Frank Gambale Solumine: Interview

Thank You so mach to the great Frank Gambale, who has given to us this awesome Interview. A brevissimo la traduzione in italiano stay tuned

Q. Soulmine project is tour first run with vocals. Great sound, groove, jazz, funky and soul vibes…a really great work. Your wife Boca is really awesome, warm voice tone. Tell us about this new album.

A I love vocal music and popular music and groove. I have had vocal tunes on various solo albums but I always wanted to do an album entirely of well-crafted songs with cool changes, and sophisticated vocal harmonies and melodies. The reason I did this now is because in Boca I have the prefect voice, writing partner and performer. The album is released on Feb 14th and the video single called “Forbidden Kiss” is out and can be seen on my FGTV (my You Tube channel )….here’s the link. The video is directed by Nigel Dick an award winning director who has done over 300 music videos including those for Sting, Cheryl Crow, Britney Spears, Guns ‘N Roses, Elton John, just to name a few.  He was a pleasure to work with and such a great guy.

Q. You did a great work as arranger too!

A. I spent more time on the music and arranging of this album than any I have done before this. Boca was also in on the arrangements. She had a lot of great ideas.  Soulmine reflects our collaboration.   It was a joy putting this album together and I am very happy with the outcome.

Q. On Soulmine I hear great guitar tones. Both rhythm and solo sounds are great! What gear did you use?

A. I recorded my jazz guitar and acoustic guitar direct through a Grace design mic pre straight into Pro Tools. For the electric guitars I used an SM58 on my amps. I used mostly my Frank Gambale model DV Mark speakers ( two 2×12 cabs ) and a Tone Navigator preamp and DV Mark power amp. I also used my FG model DV Mark 1×12 combo. I also used a Roland VG-99 for some clean sounds with a 12-string sound on the song ‘All In The Game of Life’.

Q. In 2011 you’ve toured with Chick Corea Elektric Band and RTF. Can you tell me how did you start with Chick and the evolution of your musical relationship with him?

A. I auditioned for Chick in 1986. I have been a big fan of his music since I was 13. I got the gig in the Elektric band which was an incredible 6 years of touring and recording which also resulted in a Grammy and two Grammy Nominations. In 2002 we got together again for the album “To The Stars” and we tour that music for 3 years. Since that time I have worked on various things with Chick. He put a number of different groups together which I played in. One played the Melbourne Jazz Festival in Australia, another with Steve Gadd, Anthony Jackson and Ravi Coltrane to play at the Blue Note in NYC. I also recorded on his Ultimate Adventure album in 2006. Last year he called me to play in Return To Forever IV which was a whole year of touring with Stanley Clarke, Lenny White and Jean-luc Ponty. That was terrific fun. Not sure what the next project will be but I love Chick and will always try to make myself available to play with him.

Q. You can play electric or acoustic and nothing seems different in terms of your strength and musicality on the guitar and music. I remember an incredible gig with Maurizio Colonna and you played “only” a Yamaha Silent Acoustic Guitar!

A. To me, anything with strings on it and I will do my best to make music with it! I just love guitar and all the variations of the guitar whether it is acoustic or electric or semi-acoustic or 12 string or my Gambale tuning…it’s all fun. I make things a little easier on the acoustic guitars by using very light strings.

Q.Next Week in Italy it’s time for the Festival in San Remo. In 2005 you and Maurizio Colonna were together with Italian singer Antonella Ruggiero. Did you remember something about those happening?

A. I remember we were there from about 9 am and we finally got to perform on TV at around midnight. So it was a long day. Antonella had many interviews during the day. She is a wonderful person and artist. Her views resonated with me when she spoke about music. When we finally did perform, and it was after many other performers who had the whole orchestra or big groups behind them, we came out with just voice and two acoustic guitars. It sounded so fresh and different after all that had come before. The audience was deeply moved and burst into applause somewhere in the middle of the performance. Antonella went on to win Best Female Vocalist for this performance.  So I have fond memories of this.

Q. On Guitarlist I’ve done some interviews with the Italian Guitar player Andrea Braido. He played with you and Maurizio. What type of experience was the trio?

A. I enjoyed the trio. We did a few great performances together. I think Maurizio and I decided that it was more intimate with just the two guitars. Three guitars also meant that each tune needed arrangements so as to stay out of each other’s way. I did enjoy that time.

Q.I’ve recently interviewed another famous Australian guitar player: Brett Garsed. About your first instructional video he said: “It was like my whole style of playing really expanded overnight and I pretty much owe it all to Frank’s concept”. I think many guitar players in the last 25 did owe something to you! Don’t you agree?

A, It’s not really for me to say but I appreciate your sentiment.   I am happy to see people using my Sweep Picking Technique.    When I came up in the 80’s playing the way I did, I was constantly asked in complete awe ‘what I was doing?” …Today It really has become part of the guitar lexicon.   I am happy for my contribution to guitar . It’s great that guitarist are getting the rewards of  freedom and expression that my technique unleashes. It took a lot of painstaking hours and years to develop it starting from when I was  about 13.

Q. Both you and Brett have played with Ric Fierabracci on the bass. And with Ric you have recorded, amongst others, a beautiful heartful tune called “Table for One”. I’m just curious about this tune and your Alternate Tuning.

A.  I have also recently invented a new tuning I call the “Gambale Tuning” which enable chords that are previously only possible on the keyboard. The best part of it is that you don’t have to learn any new shapes to play it…you play it like a regular guitar because I changed the octave of certain strings among other things. So, if the octave has changed the fundamental note is still the same. I am thrilled to be able play any chord I want in any key. You can hear on my album Raison D’etre released in 2005. “Table for One” is one of the songs from that album.   It’s a ballad and a very fine example of what’s possible with the Gambale Tuning! The tuning is slow to catch on, but so too was Sweeping when I started doing it in the 80’s.

Q. of your root influences and 3 new guitar player they have impressed you!

A. I have many influences over the years chronologically. Generally speaking I would say Steely Dan, Michael Brecker and Chick Corea, but there are many others. As for new players I’ll have to have a think about that.

Thanks a lot! Not only for the Interview but for your loving and amazing Music!! Franco

Thank you for listening and supporting the music….…see you in Italy. Sincerely, Franco

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