When JGS Artist Matteo Prefumo put out his new single “A New Beginning” we were very excited for him and wanted to be sure that you would be able to here it as well, you can check it out here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Da05mUqAx1E
We asked him to fill in all the normal kind of guitarist questions everyone would have, so we asked them and his answers are below, you can also see a more in depth interview here: http://www.jazzguitarsociety.com/interview/matteo-prefumo-a-brilliant-young-jazz-guitarist/
And of course, don’t miss his great in depth modern improvisation concepts JGS MASTERCLASS “Using Triad Systems” here: http://www.jazzguitarsociety.com/masterclasses/matteo-prefumo-using-triad-systems-in-improvisation/
JGS) Your new single is quite a departure from what I’ve heard from you before, which was a much more straight ahead modern NYC sort of hollow bodied guitar sound with no additional effects other than reverb really. In the new single, you are using a guitar synthesizer and what seems to be either a solid body or chambered double cutaway guitar: Is this going to be a new overall direction or will it be just for this particular track?
MP) Thank you for showing interest in the new single “A NEW BEGINNING”, it’s a great honor for me to be here. Actually that’s not a guitar synthesizer, that’s a normal Fender Telecaster with a distorted sound, but I’m looking to modify it and use the Fishman Triple Playwith it so it can become a guitar synth too. That Fender Telecaster is something I got in 2018 as a birthday gift from my father (who was an incredible musician and composer). I do have a Fishman Triple Play on that, but I didn’t use in the recording process.
The synth has been overdubbed and it’s a classic Moogsound but with less attack and I love the way it blends with the sound of the guitar in the unison parts because sometimes you can’t even notice it but it gives that sound at the bottom that gives power to the guitar. You can better hear the difference on the last theme where in some parts I have harmonized the melody in order to empathize some parts, but without using the same interval between guitar and Moog (that’s a thing that I got from the way Gil Goldstein harmonized melodies for Michael Brecker).
Talking about the distortion of the guitar, that’s not a normal distorted sound but it’s 3 signals together: the clean sound of the guitar, the distortion mono sound of the guitar and the stereo version of the distorted sound with different short delays to create space.
Until the recording of that tune, I have mainly used my 175 and I wanted to do something different…the distortion seemed to me a cliché and that’s why I didn’t used at all, but after working a lot on it at my home studio mixing various stuff and mixing it with the Moog I thought “Ok, this is the time!”.
These days when I write I use different types of guitars and I don’t want to do everything with one single sound, we have hundreds of types of guitar, why use one single sound?
JGS) What is your current live rig in terms of both your guitar, amp, and effects? Did you use anything different from your live rig to record?
MP) I always want a stereo sound, I don’t like the mono anymore because to me it sounds flat and there is no space.
I always want a clean sound coming from the DI-Box with some reverb plus the mono sound+effects and the stereo sound of the mono sound+effects to give space and I do the same also on the acoustic guitars.
For the record, the effects come from an old BOSS GT-PRO that you can’t see in the video, but now I’m looking forward to moving to the Kemper (amp and effect modeler).
I had the opportunity to check it out at the NAMM Show and it’s incredible. I also heard many live shows where the Kemper was involved and from the audience, you can’t hear if it’s a real amp or a Kemper, plus the quality of the effects is incredible!
JGS) What is the guitar you used here specifically, is it chambered or solid, and what is the synthesizer pick-up and module you are using?
MP) That’s a Fender Telecaster I got in 2018 as a birthday gift from my father (who was an incredible musician and composer). On that one I have a Fishman Triple Play that I didn’t use in the recording process.
JGS) I know that in the past you were splitting your time between Italy where you are originally from and New York City. Your band seems to be a very international line up now, so tell us about the players you chose and where you found them.
Francesco Ciniglio (drums) has been the first guy I have chosen for this session and besides being one of my best friends he is also an INCREDIBLE musician! We became friends in 2011 and since that time we have performed together mainly in a trio set. We have a lot in common and we grew up listening almost to the same stuff. He has performed with guys like Wynton Marsalis, Aaron Parks, Danny Grissett.
