May 24, 2024

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Interview with Michael Fields Jr.: I play what I feel which comes from my soul: Videos

Jazz interview with jazz bassist Michael Fields Jr. An interview by email in writing. 

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

Michael Fields Jr.: – I grew up in a small town called Rowland North Carolina. My father & mother were musicians, (drummer/vocalist) which later they became pastors, so after seeing them and going to church i wanted to play drums like my father.

JBN.S: – What got you interested in picking up the bass guitar? What teacher or teachers helped you progress to the level of playing you have today? What made you choose the bass guitar?

MFJ: – Well I always like to challenge myself and grow. One day i grew bored of the piano and picked up the bass and just started playing and immediately fell in love with it and haven’t put it down yet. My roommate Chris Martinez took the time in college and taught me a lot of the major & essential techniques & styles of bass.

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

MFJ: – I believe my sound is still evolving, but its taken a bit to get where I’m at now. I started out with the E to C set up and later transitoned over to  piccolo strings. I studied the late great Wayman Tisdale and Stanley Clark’s basses & tone and used them as guides to try and hone in my sound.

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

MFJ: – These days being a full time dad, having a full time job, its kinda hard to get the practice time in unless I’m learning music for a gig or writing music.

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

MFJ: – I like a lot of minor & Harmonic minor patterns right now.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2018: <On The Move>, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

MFJ: – I’ll have to say what i loved the most about On The Move is working with smooth Jazz Veterans Saxophonist Walter Beasley & Pianist Ben Tankard. So far in my short jazz career I’ve been blessed to work with a lot of national artists, but these guys took it past music and took the time to impart, teach, & show me a few things as well as get to know me on a personal level. I always try to tie my music to my life so i can identify with and so that the listeners can take the journey with me. The last few years have been very busy my boys, Zion & Michael III (13 & 9), have my wife and i so busy and with the birth of my daughter Madison we all have just been On The Move. Im Currently producing a project for Saxophonist Eldredge Jackson & finishing up my Love On The Bottom Vol 2 record for Feb 2019.

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

MFJ: – I would say the intellect portion for me would be learning the technical part of music ie.  knowing my notes, fretboard, scales & tone knobs etc, but honestly for me i play what i feel which comes from my soul. I would believe for me it would be 50/50.

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

MFJ: – A few years back Wayman Tisdale was inducted into the Oklahoma Music Hall of Fame and i was blessed to play bass for Marcus Miller as he was playing lead bass. I hurt my hand the previous week before but i was not going to miss the opportunity to play with one of my favorite bass players. Marcus knowing about my hand injury called me up for a bass trade off and spanked my butt to say the least lol! At the end of the show i asked him why he called me up knowing about my injury, he said in football if your star player is injured you go after him lol!

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

MFJ: – I believe if we can fuse it with their music and make it fun for them that it will make them go back and search the originals & be able to appreciate it and even inspire them want to create there own & to keep it alive.

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

MFJ: – As a born again believer my understanding of spirit and life comes from the originator of it, Jesus Christ. I believe God has graced us all with gifts that we are supposed to share with others and in doing so we help them to navigate through life. Music and spirit goes hand in hand; music can evoke and even change spirits or attitudes. For instance I’ve seen music uplift the depressed, give hope to those in despair, as well as aid in joyous celebrations.

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

MFJ: – Helping new artist with on boarding…its hard out for independent talents that are very skilled but don’t know the next steps.

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

MFJ: – I listen to tons & tons of  Bootsy Collins, Larry Graham, Earth Wind & Fire and other funk albums from the 70s.

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

MFJ: – I would like to go back to the 70’s … bass and a lot of music as we know now was developed back then. All of the Godfathers of bass where defining the sound of bass then … Jaco, Stanley Clarke, Louis Johnson & Bootsy etc.

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

MFJ: – My question is two fold … How did you find out about me & my music & how did you get into jazz & coing write-ups?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. We all know. On this, we are helped by new compact discs, which we have in advance …

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Картинки по запросу Michael Fields Jr.

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