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Marc Antoine

Guitarist Marc Antoine has established himself as a musician who brings out a distinctive sound mixing classical, Latin jazz and flamenco styles. This style has helped him gain momentum in the smooth jazz genre to release CDs that consistently top the charts. However, his latest CD "Modern Times" brings about a different sound to Antoine's repertoire. He says, "Although people primarily know me for my acoustic flamenco guitar sound, for years I've also done sessions on electric for Celine Dion, Queen Latifah and others. I wanted to explore a different musical palate by using electric guitar on some tracks."

Antoine looks at his newest release as something that he wants to make him stand out from the rest of the guitarists in the genre. "Years ago, I read a quote from Miles Davis about when he ventured into entirely new directions. He said that he found someone from outside of his world to collaborate with. That's exactly what I did on 'Modern Times," says Antoine.

Marc Antoine brought in a producer who is more known for his dance music. "David Ferrero is very well known in the club world," says Antoine, "and he brought an entirely fresh sensibility to my music. He's into the dance music scene, he's into the remixing scene as well. He's remixed things by Santana, Shakira and many, many more. He spins records and things like that so he has no idea about music. Meaning he doesn't know what a C or a B is, but he has that great incentive for grooves and things like that," he says. "It was interesting to mix up somebody who is coming from let's say a groove world and somebody that comes from more of a musical background. So we basically joined forces on this project.

Antoine says he has been very musical since he was a youngster. "I've been playing so many different instruments since I was a kid actually. I decided on this record to play a little more than just the nylon string. Besides the electric guitar, I play acoustic steel strings and a lot of ethnic instruments. That's a major change, but I feel comfortable with it. I think some might be caught off guard by this album, but I'm pleased with the way it came out and I hope people will listen to it with an open mind, says Antoine.

The first single from Marc Antoine's "Modern Times" is called Bella Via. He says, It's got like a very strong beat, almost dance/Latin kind of a thing going on. A lot of great playing. I got Philippe Saisse playing the acoustic piano and the Rhodes on that. It's a very catchy melody."

One thing that is so important today in releasing a CD is what the record company will think about the project. Antoine moved from GRP Records to Rendezvous Entertainment, the label operated by saxophonist Dave Koz. He says, "Some of the record companies I have worked with before were a little bit reluctant for me to start branching into different things. When I made this record, Rendezvous had no idea what I was going to do. I tried to keep it like this until the very end," says Antoine, "and when I sent them the rough of the record, I was really under the impression that they maybe wouldn't like it. So, I did it and they loved it. To my surprise, they really loved it and when we sent the record to the radio stations and to the people in general, they are pleasantly surprised with the project."

Marc Antoine's relationship with Rendezvous has helped his career. "For me" he says, "it's like a big jump. It's very good. They pretty much let me be an artist the way I want to be an artist, which is like great when you're signed to a label." Part of that relationship was being able to perform during Koz' summer tour, which featured multi-instrumentalist Praful and vocalist Jeffrey Osborn. Antoine says, "Its been great. Touring with Dave is such a lot of fun. When you play with new people, you always learn from that. I love Jeffrey, I love playing with Praful and Dave. The first time I heard Praful's first record, I was like this guy is doing some interesting things. He's trying to push the boundaries a little bit. So for me, I was like looking forward to play with him. He's a great player and he responds real well to my music and I hope I was responding well to his."

Marc Antoine is a lot like Praful, wanting to do something different to challenge the listening audience. He has done it with "Modern Times" and I hope he can continue to push the boundaries of music so that there are no boundaries.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Marc Antoine
  • Interview Date: 10/1/2003
  • Subtitle: Mediterraneo
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