Gilad Chatsav – Mini Interview

Gilad Chatsav will be in Japan for a series of live shows this week.

  1. Where are you from and how did you first get into music and in particular jazz? 

I grew up in Tiberias on the Sea of Galilee, or Kinneret as it is known here. It is a pastoral area where our home overlooked the lake. I guess my first introduction to music was in my mom’s arms. She would sing to me and I would utter sounds at the end of phrases, or fill in the gaps in her singing. I guess I felt the need to respond and my mom thought it all sounded quite musical. Later on, I began banging on anything I could get my hands on and quickly built my “own” instruments (such as bottles filled with water or anything else I could find in the kitchen). I remember enjoying the weird sound the dryer emitted — rhythm was a big thing for me, and still is. At home, I was always told I could play on the piano as much as I wanted to. My parents later on registered me to the local Music Conservatoire, where I started learning notation, which I didn’t enjoy at all. I befriended my teacher so I could show her my improvisations on songs/chords instead. When my sister took up the flute, I decided I also wanted to learn a musical instrument. This is when I received my first Yamaha psr-70 organ, and I started playing on my own. Discovering my sister’s record and CDs collection also contributed to my love of music. It included many unfamiliar names to the average teenager, such as Chick Corea, Stan Getz, Jobim, Art Blakey, as well as some Jazz singers. I would listen to them for hours on end. It’s was a pure fun experience

  1. Why did you choose the piano and who were your first influences? 

I always liked the piano. I was also fascinated by the drums, but somehow when I had to decide on an instrument to learn, the piano felt like the right choice. To me, it is the perfect instrument for composing, improvising or accompanying other instruments. I’ve always loved Monk, both as a composer and instrumentalist of a unique kind. However, I heard so many great pianists when I started listening to jazz, I could think of a few more names, like James P. Jonson, Duke, Winton Kelly or more modern pianists, such as Mccoy Tyner and of course the bop players such as Elmo Hope and Bud Powell. Later on in life, I learnt to appreciate the classical and pure sound of Bill Evans or the more funky sound of Herbie Hancock in “Headhunters” or that of Chick Corea in “Light as a feather”. Learning jazz, I was introduced to such a rich and varied world.

  1. How did you first encounter the jazz scene in Japan and what were your impressions of it?

i was approched by Disk union for publishing my last recordings  jazz from the middle to the east part 1+2, i released 2 cd’s which are 2 parts of same project: piano trio with arrangments and original works by myself, influenced by traditional jazz , Israeli and folk-world music

4.What are your current and upcoming projects? 

my shows:

19/11/2015 Gilad Chatsav Trio in “Knob” Roppongi (Tokyo)
20/11/2015 Ladino&Jazz in “Otakura” Shimokitazawa Tokyo
21/11/2015 Ladino&Jazz in epinard Ōiso, Kanagawa
22/11/2015 piano solo in absulute blue Tokyo
23/11/2015 Gilad Chatsav session in Roppongi Tokyo
  1. Three favorite albums