Meet a Musician: James Gilmore learned about jazz by trading mixtapes with his grandfather | News


My main influences would be Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis, Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy, Sonny Rollins, Charles Mingus, John Coltrane. I could go on and on.

Specifically on guitar, when I was in my early teens, my absolute favorite — and I’m not saying this because he lives in Greensboro — was Charlie Hunter. And my favorite record was “Ready … Set … Shango!” which he released in 1993.

And, as I sort of progressed on the guitar, there was John McLaughlin, Grant Green, George Benson, Pat Metheny.

Basically my biggest musical heroes are people who aren’t doing it “the right way.” Ornette Coleman, Eric Dolphy and Thelonious Monk didn’t play “the right licks” or “right notes.” They invented their own vocabulary, which was an interpretation of what their idols had played.

How would you describe your music?

It uses idioms from the Black American musical tradition….

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