Posts Tagged mike stern
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.
John Clarke from the Southern Jazz Guitar Society contacted me and very kindly answered our interview questions. I will do a feature on UK jazz guitar societies soon.
What/who were your initial influences?
Jim Hall (‘Jazz Guitar’ with Carl Perkins and Red Mitchell), Barney Kessel (‘Four’ with Hamptom Hawes), Wes Montgomery (all the Riverside recordings)
Are you gigging much at the moment and any projects in the pipeline?
I only average half a dozen gigs a year, and this year it’s less than that, but I play in public twice a month at jam sessions. Last year, one of the bands I play in supported the Clark Tracy Quintet at the Reading Jazz Cafe, and another band I play in has played at The Marlborough Jazz Festival, the Brighton Jazz Club, the Reading Jazz Club and the Southampton Jazz Club in the past. The close proximity of London, and the dearth of gigs there for pro musicians means that, now, these local gigs can attract London jazz musicians for modest fees, so there are fewer opportunities left for local semi-pros and good amateurs.
What’s your ‘desert island’ guitar or have you got it!?
My ’59 Gibson L7 with Kent Armstrong custom archtop pick-up, but a similar vintage L5CES would be even better. I also have an Ibanez AS200 bought c. 1990, which is an exceptionally nice guitar.
Best (jazz guitar) gig you’ve ever seen?
Wes at Ronnie Scotts, I guess, but Pat Metheny at The Shaw Theatre c. 1980, and Mike Stern at the Bracknell Jazz Festival c, 1987 also stand out
Which guitarist(s) would you recommend for other people to check out?
Depends on the era (my taste covers all from fifties to the present). Pre 1980 – Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Kenny Burrell, Grant Green, Pat Martino, and Jimmy Raney are my favourites. Post 1980 – Pat Metheny, John Scofield, and Mike Stern, or for a more conventional sound, Peter Bernstein and Jesse Van Ruller.