7/4

Pat Metheny

170 posts in this topic

I didn't get through the whole article yet before I read this and had to post:

"Well, for me," he answered, "let's keep jazz as folk music. Let's not make jazz classical music. Let's keep it as street music, as people's everyday-life music. Let's see jazz musicians continue to use the materials, the tools, the spirit of the actual time that they're living in, as what they build their lives as musicians around. It's a cliché, but it's such a valuable one: something that is the most personal becomes the most universal."

Yes, yes yes YES! God dammit, AMEN!!!

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Yep; Pat is the anti-Wynton!! :lol:

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"B-flat minor, the saddest of all keys," Mr. Metheny said

I thought that was D-minor. :g

spinal%20tap%20nigel%20tufnel.jpg

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Jazz IS a classical music today. Just the fact. I defy anyone to show me any culture in the world today for whom Jazz is a 'folk music' and in any way part of 'contemporary' culture. It certainly has no connection to life as lived today by Black people, and it's supposed to be 'their' contribution to America.

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Well, for starters, there's the culture on this very board...

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of course it makes no sense to you, Rachel, and Joe...you guys are jazz fans.

Rarely in jazz guitar playing do I hear the sound of the guitar in the same way as I hear it with certain rock guitarists - going back: Link Wray, Carl Perkins, Hendrix (of course), Buddy Holly, (early) Jeff Beck, (early) Jimmy Page, Mike Bloomfield, Robbie Robertson, many many more. Jazz guitarists are either afraid of true, direct amplification (meaning natural tube distortion) or use so many stages of analog to digital to analog to digital to analog conversion that their tone achieves a kind of digital sheen or, in the case of even guitarists that I like very much like Metheny and Bill Frisell, becomes a wash of digitally distancing effects. Occasionally some jazz guy who thinks he's hip will use an overdrive PEDAL, but that's why it all sounds (in jazz AND rock today) like so much synthetic excitement -

Edited by AllenLowe

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of course it makes no sense to you, Rachel, and Joe...you guys are jazz fans.

Uh... Joe is a musician... and a very good one at that.

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so he's not a jazz fan just because he's a musician?

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so he's not a jazz fan just because he's a musician?

No, but the way your post read, it sounded like you were saying, "Of course you wouldn't understand... you're jazz fans" and thus don't know anything about music beyond what your average non-musician would know.

Are you not a jazz fan yourself?

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Jazz IS a classical music today. Just the fact.

Nope... just your opinion. And a rather narrow one at that.

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emphasis was meant to be JAZZ fans - my point was that, in my experience, jazz people rarely like the rougher side of guitar sound - yes I'm a fan, but probably not typical in my preferences -

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With all due respect....are you one of the leaders of Culture in America today?

Are the minuscule record sales of Jazz recordings a sign that everyone with an iPod is listening to Hank Mobley's Roll Call? Or a Jimmy Smith cut?

It happened that all the musicians got their wish to be treated as Artists. Fine, life isn't so bad when you're doing gigs in between that teaching job that pays for health care. It just isn't as exciting when you were hanging with the cats, doing dope and chasing broads (bitches, in 50's, 60's slang).

We should all get used to it and enjoy it and stop pretending that there is some magic wand that can restore Jazz to what was.

BTW Just as on the old BN board, almost all the posts here are about musicians that are either dead or about to die. I enjoye them as much as anyone, but if you're hanging in the past all the time....

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and just to add, jazz musicians are just as narrow in their prefeences - if not narrower - than non-musicians -

and, yes, I am a cultural leader of America today (if not THE cultural leader - that's Phil Schaap) -

Edited by AllenLowe

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emphasis was meant to be JAZZ fans - my point was that, in my experience, jazz people rarely like the rougher side of guitar sound - yes I'm a fan, but probably not typical in my preferences -

Well, before Joe got into jazz he played bluegrass for several years and then metal for several more. So there's that theory, shot down...

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that shoots nothing down, does not even address the point I am making, that jazz guitar sound is boring and homogenous (as is bluegrass, btw) - and metal is about as stylized and synthetic as you can get - the relationship of the sound of metal guitar to guitar is like the relationship of professional wrestling is to actual wrestling -

Edited by AllenLowe

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With all due respect....are you one of the leaders of Culture in America today?

I don't even know what that is. So I guess not. Does it matter?

Are the minuscule record sales of Jazz recordings a sign that everyone with an iPod is listening to Hank Mobley's Roll Call?  Or a Jimmy Smith cut?

I really don't care.

It happened that all the musicians got their wish to be treated as Artists.  Fine, life isn't so bad when you're doing gigs in between that teaching job that pays for health care.  It just isn't as exciting when you were hanging with the cats, doing dope and chasing broads (bitches, in 50's, 60's slang).

