May 27, 2024

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Interview with Tom Sochas: More women instrumentalists in the Jazz world: Video

Interview with jazz pianist Tom Sochas. An interview by email in writing. 

JazzBluesNews.com: – First, let’s start out with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music.  How exactly did your adventure take off? When did you realize that this was a passion you could make a living out of?

Tom Sochas: – I mainly grew up in Paris, France, where I took piano lessons as a kid. My parents didn’t play but they listened to a lot of jazz, mainly vocal jazz, classical music and a bit rock and country music. I remember wanting to play piano after a car ride home one weekend, listening to a concert pianist on the radio. I think I was six. Later on when I was abouy twelve my uncle took me to Orléans Jazz Festival to go see Esbjorn Svensson play. And that really struck a chord. I then got into rock music and guitar, as any teenager would, and it wasn’t until my early twenties that I decided I really wanted to go back to the piano and study Jazz.

JBN: – How has your sound evolved over time? What have you been doing to find and develop your own sound?

TS: – My sound has mainly evolved purely through what I’m technically and harmonically capable of playing as I steadily grow as a musician and pianist. I still feel quite new to it in a way, which is a beautiful thing. There are so many things to be learnt, so many avenues to be explored and musicians to learn from, I’m just quite excited to follow the road ahead. I think finding your own sound is only possible through not trying to find your own sound but rather just playing so much that eventually certain habits and sounds start to become quite friendly and familliar to one’s ear. It’s also a case of limitations, what one can play at a certain time etc…

JBN: – What routine practices or exercises have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical proficiency, in terms of both rhythm and harmony?

TS: – Same as everyone else I guess, I try to play through standards, learn new heads, do a bit of transcribing. At the moment I’m really trying to develop a better sense of rhythm through metronome work, and general feel. And harmonically I’ve been really getting into basic triads, which really open up the sound in quite a beautiful way. It also brings a slight classical edge to the music. If you forget for a minute that you’re playing jazz and really just try to play through the harmony with no inhibitions amazing things can happen.

JBN: – Have you changed through the years? Any charges or overall evolution? And if so why?

TS: – I change every day that passes. I recently had a kid, and life around us seems to be changing in quite intense ways at the moment. So it’s impossible not to be affected by that.

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JBN: – In your opinion, what’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

TS: – A fine one. I’m still figgering it out, I’ll let you know when I do.

JBN: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; are you okay with delivering people the emotion they long for?

JBN: – He probably didn’t see an audience 🙂

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

TS: – I think youngsters will always find their way. But it always helps to take your kids to a wide variety of concerts, and to get them to listen to a wide variety of music.

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

TS: – We’ll have to share a whiskey sometime before we tackle that one!

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

TS: – More women instrumentalists in the Jazz world. It’s changing but it’s definitely still not equal.

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

TS: – I’ve been listening to Keith Jarrett a bunch, he’d kind of eluded until now. I’ve also been listening to quite a bit of bluegrass.

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

TS: – Armstadt, 1710, to witness Bach doing his thing. Because why not!!

Interview by Simon Sargsyan

Note: You can express your consent and join our association, which will give you the opportunity to perform at our Jazz and Blues festivals in Europe and Boston, naturally receiving an appropriate royalty. We cover all expenses. The objectives of the interview are: How to introduce yourself, your activities, thoughts and intellect, and make new discoveries for our US/EU Jazz & Blues Association, which organizes festivals, concerts and meetings in Boston and various European countries, why not for you too!! You can read more about the association here. https://jazzbluesnews.com/2022/11/19/us-eu-jba/

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