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Take Five With Jon Mapp

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Meet Jon Mapp:
Jon Mapp sounds like no other bassist. He uses a bass guitar, a wooden box and a laptop to record layered pieces, creating music that is expressive, compelling and indelible. Jon is quickly emerging as a truly individual voice on the bass who is known for his unorthodox technique and creative approach to improvising.

Instrument(s):
Bass.

Teachers and/or influences?
Paul Westwood; he was my teacher for over five years, and—in my opinion—probably the best bass guitarist there is. He's part teacher and part philosopher.

I loved Jaco Pastorius growing up, but it was listening to piano trios that really got me into jazz, particularly Brad Mehldau.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
When I realized everything else really bored me!

Your sound and approach to music:
I really like exploring harmony, so I suppose that's a big part of my music. I also like simple melodies. In my own music, I like to try and find the natural sound of the bass guitar; what it sounds like without artificial EQ.

Your teaching approach:
Good technique and theory knowledge will make you a happier, healthier and more creative musician. It's all about giving the student the tools to turn themselves into great musicians.

Your dream band:
Joshua Redman, John Taylor, Marc Johnson and Brian Blade.

I would love to play with John Taylor some day.

Road story: Your best or worst experience:
Many, many things that happened in Senegal, which I will not be disclosing to save the embarrassment of others!

Favorite venue:
I did a gig on the Bosphorus in Istanbul with full pro stage setup. The view was glorious!

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
I'm really proud of the music I've made on my first solo album, The World Will End With a Bang (Self Produced, 2014). It was released on April 18th.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
John Coltrane, Giant Steps (Altantic, 1960).

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Catchy tunes with crazy harmony

Did you know...
I am a massive Google fanboy.

CDs you are listening to now:
John Taylor, In Two Minds (Cam Jazz, 2014);
Ralph Towner, Solo Concert (ECM, 1979);
Sufjan Stevens, Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty, 2005);
Sons of Kemet, Burn (Naim Label, 2014).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Confused, but growing and healthy.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Unfortunately, the jazz genre name has been ruined for the general public by the likes of Kenny G, Michael Buble and kitsch clubs. It's probably time to begin calling this music something else.

What is in the near future?
My debut solo album, The World Will End With a Bang, was released on April 18th this year. I'm planning a UK and European tour for late this year and early next year.

If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
Even more of a computer nerd.

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