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Marcus Klossek Interview w/ Jazz Blues News

JazzBluesNews.Space: – First let’s start with where you grew up, and what got you interested in music?

Marcus Klossek: – I grew up in Essen, Germany. When I was around 12 years I picked up the guitar, because friends of mine played already a bit and we were listening a lot to Blues and Rock stuff like Albert King, Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker and many more.

I guess that’s where it all started for me. The guitar was not just an instrument to me, it was an almost iconic symbol of everything that was about to happen. 2 or 3 years later I heard Miles Davis’ Kind Of Blue and that did it! I became a jazz snob, trying to learn jazz standards and going to play on jazzsessions in town as often as possible. That was a great experience for me and I wanted to go further, so I started to study Jazz guitar in Amsterdam, Holland.

JBN.S: – How did your sound evolve over time? What did you do to find and develop your sound?

MK: – When I started to listen to guitar players like Jim Hall for example I had no idea about how to play right over chordprogressions and so on, but I heard his SOUND! Or the SOUND and VIBE of  great tenor sax players. So I think I was always conscious about my own sound, but at the same time just let it evolve naturally without worrying about it too much. 10 years ago or so I switched from the typical Gibson ES175 / Polytone hookup to a Telecaster guitar and stayed with it ever since. I think I prefer the longer sustain and clarity yet warmth of a guitar like this, sounds more feminine to me somehow. All that said, I think everyone has got his or hers own sound, no matter what instrument, you just need to find it.

JBN.S: – What practice routine or exercise have you developed to maintain and improve your current musical ability especially pertaining to rhythm?

MK: – Well, I have a daily practice routine from 2 hours minimum up to more hours depending on how much time I have. First I start with some Bach and Paganini stuff for some minutes like Sonatas and Partitas, just to see if everything works and to get me in a musical mode. Then it might be a scale, arpeggios, triads or a chord- rogression I need to solo over. I’m practicing very song oriented, so I can really use the stuff over the tunes I play. In terms of rhythm I’m into Polyrhythms at the moment, that’s very challenging for me. Everything I practice is a little bit out of reach for me so I’m still feeling like a complete beginner all the time, but in a good way, I’m still curious! This has not changed since I was 12 years old. When I’m in a phase of writing new tunes i’m not practicing at all, I’m just writing. Not even listening to other music because it can distract me from my own ideas.

JBN.S: – Which harmonies and harmonic patterns do you prefer now? You’re playing is very sensitive, deft, it’s smooth, and I’d say you drift more toward harmony than dissonance. There is some dissonance there, but you use it judiciously. Is that a conscious decision or again, is it just an output of what goes in?

MK: – Yes, sure, I love harmonies and great sounding chord-progressions. The same applies for melodies: both in composition and improvisation. Playing melody after melody after melody in a solo is one of the rarest quality in music. And yes, I like to add some dissonances in my playing and disregard “rules” from time to time. I do this consciously, just to add some more spice I guess.

JBN.S: – What do you love most about your new album 2018: Marcus Klossek Electric Trio –
Taken From The Skies
, how it was formed and what you are working on today.

MK: – I’m always asking myself: What would the music fan inside of me like to hear? So I started to write tunes and I realize them with my fellow musicians, the Marcus Klossek Electric Trio. “Taken From The Skies” is our third album, this time strengthened with saxophonist Finn Wiesner, a friend and fantastic musician I’m playing with since 20 years. Carsten Hein on bass and Derek Scherzer on drums are a dream team you can just play anything, no limits or boundarys! I’m absolutely thrilled with the result and happy to present the audience our latest musical coup! To me, this album is my musical DNA , representive of who I am as a musician.

JBN.S: – What’s the balance in music between intellect and soul?

MK: – That’s a good question! In the best moments while playing music everything falls together, so there’s absolutely no difference between intellect or soul, love, passion or whatever. But to get to this point you sure need your intellect to understand the musical
grammar until it’s in the subconscious mind. In other words the better I know the material I’m playing, the less I need to think: Everything becomes free!

JBN.S: – There’s a two-way relationship between audience and artist; you’re okay with giving the people what they want?

