about his 2016 live trio album Just Another Night,
guitarist Giovanni Moltoni tells mwe3.com, My
intention this time around was to release some of the compositions
that we have played recently and Im happy to be able to present
them as a live CD. I was looking for an opportunity to release a new
trio recording, and Im happy it was live. This concert presents
a variety of my compositions, five of which will be released for the
first time, and 4 that are trio arrangements of music previously recorded
with the quartet. Born in Italyand
living for years in the Boston area and long on the faculty at Berklee
school of musicon
Just Another Night Giovanni is in fine form, caught live in
concert with his trio. It seems that what ever group of musicians
Giovanni records with, he always seems to be able to bring out the
best performances from his players. Jazz purists will love Just
Another Night, and guitar fans will marvel at Giovanni's fretboard
skills in this trio setting. As this eight song CD proves, the intimate
and choice setting of the live stage makes Just Another Night
the perfect way to tune into the timeless, long-standing jazz guitar
of Giovanni Moltoni. www.GiovanniMoltoni.com
mwe3.com presents an interview with
The Live Trio Interview
What can you tell us about your new CD Just Another Night and
who plays with you on the album? How did you decide to record with
a trio setting this time around? You must be happy with the results
because it sounds great!
Giovanni Moltoni: Just Another Night is a live trio
recording of one of our club dates. It was a mellow Thursday night
with two of my favorite musicians, Fernando Huergo on bass and Marcello
Pellitteri on drums. Ive known them and played with them for
decades, they both know my music well and I am very comfortable playing
with them. I am delighted that they were with me that night! I have
always believed that it is very important, especially for jazz musicians,
to have live recordings of our work - so many of the things that make
this music great happen live. Throughout my career, Ive tried
to periodically record some of my concerts to be able to capture some
of those special moments that would otherwise be lost, either for
a youtube video, or, like in this case, for a CD.
My intention this time around was to release some of the compositions
that we have played recently and Im happy to be able to present
them as a live CD. To answer your question, I was hoping to be able
to release the concert on CD, but as always, I didnt really
know until I got the recording and was able to listen to it many times.
When considering a recording for publication, I normally listen for
great playing and musical communication between the musicians, I assess
the mood of the recording and dynamics, and the overall quality, to
name a few things. Most importantly, I need to be able to listen to
it many times without getting tired or bothered by itthat usually
is the sign for me that I should release it.
Although I regularly perform with my quartet as well as with my trio,
this is only my second trio release. Im happy that it worked
out that way, I was looking for an opportunity to release a new trio
recording, and Im happy it was live.
This concert presents a variety of my compositions, five of which
will be released for the first time, and 4 that are trio arrangements
of music previously recorded with the quartet.
mwe3: Do you consider Just Another Night to be the follow
up album to Tomorrows Past? What made you want to follow
up Tomorrows Past with a live album? The sound is fabulous
on the new live album. Was it just a case of, this sounds great, lets
release it on CD?
Giovanni Moltoni: This live recording is the follow up of Tomorrows
Past in the sense that it presents 5 new compositions never released
before, but a live concert is different from a studio album in my
see the live recording as a snapshot in time, more similar to a picture.
When we play live we have a guideline of what wed like to do,
but many things are decided right there while we play, and in a way,
the evening itself decides how the music goes. Thats why its
so important for me to know that Im playing with musicians that
communicate well with each other musically. Fernando and Marcello
are definitely this way, which is a great feeling for me because I
can just relax and play. When we record a live concert, its
not always certain that it will work out, the performance or recording
equipment might have problems, or other things could go wrong that
are unexpected and potentially interfere with the performance. That
night we played well, and the mood of the recording is really nice.
I felt that it could be a good document of what we do and how we sound
mwe3: How did you choose the tracks on Just Another Night
and can you tell us something about the different tracks on the
CD? Does the track lineup reflect your live set list or was this night
Moltoni: I played the concert with a set that could have worked
if we decided to release the concert. That said, I also knew that
in order to fit in the CD, I would have to make a selection and that
the entire concert would not fit onto one CD.
I included 5 new compositions and 4 trio arrangements of compositions
that I recorded with the quartet in the past. The music is presented
in the order it was played, the first song was the first played that
night and the last song was the last played that night, I thought
that presenting the music in the order it was played helped preserve
the vibe of the evening.
Track 1, Jump Start is a 9/8 groove based composition,
and Track 2, Solaris is dedicated to Miles Davis. Track
3, Goodbye Summertime is dedicated to Gershwin and Track
4, Best Hope is a medium bossa in 4/4. Track 5, A
Day In Memphis is a blues I wrote after a quick trip to Memphis.
I was invited to play with a local band performing in a club on Beale
St. that night. We had fun and this blues was inspired by that night.
The other tracks are trio versions of music I previously recorded
with the Quartet: Track 6, Wolf Dance was recorded for
the first time in 1995 for my first CD Directions with Marcello
on drums. This new version is a modern take on the original, this
time with the guitar synth. Tracks 7, 8 and 9: New Home, Think
Again and Two Blues are from my 2008 CD titled 3
with Fernando on bass. They were originally intended to be trio compositions
and I later added the line for the horn, as Greg Hopkins had joined
the band. For this concert they are presented in the original trio
arrangement. New Home is a fast composition in 4, Think
Again is a 5/4 jazz-funk and Two Blues is a 24 bar
jam blues in 5.
mwe3: Tell us about the guitars, amps, strings and other gear
you recorded Just Another Night with and what else is new and
interesting in the guitar and gear world for you in 2016? I know you
recorded Tomorrows Past with your Gibson 339 guitar.
