Interview with Tony Arco: Trying to be as honest an artist I can be: Video, New CD cover

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Jazz interview with jazz drummer Tony Arco. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Tony Arco: – I grew up in Milano, Italy and I’ve been a>racted by music ever since I can remember.

At the age of 10 I heard a drum solo on the radio, and immediately decided that I was going to be a musician in life.

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

TA: – I like to think that my sound has evolved mainly because I’m an eternal student so to speak, and I never gave up the discipline of both hard practicing and constant researching. This aItude has enabled me trough the years to incorporate and integrate many different concepts. In order to develop my own sound I studied all of the traditional hand techniques from the old school, so that my touch could be musical and not just drummer-like.

I also like to think melody more than rhythm, as if I was playing the piano, which happens to be my favorite instrument.

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

TA: – I have several routines that I practice, but the main goal is to exercise my reactivity to external factors, and try to keep the most solid time possible

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

TA: – Always thinking in the moment. I never go onstage thinking about what I should play, but I just react to whatever happens around me

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

TA: – I do a lot of deep thinking all the time, that keeps my brain in shape, therefore my heart and body.

JBN: – What do you love most about your new album 2021: Tony Arco & Friends – This Is Love, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

TA: – This album is based on the compositions of Italian sax player and composer Lorenzo Rota. He gave me total freedom to arrange the music and choose the players, and I’m totally pleased with the results and the great soloing from everyone.

This Is Love

JBN: – And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?

TA: – By their melodic taste and level of virtuosity?

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

TA: – They have to be two sides of the same coin.

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

TA: – Yes in terms of emotions, not in terms of style.

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

TA: – Playing with Max Roach behind me, yelling in my ears how good I was. True story.

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

TA: – Teaching them to listen with their heart first.

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

TA: – I wouldn’t even be here writing, if it wasn’t for the spirit. We have a mission in life. Only fear can stop that in many people

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

TA: – Less internet (youtube), more live venues.

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

TA: – I still need a good dose of Coltrane.

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

TA: – That music is a metaphor of life.

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

TA: – Of course, New York in the fifies, because of all that jazz.

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

TA: – What triggered your interest in listening to my story?

JBN: – Jazz!!!

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

TA: – Trying to be as honest an artist I can be.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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