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Pushing those boundaries

| SNEHA K. SUKUMAR
Published Mar 4, 2015, 4:00 am IST
Updated Mar 29, 2019, 4:51 pm IST
With 10 acclaimed records, 58-year-old modern guitarist Wayne Krantz is persistent at pushing the limits
(From left) Ace American guitarist and composer Wayne Krantz performs with Matthew Garrison and Scott Kinsey
 (From left) Ace American guitarist and composer Wayne Krantz performs with Matthew Garrison and Scott Kinsey
Having rocked the stages with everyone from the stellar Billy Cobham and Michael Brecker to American jazz rock band Steely Dan, Wayne Krantz jazzed it up with his improvisations alongside Cliff Almond and Anthony Jackson on his Diageo’s Black & White Moments India tour.
 
Positioned at the vanguard of his craft, Krantz has consistently pushed his stylistic roots in rock, jazz, fusion and Blues beyond their boundaries. “But it all started by enduring piano lessons by force for years, as a kid,” says Wayne, who later discovered the guitar only to become fascinated with it. Although people in his household enjoyed music, yet none of them were musicians. “The first time I knew I wanted to become one was while I was listening to a Sons of Champlin record coincidentally called, Follow Your Heart. After that I never seriously questioned my direction,” says the Oregan-born who headed out to Boston’s Berklee College of Music to study jazz.
 
You’d think fellow musicians inspired him in the pursuit of greatness. “Painters like Pablo Picasso and Arturo Carmassi did their bit too,” says Wayne, who is married to soul Argentine singer and pianist, Gabriela Anders. With 10 critically-acclaimed records to his credit, this 58-year-old  remains one of the very few modern guitarists to venture beyond the guitar’s limitations, even going on to introduce unique harmonic vocabularies. Take his Good Piranha/Bad Piranha, for instance. A full-throttle, double-take on four contemporary pop and hip-hop songs, this album stands testimony to the textural, rhythmic and harmonic intrigue that defines his numerous projects.
 
“Movements and trends in music don’t intrigue me much at all, at least as a musician. If a musician adopts the parameters of a given trend — whether it’s DJing, electronic, rock, jazz or funk; he is bypassing 90 per cent of the creative process — and that’s the part where the artist defines his own context,” says Wayne. Having collaborated with the likes of saxophonists David Binney, Chris Potter, 15-time Grammy Award winner Michael Brecker, free Jazz movement queen Carla Bley and Donald Fagen, Wayne says that his sound has undergone some changes. “I’ve been lucky to experience the best with some of the world’s greatest musicians because playing and listening to music is an act of love — there can’t be anything better than that, for anyone,” he says, adding that touring with the Steely Dan band was a blast.
 
“I loved it, but at the end of the day, it’s a sideman gig, and as great as it was, it still can’t be compared to what I have with my own band.  The biggest improvement I’ve made in the last few years is to somewhat define my sound, and it was inspired by the Steely Dan experience,” he ends. 
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