Take Five With Mike Brannon

Mike Brannon By

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The first Jazz album I bought was:
Jazz Winds from a New Direction (Hank Garland) or Great Guitars (Joe Pass & Herb Ellis). Then Wes Montgomery's Incredible Jazz Guitar. Then I found Metheny's PMG/white album in a cutout bin for $3.95. That changed everything.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically?
Like any musician, just being myself and bringing what I can. No one else can do what you do exactly the way you do it, for whatever that's worth. So, authenticity, I imagine. We're all a unique mix of our influences and perceptions.

Did you know...
I also design lighting and furniture and am really into architecture and design. I found it really cool that in one review of Barcodes from the UK the writer referred to the playing as having 'an impressive architectural sense even at high velocity.' I'd never heard music referred to that way and yet it made sense somehow. It was cool to hear someone remote pick up on that, Like an audio version of all the things I was into. Though it wasn't a conscious goal. so it's interesting synesthetically.

CDs you are listening to now:
Josh Redman— Freedom in the Groove
Pat Metheny -One Quiet Night

Desert Island picks:
Norah Jones -Come Away with Me
Keith Jarrett -Koln Concert
Joshua Redman -Wish
Michael Brecker -Wide Angles
Pat Metheny— 80/81
Weather Report -8:30
Jaco Pastorius— Word of Mouth

How would you describe the state of jazz today?
Alive. Growing. Challenged. Ever more eclectic and inclusive, responding to its environment and serving a new generation.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing?
Authenticity, integrity, creativity, personalization. Not repeating what's gone before as if its a museum piece, but learning from it and growing from there. Putting a personal spin on whatever you do.

What is in the near future?
Finishing Off the Map, a neo-flamenco influenced film-score like project with special guest, Don Alias.

Starting Guitarchitecture, a series of guitar solo & duo recordings, both original music and covers of specific music from the 60s-70s like: "Cant Find My Way Home," "Woodstock," "Grapevine," "Dock of the Bay," "Can't Stand the Rain" and Jaco's "Three Views of a Secret."

Also continuing work with NoNet, our spontaneous improvisation project, which will have a series of live recordings available starting next year.
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