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Take Five With Glenn Nolle


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Meet Glenn Nolle: Born in Pittsburgh area and began playing guitar at age eight. Embraced the discipline of playing music earnestly after exposure to the music of Jimi Hendrix around 11 years of age. Became immersed in playing the guitar and practiced so much that finger-style playing was achieved in one day of 13 hour non-stop practicing. Studied under jazz guitarist Bill Clydesdale, Joe Negri and classical/flamenco guitarist Jerry Conderato. A teacher who had a tremendous impact on rock playing was Von Lofsted. Performed in many bands on the east coast and west coast and is a sought after instructor today. Currently promoting the release of the album Night, which was a year in the making and is a culmination of all that I aspire to be as a guitarist. All instruments were played and/or programmed by me and showcase a wide array of techniques from alternate picking to tapping and sweep picking.



Teachers and/or influences?

Influential teachers were Bill Clydesdale, Joe Negri, Jerry Conderato, Von Lofsted and Nathan Davis. An influence that no guitar would be prone to cite would be keyboardist Jan Hammer. Here's this guy trying to bend notes like a guitarist and I was trying to bend notes like him with his mini-Moog!

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...

I saw a plastic Beatles guitar at Sears. I never cared for them but the hysteria generated by the marketing blitz of "Beatle-mania" made me feel like I was missing out on something. Later when I heard Hendrix I realized I had my work cut out for me and got serious around age 11.

Your sound and approach to music:

I don't think in terms of scales and modality any longer. As with my lifelong involvement in martial arts, it now becomes an intuitive thing. A "knowing." As with zen, he who doesn't strive never fails and he who never fails is always successful. He who is always successful is all powerful. I close my eyes and speak in tongues.

Your teaching approach:

They all get a mini lesson in the history of American music. African-Americans invented the blues and we start there. Those pentatonics evolved into ragtime, then jazz and along the way branched off into rock and sub-categories such as metal, hip-hop etc...

Your dream band:

Power-trios are my thing. If you can't say it with that amount of instrumentation then I don't know what to tell you! John Scofield would be cool to work with. I feel we think alike in our approach to musical ideas.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:

I was playing back to back shows one week with Stratosfear, and really tired. I woke up in my Car, which was flying down a country road at about 3:00 AM and totally freaked out! I started stomping the floorboard of the car hoping to hit the brakes and noticed the absence of a steering wheel. My roadie who was driving looked at me like,..."what the hell?" It all came together and I nodded out. God bless him!

Favorite venue:

I've played some real cool places all over the country. Usually where there's music...there's good people and positive energy.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?

I live for today so I'm going to go with my current CD, Night. Probably my favorite cut is "Kingdom Come." I wanted to get badass and I feel I did on that one. It has a Jeff Beck kind of nasty rant to it and sounds like the end of the world is about to go down.

The first Jazz album I bought was:

Hard to say but a few that come to mind are: Inner Mounting Flame (Columbia/Legacy, 1971) by the Mahavishnu Orchestra or Bitches Brew (Columbia/Legacy, 1969) by Miles Davis.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?

Just creating! Stop watching TV and playing with pointless gadgets! Create! I run a 5k every morning to validate my aliveness! Live! Stop listening to the Matrix. The voice on the television only wants you to consume what it's selling and then take the medication it has for sale once you get sick from its products! Think! Get off the sofa and create music or enjoy music! Be alive!

Did you know...

My life has always been an open book. Everyone that knows me knows pretty much all there is to know of me. They might not "get" me but they know the ingredients of the recipe of my life.

CDs you are listening to now:

Night by Glenn Nolle;

Passion and Warfare by Steve Vai;

Twist City by Harvey Mandel;

Cruisin' Deuces by Danny Gatton;

School Days by Stanley Clarke.

Desert Island picks:

Night by Glenn Nolle;

Surfing with the Alien by Joe Satriani;

Still got the Blue by Gary Moore;

Joyous Lake" by by Pat Martino;

The Infinite Desire by Al DiMeola.

How would you describe the state of jazz today?

John Scofield is really happening as far as guitar is concerned. William Orbit, whose electronic stuff incorporates many jazz elements, is great, but there is this stale close-minded philosophy out there that jazz began and ended with Wes Montgomery. Wes was great but there's a lot of equally great music being overlooked and rejected by people who mistakenly call themselves purists instead of pompous morons. Remember: jazz was created by thinking outside the box!

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?

Definitely hold onto foundational jazz principles by absorbing them and allowing these ideas to evolve into other things. Impressionist painters still worked with the tools of the trade and valid concepts of color but through creative manipulation were able to transport the viewer to a different place rather than the same old still-life painting of a bowl of fruit.

What is in the near future?

An upcoming clinic at Guitar Center to be announced. A possible duo collaboration with an accomplished classical guitarist and myself completing the musical picture with electric guitar. Another album.

By Day:

Guitar Center/Guitar dept. manager/resident vintage expert. Guitar instructor.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:


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