MK: – Honestly, I have no idea what “the people” want. Every person is different, you can’t please everyone. So again, first I try to play what the music fan inside of me wants to hear. And I do believe that really good music has a way of finding its way to the people. It may take awhile, certainly some stylistic paths offer different kinds of resistance, but the chances will show up. I’m sure that really strong and sincere music resonates with an audience.

JBN.S: – Please any memories from gigs, jams, open acts and studio sessions which you’d like to share with us?

MK: – Every second of every gig is just something very special to me! It’s difficult for me to pick something out because it’s like one big thing for me. Every concert, every recording session, playing with different musicians, it’s just great everytime! If I‘m surrounded by sound and music I’m okay 🙂

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

MK: – Old or not, for the aspiring jazz musician, standards are a great way to learn about harmony, melody and rhythm. These pieces are timeless classics. At the same time, I encourage students to write their own songs influenced by their own cultural background based in the presence of here and now. Be yourself!

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

MK: – Music is my spirit, too. There is a “magic” factor in music and life, that’s for sure. Maybe the mystery of the process of making music remains one of its greatest appeal.

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

MK: – Hey, how about a basic income for every musician and artist?! (ok, maybe we would become a little bit too lazy, who knows…)

JBN.S: – Who do you find yourself listening to these days?

MK: – Recently, I discovered the album Lovers by Nels Cline, sounds very personal and soulful to me, plus I love the orchestral sounds!

JBN.S: – Let’s take a trip with a time machine, so where and why would you really wanna go?

MK: – Ok, hearing Jimmy Bryant and Speedy West playing “The Night Rider” live at a gig in 1956! That must have been a blast!

JBN.S: – I have been asking you so far, now may I have a question from yourself…

MK: – How’s the local jazzscene in Armenia, Simon? Are there any Jazzclubs, musicians and Festivals?

JBN.S: – Thank you for answers. I mostly live in Boston and in Paris, but I certainly know Armenian jazz musicians: Tigran Hamasyan, Vahagn Hayrapetyan, Yervand Margaryan and more etc. and about the festival: Yerevan Jazzfest, which organizes the head of the jazz club Mezzo Kamo Movsesyan. This year: 07.11 will be performing Arturo Sandoval.

Interview by Simon Sargsyan
You can find the interview here:
JAZZ BLUES NEWS INTERVIEW

New Album 2018 Preview

 

New album will be released by Unit Records in August 2018!

MARCUS KLOSSEK ELECTRIC TRIO – TAKEN FROM THE SKIES

w/ Marcus Klossek -git, Carsten Hein -bass, Derek Scherzer -drums
+ special guest: Finn Wiesner -sax
Video Editor: Sandy Amerio www.amerio.org

Hope you enjoy,
Marcus

Loving The Alien

Loving the alien is a song written and recorded by David Bowie.

He performed this song in a stripped down version with just Bowie on vocals
and Gerry Leonard on guitar during the Reality Tour in 2003 and 2004.

Bowie remarked that this arrangement was perhaps
“the way it should have always been done.”

I’ve written down the chords of this arrangement exactly like in the video for you to play,
notice the little guitar loop (you need a loop-station for this..) which is indicated as well.

Click to see PDF here: LOVING THE ALIEN

Marcus Klossek Electric Trio Swirlin’ Times – Out Now

Hello everybody,

we are absolutely happy that our new album SWIRLIN’ TIMES is out now!
The music pretty sums up everything we‘ve done so far.

Marcus Klossek Swirlin' Times

Marcus Klossek – acoustic & electric guitars
Roland Fidezius – bass
Philipp Bernhardt – drums

Watch the Album Trailer here:

Tracklisting:

  1. SWIRL
  2. POLYMER BEACH
  3. BRONC BUSTER AND THE PAINTED LADIES
  4. MIS TAHITI NEVER LIES
  5. BY HOOK OR CROOK
  6. UP A LAZY RIVER
  7. ONE STEP BEYOND HAPPINESS
  8. DILEMMAS DON’T SOLVE EASILY
  9. NO REASON FOR A LOVEBIRD TO DIE
  10. ALL ALONG MY RAZOR-EDGE
  11. BY NIGHT

