j lee

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Everything posted by j lee

  1. In what way do you think haggling has become one of the black arts? Or, I guess I mean to say, who castigates you for rooting out value? The way I see it, haggling, when it leads to purchasing a product for which you conceivably would have spent more to acquire, leads to a boon for the consumer, called (I think) by at least some (most) economists, consumer surplus -- or, if it were practiced by a business, many would call price-gouging. I really think the two aren't any different -- so when I feel compelled to rage against the evil engines of progress, I find it sobering to reflect upon my own actions to drive prices down and thus receive the "best value." That said, I think that the whole business of collecting, finding, and enjoying music -- which two former practices I do follow to some extent, and the third practice to the max, baby, although not having very much cash hasn't enabled me to purchase so many Mosaics and the like or blah blah -- is exactly the same phenomenon everyone else hangs the "consumerist" jacket on. It makes me feel very impure and defective many occasions to justify "having" by the degree to which I'm able to enjoy -- which enjoyment is only increased arithmetically by the number of notches one cuts on one's haggling-stick, econo-meter, CD-rack, or whatever. Thanks for the rant -- interesting. John
  2. Keepin' it greazy!!!

    Absolutely great -- I've always marvelled at McDuff's choice cover of "Christopher Columbus," one of Fats Waller's best performances, for me. I love McDuff's choice of bass lines for what is, essentially, a plain old Rhythm tune. I think Scott Hawthorn is selling a transcription of the head arrangement of this one as well, which is also somewhat surprising.
  3. Randall guitar amps

    That's interesting -- I currently use a Peavey Blues Classic 50 (a 50W combo with one 15" speaker) for my Rhodes (not at all the same as the beast you've described) but I've found it to be nearly ideal for my purposes, especially compared with the higher-powered powered monitors I use for acoustic piano and a few other keyboard amps I've tried it with (including one of the Yorkville combos -- I think the 300 or some such model). Lots of love for Peavey's tube gear here -- nice to see, I guess.
  4. Down-loading music from Walmart

    "JS Plays Fats" is a hot album. Did that ever come out on CD?
  5. Down-loading music from Walmart

    Check the Moose's last post -- it's about right, and I agree. Walmart is an artifact of corporatist leanings in US government which have their roots in Civil War-era American government and which, as such, are only different in quantity from the equally statist manner in which socialism conceives of the engine of progress. Broadly speaking, Walmart is a result of a government fundamentally unclear about the extent to which unfair favoring of corporations differs or does not differ from state-controlled collectivism, i.e., socialism. And I don't see what's particularly amusing about the examination of the sources of human suffering, however sanctimonious and self-righteous some of us may become in the process (I'm speaking about myself, but also of the forms). Although, coming from a pataphysician, the notion that one may respond to honest attempts to uncover the sources of this suffering with laughter seems about right.
  6. Down-loading music from Walmart

    Thank you for your civility, AfricaBrass -- I had not just the intention of insulting you when I suggested that the insults flung my way (not just by you) were the result of, for example, playground primitivism and lack of education (defined autocratically by me as having read the right books). It's certainly my opinion that the unintended consequences of well-meaning concern for others can be dire indeed, and that a properly ethical world-view demands a willingness to let others choose for themselves their own paths -- precisely because the consequences of making choices for others (whether it is setting an arbitrary minimum wage or determining in which apartment one may live) can't be determined with any more certainty than Pretty Pony to show in the 3:10 race. Statistically, sure, one may come out ahead some days on the ponies, behind on others, but the stakes are too high when one bets on someone's ability to feed themselves or their kin -- I don't think any man should gamble on the life of another, and I think that's exactly what's happening when one interferes with the contracts another man may or may not agree to. There's a lot to be criticized in the way Walmart deals with its contractors, but I think the criticism should be more sharply aimed than at the free-market, as concept, itself. I'm in no way suggesting that $5.00/hour (or whatever number the federal minimum wage is) is sufficient for most people, let alone the classic, "feeding a family of four" or what-have-you. But *even in practice* I don't see how it is possible that a company could find employees willing to work for an unacceptable wage, unless that wage *were* acceptable to those selling in a free manner their labor. In the U.S. the problem is compounded by the fact that there are diverse regions with different "costs of living" (as though this were something determinable), and further compounded when one refers to, for example, the classic arguments against expelling, for example, illegal migrant farm or restaurant workers -- namely, that they're willing to do the "dirty work" for lower wages than the U.S.'s own citizens. My point has everything to do with the implausibility that an outside observer, however armed with statistical records and data of all manner, can determine what is the correct minimum price of labor -- how *can*, even the most educated, the most astute observer possibly "level the playing field" from *outside* the field in which his or her objects play? It's not just a theoretical point, but it's a practical one as well -- as in, how does one do it? And how does one know one is doing it right? After all, resources being scarce and all, if one fixes prices at a certain point, rather than another, the net result is that jobs are *lost*, exported, mechanized, etc. A major problem is that the authors of such-and-such a critical price are *not* accountable for their mistake -- but those on the ground, in fact, suffer dearly for their incompetence. I'm not willing to set the correctness of an official price-setter's information against an individual's well-being, and I think that's the core of the issue between us, respect though I do that one may be trying to *help* level in the best of intentions what is a rough, mutable field. There's obviously a lot of complexity in the current US situation, and I'm not competent to unravel what's going on. But one thing seems certain to me (and, as I've indicated, I'm not exactly a solitary voice in the wilderness on this point): we *can't* determine what the standard, minimum, de facto "living wage" *is* -- it's sheerly impossible! It's proven every day that when a migrant worker subsists on far less per diem than a US national, this notion that a living wage is in fact subjective and relative. "Living wage" is completely relative to various other subjective decisions the author of a wage contract has already made -- for example, how far from his or her jobsite he or she is willing to live, with what degree of privacy he or she is willing to live, with what amenities. That *alone* is enough to convince me that any attempt to establish standards in this region is counterproductive, at best, and, at worst, authoritarian. There are, needless to say, a few other points to be made (and liminal cases to be considered: what about all of those restaurant FOH cats who depend on tips to make their bread? Most I know, and I've been there myself, wouldn't have it any other way!), but let me end on a note which I'm sure we can all agree upon: namely, that when an institution like Walmart conspires with the government to the effect of receiving benefits which aren't accorded smaller companies, the playing field is grossly uneven, to the detriment of us all. To me, that's the more serious issue regarding Walmart and our current dear heads of state.
  7. Down-loading music from Walmart

