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Pete Downes (Guitar)


Pete Downes is one of those incredible talents that only surfaces once in a blue moon. Completely self taught, he is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s leading guitarists in the modern jazz fusion genre. Already established on the jazz scene in the UK and Italy with a string of regular appearances culminating with a packed audience at Glastonbury Festival where they played the Jazz Lounge.

With influences that cover such a wide spectrum as Pat Metheny to Jimi Hendrix their first album “Street Scene” caught the attention of Jazzwise, Jazz FM and critic praise from The Guardian, The Observer and many other Radio Stations and newspapers. The eagerly awaited follow up album “Into The Blue.” is a further step on the road to a wider audience. On this album PD3 blend their infectious original compositions with totally fresh and inspired versions of popular songs from the 70s to present day in a way that simply underlines the incredible versatility of the trio and the ease in which they can provide assessable jazz routed music to a much wider audience.

In 2007, Pete Downes, the jazz fusion guitarist best known for his work with PD3 (Pete Downes Trio) has released a recording of J.S. Bach Lute Suites on the Wiser Productions Label. Although these pieces have been recorded by many great guitarists, Pete felt he could give them a unique interpretation. “I believed I could approach them using what I've learned from jazz and contemporary music," says Pete, “In these fields groove is everything. To me, Bach's music has an inherent 'feel' sometimes lost in more Romantic interpretations. To achieve this, I have kept the pulse steady, unless the music suggests otherwise. It is like a river, a constant flow, occasionally changing note frequency, like travelling along a smooth flowing wide river into a narrow white-water gorge. A beautiful journey with an underlying 'groove'. Bach was very generous to musicians as his scores contain very few expressive directions, allowing for ultimate freedom of interpretation. As I understand it, and feel it, Bach intended his music to be adapted to the musician's sensibilities. To this end, I focused on a personal expression rather than technical perfection and have personalised many of the period decorations." The pieces were recorded on a Armalio Burguet Flamenco guitar. “I felt the brighter sound and quicker attack suited Bach perfectly," says Pete.

Source: Pete Downes Website (Author: Gordon Moore)
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (February 2009)

Pete Downes: Short Biography | Recordings of Instrumental Works

Links to other Sites

Pete Downes (Official Website)


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