound, so I would guess that my desert island guitar would be a sadowsky semi-hollow. But I’m really satisfied with main guitar (Peerless Manhattan), which I bought recently from Foulds Guitar, I’ve already had a couple of really good experiences with it while gigging and rehearsing.
Best (jazz guitar) gig you’ve ever seen?
I live in Portugal and there are really good guitar players here and I’ve not seen many international guitar players like so I would say that the most incredible jazz guitarist I’ve seen was Kurt Rosenwinkel but it was in a masterclass not a gig, and the most incredible jazz gig I’ve seen was André Fernandes (I totally recommend it) with is quintet here in Lisbon.
Which guitarist(s) would you recommend for other people to check out?
Well there are a couple of portuguese jazz guitarrists that I really like for example André Fernandes, Afonso Pais, Nuno Costa etc. I recommend, if you can, to grab their albuns, they are really good. Internationally I’ve recently found Lage Lund and I’m really impressed with is playing I’ve been listening a lot to him and also, if you don’t know him already, Ben Monder you got to love that sound he has.