Thursday, May 24, 2012

Catching Up With Gary Honor Heads & Tales Interview Part Two

Smooth jazz is undergoing massive changes away from more of the format driven material that for some falls flat and much like your release the artists are starting to push the creative envelope with a little urban, some acid jazz on some releases they are drawing from a myriad of influences. While I don't often hand out but one or two #1's - Heads & Tails may well be the best Trippin N Rhythm release thus far due to the variety and flavor. Is smooth jazz learning from its mistakes and do you see continued change and how does this appeal to you as an artist?

G.H. - "I’m often reluctant to call my music ‘Smooth Jazz’ because that in itself doesn’t describe the music nearly well enough. I’ve often preferred the title pop-jazz because that’s more closer to what’s going on, it’s not all just ‘smooth’. I’m a pop musician that been trained in Jazz and improvisation, so I’ve combined the two.  It might be Soul, Funk, Urban, R&B, Rock, Reggae, Latin, Ambient, whatever, but it’s got that improvisational element there somewhere and that to me is where the magic is with ‘Smooth Jazz’... it’s where the artists ‘soul’ resides. I like strong melodies but I like to hear players take those melodies places and that’s what makes good tunes, great tunes. It's also what the CD title 'Heads & Tales' is about.  'Heads' is a jazz term to refer to the basic melodic idea. The improvisations are like my 'stories' or 'tales' on those melodic ideas.  If I’m just hearing a good tune and nothing else I’m probably gonna get bored listening to the album pretty quickly. Personally I like hearing player who clearly have a handle on the harmonic and rhythmic content of what they’re playing and so I try to do the same, that’s the sophistication of jazz.  It’s a process and challenge but it’s what makes the music appealing for me both as a player and a listener. But, as I mentioned before, Smooth Jazz is essentially improvised pop-music so it makes sense also, to draw from as many influences as possible to keep things interesting in that way too. When I listen to the radio it’s often a bit dismaying because it’s like the programmers only want people to feel one type of mood when there’s so many styles that can make you feel so many things. It would be one more thing that would add to make the genre interesting, ‘Variety is the spice of life’ as they say. Who knows where it’s going though.. I just keep my head down and try to produce music I think people will enjoy hearing but also music I like hearing too.  Luckily I’m also on a record label who allowed me enough rope to do just that." / You  Tube - Official Trippin N Rhythm Video