Take Five With Mike Lorenz
Mike Lorenz, guitarist/composer/bandleader, is an up-and- coming musician from Philadelphia, PA. He leads an original jazz quartet, the Mike Lorenz Quartet, which features some of the most in-demand musicians in the Philadelphia area as well as its surrounding areas.
I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I found I never wanted to put down my guitar.
Your sound and approach to music:
I try to keep an open approach to creating and collaborating in music and a desire to contribute to the whole sound of the group. I try not to have any predetermined notions of how the music should sound or where it should go in the course of a performance. I'd also consider myself pretty easy going so I like to think I'm thoughtful and fun to play music with and be around as well. My sound is, hopefully, an extension of who I am as a person and these ideas.
As a working musician I do most of my work playing background at restaurants and bars instead of performing in concert halls or clubs. With that in mind, one of my favorite places to play is Sette Luna in Easton, PA, a wonderful Italian restaurant in the center of town. I play solo guitar there about once a month for their Sunday brunch and am always treated well and have a great time playing tunes for the staff and patrons.
Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
I haven't done a lot of recording but I am very proud of the music I've released on my first CD, Of the Woods. I feel like it is a perfect capture of that period of time in my development as a musician. Other than my own work, I really enjoy the work I've done on recordings by the Doug Hawk Proposition, an original music project in Easton, PA and saxophonist/composer Tony Gairo's nonet recordings, which are yet to be released.
The first Jazz album I bought was:
I am not positive but its either a Miles Davis collection or the Bluebird/RCA version of Art Blakey's A Night in Tunisia.
Did you know...
I am a freelance writer for Drink Philly and the Drink Nation.
CDs you are listening to now:
Tyshawn Sorey, Oblique I (Pi Recordings);
Brad Mehldau, Lee Konitz, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, Live at Birdland (ECM);
Peter Bernstein, Larry Goldings, Bill Stewart, Live at Smalls (SmallsLive);
Bill McHenry, Ghosts of the Sun (Sunnyside);
Claudia Quintet + 1, feat. Theo Bleckmann and Kurt Elling, What is Beautiful? (Cuneiform).
Desert Island picks:
Kurt Rosenwinkel, The Next Step (Verve);
Bill McHenry, Roses (Sunnyside);
John Coltrane, A Love Supreme (Impulse!);
Sonny Rollins, The Bridge (Bluebird/RCA);
Ornette Coleman, The Shape of Jazz to Come (Atlantic).
What is in the near future?
In the near future I hope to continue working on promoting and performing the music from my new release, Of the Woods, whenever I have the opportunity.
I teach guitar lessons at Community Conservatory in Doylestown, PA and the Settlement Music School in Philadelphia.
Courtesy of Mike Lorenz