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Interview with Alain Caron

One of the strongest voices on bass today, being equally adept at fretted, fretless, and acoustic, (no easy task) comes to us through the music of Alain Caron. He is able to produce gorgeous melodies on fretless, flawlessly executed, and turn around and execute some vicious slap techniques that are second to none. Add to that his gift for composition, ten albums with his opening band UZEB, and six solo CD’s to date, and you have one seriously complete musician.

Jake: I have to say that beyond your virtuosity as a bassist, I’m also a fan of your compositional skills as well, and on your latest release “Conversations”, you once again show another side of your unique capability as a writer. How did the tracks for this CD come about?

Alain: Long story short, at the beginning of my career, I used to play a lot of upright bass. I was listening to Bill Evans and Oscar Peterson—all those great jazz trios, and I always enjoyed that side of bass playing. After I did some studying, I learned the more you write, the more you learn how to write, and that you need to be inspired as well.

After a while I became interested in the fusion—jazz rock side of music. This genre definitely had an influence on me. My first records were written with that direction in mind, but at the same time I always kept listening to the more traditional side of jazz writing, and I wanted to develop that side of my composing as well.

On Conversations, I thought I was ready to go for it. I wanted to be able to write a composition that was strong within itself, something you could play by yourself at the piano—a composition on a sheet where everything is there, having a very strong harmony that you can improvise upon in a traditional way. That is what I was looking to achieve with this CD. I’m still researching and studying on how to write music and I’m trying to develop new skills and a new language to help write a strong harmony.

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