Jazz interview with a bad musician, as if bassist Axel Kühn. An interview by email in writing.
JazzBluesNews.com: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?
Axel Kühn: – I grew up in southern Germany near Stu=gart. I became interested in rock music as a teenager and started playing guitar at the age of 12. When I was 15 I was a big fan of the Red Hot Chilli Pepers and so I started electric bass, inspired by the great bassist Flea. At the age of 18 I finally switched to the double bass and began to be more and more interested in acoustic jazz. Fortunately, my uncle is a professional jazz double bass player and a great teacher. He showed me the important basics and finally I studied jazz at the Conservatory of Music in Stu=gart.
JBN: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?
AK: – During my studies I naturally tried to transcribe and imitate various great bassists such as Ray Brown, Christian Mc Bride, Brian Bromberg …In the last few years I have tried to develop my own lines. Also, today I place less priority on virtuosity than I used to. Today the statement is much more important to me.
JBN: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?
AK: – In any case, I practiced a lot with the metronome in order to play as precisely as possible. In addition, it is a very good exercise not only to set the metronome to quarters, but to set it to 2 and 4 or 1 and 3, for example. Of course, there are many other and much more complex ways to use the metronome. For example, you can set it on every third triplet eighth in a slow swing feel. This is a great exercise to develop a strong swing feel. Currently I can recommend the book “get it together” by the great bassist Orlando Le Fleming to all bass players who are interested in timing. It contains really great exercises.
JBN: – How to prevent disparate influences from coloring what you’re doing?
JBN: – ???
JBN: – How do you prepare before your performances to help you maintain both spiritual and musical stamina?
AK: – I don’t have any specific rituals about this. I just try to have a good time with my colleagues and stay relaxed.
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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?
AK: – And how did you select the musicians who play on the album?Mein Pianist Ull Möck spielt von Anfang an im Axel Kühn Trio. Wir kannten uns von unterschiedlichen Konzerten mit anderen FormaKonen und deshalb wusste ich, dass er perfekt in mein Trio passen würde. Unser Drummer Eckhard Stromer ist neu in der Band.
JBN: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?
AK: – For me, complex music has to be either melodic or have a groove that somehow carries me away. If that’s missing and the music is just complicated, I usually don’t like it anymore. The music from the Axel Kühn Trio combines precisely these 3 elements. It’s melodic, groovy and sKll has a certain complexity.
JBN: – There’s a two-way relaKonship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?
AK: – In any case. As a musician you should never forget that you are playing for the audience.
JBN: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?
JBN: – No memories and reputation?
JBN: – How can we get young people interested in jazz when most of the standard tunes are half a century old?
AK: – Genau das versuchen wir mit dem Axel Kühn Trio von Anfang an, indem wir dem Jazz mit Elementen aus Pop und Rock Musik anreichern und ihm sozusagen einen neuen Anstrich verpassen.
JBN: – John Coltrane said that music was his spirit. How do you understand the spirit and the meaning of life?
JBN: – Why fool man?
JBN: – If you could change one thing in the musical world and it would become a reality, what would that be?
AK: – I would make jazz the most popular form of music. That would be super cool.
JBN: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?
AK: – In den letzten Jahren habe ich angfangen vinyl zu hören und liebe es meine Pla=en von Herbie Hancock, Quincy Jones, George Duke, Ray Brown, Chick Corea und Miles zu hören. Aktuell gefallen mir aber viele andere Sachen. Zum Beispiel Shai Maestro, Dirty Loops, Yes Trio, Thundercat and many more.
JBN: – What is the message you choose to bring through your music?
AK: – I want to make the people who listen to my music feel good and give them beautiful moments.
JBN: – 🙂 why?
JBN: – Let’s take a trip with a Kme machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?
AK: – I would go to a Headhunters concert in the 70s.
Interview by Simon Sargsyan