We’ve been checking-in with jazz artists and musicians throughout the South to see how their lockdown experience has been.
What was your first ever encounter with jazz?
Şebnem: Listening to jazz tunes on my parents’ vinyl records when I was young and later on discovering Ella Fitzgerald and Nina Simone on the radio.
Chris: Coming across an interview with veteran UK jazz guitarist, Ike Isaacs, in a copy of Electronic Musician magazine back when I was a kid learning classical guitar. The interview had a transcription of a solo piece of Ike’s called ‘After Hours’. I tried playing it but the harmonies were strange and my sight reading was heavily challenged! But it inspired me to go and start checking out jazz guitarists and I could never play an unextended minor triad again…
Name a track you wish you’d written.
Şebnem: ‘The Part You Throw Away’ by Tom Waits.
Chris: ‘Oblivion’ by Astor Piazzolla.
What have you been listening to while in lockdown?
Şebnem: ‘Rain Dogs’ by Tom Waits and Chris Isaak, I’m also on a Nancy Sinatra kick at the moment!
Chris: Tonnes of Bill Evans and a lot of Yamandu Costa.
Favourite gig you’ve ever been to and why?
Chris: That’s got to be Vincente Amigo back in 2003. It was a tour for his Ciudad de las Ideas record which is still my favourite of his. It was in the old amphitheatre in Famagusta, Northern Cyprus — just a stunning concert in a stunning place.
Any livestream concert recommendations?
Chris: Bireli Lagrene Trio at the Maisons-Lafitte Jazz Festival. It’s on YouTube!
What advice do you have for musicians in lockdown?
Şebnem: My advice to lyric writers in lockdown or otherwise, would be to listen to a vast variety of well written music in different genres and languages, watch movies, read books, and sharpen your skill for emotional memory.
Chris: Find some online lessons or book a Skype lesson with a favourite artist (there are some amazing people doing this in lockdown) and just commit to using some of this time to get back to practicing some basics.
Have you been working on any new material in lockdown?
Both: Yes, we’ve been writing some new songs. We just posted a rehearsal recording of one of them, ‘Something Beautiful’, on Instagram.
Our next ‘Catching Up With…’ is with Charlie + Jake, and will be posted on 5th August. Follow the series on our social media and hear about it directly when you sign up to our mailing list.