SPM; Tell me about your band. I saw you guys play Wobeon Fest and was pleasantly surprised. You three were tight as a Swiss clock. How did you meet up and start playing together?
Glenn R; Thanks! Kevin and I first met when he joined a group I was in called Just Released. We were a neo-Jazz group (with one release, The Grease, avail on iTunes), and from the first snare crack, I knew that Kevin was a very special drummer. He’s very reactive to what’s happening around him, and is a great musical conversationalist. I met Aaron when the three of us were briefly in a cover band, and I immediately was drawn to his deep, solid groove, and the way he and Kevin created a delicious pocket. After having put my original project on hiatus, I realized that I had found the new trio. I asked, they said yes, and we started rehearsing, and the rest is history.
SPM; Glenn, are you the primary writer of all the music?
Glenn R: Yes. I’ve been composing for many years now, and have focused on guitar trio oriented tunes.
SPM; Hmmm, I’ve seen Kevin Scott the drummer before in another trio, with David Henderson and Lynne Davis.
Kevin, when did you first start playing drums? Who were your influences growing up? Who do you follow as a drummer most these days, years later? What kind of gear do you play on?
Kevin S: I started playing professionally at the tender age of 8 in 1971, in Birmingham, Alabama. I was exposed to jazz around the age of 12 by a gentleman named Jimmy Chappell. Growing up, I listened to Art Blaker, Jimmy Cobb, Carlos Vega, and Gene Krupa. I started listening to Billy Cobham, Harvey Mason, and Dennis Chambers later on, Now I listen to Simon Phillips, Vinnie Colaiuta, Chris “Daddy” Dave, and Horacio Hernandez. I’m presently playing on Pearl Masters Series and Gretsch Catalina Birch kit at my home recording studio.
SPM; Glenn, you also play with one of my favorite singers, Jacqui Walker. You click well there,too. Do you co-write any of that material, or is this your main baby?
Glenn R; The first time I played with Jacqui, we met about 10 minutes before the gig started, and right away there was a connection, and at the end of the gig I told her that I wanted to be her guitar player, and now I have been for the last 3&1/2 yrs. On her new self titled CD, I helped with a few of the arrangements, but she does the primary songwriting.
SPM; Tell us about your new cd that is breaking now? How many tracks, where did you record it, who produced, engineered it ? Is all the material original?
Glenn R; Yeah! It’s called PanaRican, and we recorded it in two days at 512 Studios, with Omar Vallejo engineering. He also did the mixing and mastering. Brilliant guy! The cd was really made possible by all the lovely people that contributed to my GoFundMe campaign, and myself. There are 9 tracks, 8 of which are original, and one is an arrangement of a hymn penned in the late 1700s. One of the tracks, Morning Leg, was recorded at Anti-Matter Studios, with Travis Kennedy engineering.SPM; – Pick 4 tracks off of it we need to hear asap, and can you provide us with links?
SPM; Any stories behind how these songs were written, and what they are about?
Glenn R; Let’s see, many of the tunes I just stumble upon while playing, and try to flesh them out while trying to stay out of the way, if that makes sense. Ru’bot’s Hair Dance is probably the fastest tune I’ve written, in terms of how long it took (about 2 days). It’s about my daughter, Ruby, doing what she called a robot hair dance, with her hands in her hair, hands and head moving robotically. Angst Freedom Rider refers to Eric Johnson, in a tongue in cheek kind of way. I’m a huge fan of his playing,which, to me, is remarkably free of angst, whereas Angst is chock full of it. Yes Diggity is an answer to the hip hop tune, No Diggity, and parts of the tune uses the same chord progression. PanaRican is an homage to my Puerto Rican father and Panamanian mother,and is the title track. Barbacoa Reverie is an ode to a favorite kind of taco. Morning Leg…well, you know. Soul Stretch is kind of an Al Green kind of vibe.
SPM; Your set at Wobeon was hot stuff. You three seem to be right at home in the jazz field. Bassist Aaron Hatmaker played flawlessly. Aaron, what gear do you play, and how long have you been at this? What bands, if any, have you played with before this? Who are your main influences in the jazz field?
Aaron H; I play mostly Dodera NYC Jazz basses and Aguilar Amplification with various envelope filters and octave dividers–been playing 22 years now–did a lot of sub work in Nashville; and, I was the house bassist at the BB King’s Blues Club for 4 years, which was cool because everybody who’s anybody would sit in with us, from Bernard Purdie, to Erykah Badu. Reggie Wooten was a huge personal influence on me, as well as the usual suspects, Marcus (Miller), Will Lee, Jaco, and Bobby Vega.
SPM; Glenn, what gear are you playing on? Guitars, amps, strings, and string gauge, please…
Glenn R; Currently, my main guitar is my ’05 Eric Johnson model Fender Strat. I am an endorser of Lollar pickups, so I have a set of their pups in my EJ. On Yes Diggity, I used my Gibson 339. My amp is a 50 watt Port City Amps (of which I am an endorser) Pearl combo, which I love! String gauges, I use a 11-50 set, usually GHS Nickel Rockers.
SPM; Glenn, who would you like to work with that you haven’t had the chance to yet?
Glenn R; There are so many artists in so many different genres that I would love to play with…too many to mention!
SPM; Where can we hear this amazing trio you put together? It’s simply some of the best local jazz out there for eager jazz fans and music aficionados.
Glenn R; Thanks for the kind words, Timothy! In Austin, we perform at the Elephant Room, the Brass House, and occasionally at the One2One Bar. We are performing a SXSW showcase on March 17, at 9:00, at the Elephant Room, and on March 12 we’ll be doing a set at the Ultimate Lousiana Blues and Cultural Festival at 4:15 at the legendary Victory Grille.
SPM; Are you union members or NARAS members? Many are, many aren’t.
Glenn R; I’ve been a proud member of AFM local #433 for a few decades.
SPM; We hope you play Wobeon again this year. Another friend of ours, Kevin Lucas, a marimba monster, is playing there this year. Last year, you opened for the legendary Billy Cobham. That’s a big score. You earned it. What are your plans for 2016? Any touring outside of Austin?
Glenn R; Being sandwiched between legendary guitarist Scott Henderson, who I’ve been an admirer of for decades, and Billy Cobham, was a little stressful for me, but as soon as we started playing, there was no stress, only the music, and collectively we ended up playing our asses off. For this year, I’m going to push our new release hard, and am working on getting us slots at various festivals in and outside of Austin.
SPM; Who are your favorite jazz guitarists?
Glenn R; Kurt Rosenwinkel, Wayne Krantz, John Scofield, Lage Lund, Jim Hall, Wes Montgomery, Joe Pass, Jimmy Raney, Pat Martino, George Benson, Oz Noy, Scott Henderson, Jimmy Herring, Jon Herington, Alan Holdsworth, Jeff Beck, and many others…