Re: [Harp-L] Gregoire Maret touring with Herbie Hancock

Thanks, Brendan.  A friend of mine lent me that Cassandra Wilson disc a while back, commenting on the harmonica and the fantastic "horn" lines that were being played.  I didn't hear too much of the disc, and had no info more than it was Cassandra Wilson as it was a "backup" copy he had lent me and it just didn't spin right.  Anyway, I just let it go.  Now, I think I'll go delve a little deeper into Gregoire and Cassandra.  Thanks.


>>> "Brendan Power" <bren@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 11/5/2008 7:18 AM >>>
Gregoire Maret seems to make an effortless transition from one big-name
contemporary jazz group to another. In recent years he has recorded and
toured extensively with the Pat Metheny and Marcus Miller Bands, and now
he's well into a 43 date European tour with probably THE greatest living
jazz artist, Herbie Hancock. 
He's also recorded with Cassandra Wilson, Steve Coleman, David Sanborn,
George Benson and Jack Dejohnette, amongst others. In fact, in terms of
the company he keeps, Gregoire is arguably the most successful harmonica
player in the world today - and yet very few in the harmonica scene seem
aware of him. 
If you're curious, you can find out more on his website: 
He plays some hot contemporary jazz chromatic with his trio Gaia; check
out the clips and video on their MySpace site: 
ID=104692578> &friendID=104692578
I had the privilege of hearing Gaia live at last year's NAMM Show, as
Gregoire and fellow member Argentinean keyboard maestro Federico
Gonzalez Pena were working with me on the Suzuki stand. Gregoire has
been playing Suzuki chromatics exclusively for a number of years now,
and worked closely with the R&D department to enhance performance. He
plays a standard C 12 hole chrom, and plays a lot in the top octave. The
result of that work has come out in the new Fabulous chroms with their
narrower, longer top-end reeds and improved comb profiles. Gregoire is
currently road testing them with Herbie Hancock; his reports to the
factory on reed longevity and pitch-retention under hard use are
There is some recent footage of Gregoire with Herbie on YouTube: 
And plenty of earlier funky stuff with Marcus Miller, eg: 
After the pioneering work of Toots Thielemans from the 1950's to
establish the harmonica as a serious jazz instrument, it's great to see
a younger player earning the respect of today's jazz legends. He
deserves our respect too.

Brendan Power

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