tony remy

A ‘360 guitar player’, Tony Rémy is one of the UK’s shin­ing stars of jazz, blues, fu­sion and funk guitar, says John Wheatcroft.

Guitar Techniques - - LEARNING ZONE -

If you can list artists as im­pres­sive and di­verse as An­nie Len­nox, Incog­nito, Her­bie Han­cock, Jack Bruce, Pee Wee El­lis, The Cru­saders, Craig David and a whole load more on your mu­si­cal re­sume, then it’s likely that you area high­ly­ac­com­plished player and do­ing some­thing that as­pir­ing mu­si­cians should pay at­ten­tion to. Such is the case with this month’s cho­sen artist, the Lon­don-based gui­tarist Tony Rémy, who for over 30 years has main­tained a re­mark­able ca­reer as a ses­sion gui­tarist and tour­ing band mem­ber ,with a burst­ing port­fo­lio of recorded work, in­clud­ing a half dozen crit­i­cally-ac­claimed solo re­leases.

Rémy has achieved his goal of be­com­ing a ‘360 guitar player’. His play­ing ex­pertly blends be­bop vo­cab­u­lary with funky rhythm chops and ex­pres­sive blues. Ex­pect to hear ag­gres­sive rock whammy abuse and pinched har­mon­ics one mo­ment and del­i­cate, sen­si­tive acous­tic finger­pick­ing the next, all ex­e­cuted with taste and au­then­tic­ity. It’s easy to see why he’s held in such high re­gard - and in such de­mand. His in­flu­ences are di­verse and broad: Ge­orge Ben­son and Wes, with some slip­pery, dis­so­nant phras­ing not dis­sim­i­lar to that of Scofield or Mike Stern; his whammy bar an­tics tip the hat a lit­tle in the di­rec­tion of Jeff Beck – not for­get­ting his as­sim­i­la­tion of all the great play­ers. Rémy skil­fully blends these in­flu­ences, adding his own ideas and cre­ativ­ity to forge a sound that’s both stylis­ti­cally rooted and achieves a unique mu­si­cal per­son­al­ity. There is a new al­bum in the pipe­line, In The Mid­dle Of Be­fore And Af­ter, and I, for one, await it with great an­tic­i­pa­tion.

There are eight short ex­am­ples this month, each a snap­shot of the style that you might hear Tony play in a spon­ta­neous and im­pro­vised set­ting. I’d urge you to get out and see world-class play­ers, such as Rémy, per­form in the flesh. This way you will de­velop a sense for the depth of vo­cab­u­lary and the speed of re­ac­tion present within all the great play­ers. The in­ter­play be­tween mu­si­cians ‘in the mo­ment’ and the con­cept of each per­for­mance be­ing com­pletely unique is some­thing that can only be fully appreciated when you are present to wit­ness and en­joy it. Much as we all love YouTube, you re­ally can’t beat be­ing in the room with a band full of cook­ing mu­si­cians! Hope­fully, you’ll feel in­spired to at­tempt to in­cor­po­rate a lit­tle (or a lot) of this in­vig­o­rat­ing spon­tane­ity into your own mu­si­cal en­deav­ours; if so your play­ing, along with the mu­sic you cre­ate, will be all the bet­ter for it. As al­ways, en­joy.

Prac­tise every sin­gle day, even if you have to Sleep for one hour, Prac­tise every day Tony Rémy

Tony Rémy with his ’90s Pa­trick Eg­gle guitar

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