I met Tony Tixier (piano) in New York City at a Jam Session in Downtown at a place called Django, a beautiful venue where my brother Alex Claffy used to lead one of my favorite Jam and hangs.
I met Josh Ginsburg (double bass) at a gig he did at the Blue Note in Milan with the amazing drummer and composer E.J. Strickland and I have been really impressed by his musicality.
Usually when I choose a musician, his melodic approach and sense of rhythm are the two thing that I look at first. We live in a period where is easy to find someone who can improvise on “Autumn Leaves” in 11/8, but to find someone who can really build something melodic, with a great time and feel and that you can remember after one time, it’s not that easy and that’s a quality that all my favorite musicians have.
But generally I always start by choosing the drummer, if the drummer is not great, you can have the best piano player and bass player but the music will not sound good and Francesco is a great one, plus his melodic sense and the way he can interact are incredible!
JGS) What are your immediate plans for both live shows and recorded music?
MP) I’m planning to try to play as much as possible with this group and 95% of the stuff will be composed by myself, but I really want to do a live show trying to do something different.
JGS) Was there anything or anyone’s music that caused you to musically decide to branch out into what some might hear as a more Metheny influenced thing that seems to maybe involve some world music overtones?
MP) Yeah, Pat (Metheny) has been a huge influence on me and what has really influenced this tune has been his way to write melodies that even in a difficult context, everybody can sing it (even if they don’t know anything about music) and remember it after one time. A few years ago during a rehearsal he had with an orchestra, we talked for almost an hour about this topic and in some ways that talk has been very enlightening.
That’s something I always look at because you can do the most strange things in terms of writing, but if someone can remember what you wrote after having listened to that tune only one time, I think that you got the point and that’s a quality that all of my favorite records have in common (like Brecker’s “Pilgrimage”, “Nefertiti” by Miles, “Three Quartets” by Chick, “Speak Like A Child” by Herbie, “Perceptual” by Brian Blade etc).
But in this composition there are many other influences like Robert Glasper, Jon Cowherd, Chick Corea, John McLaughlin, Antonio Sanchez, Eberhard Weber, Brian Blade.
All those guys I have named have been influenced by other music genres and their music has been what led me to the discovery of other stuff coming from other music genres.
Until years ago, sometimes when I was writing I was asking myself “Is this Jazz?” but right now I totally hate that question, and it is something I don’t ask myself anymore; music is music and if it’s good, it’s good.
The beauty of a great melody with an incredible chord progression goes beyond the definition of music genre. A thing that I notice every time I have the opportunity to talk about music with people who have really changed the music forever, is that you will never hear them talking about music genres or asking “What is this?”.
JGS) We at JGS wish you the best of luck on your new project. What do you want your fans to know that I might have missed here? How do they contact you and get your music, and also are you doing any “one on one teaching” via Zoom, etc?
MP) Thank you for wishing me good luck!
Actually if they want hear my stuff they can find me on my official Facebook, Youtube Page or Spotify (that I use only to upload few tracks and more as “LEAD MAGNET”) but if they join the newsletter at matteoprefumo.com/jointhenews they will be always updated directly without depending from algorithmic problems or other social network’s rules and they’ll get access to some special discounts during the launch or publication of new stuff.
Regarding private teaching, I have a one-to-one program named “Private Mentorship Program” open to every instrument and it’s a program that can only be accessed by applying and if the person is accepted, I develop a tailor-made plan according to the objectives he or she wants to achieve.
On the page of the program https://www.matteoprefumo.com/private-mentorship-en/ you can find extra information and also video testimonials from people like bass legend Jeff Berlin who attended the program.
Matteo Prefumo – Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Synthesizers
Tony Tixier – Acoustic Piano
Josh Ginsburg – Db. Bass
Francesco Ciniglio – Drums
Recorded at Riverside Studio in Torino by Alessandro Taricco and Gianpiero Ferrando
Mixed by Rich Breen at Dogmatic Sound (Grammy Award Winner)
Mastered by Ted Jensen at Sterling Sound (Grammy Award Winner)