Jazz Guitar Today talks to the multi-faceted Andy Summers about his roots in jazz, “The Police”, photography, and his current multi-media tour, “Harmonics of the Night”.
Andy Summers is a multi-faceted creative genius. While he is best known for being the guitar in the trio “The Police”, as an artist, he is so much more! “The Police” were essentially a guitar trio. Yes, I said “guitar trio”. However, unlike Hendrix and Cream, the tapestry and fabric of this trio’s music was incredibly more complex and diverse. The music of “The Police” draws from Reggae, Punk, and Jazz, with very strong hints of Classical, R&B, and Rock. The music of “The Police” is complex but accessible to a broad audience with incredible commercial appeal. That combination is a challenging thing to achieve, so many have tried and failed. Just do a quick dive into the music with your guitar and you will quickly realize there is a whole lot going on – the guitar parts are technically taxing. Summers was the perfect guy to pull it off and perfect for this band. His studies of pure unadulterated jazz influenced by Thelonious Monk, Dizzy Gillespie, and their contemporaries. In addition, his classical guitar and composition studies at California State University equipped him technically, intellectually, and creatively to compose some of the greatest guitar parts ever recorded in “Pop” music.
Andy Summers has moved on from “The Police” beautifully. He has composed for movies (Weekend at Bernie’s, Down and Out in Beverly Hills) as well as many musical projects and collaborations. His photography is world class and in fact, his current tour is a solo, multi-media event combining music and photography. The project and accompanying album, entitled “Harmonics of the Night”, is wonderful complete immersion for the senses. I have an incredible appreciation and admiration for this artist… It is with extreme pride we bring to you this interview with the incredible Andy Summers.
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