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The Cratez
Feel It In The Air | Eminem x Rihanna | No Samples
Hip Hop | purchase your beats now | 2 beats $25 | 5 beats $50 | 10 beats $90 |
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play hi-fi  noise in my head
play hi-fi  61 degrees latitude
play hi-fi  morning song
play hi-fi  free fall
play hi-fi  flow
play hi-fi  eskape
play hi-fi  grey matter
play hi-fi  sophisticated lady
play hi-fi  hareball
play hi-fi  just add water
My style is of a free feel jazz guitar (motivic) , although playing other forms is not a problem. I often like to use just perc/drums and acoustic bass as my rhythm section and use piano only to enhance certain parts during the song. I find that not using another chording instrument allows me to use chord structures and melodic lines which won't clash or sound too dissonant.

Recently I began learning to play the flugelhorn. Altho I don't have the endurance yet I can play parts on it and am in the process of creating a few tunes with it. Until I get the endurance built up it'll have to be just parts for now. But, it won't be too long before I will do an entire tune on it.
Why this name?
I was born in Finland and it's my given name. I use it these days but I've had several stage names in the past Some of you might be familiar with one...Tom Summers. Another one is Mark Hammond used in the days when I played the Hammond B2 organ.
How, do you think, does the internet (or mp3) change the music industry?
it allowed too many hacks and wanna be's who never paid their dues by commitment and long practice time to learn to play an instrument get heard. It's just too easy to create music and be heard these days taking away the respect from real musicians that they deserve. Music these days mean nothing to listeners anymore since anyone can make music whether you play an instrument or not. A real musician can't even get a buck for a song he/she had to practice many hours to perfect and then turn around and spend money to record it. It's no wonder that most musicians like myself have gone underground where we as musicians are better appreciated for our long term commitment, hard work and efforts. At least we have that from the internet.
Would you sign a record contract with a major label?
no! been there done that don't wanna do it again! They will rip you off in a heart beat and then screw you on top of that.
Band History:
I've been playing for well over 5 decades. It was 58 years ago that my parents bought me an accordion and got me started on music lessons. I have 16 years of formal musical training and hold a degree in both music education and in performance. I would not have thought that learning to play that accordion when I was a kid, started a whole new world for me. As I look back at my 40+ yr. professional career in music I've had the pleasure to perform with countless name bands and recording artists. I won't get into a big ego thing and list them.

I studied music at the Ontario conservatory of music in Canada. Later I received my degree in music from VanderCook College of Music in Chicago. My studies included vocal training, playing all orchestral and band instruments, band administration, conducting, orchestration and performance. My major was flute and minor piano. My favorite instruments were cello and bass viol (upright bass).

Although I began playing guitar when I was 17, it wasn't until much later in life that I became a serious jazz guitarist. In the mid 70's I was too busy playing keys on the road and had little time for guitar so I put it on hiatus. 30 years later at the age of 56, I had an urge to play guitar again. I locked myself in a room for 9 months practicing 6-8 hours a day until I had re-learned the guitar. It was tough but it was a commitment I had to make to myself in-order to get to where I have been in the last decade as a jazz guitarist..
Your influences?
There have been several who had been my jazz influences but on guitar, Kenny Burrell, Howard Roberts , George Benson, Wes Montgomery, Jim Hall, Melvin Sparks, Barney Kessell, Herb Ellis, Joe Pass, Luiz Bonfá, Charlie Byrd, Russ Freeman (guitarist), Pat Martino, Phil Upchurch,
Favorite spot?
Lake Gogebic, Michigan
Equipment used:
My main guitar is a 1967 Goya RangeMaster which I traded a Farfisa Organ for back in 1970. I use D'Addario XL, warm/mellow flat wound strings. I use an original Pignose 7-100 practice amp for a pre-amp, a vintage Ampeg M-12 tube amp w/12" speaker and a Roland KC 500 keyboard amp for all of my playing and recording. The keyboard amp has some good qualities as it has a clean sound w/o distortion for my style of playing when it comes to jazz fusion. I'm not a big fan of distortion, I need that clean sound!

My other guitar is a Cordoba C7-CE CD which had Savarez Corum strings on it. Didn't like them so I changed them to Savarez 520 R which stay in tune much longer and gives me the tone I'm looking for. I use 3 Oktava MK 012-01 mics when recording the guitar for a natural tone. Other times I will use a Roland KC 500 keyboard amp and mic the amp for air. Why a keyboard amp? Most guitar amps today have some degree of distortion which I don't want. For a totally clean sound I have to use a keyboard amp or a vintage Ampeg guitar tube amp. Since the Ampeg is a bit more mellower I tend to go towards the Roland which gives me a brighter tone.
Anything else...?
check out my blog page also here on SC
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