Interview with Franco Ambrosetti: If there is a Paradise, will there be a place where we can play the Blues? Live full concert video

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Jazz interview with jazz trumpeter Franco Ambrosetti. An interview by email in writing.

JazzBluesNews.com: – When you improvise, you know where you’re going. It’s a matter of taking certain paths and certain directions?

Franco Ambrosetti: – It’s like when you tell a Story. You start playing, improvising on the changes while listening to the impulses coming from the musicians around you. Jazz is always interplay! When you think you have said all what you wanted to express, you finish your solo.

JBN: – Do you ever get the feeling that music majors, and particularly people who are going into jazz, are being cranked out much like business majors? That they are not really able to express themselves as jazz musicians?

FA: – Musicians being Individuals you find also people who do not express themselves as jazz musicians. But it’s a minority.

JBN: – What about somebody who is really gifted and puts together a band and just gets upset to the point of quitting because of the business aspects-the agents and the clubs?

FA: – In general if somebody is really a talent soon or later he will make it. But of course in life you have to be at the right time at a right place. Moreover the personality of each one is essential on the road to success. Some gifted musician don’t succeed because of their attitude and their character.

JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?

FA: – You play what you are: the influences you encounter count as much as they do to your person, whether negative or positive they will influence your playing. It’s life.

JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

FA: – I believe in an Olistic approach when it comes to describing our mind. Therefore I do not separate intellect from soul, like in jazz they interplay with each other. You may play a song with soul and intensity, at the same time your intellect tells you not to play certain phrases because they would not fit to the soulful moment you are enjoyng.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

FA: – After almost 60 years on stage, I believe the audience is fully aware of what kind of music I’m going to play. I would not change a note only to please the audience.

JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

FA: – Playing with Charlie Mingus in a jam session was one in a lifetime experience! So was recording with Michael Brecker, Kenny Kirkland, Gato Barbieri, Phil Woods, Elvin Jones, ….and my Mentors, George Gruntz and Daniel Humair.

JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?

FA: – I don’t know…. Standards may be half a century old but J.S.Bach is 300 Years old and still is very modern!

JBN: – And lastly, being a teacher, do you find it difficult to write music yourself?

FA: – Writing music is part of our profession. It’s no big deal.

JBN: – How important is it to you to have an original approach? Can you comment on the bridge between being a musician and being a composer?

FA: – An original approach is ESSERNTIAL as a composer and as a soloist. Improvising is instant composing. Therefore there is little difference between soloist and composer.

JBN: – Do you have an idea of what it is you’re trying to say or get across? Is it an idea or is it just something that we feel?

FA: – I want to express my feelings when I’m interpreting a song. Take “My funny Valentine”: It’s melancholic, there is Saudade in that composition, so, this are the feelings I want to express

JBN: – What do you see for your extended future? You know what you have going on? You have life?If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

FA: – I have enough projects in my mind to complete my life as a musician. If I could change something ? Yes: Bing able to play the trumpet without having to practice every day…!!

JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

FA: – First John Coltrane, than Miles and Mike Brecker. They sources of great stimulus for myself.

JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?

FA: – Enjoy life, it’s later than you think!

JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

FA: – Nowhere. I Like it now, with all the problems we are facing with the climate change.

JBN: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

FA: – If there is a Paradise, will there be a place where we can play the blues?

JBN: – Thanks for answers. 🙂

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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