September 17, 2019
Jazz in Italy
Simone Basile is a young Italian guitarist. He made his debut as a leader with the album Time. We interviewed him.
Let’s start with the guitar: which artists influenced your style and which ones have you studied the most?
I started playing guitar when I was ten years old, but in the beginning I studied a lot of rock, metal and fusion rather than jazz. I encountered jazz music thanks to a duo album by Bireli Lagrene and Sylvain Luc. That record literally blew my mind and encouraged me to study the jazz language and the guitar more and more. Then I discovered Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Pat Metheny and I focused on saxophone players and pianists like John Coltrane, Bill Evans, Art Tatum and many others. The artists that influenced me the most are Pat Metheny, John Coltrane and Bill Evans.
How do you approach the concept of the guitar trio, given the many historical examples (Jim Hall, Scofield, Metheny…)?
My idea of a trio is very similar to Pat Metheny’s: the way Metheny composes music has always fascinated me. But I always try to create my own sound, taking inspiration from the latest records by Gilad Hekselman and Aaron Parks. In particular, for “Time”, I wanted the same timing concepts and sound production of “Find the way” by Aaron Parks. The latter being, in my opinion, one of the best piano trio albums gone out recently. Talking about harmony in my songs, I am inspired by everything I learned transcribing Ted Greene.
How did you choose the two non-original pieces of the album?
“April in Paris” and “Let’s cool one” are two standards that have always fascinated me. Before going to the studio to record the album, I went on several trips to Paris and I fell in love with the city. On the other hand, I didn’t have a particular reason to record “Let’s cool one”, It is just a standard that I often play.
Your songs have different “natures”: how do you write them from a non-technical point of view?
Every track tells a story or a memory I want to describe and narrate. Depending on the story I try to decide the style of the song and the melody, whether it will be minor or major, sad or happy. For example, “Dublin” is dedicated to my sister, who decided to go to live in Irland, far away from home.
Describe “Time” with three adjectives.
Modern (I hope), Meditative, Fluid.
What are your projects for the future?
I have many, but right now I’m focused on making a new album, “Morning Ragae”, hopefully out in 2020. It will probably be a quintet record, but I will decide everything about it in a few months.
Italian guitar: an espresso with Simone Basile copyright Jazzespresso 2019.
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