PABLO HELD INVESTIGATES: MIKE GIBBS

I’d like to thank all of you for all the wonderful responses to my conversation with Wayne Shorter. In this next episode I’m talking to master composer/arranger/trombonist Mike Gibbs.

I heard about Mike Gibbs through my good friend Sebastian Gille, who invited Mike to arrange his music for a special project with the NDR Bigband. I was amazed by Mike’s writing right away. Everything he does sounds so rich and full yet very open at the same time. He’s a true master who has worked with so many of my personal heroes: Joni Mitchell, Jaco Pastorius, John Scofield, Kenny Wheeler, John Taylor, Bill Frisell, John McLaughlin, Steve Swallow and so many more.

After a while we got in touch and we embarked on a deep exchange via email, talking a lot about our shared love of Gil Evans’ writing, sending each other music to listen to and exchanging lots of sheet music. I asked him so many questions about all of his encounters with the great masters and he always took his time to answer very thoroughly.

On the other hand he seemed very interested in my trio and our way of playing together, asking for lead sheets of my tunes and commenting in depth about our newest recordings. He even turned up out of the blue on a trio gig at the Vortex in London and after that followed the trio to Almeria, Spain where we hung out for three days.

It’s very inspiring to see him staying that interested in the current scene, eager on learning more and deeply immersing himself in the music all the time. I want to be like that when I’m at his age!

Naturally, when I decided on doing this series of interviews I knew I had to talk to Mike for sure.

Here’s our conversation. Hope you enjoy!

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