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Take Five With Mathias Wedeken

Mathias Wedeken By

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Meet Mathias Wedeken:
Mathias Wedeken started playing bass at age 14, studied in Groningen (The Netherlands) and Copenhagen (Denmark). Active as sideman in Germany, with concerts and tours in Germany, Russia and Netherlands until moved to Copenhagen for good in 2009. Started his own Quartet, Quarterpounder in 2011. Released one album with Quarterpounder as leader, has played on a handful small-scale releases in Germany as sideman or co-leader.

Instrument(s):
Double bass.

Teachers and/or influences?
Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen, Jesper Bodilsen, Jan Voogd, Joris Teepe, Ralph Peterson, David Berkman, Conrad Herwig.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when...
I first heard Jaco Pastorius play on Weather Report's Night Passage (Columbia, 1980), on a cassette tape given to me by one of my school teachers. Literally that same day, I took the bus to the next city and sold my hobbyist electric guitar to buy a bass guitar...

Your sound and approach to music:
I hope I have one. I try to be as strong as possible acoustically, I don't like dorking around with electronics, so I have a mic and an amp. Sound has to be pulled out of the instrument. I continuously work on that.

Your teaching approach:
Everyone is musical.

Your dream band:
I would have loved to have been a part of Miles Davis' Quintet in the 1960s, with Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why?
At the moment, "Quarterpounder"s debut, becoming. It feels good to hear it.

The first Jazz album I bought was:
I don't remember with certainty, but Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue (Columbia, 1959) was one of the first.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
The lowest note at any given moment. Energy. Humor.

CDs you are listening to now:
Dave Holland Quintet: anything from the late '90s and early '00s on ECM; Chris Potter Underground, Follow The Red Line (Verve); Ralph Peterson Quintet, The Art Of War (CrissCross); Branford Marsalis Quartet, 4 MFs Playin' Tunes (Marsalis Music); Tegan And Sara, Sainthood.

Desert Island picks:
Miles Davis, Kind Of Blue (Columbia); John Coltrane, A Love Supreme (Impulse!) ; John Coltrane, One Down,One Up (Impulse!) ; Bill Evans Trio, Sunday At The Village Vanguard (Verve).

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Lots of very amazing players. Lots of brains. Heart is harder to find. But definitely there.

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