Take Five With Tyson Ailshie

Tyson Ailshie BY

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Meet Tyson Ailshie: Tyson Ailshie hails from Denver, Colorado, where he writes and performs straight-ahead jazz music in trio and duo settings as a group leader. Combining original compositions with deep grooves and intimate settings of eclectic jazz standards, he is beginning to make a name for himself in the Denver area, having performed most recently at Regis University, FRCC's Art Gallery Series, ACC's Waring Theater, Dazzle, The Twisted Olive, The D Note Jazz Festival. Colleague Randy Russell says of his current group that "Each player shows delicacy, power, and imagination."

Ailshie released his first EP-length CD, The Send Off, in December, 2010, featuring original, straight-ahead jazz trio and duo tracks on the Duo Music Records label. He will be playing locally in support of the release February 7th, 2011 at the Front Range Community College Art Gallery, as well as other venues.

He is supported by local musicians Brad Goode, Serafin Sanchez and Antwon Owens on the release. In his aspiration to break into the jazz scene of Denver, Ailshie has participated in a KUVO live radio broadcast and various studio recordings, including Gabrial Beach's trio release February Meet, and performing with national and international jazz artists; Frank Mantooth, Ira Sullivan, Irvin Mayfield, Andrew D'Angelo, and Matt Wilson, and as a freelance jazz bassist with local artists Dave Corbus, Pat Bianchi, Brad Goode, Serafin Sanchez, and John Gunther. His innovative bass style and technique is inspired by the masters of double-bass, Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen and Edgar Meyer, and his execution and facility are driven by a warm, rich, deep tone, melodic invention and creative bass lines and grooves. Ailshie is currently the bass instructor at Regis University, as well as an instructor of jazz and general music classes at Front Range Community College and Arapahoe Community College.



Teachers and/or influences? Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Edgar Meyer, Eddie Gomez, Frank Mantooth, Brad Goode.

I knew I wanted to be a musician when... I heard John Coltrane's Blue Train.

Your sound and approach to music: My sound is warm and rich with clarity. I approach music with vigor, creativity, sensitivity and excitement.

Your teaching approach: I believe in inspiring and preparing students to be culturally sensitive, critically thinkers, effective communicators, and socially responsible. It is my goal to give each student both the tools and the structure that they need in order to succeed both academically and in practical musical situations with excellence. Utilizing learning and teaching methods which best enhance excellent communication; critical thinking and creative processing of music enable me to strive towards innovation as an instructor.

Your dream band:

Tony Williams: drums; Kenny Barron: piano; Lee Morgan: trumpet; Kenny Garrett: alto saxophone.

Road story: Your best or worst experience: Forgetting the changes to "In a Sentimental Mood" while performing with Gilad Atzmon. Very embarrassing. Gilad was not pleased. It was a rough night as a young musician.

Favorite venue:

Any type of intimate venue. The Meadowlark in Denver has a great atmosphere.

Your favorite recording in your discography and why? My own recording as a leader. It was a lot of fun to record my original tunes with the great musicians on it. It's the most fun to go back and listen to.

The first Jazz album I bought was: Coltrane's Blue Train.

What do you think is the most important thing you are contributing musically? An innovative approach to jazz bass.

Did you know...

I enjoy the game of tennis.

CDs you are listening to now: Greg Howe, Extraction;

Allan Botschinsky/Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Duologue;

Miles Davis, Round About Midnight;

Dexter Gordon, The Apartment.

Desert Island picks: Allan Botschinsky/Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Duologue;

Greg Howe, Extraction;

Edgar Meyer, Dreams of Flight;

Joe Pass/ Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen, Chops.

How would you describe the state of jazz today? Jazz is strengthening itself with new mentorships and young artists every year. The culture of music has change and jazz has survived and is still going strong.

What are some of the essential requirements to keep jazz alive and growing? Educating America's youth about jazz music. It is youth that is our future. The more education, the more they can begin to take ownership of their music as young Americans.

What is in the near future? Duo and Trio gigs around Denver, promoting my new CD with some of the best jazz musicians in the country.

By Day:

Teaching as an adjunct professor of Bass Studies at Regis University.

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

Photo Credit
Courtesy of Tyson Ailshie

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