May 29, 2024

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Interview with Bob Holz: Intellect can prepare you for the music and soul put the feel and emotion into the music: Video

Jazz interview with jazz drummer Bob Holz. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Bob Holz: – I grew up in central New York. I got interested in music from listening to the Beatles.

JBN.S: –  What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today?

BH: – I studied privately with Billy Cobham and Dave Weckl.At Berklee College of Music I studied with Gary Burton and Gary Chaffee.

JBN.S: – What made you choose the your musical instrument?

BH: – I gravitated towards drums naturally from seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time?

BH: – I started out playing rock. As the jazz rock fusion movement took hold in the late 60s, I began to play jazz. My sound took a new shape when I signed endorsements with Paiste cymbals and Canopus drums.

JBN.S: – What did you do to find and develop your sound?

BH: – I learned how to tune my drums based on the environment and select the right cymbals for the musical situation.I’m also involved on the sound engineering side of production and take an active role in getting the best possible drum sounds on my recordings.

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

BH: – Typically I start my practice sessions by setting a click at a mid tempo and using the pulses as the two and four of the measure in 4/4 time.I practice bebop phrasing and independence exercises using the metronome in that fashion for ten minutes. Then I work on reading for another 10 minutes. I follow that by getting on for 10 minutes and practicing a little with each of the 15 or so channels they offer. This helps me to be versatile. I’ve found this half hour routine to be very effective at growing as a player.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now?

BH: – I gravitate to jazz voicings in my compositions. I commonly use dominant seven and nine voicings, minor tonalities  and fourths. Today I’m preparing to go on tour with my band. Our first show is in June in Detroit, Michigan.

JBN.S: – Which are the best jazz albums for you of 2017 year? 

BH: – My album, Visions and Friends  is my favorite as it had the late Larry Coryell on it.

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

BH: – Intellect can prepare you for the music and soul put the feel and emotion into the music.

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

BH: – After a day in the studio recording my 2017 release Visions and Friends,  Larry Coryell, Ralphe Armstrong and myself went to Larry’s son, Julian Coryell’s gig in Santa Monica, California and sat in. It was great to play with both Larry and his son on stage together.

JBN.S: – Which collaboration have been the most important experiences for you?

BH: – My collaboration with Larry Coryell. He helped establish me as a solo artist.

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

BH: – I think encouraging them to be original and not hemmed in by categories might spark interest. We can expose them in school to jazz. It’s up to them if it makes them feel good and might want to incorporate jazz elements into their playing.

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

BH: – For me, I get the, most reward from music when I’m taken into that spiritual zone which trancends time and I’m free to enjoy the moment. Playing and listening to music is a great way to experience that. Through these experiences I get a glimpse at the meanings.

JBN.S: – What are your expectations of the future?

BH: – To keep making music and practicing and giving the art to people.

JBN.S: – What brings you fear or anxiety?

BH: – Not much any more. I take it one day at a time and I know what’s within my own control.

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

BH: – It would be to have pop formats be more eclectic. Similar to the old radio formats where they changed the styles up on the same show and allowed people to get exposed to everything.

JBN.S: – What’s the next musical frontier for you?

BH: – I’m preparing for my next album. The music is written. I expect it will be released in late 2019.

JBN.S: – Are there any similarities between jazz and world music, including folk music?

BH: – Yes. At the heart is a beat people can dance to.

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

BH: – I love the Chick Corea/Steve Gadd Band and any classical music.

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

BH: – Ahead 100 years. As an optimist, I thing the best is yet to come.The name of my band is Bob Holz and A Vision Forward.

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

BH: – Wouldn’t you agree that jazz is definitely not dead?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. Of course, not dead!!!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

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