Raynald Colom is one of the bright talents to emerge from the thriving Spanish jazz scene to make a splash on the International circuit. Described as “a simply superb trumpet player” by JazzWise and “a force of spirit and feeling” by DownBeat Magazine, it is easy to see why his profile is on the rise.
Ray kindly gave up some of his time for me last month to tell us a little about himself and his trumpet playing:
Can you tell us a little about your musical background and early musical influences?
Because my parents are in the music biz, I started when I was 4 playing violin until I was 8 – that’s when my dad brought a trumpet home and I fell in love with the instrument. I was lucky for 2 years to have André Spelitsch as a teacher, who held the 1st trumpet chair of the Orchestre de Paris. After that my family moved to Barcelona where I mainly played by ear and also played with my dad’s band, learning the Armstrong repertoire and all the greats. When I was 17, I received a scholarship to attend Berklee College of Music, but I stayed there for just two semesters (LOL!). I would say at that time I was into Clifford Brown, Dizzy , Lee Morgan and of course Miles.
What can you tell us about what appears to be a thriving jazz scene in Spain at the moment?
There are a lot of great cats that created the path for the younger generations like Tete Montoliu. After him people like Jorge Rossy, Perico Sambeat, Marc Miralta. But what for me is really thriving is the so-called “flamenco jazz” created by musicians like Carles Benavent or Jorge Pardo, alongside Paco de Lucia who played with Miles and Chick Correa. I’m lucky to play with these guys on regular basis.
How does it compare to other countries as you visit on tour?
Well, we are a southern country with the Mediterranean Sea so I would say the life gives you a different approach rhythm-wise… if there is a negative note I would say that there is no real industry in the so called “jazz” (don’t really like this word ) world compared to France or Germany.
You are based in Barcelona right? What is the atmosphere like in the close-knit musical community there after the horrific attack recently?
Man, I just did a gig right after the attacks and I have to say Barcelona is an example of togetherness and kindness. Barcelona is a melting pot of cultures and I saw that when we played.
What projects have you got going on at the moment?
Luckily quite a few! I have got my new band called “STEEL” that use pedal steel guitar and lots of electronics that we are going to record in the fall. I also just did a live recording with master bass player Carles Benavent and Tomasito. For 2018 I’m putting together a band with my good friend and guitarist from NYC, Yotam Silberstein and Piraña, Carles Benavent and Diego del Morao. A dream band for me! Several other projects and records are coming too. I feel blessed that musicians count me in for their music!
What equipment do you use?
Right now I’m playing the P.Mauriat PMT-72. Great horn! I like the fact that it doesn’t colour your sound. Also I can have a big sound without having to play a horn that is too heavy. I have been playing P.Mauriat for the last 4 years and I’m really happy with it. [You can read the Mouthpiece Online review of this instrument here]
For the mouthpiece I play a custom-made signature model consisting of briarwood and metal. I have been working with “Investigaciones Manchegas” from Spain for a year on how to get all that “wood” warm sound without loosing the edge of metal and it came out in the most amazing way. We are now working on put it in the market soon. [You can read about different mouthpiece materials here]
Any advice on keeping your trumpet playing in good shape especially when you are on the road?
Long tones and regular Arban and Clark studies. Usually I try to have at least 30/45 minutes before the sound check and play basics: intonation, attack, scales (really simple and slow) and whatever I’m working on at that time. If you have a routine you do when you are at home, let’s say 2/3 hours approx., it is kind of a compressed one to manage when you don’t have the time for it on the road. Good sleep (when you can!), eat well, and lots of water to hydrated the body and muscles so your lips don’t get like a wooden block!
Anything else that you would like to mention?
Just to thank you for spreading to word in our trumpet community – music can heal the soul and gives a better society where everyone is welcome and grows with respect and love.
For further information about Raynald and his music, please visit raynaldcolom.biz