Interview with Daniel Toledo: The intellect has to be interiorized carefully: Video

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Jazz interview with jazz bassist Daniel Toledo. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Daniel Toledo: – I was born in Ecuador, grew up there. There was always music around my house because of my father, bands like Pink Floyd or Keith Jarret. Listening to music was a big part of our relationship.

JBN: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

DT: – Developing my sound came after listening to a lot of music. I went serious about music when I was 13 years old, since then I was listening to a lot of bands mainly of improvised material. My sound was developing since then, always taking me into a direction of the acoustic sound.

JBN: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

DT: – I usually practice my instrument to maintain the technical ability, in the beginning I use to do long practice sessions but now my duties don’t allow me to do very long practice sessions. Regarding rhythm for me it’s important to understand it very carefully and also study music from different cultures in multiple times signatures.

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

DT: – I’m always trying to give my own voice in the music; my music depends on my band mates too. The sound of the band will come from all of us because of the freedom I like to give to the musicians that play with me.

JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?

DT: – For me it’s important to have a clear mind and be relaxed before going to the stage. Not a particular process but keeping that mind state and also be in good physical shape.

JBN: – Ism is culled from a variety of lives dates with various performers over the course of a few years. Did your sound evolve during that time? And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

DT: – Yes, my sound evolved during the past of time. We are in constant evolution and growth, our feelings and perceptions change so our sound changes. The process of selecting the musicians who will play with me came from listening to them. With Piotr Orzechowski we already have collaboration for over 6 years, then I met Kuba Więcek and Michał Miśkiewicz. I saw that them had some strong personality, something I was looking for in this project.

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

DT: – You need the intellect to be able to navigate through your instrument. The intellect has to be interiorized carefully so we can liberate our soul and express ourselves.

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

DT: – The music I create is for the people, they want to listen to what we provide them. I believe my audience wants something honest; I try all the time to be that way.

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

DT: – I always remember different concerts, each one memorable. I’ve performed with different artists in many places but I always remember my first performance in Poland. A place far from home presenting my original music, now Poland is my second home.

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

DT: – I got interested in jazz finding the relationship of the music with the modern trends. Fusion Jazz was a good tool to go and explore the tradition, we always need to listen to what it represents, most of the time in popular music we can fin a connection to Jazz.

JBN: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?

DT: – Music is the way we portrait our spirit to others from my perspective, for me creating music and sharing it’s an important part of the meaning of life.

JBN: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?

DT: – Certain parts of the business, like being paid on time.

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

DT: – I listen to singer songwriters like Laura Marling, but also to the classics. I always go back to the post bop era albums, my favourite period in Jazz.

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

DT: – Just be honest to what you like and feel, follow that instinct.

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

DT: – I’ve never thought about that, I might like to look into the future to see where we will be.

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

DT: – Where will this path lead us to find our own truth?

JBN: – … fine, but I think we can do without you !!!

JBN: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that now?

DT: – We need to have an idea of what we are looking with music, that way we will find answers that will make us discover what we can give as an art form.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

I'm Daniel Toledo and this is How I Play - Smart Bass Guitar

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