This week we have Simon Ferenci’s main musical influences. Ferenci is one of the trumpeters in the generation before me (by that I mean a few years older) that I drew a lot of inspiration from. I first heard him play in Judy Bailey’s Jazz Connection and since then we have played many times together in various big bands and recently more frequently in a Mariachi Band. Ferenci can be heard with his own group ‘Simon Ferenci Quartet’, ‘Doig Collective’, ‘Watussi’ and ‘The Beautiful Girls’. Check out his Myspace and hear what he does!
Here are some musical influences of mine (in roughly chronological order).
Hearing Lee Morgan was what really got me into jazz – I’d heard some other recordings before but none of them had the impact that he did right from the first note. The first album I heard him on was “Blue Train” (thanks to Scott Simpkins), but not long after that I heard his own album “The Gigolo” which is still one of my favourites. I also really like “Live at the Lighthouse” (the 2CD Fresh Sound one). So raw and dirty but it just sounds so good.
I love Miles Davis’ playing but he also had a great ability to bring together some really great combinations of musicians (I think Dave Douglas is another musician who is really good at this). The quintet with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Ron Carter and Tony Williams is probably my favourite band of all time – I love the way that they play together, sometimes going with the soloist and sometimes playing against each other. Also the freedom they have within a composition. I think the tunes “Country Son” and “Black Comedy” from “Miles in the Sky” are probably the two tunes I’ve listened to more than any others – and I still can’t believe what Tony plays!
–Chris Speed/Jim Black (I reckon they count as one influence… it’s hard keeping the list down to 5!)
I went through a period where I listened to hardly anything else. ‘Alasnoaxis’, ‘Yeah No’, ‘Pachora’ etc… (and Human Feel! Gotta use this opportunity to put in a mention of Kurt Rosenwinkel who nearly made my list of 5!). The sounds and textures they get are amazing and I really like their approach to composition/structure. Also I love how “simply” Chris Speed plays his notes -no vibrato, shape, not much variety in his articulation – but still makes it sound beautiful. That’s definitely not easy. Current Chris Speed/Jim Black favourite: “Swell Henry” by Chris Speed’s band ‘Yeah No’.
One of my favourite musicians playing today. I was fortunate to see his band ‘Paloma Recio’ (with Ben Monder, Eivind Opsvik and Nasheet Waits) twice when I was in New York a couple of years ago. The second time I heard them was maybe the best gig I’ve ever seen (it definitely had the best drum solo I’ve ever heard!). I also really like his recordings as a sideman/collaborator with Angelica Sanchez, especially “Mirror Me”. Again, as much for the way the band plays together as for the individual playing.
-The other musos I play with
They probably deserve more than being lumped in one group together – collectively they have influenced and inspired me in my playing and approach to music more than anything else. Especially the members of my quartet (Hugh Barrett, Mike Majkowski and James Waples) but also many others: Dale Gorfinkel and Scott Simpkins back in high school, a lot of the students and teachers I studied with at the Con, and a lot of musicians/groups I’ve had the opportunity to play with since. Pretty much any playing situation you find yourself in there’s something (even if it’s only a little thing) you can learn by listening to the other musos; I try to always be open to that.
P.S He’s playing down at the Big Gorilla on Sunday