Take Five With Antonio Marrone


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Meet Antonio Marrone:
Jazz bass guitarist, composer, educator, Antonio Marrone studied with many artists, including Paul Bollenback, Jeff Richman, John Stowell, Roy Patterson, Jamie Findlay, Royce Campbell, Scott Henderson, David Friesen, Vic Juris, Jimmy Bruno, Bob Ferrazza. In 2012, he released his first album, Solemn, and has written a bass method book, Symmetric Pentatonic Scale, for educational purposes.

Bass guitar.

Teachers and/or influences?
My biggest influence are: John Coltrane, Jaco Pastorius, Jimi Hendrix, Brad Mehldau, Kurt Rosenwinkel and Steve Swallow, as well as many post-bop, avant-garde, and contemporary jazz artists.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I was 15 years old, and decided to stop my secondary school. I remember that day; I said to my parents: "I want to stay home and sleep for another few hours." After that decision, I started to study and play every day for many hours.

Your sound and approach to music:
As any bassist, I was influenced a great deal by Jaco Pastorius' music, but I started with a local blues band, playing all the most well-known standards of that style. Then I discovered Jimi Hendrix and subsequently I had my great inspiration with John Coltrane, which gave me a solid jazz approach.

Your teaching approach:
I do teaching a lot, I always feel in good communication with my students, and am able to keep them interested in what I'm saying. I had my greatest experience when I was living in London. As Italian is mother tongue, I taught young musicians from many different parts of the world; that changed my didactic vision.

Your dream band:
I don' t have a dream band, sometime I wake up in the day with some ideas to make a big band with 15 elements or more; sometime I prefer to play alone in solo performance.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
I remember many adventures with club owners and false managers. Once, we didn't get paid for a cancelled gig, without any notice. It was ridiculous for me.

Favorite venue:
I had chance to play in a jam at Ronnie's Scott and 606 in London, a small theater close to Birmingham City, a fabulous hotel in Tunisia and more.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
A Love Supreme, by John Coltrane. This album is the one I listen to the most; It's my favourite.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
Pat Metheny, Bright Size Life.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
I'm really interested in developing new techniques on my instrument, and writing new music. Recently, I asked to a luthierto make a custom-made bass guitar. Basically, it's a six-string bass that reduces the string space on the bridge; It will help me to play chords and intervals that I could never previously make. There are not many basses like this one, though it's not unique; I'm still looking for new solutions on my bass, and looking for to new melodic approaches.

Did you know...
I'm always discovering new things about myself, everyday something happens in my music; I like that, how it's still improving, every hour, every day, every month.

CDs you are listening to now:
Aaron Goldberg, Worlds (Sunnyside Records);

Kurt Rosenwinkel}} & OJM, Our Secret World (Wommusic);

We3, Amazing (Kind Of Blue);

Ambrose Akinmusire, When the Heart Emerges Glistening (Blue Note Records);

Brad Mehldau Trio, Ode (Nonesuch);

Antonio Faraò Trio, Woman's Parfume (Cam Jazz);

Carla Bley & Steve Swallow, Are We There Yet? (Watt Works ).

Desert Island picks:
John Coltrane, A Love Supreme (Impulse);

Jaco Pastorius, Jaco Pastorius (Epic/Legacy);

Jimi Hendrix, The Cry of Love (Polydor);

Kurt Rosenwinkel, Deep Song (Verve Records);

Front Page, Front Page (Universal Music);

Weather Report, Heavy Weather (Columbia Records).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
I think is still one of the most attractive musics in the world. A lot of people are interested to this music, in the last few years we've had many young musicians come to it. It is the most creative music ever and always will be.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Keeping jazz alive is our job. Everybody can make it: musicians, schools, interested people, managers, public agents, politicians and others.

What is in the near future?
I have my own project: Antonio Marrone Trio, we released a new album Solemn I. It' a truly experimental recording session, without any overdubbed tracks; we played live in studio. We are promoting this album with some concerts, will play in London in November, 2012 and are still looking to book new gigs.

What's your greatest fear when you perform?
My fear is playing for nobody. Sometimes you play in a place where the people are not listening to the music, and that makes me afraid.

What song would you like played at your funeral?
To be honest, I don't have one yet. Maybe one of my composition, but have still not written it.

What is your favorite song to whistle or sing in the shower?
I just improvise; that always makes me feel better.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
A professional climber.

Photo Credit

Emiliano Verrocchio

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