1 September 2013

George Trebar Interview

On a warm sunny day, editor Charlie Anderson wandered down to a bowling club in Hove to have a chat with bassist George Trebar.


I caught up with bassist George Trebar at a busy time. As well as studying for a postgraduate degree at Trinity under the guidance of Simon Purcell and bassist Steve Watts, George is preparing for his upcoming wedding.

George played classical bass from the age of twelve and studied up to grade 8, playing in orchestras as a teenager. Although he listened to plenty of jazz when he was younger he didn’t begin playing it until he was in his twenties. After doing a degree in languages he was at a loose end and a friend needed a bass player in their band.

Over a strong cup of coffee, he talked about his favourite jazz recordings and what he’d recently been listening to.

“I do like to listen to a lot of bass players but I like listening to horn players.

My favourite album at the moment that I keep on revisiting again and again is Stan Getz And The Oscar Peterson Trio.”

“The ones that I go back to time and again are Lester Young With The Oscar Peterson Trio and Sonny Stitt, Personal Appearance along with Oscar Peterson trio recordings e.g. Night Train.”

“I also love Herbie Hancock, Speak Like A Child and The Blow Up Extra Sessions are really funky.”

“I also listen to quite a lot of old jazz. I play quite a lot of New Orleans and swing stuff. Buddy DeFranco, I Hear Benny Goodman and Artie Shaw with Leroy Vinegar on bass. That great thing of swing meets bebop. It’s the Fifties, all the great swing outfits being supplanted by beboppers.”

“Clifford Brown, Jazz Immortal. I’ve listened to that album and worn it out.”

“Alice Coltrane, Journey to Satchedinada. There’s a lot of blues on that album and Transcendence has lots of Buddhist chanting. Beautiful music.”

“I have to mention Christian McBride. For me, he’s unsurpassed. My favourite albums with Christian McBride aren’t the ones where he’s leading, it’s the ones where he’s a sideman. I actually like the ones he does with Diana Krall., like Love Scenes. As a sideman there’s something really going on there. He’s doing that thing that I really like. There’s two fundamental aspects. Listening to what he’s doing when he’s comping with other musicians and then checking out what the hell he’s doing when he’s doing a solo. He’s as virtuosic or as lyrical as a horn player when he solos and yet he’s still playing the bass like a bass player.”


Photo by Mike Guest.

To find out more about George Trebar visit http://georgetrebar.co.uk


This interview was first published on Sunday 1st September 2013 and appeared in Issue 1 of The Sussex Jazz Mag, available here.

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