We should all get used to it and enjoy it and stop pretending that there is some magic wand that can restore Jazz to what was.

I agree.

BTW  Just as on the old BN board, almost all the posts  here are about musicians that are either dead or about to die.  I enjoye them as much as anyone, but if you're hanging in the past all the time....

I agree. So where does Metheny score in all of this? I mean, he's not really concerned with the past either and is constantly moving forward.

I guess I'm not getting what you're ranting about.

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I don't know why Jazz 'fans' are so afraid of the word 'Classical'. I don't know how many of you go to Western Europen Classical Music concerts, but they can be just as exciting as a great Jazz concert of Jazz or hearing Jazz in a club.

Heard Andre Watts, the pianist last Saturday, sold out, stage seats, Liszt, Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, Ligeti, Haydn...all dead...but the music still lives on and is just as exciting...Coltrane is dead, but his music still reaches people, and if it's less people than Green Day, SO WHAT? as Miles would say.

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that shoots nothing down, does not even address the point I am making, that jazz guitar sound is boring and homogenous (as is bluegrass, btw) - and metal is about as stylized and synthetic as you can get -

Then I guess I don't get what you're talking about. Maybe because I'm a "fan".

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you're ignoring, first of all, the substance of the argument - which is simply, as I said, that jazz guitar sound tends to be homogenous, synthetic, and boring - and that most fans of the music tend to like it that way. That's what I'm saying -

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you're ignoring, first of all, the substance of the argument - which is simply, as I said, that jazz guitar sound tends to be homogenous, synthetic, and boring - and that most fans of the music tend to like it that way. That's what I'm saying -

I don't really understand the synthetic comment. How do you define synthetic?

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it's as though Sonny Rollins were to say, well, the saxophone is unimportant, it's only the vessel for my expression. Well, in reality, everything Rollins plays is related to the instrument's physical capabilities as well as its expressive range - the idea of embouchore, location of the keys, the interaction of mouthpiece and reed, of volume and timbre. I just felt that Metheny was expressing something of a cliche and ignoring the importance of the direct physical capabilities of the guitar - as most jazz guitarists do - I found it a bit annoying for Rachel and Joe to simply dismiss my argument as "making no sense" because they disagreed. In this they were, I think, expressing a typical jazz-person's myopia. You're an organist - you know its not just another keyboard but a very specific kind of keyboard with very specific physical capabilities - if it wasn't, well, than any pianist could sit down at it and become an instant organist -

Edited by AllenLowe

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by synthetic I mean lacking in organic sound, sounding as though it were something created from essentially non-musical elements - not necessarily a bad thing. I just hate a lot of the effects and pedal that jazz (and other guitarists) use -

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by synthetic I mean lacking in organic sound, sounding as though it were something created from essentially non-musical elements - not necessarily a bad thing. I just hate a lot of the effects and pedal that jazz (and other guitarists) use -

Allen, is there any chance you could clarify things (at least for me, anyway) by mentioning some jazz guitar players with a sound that you do like?? (That's a serious question.)

From the sound of things, that's not very many current players (it would seem).

But over the last, say, 50 years or so -- please name one guitar player from each decade with a sound that you generally like (even if what they play with that sound isn't exactly to your liking).

Five names, that's all I need from you Allen -- to better understand where you're comin' from.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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But isn't it this very ignorance of the "direct physical capablities" of an instrument that lead innovators to expand the instrument's range?

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Hold on, let's back up:

you know the only thing that tends to bother me in that interview? Metheny does what a lot of musicians do, which is say that it's not important what the instrument is, but that the instrument is merely a vessel through which to express the music. I think this is very wrong headed - each instrument has it's own qualities that ought to be exploited - now, Metheny is a great player, but his attitude does explain, to me, why I hate the SOUND of most jazz guitar -

What I read in this post, before your explanation above, didn't make sense to me. I see what you're saying now about rock vs. jazz guitar tonalities, and the attitudes that each group brings to the process, and agree up to a point. I think Al Dimeola's rock tone has always sucked, and it can be hard to tell a Peter Bernstein from an Anthony Wilson. However, you also have to consider what the music wants. If you're playing what is primarily acoustic jazz, it would be really difficult to make an argument for having a distorted tube amp blasting away. It's a balancing act, and I haven't found a perfect solution to the various needs that my musical situations present as of yet.

I think Metheny is a good example of someone who has "exploited the qualities" of the guitar (and technology in general) in service of some forward thinking music, which is why the last sentence of your post made no sense to me.

BTW, I used to get an awesome metal tone back in the day, if I do say so myself. Straight into a beautiful tube amp, run cleaner than most metalheads, but crunchy. And LOUD! :rsmile:

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