Canadian Musician

JAY WALKING

Jason Raso


The Legendary Alain Caron!

alain_caron_2

Since starting “Jay Walking” I’ve been very fortunate to interview some of my favourite bass players. Alain Caron is no exception. I was first introduced to his playing through his work with UZEB. Not long after that I purchased Alain’s solo album “Le Band.” I still remember buying it at Looney Tunes in Guelph (which is long gone). I would buy any album that had a bass pictured on the cover! Well, “Le Band” was a winner and I’ve been following Alain ever since. Two things stood out to me, he was a bassist/bandleader and he was Canadian. He gave me hope and confidence! Years later I was lucky to see Alain at a clinic in Toronto. The workshop had a huge influence on my playing and really changed the way I looked at practice and performance. I owe a huge debt to Mr. Caron and I can’t thank him enough for his music and influence. I would also like to thank him for taking the time to do this interview.

JR: When did you start playing bass and who were your early influences?

AC: I started playing electric bass when I was 13 years old in a top 40 band. I was listening to all kinds of music but more interested in funk and soul music with bass players like James Jamerson and Chuck Rainey, also Tower of Power with Rocco Prestia and Blood Sweat and Tears with Jim Fielder. Then I discovered jazz with an Oscar Peterson Trio record with Ray Brown and that one changed my life. After, I listened to all the great ones including Scott LaFaro and N.H.O.P on upright and Stanley Clarke and Jaco on electric.

JR: At what point do you feel you came into your own as a bass player?

AC: Probably in my early 20’s, I decided to develop my own sound working with different bass builders in Montreal then I met George Furlanetto at F bass, we’ve been working together since. Next I worked on my vocabulary, music language, and took private lessons mainly with piano players, arrangers and sax players to dig more into harmony and improvisation concept.

JR: Which non-bass player has had the biggest impact on your playing?

AC: Miles, Coltrane, Michael Brecker, Bill Evans (piano) and Chick Corea, but many others!

JR: A bass player is fortunate to find a distinct voice on bass, you have two! Your fretted and fretless voices seem very different from one another, are there any similarities?

AC: Well, I see the fretless bass as my main instrument; it’s closer to an upright and a human voice. It’s the instrument on which I can express myself the best. I see the fretted bass more as a rhythmic instrument although I’ve developed a technique that allows me to play melodic lines and improvise!

JR: What can you tell us about “Multiple Faces”?

AC: This is the continuation of Sep7entrion with the same basic quartet, John Roney (keys) Pierre Côté (guitar) and Damien Schmitt (drums) We played a fair amount of concerts after the previous CD and we developed a very good communication and trust, so I didn’t want to change the formula, I can call it a fusion record, but I think it’s different than the fusion of the 80’s!

http://www.alaincaron.com

2 Responses to “The Legendary Alain Caron!”

  1. Mitch Kahle Says:

    Chick Korea should be Chick Corea

  2. Jason Raso Says:

    Right you are! Thank you!

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