Continuing my interview series with the many great musicians I am lucky to get to meet I will be writing today about the Australian guitarist Albare. Last week I had the pleasuare to meet him at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the Downtown area in Boston. The musician had just arrived from a long and exhausting flight from Australian but was still kind enough to take the time to meet with me and to share his words of wisdom to the blog readers. Below is the link to the short interview I had with him that night.
A guitarist, composer, producer and philanthropist Albare is currently touring promoting his latest album “Long Way”. His latest tour included shows in Japan, Europe and many in the United States. Next on his list is a show in Boston at the Scullers Jazz Club at 8pm. The band that will perform with him will be the same one that will be featured on his next upcoming album that will be recorded in the early months of next year. Albare told me he was very excited to perform with this group that has been touring with him for a while now.
Albare iTD latest album cover; Long Way.
Albare iTD is the name on the album cover with iTD standing for International Travel Diary which is what Albare likes to call the ensemble that recorded his music. Consisting of brilliant players from all around the globe the Travel Diary band came together to take Albare’s and fellow countryman bassist Evri Evripedou’s music to a whole new level. The experience of listening to “Long Way” is a very pleasant one. Albare’s already renowned Acid Jazz like guitar playing and writing is very rich and soulful and even though its clear to the listener that he has the technical grasp of a master, he chooses to make it obvious only every once in a while keeping us engaged in his solos and melodies.
Albare and part of his iTD band: George Garzone (tenor saxophone), Leo Genovese (piano) and Antonio Sanchez (drums).
As shown in the cover of his album “Long Way” the members of Albare’s iTD are:
– Albare: Originally from Morocco, the Australian guitarist has a soulful and melodic playing style that draws much inspiration from Django and Wes Montgomery.
– Evri Evripedou: Australian bassist and multi-instrumentalist has performed and co-written songs with Albare on and off for 20 years now.
– George Garzone: Grammy award winning saxophonist and composer, the american musician is one of the heaviest names in Jazz Saxophone of our days.
– Antonio Sanchez: Another grammy award winning musician, the mexican drummer needs no introduction. Graduated from Berklee College of Music, Sanchez is Pat Metheny’s drummer for many years now.
– Leo Genovese: Avant-garde pianist with a eccentric and unique touch, Genovese hails from Argentina and was highly praised by Garzone who recommended him to take part in the album despite Albare’s skepticism of playing with a piano player.
– Hendrik Meurkens: acclaimed composer, harmonica virtuoso and master vibraphonist, the German born Harmonica player was brought in by Albare to give the album the texture sound that he likes so much.
Andre Vasconcelos and Albare at the Ritz-Carlton hotel after the interview. Photo taken by Stan Moon.
From 2003 to 2005 Albare was chairman of the Melbourne Jazz Festival. In 2005 he brought to Melbourne the Umbria Jazz Festival, which was named “Umbria Jazz Melbourne 05”. The Festival in 2005 attracted 135,000 visitors under the Artistic Direction of Carlo Pagnotta. The Festival is mainly funded by the Victorian Government through Victoria Major Event Company and Arts Victoria. In 2006 the organisation appointed Albare to become the new director of the festival and take the artistic lead.
The appointment of Albare as artistic director resulted in a change of name of the festival to Melbourne Jazz and the 2007 edition of the Festival enjoyed the presence of more than 200 artists from the world around, performing in ten venues in 112 concerts during its ten days. Some of the artists who played at the Festival were Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Gary Burton and McCoy Tyner.
In 2003 Albare founded the Australian Jazz “Bell” Awards (named after Australian Legend and Patron of the event Graeme Bell, Albare chairs the board of The Australian Jazz Awards Limited (a non for profit arts organisation) that governs the Awards. The Bells are the only form of formal recognition system entirely devoted to the Jazz Art form in Australia. They recognise the achievements of young and established Australian Jazz performers and composers.
In 2008 the guitarist received an Order of Australia (AM) for service to the arts, particularly through the Melbourne Jazz Festival, through philanthropic support for cultural and charitable organisations, and to business.
Albare has recorded two albums with Festival Records in Australia and produced A History of Standard Time, Joe Chindamo’s first solo recording and featuring Ray Brown. His latest albums are Midnight Blues (2007), After the Rain (2009) and Travel Diary (2010) and of course Long Way (2012). Albare is currently signed to Enja Records.
The tuesday after the following one, on the 27th of November, Albare will be performing at the Scullers Jazz Club in Boston, Massachusetts. This night promises to be a very rewarding evening filled with tasteful and proficient playing that paints the picture that is the australian musician’s music. I hope I will see you all there!