July 12, 2024

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Interview with Giorgio Panico: Through the intellect we are able to keep ideas, sensations and moods: Video

Interview with jazz bassist Giorgio Panico. 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?

Giorgio Panico: – I grew up near Perugia (Italy) surrounded by music and musicians, I started this job at the age of 16 and I never stopped!

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

GP: – I have been inspired by many musicians from different genres and instruments (Weather Report, Area, Coltrane, Parker, Bach, Mingus, Miles Davis, Banco del Mutuo Soccorso, Blood Sweat & Tears, Chicago, Bill Evans, Stevie Wonder, Jethro Tull, Bob Marley, Santana, James Brown, Cachao, Buena Vista Social Club, Trilok Gurtu, Inti-Illimani, Blues Brothers, BB King and many others).

Since I was a child I learned by listening and playing each song I liked, whether it was jazz or pop, latin or funk. I was never interested in getting a “right” sound for something in particular, I looked for cleanliness, depth, richness of harmonics and a percussive sound.

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

GP: – The main exercise for me is listening. I listen a lot of music and I try to analyze its rhythmic, harmonic and melodic characteristics, all this obviously without neglecting the fun. My practice on the instrument instead consists mainly of exercises on arpeggios and scales with various fingerings and different rhythmic patterns.

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

GP: – I think I am constantly changing, I am always looking for new inputs both in terms of my instrument and in terms of composition and arrangement. All this leads me to continually question myself and to search and develop new ways of expression.

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

GP: – In general I think 50% and 50%, but it depends on various factors: for example the difficulty of the song, the harmonic complexity, or if you are playing a written part or if you are improvising. Through the intellect we are able to keep ideas, sensations and moods and translate them into music (or any other expressive activities). Without this, I don’t think it would be possible to express oneself fully.

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

GP: – I don’t know what emotions the audience wants, but I know what I can offer them and I don’t spare anything. If an artist expresses himself in a sincere and generous way and the public is receptive, a mutual exchange of energy and sensations is automatically established.

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

GP: – I don’t think it’s necessary for young people to be interested in jazz or any other musical genre in particular. Music has many characteristics but at the same time it is one thing, categorizations are useless, on the contrary they risk creating subdivisions and not allowing musicians to study and fully develop their skills. People should approach music in its entirety: it is important to know Coltrane as it is important to know Bach, James Brown and many others. Then everyone will decide if and how to specialize.

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

GP: – Music is an expression of interiority. How great is your openness to the world, so great will be the force with which your own essence will manifest itself.

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

GP: – I would like music to be produced more calmly, taking the right time and developing ideas in a more thorough and accurate way, caring as little as possible about the market.

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

GP: – Lately I mainly listen to traditional music, more or less ancient, coming from different parts of the world. It is interesting to understand the differences but above all the similarities between music belonging to cultures so distant in time and space. Sound and rhythm are primordial characteristics at the basis of all humanity.

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

GP: – I would like to hear what the Etruscans were playing! Actually I would like to go back in time to experience the moments that characterize each era, not only from a musical point of view.

JBN: – If for you it is ok, I offer my condolences to you!

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/

Giorgio Panico (@_giorgiopanico_) / Twitter

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