What else can you tell us about that guitar and also how would you
compare the 339 with the Gibson 135, which you recorded with earlier
and are you still playing the Guild and Ovation acoustic guitars?
Giovanni Moltoni: For this concert I used my regular live setup:
a BOSS GP-10 for effects and synths, that when in use, are almost
always mixed with the guitar sound, a Gibson CS339 with 0.10 Daddario
strings and The Bud Henriksen amplifier. This is a light
set up that I can carry in one trip and is loud enough for a club
or my trio/quartet. I find the eq on the amp useful to adjust to the
room Im playing in, as different halls can sound considerably
different from each other. My 339 is the guitar I use the most, it
sounds good and I have grown very much accustom to it. In relationship
with the 135, the 339 is lighter and smaller which helps me, plus
I like the sound better, not to take anything away from the 135
The 339 high register is more singing and the sustain is longer, and
I love that. I also like how cutting the guitar can be in the mix,
and the sound of the instrument seems to have a very nice presence
and resonance even though the body is small. Shortly after recording
Tomorrows Past, I changed my strings from Daddarios
0.11 to 0.10 on all my electric guitars (I always used 0.10 on the
acoustics). I decided to go back to my early preference for lighter
strings, I used 0.10 early on in my musical life, then I switched
to 0.11 for many years, and now I am back and happier. I like how
playable the 0.10s are. The 339 is the guitar I use in most videos
on my youtube page: https://www.youtube.com/user/giomoltoni
I still play my acoustic guitars when I have some time.
mwe3: What was involved in recording your band live that night
and who worked with you on the recording, mixing and mastering of
Just Another Night?
Moltoni: This concert was recorded on 2 tracks by James Kamal
Jones. I cant thank him enough for doing it, he did a great
job in capturing the concert that night. Thanks again James!
The Club sound board added a bit of noise floor to the recording,
I used iZotope RX5 to remove some of it, it helped a lot, especially
during the quietest musical moments of the evening.
I finished the mixing and mastering in my studio. In the process,
my main interest was to reproduce the sound and the energy of that
night, and I hope I achieved that.
As I heard many it times, only a good quality recording can be mixed
and mastered to become a great recording. I can take some credit for
the mixing and mastering, but James should get most of the credit
for doing a really nice job with the recording that night.
mwe3: A few years back you said you were interested in exploring
the growing guitar technology on a future solo album that you also
said would combine multiple acoustic / electric guitars and synths
and that would expand on your orchestrations. Is that project still
on the table and how would that projected album combine your jazz
and orchestral inclinations? Also have you added any new computer
programs to your recording gear? Are computers becoming more and more
of a requirement to recording and composing?
Giovanni Moltoni: I am still interested in creating a solo
guitar CD, and I started some parts of it but it will take a long
time I think
Im hoping in the next year or so to be able
to finish. The idea was to create an album that would be a combination
of solo guitar pieces as well as pieces that would combine acoustic,
electric and guitar synths sounds, exploring the combinations of traditional
guitar sounds with untraditional guitar sounds or guitar synths that
would be normally played by a keyboard for example. Thank you for
remembering all of that! The original idea was to orchestrate with
the guitar, layering synths and sounds to accompany the guitar arrangements.
I wanted to orchestrate with the guitar synth, the solo guitar recording
in a similar way as what Bill Evans did in his Conversations With
Myself recording. I wanted to record the guitar piece and then
layer the arrangement with different synth/guitar sounds to create
a fuller orchestration. Bill only used the acoustic piano, and my
intention would be to use the synth as well as guitars.
To mix, I use Sonar on a Windows 10 PC. I have used Sonar for a long
time and I know how to work with it, which helps me focus on the music
when Im mixing. I find Sonar to be a practical solution for
musicians like me and I would recommend it. I used Waves plugins L3
MultiMaximizer, IR1 reverb to name a couple and iZotope Ozone 7 for
mastering. When I was done, I used LANDR online mastering for the
very final step.
Any recent news from the Berklee School in Boston regarding their
guitar department? I guess its summer school time there! Im
surprised with all the alumni from Berklee that the school isnt
releasing more CDs of music. Are students still going for jazz guitar
studies or have they added so many new departments to the guitar school
programs, like computer technology in guitar recording? How is the
school adapting to the huge growth in computers and recording technology
over the past 10 years?
Giovanni Moltoni: Berklee has always had fine guitar players
among his students and some of them are really great players! Jazz
might not be as popular as it used to be, but we still have very passionate
students that love this music. Berklee still has the advantage of
having a remarkable performing faculty with truly high level musicians.
I hear this a lot from my students, and they regularly mention how
impressed they are with our faculty and how inspiring that is.
Computer tech is of course more and more a part of our everyday musical
life, and Berklee was always interested in keeping up with the times.
I myself am using technology all the time and I recommend all my students
to be proficient with current programs and tech, because it is the
only way to remain marketable these days.
mwe3: So with the live CD Just Another Night coming
out very soon, have you thought about your earlier mentioned, orchestral
solo album or is it too much fun recording live jazz with all your
gifted musicians? What are you looking forward to this coming year?
Looks like another transition year!
Moltoni: It is great fun to play with these musicians, and I hope
to continue recording with them. As I mentioned before I still want
to release a solo guitar album, but I need to dedicate pockets of
time to the solo guitar recordings, and take brakes to do other projects
as well. At the moment I have a few solo guitar takes that are ready,
and Im working on some more, but in the next year or two Id
love to release a quartet studio recording as well. And, I look forward
to composing some new music for 2017!