Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast

Laurent Maur interview

December 09, 2022 Neil Warren Season 1 Episode 75
Happy Hour Harmonica Podcast
Laurent Maur interview
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Laurent Maur joins me on episode 75.

Laurent is a jazz chromatic player from France. He first started learning diatonic before moving on to the chromatic to pursue his love of jazz music. He had some lessons with the French classical chromatic player, Claude Garden, helping to advance his technique. Laurent played with a few different bands, touring and recording albums with them before releasing two albums under his own name, and two with the Youpi Quartet. Laurent teamed up with the flute player from this quartet to release his most recent album, of duets with flute. 

Laurent makes use of different harmonicas beyond the chromatic and occasional diatonic, playing the recently released Suzuki bass and chord harmonicas as well as being one of the leading exponents of the DM48 midi chromatic harmonica.


Laurent’s website:

JJ Milteau Method for Diatonic and Chromatic Harmonica tuition book:

Suzuki SSCH-56: Compact Chord & S-48B (Bass):

Children’s show: The true Story of the Tchepperpou

Midi controller foot pedal:


La Cambiada with Orlando Pole:

Duo with Emilie Calme in Sunside Jazz Club, Paris:

Tuition video on using the Dorian scale:

Roland Mobile Cube amp:

Children’s show teaser:

Podcast website:

If you want to make a voluntary donation to help support the running costs of the podcast then please use this link (or visit the podcast website link above):

Spotify Playlist:
Also check out the Spotify Playlist, which contains most of the songs discussed in the podcast:

Podcast sponsors:
This podcast is sponsored by SEYDEL harmonicas - visit the oldest harmonica factory in the world at www.seydel1847.com  or on Facebook or Instagram at SEYDEL HARMONICAS
and Blows Me Away Productions: http://www.blowsmeaway.com/

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Laurent is a jazz chromatic player, originally from Paris, now living in Burgundy, France
First influence of jazz harmonica was through the Toots Thielemans and Bill Evans album, Affinity, given to him by a maths teacher
Bought first harmonica age 17 with Sugar Blue the first blues player he loved
JJ Milteau Diatonic and Chromatic Method book was first instructional material he used to learn diatonic
Started listening to the other diatonic players: with Sugar Blue and Big Walter his favourites
Blues scene in France was mainly in Paris, but he met two harmonica players in his town, including Dutch chromatic player Tim Welvaars
Spent a lot of time transcribing and essentials needed to learn jazz
Decision to switch over to focus on chromatic harmonica age 24
Blues is more accessible than jazz due to simpler chord structures
Busked and was in several bands playing diatonic from age 19 to 24
Switched to playing chromatic to learn jazz music
Learning curve the chromatic from being a diatonic player
Went to a jazz school in Paris
Practised a lot to make rapid progress and was living on the breadline as a musician
Moved from Paris to Bordeaux where he was able to perform more with jazz chromatic well received by jazz musicians
Playing in different types of bands in Bordeaux helped develop skills
Went to Trossingen in 2000 or 2001, winning the solo harmonica and jazz harmonica competitions
First recording was with the Francis Lockwood trio, harmonica with strings, after playing in a big band
Sent the album to Toots and JJ MIlteau and received encouraging responses back from both
After attending another jazz school, started playing with Orlando Pole in an Afro Venezuelan Latin jazz quintet
Playing with other bands, including Clem Cardenas and Yves Carbonne
Plays some Gypsy Jazz with Mayo Hubert and approach to playing this on chromatic
French player Vincent Bucher plays a lot with African musicians
Spent some years in China and Korea after financial crash of 2008
Popularity of people playing harmonica in China
Spent time in Korea and problematic pollution in Beijing
Played with a great Italian pianist in China and corporate gigs
Laurent played at a Jazz club in Beijing where he found his confidence and voice to play the music he wanted to play
Returned from the east and started releasing albums under his own name and with Youpi quartet
The Last Dance album, recorded live
Second live album: Chef Larry, with both albums including some French songs
How Laurent developed his fast playing
Had lessons with classical chromatic player Claude Garden, teaching him to use the pure sound with air, without lips or throat use
Recoded two albums with the Youpi Quartet
Great interaction between chromatic and flute
Latest album from Laurent is a duo with Emilie on flute: Fantaisie Improbable Pour Flutes et Harmonicas
Uses DM48 on this album
Also plays the Suzuki SSCH-56 (Compact Chord) and S-48B bass harmonica on the album
Plays harmonetta now
More on the DM48, with Laurent playing synthesised sounds, rather than instrument emulators
Has released some tuition videos on YouTube
Next album to be released recorded in Greece
10 minute question
How did he split his practise regime when practising 8 hours per day
Switching from 12 hole to 16 hole chromatic, which was a challenge
Advantages of 16 hole over 12 include playing octaves, making it sound like another instrument
Chromatic of choice is Suzuki Fabulous, also the Sirius
Still plays a little diatonic
Has a show for children where he plays some diatonic
Only plays C chromatics
Embouchre: mostly puckers but working on tongue switching
Amp used is a Roland Mobile Cube
Set-up when performing with DM48
Mic of choice is wireless Shure
Effects and Ableton Live
Future plans
Wants to explore DM48 using a foot pedal