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Take Five With Gavin Barras

Take Five With Gavin Barras
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Meet Gavin Barras:
Born in Kendal, Cumbria in the UK, bassist Gavin Barras studied music at the University of Manchester, receiving private tuition from Roberto Carillo-Garcia and Corin Long. Whist studying classical music, Gavin continued developing his love for jazz and received lessons from Steve Berry in jazz bass. Gavin is a busy working musician, actively involved in several recording and touring projects both in the UK and abroad.

Instrument(s):
Double bass and bass guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?
Ray Brown
Ray Brown
Ray Brown
1926 - 2002
bass, acoustic
, Paul Chambers
Paul Chambers
Paul Chambers
1935 - 1969
bass, acoustic
, Wilbur Ware
Wilbur Ware
Wilbur Ware
1923 - 1979
bass, acoustic
, Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
1937 - 2014
bass, acoustic
, Christian McBride
Christian McBride
Christian McBride
b.1972
bass
, George Mraz
George Mraz
George Mraz
b.1944
bass
, Hein van de Geyn and electric bassist Jaco Pastorius
Jaco Pastorius
Jaco Pastorius
1951 - 1987
bass, electric
. I'm also heavily influenced by Chet Baker
Chet Baker
Chet Baker
1929 - 1988
trumpet
, John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
, Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
, Enrico Pieranunzi
Enrico Pieranunzi
Enrico Pieranunzi
b.1949
piano
and Billy Higgins
Billy Higgins
Billy Higgins
1936 - 2001
drums
.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I heard Jaco Pastorius.

Your sound and approach to music:
I'm going for the Wilbur Ware/Charlie Haden sound. High action on my bass to get a huge acoustic sound, and not straying too far away from the bassist's role as a support instrument. I try to approach music from the listener's perspective. What would excite me listening to jazz?

Your teaching approach:
Teaching students what they want to learn. Keeping the interest and excitement up is vital.

Your dream band:
I would love to work/study with the great bassist/composer Cecil McBee
Cecil McBee
Cecil McBee
b.1935
bass, acoustic


Favorite venue:
Pizza Express, Dean Street, London: great sound, audience, food and management.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
Day of Reckoning, by the Gavin Barras Quintet, because it is the first time I recorded all of my compositions on one album. I also organized the band/recording and helped with the design concept. I'm really proud of the results.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Night Train, Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
Oscar Peterson
1925 - 2007
piano
Trio.

CDs you are listening to now:
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
Sonny Rollins
b.1930
saxophone
, Live at the Village Vanguard (Blue Note); Jaco Pastorius , Word of Mouth (Warner Bros); Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
Pat Metheny
b.1954
guitar
, Bright Size Life (ECM); Enrico Pieranunzi , Live in Paris (Challenge).

Desert Island picks:
Weather Report
Weather Report
Weather Report

band/orchestra
, Black Market (Columbia); Chet Baker, In New York (Riverside); Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
, Waltz for Debby (Riverside); Christian McBride, Getting to It (Verve).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Really good. Lots of amazing, creative music being made by young and old people.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Gigs!....and making sure the music is accessible to all and not just a niche thing.

What is in the near future?
My debut album Day Of Reckoning was released on June 11, 2012 through ASC Records. It features the great Ed Jones (tenor sax), Corey Mwamba
Corey Mwamba
Corey Mwamba

vibraphone
(vibes), Steve Plews (piano) and Dave Walsh (drums). All the tunes are original compositions of mine and all written in one night! I had a gig cancelled due to the riots here in the UK last summer, and used the time to listen to and write music whilst watching the news updates throughout the night. So I used a negative situation and turned it into a creative/positive one. We are going to tour this album in 2013.

Photo Credit

Mike Stemberg.

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