Realizing Gregoire's persistence to sound
This is a Gregoire Maret signature model with wooden cover specification.
It features a more mellow and dark tone. Walnut is used for the cover, finished in a calm design with a sense of quality. And the volume and shape are decided for the purpose of easy to play, easy to fit in hand, also to have a more dark tone, and to have sufficient strength. It is the world's first mass-production model using wooden cover for chromatic harmonica.
※ Cover specification is changed from rosewood to walnut on December 5th in 2017.
*Image is walnut cover.
History of developing Gregoire Maret model
Gregoire Maret signature model is born.
The sticking to the sound consistently requested by Mr. Gregoire, it is "dark sound (deep sound)".
Mr. Gregoire made numerous suggestions such as two different covers that segmentalize the tone, materials, colors, and alignment. Those were feed back to the product. Here G-48, G-48W are born.
It is a model that Mr. Gregoire’s esprit can be felt in detail.
For more detail, check artist comment.
Cover material was changed to walnut from rosewood.
Some Images in website and catalogs might be old rosewood cover specification.
Born in Switzerland in 1975. From 17 years old, he started building his music career as a harmonica player. Studying harmonica furthermore at university and acquired a bachelor's degree in art. Continuing aggressive activities afterwards and had a brilliant career including co-starring with world-renowned players such as Marcus Miller, Pat Metheny Group, and Herbie Hancock, and participating in recordings. Currently in the chromatic harmonica world becoming a top-class player in both popularity and ability. While playing all genres such as jazz fusion and world music, it is a classic masterpiece that has its own presence in all of it. Mr. Gregor himself is the main member "Gaia" also started, gaining attention in the future activities.
Gregoire Maret Special Interview
Mr. Gregoire talk about the topics from harmonica, thought of music to the history of signature model development.
Member of Pat Metheny Group, Marcus Miller Band and last year touring with Herbie Hancock. Co-starring with many other big artists, we asked Mr. Gregoire Maret, the world's most noteworthy chromatic performer, about his thoughts on chromatic harmonica and signature models.
Q1 Please tell us about meeting with chromatic harmonica.
On my 16th birthday my parents gave me a chromatic harmonica. Prior to that, I had only experience to plat diatonic Harmonica. When fist year in high school was over, I started to play chromatic harmonica semi-forcibly after switching my major to music. In the school it was not allowed to play diatonic. At this point, I studied classical music and started playing standard jazz with other students. I have been playing only Chromatic since then.
Q2 Are there any influenced artists for you ?
There are many musicians who I have had a great influence. If it is a harmonica player, it is Toots Seamans and Stevie Wonder. There are still others such as Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Leister Young, Charlie Parker, Kenny Garrett, Steve Koumann, Pat Metheny, Lyle Mays and so on. Especially the four influenced musicians are Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and Herbie Hancock.
Q3 What is chromatic harmonica for you ?
Chromatic harmonica is unique instrument that has a tone like voice. Expressions that can not be done with other instruments can be expressed. Although it is an instrument that fits any music style, it is not fully exploited. So there should be plenty of possibilities and new discoveries.
Q4 Participating in tours and recordings of big artists by flying around the world till now…
· What kind of things do you keep in mind when co-starring?
· What was impressed especially?
I call it Magic, I am always touched by their ability to create a world that wraps everyone in the band stands as well as the audience every night.
Despite being quite distinctive, I believe that the ability to adapt to any situation, and to fit perfectly with any style of music is the main reason why I am required.
Q5 What kind of instrument is this signature model ? Please also tell us about your thoughts.
· About the difference of models (wooden cover · metal cover)
· The characteristics of each sound, the music scene (genre etc) that you want to use for.
Perfect, and both of sounds are coming out as expected.
The wooden cover sounds more mellow. It could get a more mellow and darker tone that fit perfect to a ballad and to unhurried music. Metallic cover is bright, powerful and aggressive sound, and there is more volume.
Not every model fits the special style or genre of music, it depends on what type of sound, density, volume you are looking for. I always use wooden cover model when I play in jazz band and if there is vocal. If I play in pop, rock and funk band, use the metal cover as the sound is big.
Q6 We think that you are constantly searching for new sounds and performance style ...
· Where does such an original idea come from?
· Do you have something that you get inspiration?
Listen to lots of music in the world, always find new sounds and get stimulated. I do not like to repeat the same things all the time and are trying to find new things and new sounds with my instruments.
I want to live and play at the moment I think nothing. I accept all the sounds, notes, codes, hues and I am considering whether the canvas will be better by adding something. My idea of making music is connected to a completely spiritual world. It is a very internal story ...
Q7 What kind of impression do you have on Suzuki harmonica and engineer through development of signature model?
As an answer to this question, I'd like to tell you a story. That is when I was doing a tour with Pat Metheny Group in Japan. During that tour, I met with Suzuki team for the first time and I was invited to their head office in Hamamatsu. There, I tried several harmonicas and was asked for my opinions, so I explained which points are good and which points are needed for improvement. And that evening, I did a concert using the Suzuki model. Soon afterwards we met again and advised on how to improve further. And the next day, a new harmonica completely modified to my specification was arrived from Suzuki. This was the beginning of our long relationship.
The most wonderful thing about Suzuki was that they listened diligently to my opinion from the beginning, and later decided to design two new models that fit my preferences. Both of them became my signature model. It took about 3 years to make the final product, but it can be said that it is the best chromatic harmonica I have ever played. It's not too heavy and not too light, it feels good to hold it. It is a round shape mouthpiece to make it easier to play. The reedplate and the reed are designed to produce the sound as expected. Both are cross-tuned so that a loud sound comes out. In addition, Suzuki's reed is known for lasting, there is another story that you can be sure of its quality.
Prior to going on a tour with Herbie Hancock, two exactly the same prototypes as my signature model arrived. It is to see if I finally agree with release. People who know my performance know how intensely I use in concerts, it usually requires re-tuning in 3 weeks. I was using it during a tour 4 to 6 shows in a week, but the tuning was still in place. I have never experienced this and have been totally overwhelmed. The reason why it took three years to design was nothing else because they aimed perfect. Technicians never stopped research until they gained sympathy with each other that they had completed really good ones. As far as I know, Suzuki is the best harmonica manufacture and I love two signature models.
Q8. To the end, please send a message to many Chromatic harmonica players and Gregore fans.
People who would try this model will be surprised in a good way. I am really proud of my signature models. Far from satisfying all my musical needs and not having any obstacles, there are lots of advantages to always play as good as possible. I think that it is the same with you.