7/4

Pat Metheny

170 posts in this topic

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 -

I guess I really don't get it. Jazz guitar (and bluegrass guitar) is boring and homogenous, yet pedals are synthetic and non-organic. Tube distortion is ok, though. Because tube distortion is organic.

:huh:

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well, it's getting late - I'll do my best - it's not ignorance of the physical capabiities but ignorance of the physical LIMITATIONS of an instrument that leads to innovation - that's a much differnt thing, I think -

as to jazz guitarists whose sounds and playing I like - well lets go back:

1) Eddie Lang - beautiful sound, great technique - love him -

2) Snoozer Quinn - an obscure one, from New Orleans, played with Whiteman and with others - not a great "line" player but swung and had a great acoustic sound -

3) Barney Kessell - straight ahead but very rich and full sound -

4) Jimmy Raney - probably the greatest improvisor of them all, almost did not sound amplified -

5) Joe Puma - beautiful, rich sound, lyrical plaer -

6) Al Casey (of Fats Waller) - great player, I saw him a lot in NYC in the 1970s - big sound, fluid player -

7) Charlie Christian - how can you not llike C.C.?

8) Nick Lucas - one of the great unsung - playing very swinging acoustic solos as early as 1923, before he became a crooner -

Edited by AllenLowe

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Joe - I don't disagree with much of what you said, I only felt you were too quick to dismiss my point - I just feel that there is a lot that can be done with tube technology and a good tube amp, a lot that can be done with the instrument and the hands, and I miss the direct SOUND of the tube-amplified guitar. Metheny is a great player, I agree - I just really do not like the sound of it all except in passing. I must say I prefer analog synthesis (is the B3 not an example of this?) and I really do believe a large part of the probelm with digital effects is the various stages of conversion and re-conversion - the truth is, the way many jazz guitarists use effects, they might as well be playing any instrument - I think this is problematic -

Edited by AllenLowe

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B3 - I am not making those kind of judgements, you are - I am simply saying that, from an objective standpoint, I hate the sound of most jazz guitar - I am trying to explain it in terms that I feel are accurately expressive of the problem - these are not ideological judgements I am making, but aesthetic. Tube distortion sounds great to my ears because it sounds good - not because I idealize its connection to nature. However, if I try to analyze why it sounds so good, than the answer is probobaly, yes, because it has rich and organically guitar-like characteristics. I find bluegrass playing homogenous and a little dull, its true - but for other reasons (to much codification of the style) -

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Allen - I think we agree more than disagree on this. I simply didn't understand what you were getting at initially the way you worded it. And I feel that there is some truth to the philosophy of "Music is food, the guitar is just a fork," to paraphrase Pat Martino. Again, it's a delicate balance. I remember seeing McLaughlin with Joey D. and Dennis Chambers, and being impressed with the music, but very disappointed with John's tone.

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"Jazz guitar (and bluegrass guitar) is boring and homogenous, yet pedals are synthetic and non-organic - "

B3, you're really being unfair here - if we are going to discuss this, let's discuss it. I never said any such thing or made any such connection - I was speaking about very different points, and connecting them is really a kind of debater's trick -

Edited by AllenLowe

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B3 - I am not making those kind of judgements, you are

Allen, I was using your exact words and phrases!!! Except for the "tubes = organic" part (which you agreed with in your last post), you used those same exact words in your posts! So how is it me making the judgement and not you!?? I didn't say those things!

:wacko:

:g

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Hi Joe - yes, we probably are in much agreement - it's just that what Metheny said has become such a Mantra that I am put off by it - it's one of those homilys that sounds good and makes sense until you really consider it and look at it, and that is, ultimately, insufficient to describe the challenge facing the jazz player. The real enemy, anyway, is SOLID STATE -

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"Jazz guitar (and bluegrass guitar) is boring and homogenous, yet pedals are synthetic and non-organic - "

B3, you're really being unfair here - if we are going to discuss this, let's discuss it. I never said any such thing or made any such connection - I was speaking about very different points, and connecting them is really a kind of debater's trick -

Ok, whatever. I'm done.

I don't agree with what you're saying anyway... but it's hard to agree or disagree with someone when you don't even understand what they're saying.

I just listen to the music. If it sounds good, I like it. I don't worry about what pedal the guitarist is or isn't using or if his amp has tubes in it.

