April 8, 2008
Interview by Scott Preston
Melvin Sparks is the Essential Guitar Player! He’s The Master Of The Groove! The Acid-Jazz Pioneer! The Originator of Soul Jazz, Old School Acid Jazz & BarbecueFunk(FUNKJAZZ)
Over the last thirty years he has played with some of Jazz’s greatest musicians: David "Fathead" Newman, Lou Donaldson, Hank Crawford, Reuben Wilson and John Patton (are amongst the many). During the 1970s, Sparks backed up Lou Donaldson on the Funk-Jazz classics "Everything I Play Is Funky" and "Hot Dog".
Sparks recorded seven albums of his own and played on over 100 other albums. As a session man for Blue Note and Prestige Records, Sparks laid his signature guitar work on many other musician’s albums without ever being in spotlight. It was during this time that Melvin defined the jazz-guitar sound of a generation.
Melvin Sparks is still a much sought-after studio player, both new and old talents seek him out now more than ever. He continues to perform with the greats of this genre such as Leon Spencer Jr., Mike Clark and Idris Mohammed and is now breaking out his legendary guitar wizardry with many younger bands and artists such as Galactic, The Greyboy Allstars, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Derek Trucks and Robert Walter's 20th Congress.
Cincy Groove: What projects are you working on right now?
Melvin Sparks: Well, there's nothing in the works right now. I'm kind of in transition, regrouping my band. I may have to do some guest spots with some other bands.
Read the full Interview here