Total Time: 51:17

All compositions written and arranged by Marcus Klossek
except Up A Lazy River by Hoagy Carmichael

Recorded October 23&24, 2014 at Zentri.Fuge Studio, Berlin
Engineerd by Tito Knapp

Mixed and mastered by Tito Knapp and Marcus Klossek
November 2014 at Zentr.Fuge Studio, Berlin

Art Direction and Design by Sandy Amerio
Photos by Sandy Amerio
www.amerio.org

Released by Unit Records, Switzerland
www.unitrecords.com

Special thanks to Roland Fidezius, Philipp Bernhardt,
Tito Knapp, Harald Haerter and Sandy Amerio

You can get SWIRLIN’ TIMES right here in the Shop
or at Amazon, iTunes and stores everywhere.

And feel free to write comments!

All the best,
Marcus

a long term lesson about arpeggios

A great way to take your playing to the next level is using
arpeggios (maj7 / min7 / dominant7 / diminished / augmented) in your solo!

Learning arpeggios can develop speed, improve strength and dexterity while
simultaneously helping you to memorize chord tones.

Soloing with arpeggios means one can hear the chord progression in your solo lines.

See the lesson with notes, tabs, fingerings and helpful application tips here:
Arpeggios 101

PS: Practising with a loop-station to record a chord or a chord progression helps a lot!

 

MINOR PENTATONIC

The Minor Pentatonic or Blues Scale is probably the first scale we’ve learned as a beginner.

A Minor Pentatonic Scale = A C D E G A

Minor Pentatonic is guitar friendly and sounds cool over a Blues.
Generations of famous Rock and Blues Guitarists established their career on it!

But there are also a lot of other chords where we can use our minor pentatonic scale.

Here are a few:

  • D minor 7
  • F major 7
  • G minor 7
  • Bb major 7 (i like this one a lot!)
  • F# 7 alt
  • C7

So my proposition is:
Play a loop (with a loop-station e. g.) with one of the chords, solo over it with A minor pentatonic
and hear how different and sophisticated one and the same scale can sound.

Have fun!

Marcus Klossek Electric Trio Now & Again

There are numerous ways to tell stories; from mouth to mouth, recited and sung, through the written word, carved in stone, penciled with quill and ink, thrown by an artist colourfully onto canvas…

Marcus Klossek reaches for his guitar, and we listen spellbound to the rhythms and melodies that he and his Electric Trio (including Roland Fidezius – bass, and Philipp Bernhardt – drums) develop in front of us.

Whether chapters of a novel or complex verses of poetry, the composer and guitarist Marcus Klossek manages with his playing to allow an intensely vivid and heartfelt story structure to emerge in our mind’s eye.

As though sketched by a light hand, aural images of a captivating density emerge; powerful like “Into The Storm’, wildly swinging like “Overground” and full of subtle tension like “On Your Way”.

At the very end, he dedicates a guitar solo to the unforgotten H. Knef on “I’m too tired…”. Written by Charly Niessen in the ’60s, it can almost be regarded as a German jazz standard, and offers the perfect ending alongside “Now & Again”.

“I don’t need to show anyone or prove that I can play guitar” said Marcus Klossek about the intentions behind his compositions and his playing.
He continued: “I’ve been writing pieces for twenty years and it has always been important to me that the story is heard first and then the guitar…”.

Shrouded in modesty, he has toured countless clubs and festivals since his music studies at the University of Arts in Amsterdam. He has also for a longtime been an instructor for guitar and ensembles in Berlin.
Incidentally, his virtuoso guitar playing has made him one of the busiest musicians on the german scene.

The really good stories don’t need to be flashy and loud in order to lodge themselves firmly in our hearts…

Track List:

  1. INTO THE STORM
  2. EASY FOR YOU
  3. OVERGROUND
  4. IT’S TIME
  5. NOW AGAIN
  6. SHORT YEARS
  7. OPEN COUNTRY
  8. ALL AT ONCE
  9. ON YOUR WAY
  10. ICH BIN ZU MÜDE

Released by Mons Records.

Go to: CD SHOP