Meet Larry Tamanini:
Larry Tamanini is a professional musician with lots of experience in various high-level musical settings. Instrument(s):
Guitar. Teachers and/or influences?
My primary teachers for learning guitar have been Pat Martino
, Dennis Sandole and Tom Giacabetti. Like most musicians, I have many influences. My big four on guitar are Grant Green
, Wes Montgomery
, Pat Martino and Kenny Burrell
. Some other instrumentalists that I cannot leave off this list are Dexter Gordon
, Lee Morgan
, Horace Silver
, Don Patterson
, Kenny Kirkland
and Jimmy Smith
Some of my favorite musicians are drummersnamely, anything with Billy Higgins
, Byron Landham
, Jeff "Tain" Watts
, Dannie Richmond
and Mickey Roker
I am a huge Weather Report
fan and love the music of Steely Dan
, Jimi Hendrix
and the Rolling Stones
; I also really dig the blues, including Albert Collins
, Stevie Ray Vaughan
, Albert King
, Freddie King
, B.B. King
. Bill Sims
, Muddy Waters
and Johnny Winter
. I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
Initially hearing a lot of organ group records got me hooked on the music. Seeing photos of how slick the musicians looked was also a big influence. What really made me want to pursue the music was two big experiences: the first was meeting Pat Martino; the other was setting foot inside Ortlieb's Jazzhaus, in Philadelphia. I haven't been the same since. Your sound and approach to music:
My approach to the music changes as does my sound, I have always favored an earthy and bluesy sound that swings; that seems to be the basis for my overall aesthetic. My approach varies, depending on the setting, but I try to be a supportive team player and I always want to add to the overall vibe of what's happening. Your teaching approach:
Everyone is different, you have to find what sticksas long as you can play good time, that is a good foundation. Your dream band:
Wow, this one is tricky. I have been blessed to share the stage with Joey DeFrancesco
and Byron Landham, and it doesn't get any better than that, even though I did play with Joey and Billy James
once. My dream band in a straight-ahead setting would be Billy Higgins, Kenny Kirkland
, and Steve Swallow
, on upright. I would be in over my head but I would love every grooving quarter note. For an organ group it would have to be Billy James and Don Patterson Road story: Your best or worst experience:
One time, at Ortlieb's, the tail piece on my guitar split and my instrument was shattered. Luckily, Todd the bartender lived around the corner and I finished gig on his Strat. Thanks again, Todd. Favorite venue:
Hands down, Ortlieb's was the best. Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
I am very proud of the way my first album turned out; it was made under much duress, but everyone that helped me with the album seemed to believe in the music and gave 110%. I am proud of the work I have done for Mark Adams, Kathy Sledge's Brighter Side of Day
and Rhenda Fearington's album as well. The first Jazz album I bought was: Kenny Burrell and John Coltrane
. What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Trying to be an honest player and maintaining my musical roots. Did you know...
The first session I ever went too was at Chris' Jazz Café, and I was so freaked out I couldn't get my guitar in tune, so I punk'd out from sitting in. CDs you are listening to now: Dexter Gordon
, Gettin' Around
, My Song
, This Guy's in Love with You
Grant Green, Iron City
; Joe Henderson
, Live at the Lighthouse
. Desert Island picks:
Dexter Gordon, Gettin' Around
Don Patterson, Holiday Soul
Horace Silver, In Pursuit of the 27th Man
Jimmy Smith, Prayer Meetin'
Weather Report, Sweetnighter
. How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Jumbled, with a tad of Facebook-it is. What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Jazz is an aural and oral tradition; we need more emphasis on being mentored by seasoned players. What is in the near future?
Hopefully all of the above. I am always writing and looking forward to my next project. By Day:
Crime fighter. If I weren't a jazz musician, I would be a:
Photo Credit: Dan Loeb