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B3 - I used those words - but not in that order! Come on, you're being disingenuous - you combined them out of context and in the wrong relationship to each other -

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"I just listen to the music. If it sounds good, I like it. I don't worry about what pedal the guitarist is or isn't using or if his amp has tubes in it."

I am in complete agreement -

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"I just listen to the music. If it sounds good, I like it. I don't worry about what pedal the guitarist is or isn't using or if his amp has tubes in it."

I am in complete agreement -

YAY!

:g

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I would like to ask you one question, B3, before you go to sleep - do you play a real B3 or one of those digital synthesized versions?

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I would like to ask you one question, B3, before you go to sleep - do you play a real B3 or one of those digital synthesized versions?

I play a real one. Everyone here knows how I feel about the digital ones! :) Digital sucks.

:lol:

But let me quantify that statement: Digital, when trying to emulate something that already exists in the real world, like a piano or a string section, is not very good (although getting better every day). However, there are things that digital can do that sound good and are useful. Digital reverbs sound very nice these days (the new Waves IR1 Convolution Reverb is pretty damn amazing), for one example.

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I'm not totally anti-digital myelf (wish I could find a good digital plate reverb) - but I would suggest that the things you find important in organ sound are similar to the things I find important relative to guitar sound -

Edited by AllenLowe

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The UAD-1 EMT plate plugin is pretty sweet. So are the plates on the aforementioned Waves IR-1.

The local studio just got a real EMT plate from Muscle Shoals along with the Neve console that we'll be doing our next record on.... hopefully to tape. ;)

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I'm not totally anti-digital myelf

I know it's late, but I had to point out that spelling error. Too funny!

Go on with yo bad elf!

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Hmm..guess I missed the discussion, but for what it's worth, I don't care for most jazz guitar either. And if I'm reading Allen's comments correctly, for similar reasons: it amazes me that an music (jazz) that started out blurring the line between human voice and instruments can't stand it now when a guitarist does anything they consider odd to the instrument. Rock guitarists can do all kind of interesting things with the instrument and it's cool, but if a jazz guitarist does anything other than emulate Wes Montgomery, it's 'just not jazz'. But then I guess I don't understand what Allen's talking about, because that's just the reason that Pat Metheny is my favorite jazz guitarist: he ignores those rules.

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My personal preference would be for guitarists who ignore some of the rules, musically speaking -- while mostly respecting the rules sonically speaking. (Similar to the "inside/outside sax players" discussion we've been having elsewhere on the board.)

FWIW, the first name that came to mind as a guitarist who I think did this quite well, is Nathen Page (often misspelled as "Nathan Page". I've only heard him on three or four sessions (all from the 70's), and he didn't record much overall. But his work, especially on Charles Tollivers' COMPASSION, really embodies the "inside/outside" approach I like best, while basically keeping it "inside" in terms of sonics.

Edited by Rooster_Ties

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well, my elf got the better of me last night - and he's still sleeping...

to take this one step further, I do see Metheny and Frisell as countering the typical jazz guitar sound - yet replacing it with a kind of digital fog that has come to bore me as well - I'm not a conservative in my larger musical tastes but the best sounding guitars, to me, were probably in the 50's on those records by Sun, Chess and High - ultimately this gets into the realm of not only non-use of digital pedals but also the use of older amp speakers (less mids and upper mids, less power), lower powered amps, and certain kinds of pickups (not to mention real room sound). At this point it's just my opinion and probably more esoteric than something that would interest many people beyond myself, so I will let it go -

Edited by AllenLowe

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My personal preference would be for guitarists who ignore some of the rules, musically speaking -- while mostly respecting the rules sonically speaking. (Similar to the "inside/outside sax players" discussion we've been having elsewhere on the board.)

In other words -- you're not a huge Sonny Sharrock fan, eh? :lol:

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Heard Andre Watts, the pianist last Saturday, sold out, stage seats, Liszt, Mozart, Schubert, Debussy, Ligeti, Haydn...all dead...

Gyorgy Ligeti died? When???

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Maybe I understand this discussion of guitar tone.

I used to love McLaughlin's tone on Miles stuff and Mahavishnu and other earlier stuff, but around the time After the Rain came out and since then I find his tone to sound synthetic and generic and I wish he would go back to that earlier tone and frankly a lot of jazz guitarists today sound the same way.

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I like Sonny Sharrock -

Me too.

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