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Jon Dalton
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Jon Dalton
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jazz, r&b, soul, smooth jazz, lo-fi, cool, jazz guitar
The Gift is one of this year's most played Chill-Jazz Tunes. The song reached #1 on CIM jazz radio and has been played on BBC TV, The Weather Channel and countless broadcast and Internet radio stations. Cd available at CdBaby.com, downloads available at iTunes.
Band/artist history
I've just been playing guitar a very long time. I've covered all kinds of styles and written in numerous genres. The Gift is, I suppose, a distilation of the kinds of music that have had the most effect on me: Jazz and R&B. I have to admit that I sometimes feel the urge to strap on a Gibson SG and thrash out "Highway to Hell" but not only would I look palpably ridiculous, I'd probably need a bevvy of soundclick members to carry me off the stage and give me CPR!
Have you performed in front of an audience?
I used to be a touring session player so I've played thousands of gigs, mostly with cover bands. I got into jazz shortly after and played a lot of gigs in the UK. Since I moved to the US I've concentrated on promoting my recorded work but, now we're getting good radio and TV exposure, I think it's time to hit the stage again. I loved playing in cover bands but, when I first started playing jazz, I was nervous as hell. It was a much as I could do to hold my guitar pick. I'm a lot more comfortable now. One of the major reasons for that is that I kind of fell into doing a lot of solo jazz guitar dates at hotels and fancy restaurants. I had to develop a kind of "Joe Pass" style of playing which took a while but, once I had the repertoire, things started to gel. It's an irony but, on these kind of gigs if you're doing your job right, no one notices you're there! It's one of those things; the more you do it the easier it gets. I love playing live now and I can honestly say that there have been about three or four times when things went so right it was a kind of transcendent experience. That may not sound much for a lifetime of playing but it's that kind of thrill that keeps you chasing the next one.
Your musical influences
Wes Montgomery is about my favourite guitarist. It's not just the notes, when I hear him it's like he's here talking to me. He uses the instrument to communicate with the listener and that, in my opinion, is what separates the great from the merely good. All the great jazz guitarists have contributed in some way to where I am now. Tal Farlow, Johnny Smith, Jim Hall, Django, Kenny Burrell and Joe Pass, they're all in there somewhere. I listen to a load of music outside of jazz. I love Euro-Techno, Lo-Fi, Bangra, House, Trance and, of course, Bristol Sound because that's where I'm from!
What equipment do you use?
Big fat guitars, simple tube amps and a touch of reverb. I also use compression in the studio because jazz guitars have such a huge dynamic range compared to solid guitars.
Anything else?
The music business is exciting, frustrating, exhilarating and depressing in about equal measure. Just take some time to be yourself and live some kind of life outside of music. You'll be healthier and happier. The earlier question asked about my favourite spot. To be honest that would be next to my partner of 17 years. I think that's what they mean by home is where the heart is ;-)
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