Jazz interview with jazz guitarist Marcos Toledo. 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?
Marcos Toledo: – There are endless ways in which a tune can go. When we improvise we don’t think about any path or direction, we just let the tune flow and often find ourselves in places we didn’t know the tune could go.
JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?
MT: – I listen to a lot of music, when playing or composing I don’t judge and just let it all come out.
JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
MT: – Of course it’s important to understand what you play and how it works, but we should practice to get to a point so that when we play live we are not thinking and just play from the heart and make sure we are in sync with the band members.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?
MT: – Something important to me is that when the show is over, people go home with a nice feeling… So in order to do that is important to feel the vibe of the audience… Audiences make us play different, but always inside the music we love to play.
JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
MT: – Lately I’ve been thinking how fortunate I was to attend a lot of jam sessions in New York City where Roy Hargrove would show up, listening and sometimes being able to play a tune with him was beautiful, his solos were always a big lesson, he understood the tunes, playing melodically and from the heart.
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?
MT: – By making good music, really knowing the tunes (standards or originals), and getting involved with the audience.
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?
MT: – For me it’s important to have an original approach, as all of my favorite musicians have one. I like finding out what kind of thing I’m doing in my instrument that I haven’t heard before and developing it.
Performing and composing are very related in my opinion, improvising is composing in the moment, and when I compose I like the compositions to have that improvisational flow.
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?
MT: – I just like to go to this place where music comes from and let it come out, ideas, feelings, whatever I find as long as it’s good.
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?
MT: – I see a lot of albums and shows with great musicians coming, life’s been great and I’m enjoying the ride. I might would change a thing or two on how the music industry works these days.
JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?
MT: – Recently I’ve been listening a lot to Andrew Hill’s “Point Of Departure”, an album I found out about sometime ago but find myself coming back to it pretty often, great compositions and the personnel is on fire.
JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?
MT: – I would love to travel back in time and listen to the John Coltrane Quartet live… My favorite band.
JBN: – I have been asking you so far, now may you have a question to me…
MT: – Do you find anything in common between all the jazz musicians you have interviewed?
JBN: – Thanks for answers. NO !!!
JBN: – So putting that all together, how are you able to harness that?
MT: – By working on becoming a better person and musician everyday.
Interview by Simon Sargsyan