An interview with Pat Martino: Music is a universal language. For some of us it’s a spiritual journey … Video

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Jazz interview with jazz guitarist Pat Martino. An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music? 

Pat Martino: That’s an interesting question, because I didn’t really “grow up” until I committed myself to music. It seems that reality has a way of redefining itself once a specific direction is committed. To begin with, I was born, and raised in Philadelphia, PA. As to what initially pointed my attention to music, it was to find something that influenced my fathers respect for me as an individual.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the guitar?

PM: My father. As an amateur, the guitar was his instrument, and jazz was his favorite idiom. He surrounded me with it throughout my childhood.

JBN.S: – What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the guitar? 

PM:  I’ve been “self taught” to this day. Of coarse there have been quite a number of influences, but I think their quality, (as powerful individuals) were more influential than musicianship alone.  As to my choice of an instrument, that once again goes back to parental influence.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

PM: I think the evolution of my sound, as well as its presentation took shape from moment to moment, as it still does. To experience an effect that certain elements have upon an audience has a great deal to do with what’s catalogued, saved, and repeated due to its memorable effects.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

PM:  My own concept of rhythm is much more innate than  any outer practice of mechanical exercises. I believe that each individual is blessed with a unique rhythm; a direct, and natural extension of ones heartbeat. Of coarse the norm for most musicians is to follow a cataloged guidance that has nothing to do with them as individuals, and hopefully in time become fulfilled with the outcome.  On the other hand, when one naturally expresses their rhythms without unnatural manipulation something magical takes place. Unique artists like Thelonious Monk are excellent examples.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?

PM: My closest answer to your question relates to “substitutions”, and these are based upon a natural phenomena, “consonance, and dissonance”. The most natural interval is the Perfect 5th, while the most dissonant interval is the Minor 2nd. Although there are quite a number of elements involved, the most basic application is: what’s used for the V7, 9th, 11th, 13th, etc. is a Mi7th a Perfect 5th higher; G7 / Dmi7.  What’s used for the V7#5, b5, #9, b9, etc. is a Mi 2nd higher: A7#9 / Bbmi7.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album: <Formidable>, how it was formed and what you are working on today. Next year your fans like we can wait for a new album?

PM: Answering that question could take ten pages to complete. I love everything that went into it, including its location, the engineering, each of its members, and their rapport, the compassion that prevailed, As to what I’m working on today, ….. I’m working on “Now”; (the moment itself) in the same way that took place at that recording session, …….. paying attention to reality.

JBN.S: – Many aspiring musicians are always looking for advice when navigating thru the music business. Is there any piece of advice you can offer to aspiring students or even your peers that you believe will help them succeed and stay positive in this business? 

PM: There is nothing about another individual that’s greater than happiness. Happiness comes before success, it’s the reason for success. It’s what’s precious when shared. What’s always made me happy is the creative process itself. The ability to explore ideas that continue to produce excitement. The only advice I can offer is for those aspiring students to follow their own commitment, and don’t look back. Be what you love, and watch what happens.

JBN.S: – Аnd furthermore, can jazz be a business today or someday?

PM: Anything as a product can be arranged for marketing. The main difference between jazz in the past, as opposed to the way it is today is the disappearance of the culture itself.

JBN.S: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

PM: Jazz to me, is much more than a repertoire. It’s the ability to improvise, and flow as an individual under any conditions.

JBN.S: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

PM: Music is a universal language. For some of us it’s a spiritual journey, and it’s essence stems from our total commitment. In the never-ending process we continue to learn from the experience as we explore, and expand.

JBN.S: – What are your expectations of the future? What brings you fear or anxiety?

PM: As to the future, I have no expectations, maybe that’s why I have very little fear, or anxiety. My concern is the moment, and as much precision possible in anything that’s a priority.

JBN.S: – What’s the next musical frontier for you?

PM: I’m currently preparing for my next recording. It will be a project for guitar, and orchestra. There’s a great deal of original material that I’m looking forward to explore.

JBN.S: – Are there any similarities between jazz and world music, including folk music?

PM: Jazz can be defined in many ways. I think that any time one’s interpretation is based upon individual expression, improvisation naturally takes place. It’s because of this that I find it difficult to confine the word “Jazz” strictly to a specific idiom.

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

PM: I listen to many things, not always music alone. The sound of the wind, the sound of water, the sound of the moment, even if it’s silent it has an identity. Of coarse within music itself I continue to enjoy many types of the art. From artists like Tour Takamitsu, or Hildegard von Bingen, to Gonzalo Rubalcaba, or Nelson Veras.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Pat Martino

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