Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Catching Up With JC Stylles Swing Hard Or Go Home!

Critics that will sit there quietly while they maintain some sort of musical ambiguity when it comes to issues of bias or favoritism are being disingenuous at best. Never being one to swing from the politically correct side of the plate allow me to use the word others are thinking but are afraid to say - they lie!    Allow me to introduce you to one of my very favorites and a gentleman kind enough to sit down and field a few questions for us: JC Stylles. While Exhilaration and other states has been out for a while this is still one of those wonderful word of mouth records that will continue to gain popularity through the passage of time!  
       This is the classic guitar/organ lineup that I like to say, "Swings hard or goes home!" I asked Stylles how the project came together and is this his favorite type of lineup to work with?

JC "The Guitar / organ  lineup is my preference for several reasons. Firstly the guitar and organ hook up is like a marriage in terms of the roles they both provide to compliment one another. Whilst the organ has many advantages being able to combine solo's with bass lines, when they are
soloing, the chordal element is left vacant, so the guitar steps in here to fill this void creating a complete presentation, and can prompt the organist with pulsing comping. If the players listen intently enough, then this dialogue can develop into some meaningful expression that wouldn't
probably happen in a guitar/piano setting, as they tend to get in each others way. Everyone in this setting plays an important role to bring the sum of the parts together and there is nowhere to hide, and everyone is always contributing.
Another reason is that you can get a large sound from this format in a trio with drums, and can change musical genre's and styles very easily just due to the instrumental lineup. It also keeps costs down. I plan on basically sticking with this fundamental foundational lineup, and adding
extra's down the line as needed,such as a horn or vibraphone etc."

You are from Australia, Laura Kahle, Andrew Dickeson, Daniel Barnett, and Gary Honor all hail from Australia - is it something in the water? What is the jazz climate like there and how does all this incredible talent keep consistently coming out from "down under?"

JC - "Australia's advantage and disadvantage is that it is so far away . This equates to musicians usually spending considerable years on their instrument and craft before venturing overseas. Since 1980 there has been some solid musical educational facilities put in place for musicians to get their acts together, as well as strong American Instructional content over time. The jazz climate itself can vary, with many older musicians playing in the styles like Swing and Trad which have some popular outlets, other more mainstream straight ahead pockets of musicians who have generally traveled back and forth to the USA, and then you have a younger brigade who tend to play a more hybrid type of music, more along the line of being creative improvisers, but not really incorporating some of the vital elements of swing or the blues into their expression."

Back to the record which for me is sort of like Kenny Burrell on steroids but with the "Stylles touch." Have  you considered the same organ type format but thought about doing a slightly harder edged instrumental blues record? some people have said jazz is dead and or dying...following that logic then blues has been in a self induced coma for 30 years.

JC - "I have several other recording concepts and projects still in mind, based around a similar format, yet touching on various other branches of the tree, if you like. It's a matter of whether I am able to get to them in due course. I already have the next 2 releases mapped out, with one being with the addition of the baritone saxophone added, and another specifically designed for a certain vibe that I can't divulge just yet. If I get these 2 off the runway, then an instrumental blues album just might have to be given some thought too."

What players have influenced you on the way up and continue to influence you to this day?
JC - "My early influences were primarily Carlos Santana, George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Charlie Parker, Jimmy Smith, John Coltrane- and then others came along in due course. Many of these still influence me to this day, and in fact I have found myself recently going back over all of Charlie Parkers' ballad material all over again, because there is still so much to learn within that body of work, that you never fail to find something new. There was a time when I felt I was in love with both George Benson & Wes
Montgomery equally, and didn't know which one I loved more. After wearing their albums out, I tried to put them away and let them be-but it's hard!"

What is coming up next?

JC - "I have a quartet album that I am excited about doing  if it can be done, with the addition of baritone saxophone( and a great bari at that) however I don't want to jinx it by letting too much out of the bag until it's in the bag-if you know what I mean."

EXTRA SPECIAL THANKS TO JC STYLLES! Enjoy this You Tube Clip(s) and be sure and hit http://www.jcstylles.com/