    I think it's the epitome of arrogance for one person or group of people to dictate what another's "minimum" wage ought to be -- and to thereby attempt to control or limit both the sorts of jobs and the quantity of jobs from which another person may be able to select. One person may find a job at $5.00 an hour, at a location five minutes from her house, a better deal than a job at $10.00 an hour, involving a difficult commute, necessity of an automobile, etc. Who am I, or anyone else, to decide the price at which another woman or man may sell his or her labor? In other words, start a thread, dudes -- and stop the crude, inchoate insults. The Austrian School of Economics is not exactly an unknown subject, so perhaps it's time to stop flinging sand and sucking thumbs and read a few books, if you find the concepts difficult or my position unorthodox. von Mises's _Human Action_ is a great place to start, and it's available for free in PDF at at least one easy-to-find website. Or, if cartoons are your thing, http://www.jonathangullible.com/mmedia/Phi...glish_music.swf is always good -- you can watch with your kids. The chicks can stay, and I hope that the next time I visit this thread they will have become even frothier and more alluring. Er...you know, time-preference, subjective value -- I mean, the women have the right to remain.
  8. Down-loading music from Walmart

    I've found that walmart.com was the best source for a recent purchase of all of the Pete Johnson and most of the Ammons Chronological Classics. It's a fact that they have one of the best inventories of this label available and at a low cost. Walmart's "damaging business model" is as such only if one believes that people are entitled to such things as minimum wages (determined by "smart people" with like, uh, Ph.D.s and stuff, note), union "representation," and the like -- I don't agree with such egalitarian, communistic principles, and if Walmart were not already supported/propped up by various strata of government (that is, by taxes upon my own revenues), it would be a slam dunk to support their efficient business model. I'm not a consumer of their downloads -- but I think it's a propos to offer an opposing viewpoint to what I think is an illiterate dismissal of walmart.com. FWIWIMO their brick-and-mortar stores are a horror, from the regimented, abhorrent treatment of their employees down to the obese uselessness of many of their patrons.
  9. Best Rolling Stones reissues?

    I'm considering picking up one of the newer hybrids of "Let it Bleed" -- and, perhaps, if the SACD layer is markedly better according to one specific criterion, a low-end multi-player. But here's the rub -- I just noticed, a few days ago, on one of my favorite cuts, "Live With Me," some features of the piano accompaniment which eluded me heretofore. Just classic -- a real lesson in how to use the LH on piano on these sorts of tunes, etc. The piano's sort of hard to hear on my CD, though -- I think it's the sort one ordinarily finds in US music stores, at least five years ago or so. EQ doesn't help in this case, but I'd like to hear more of the piano on this track and others. There must be some other Stu/Nick Hopkins fans who've had the problems I have, and, if so, I'd like to hear from them.
  10. Mosaic Sets for Sale or Trade

    Yeah, what a low-down SOB. Someone should call him out for making time with this board without first "saying" hello to no one in particular.
  11. BIG John Patton Is Da Shit

    From an interview with Jean-Louis Ginibre, in the liners to the Salle Pleyel 28-v-1965 concert CD on Malaco Classics: "Jack McDuff, Jimmy McGriff, Richard 'Groove' Holmes, Shirley Scott are my pupils. And so is Don Patterson, although we're closer. When we meet up on the road, they come to the club where I'm playing and after closing time, they gather around me and I show them different ways to improvise. I give them excerpts to study, and then I let them practice as much as they want. But most of the time they can't do what I show them."
  12. Groove Holmes

    As I'm listening to a great live set of Holmes playing in Seattle, I think, with Joe Dukes on drums, some of his remarks bring up the point that he wasn't always welcome to play in certain clubs, and perhaps didn't get the same chances of recording that many less-talented organists got. So, at the risk of bringing up any sore memories, does anyone know the real story? Did he cross some mobbed-up club owner somewhere? It's true there's just not very much on record of his that really shows his abilities, as demonstrated in at least this live boot (made with Holmes's permission, I should add). To say that's too bad is really a huge understatement -- WTF didn't Prestige record him more, anyway? He was probably as big a hit-maker as anyone else they were recording on the organ at the time, and certainly had the promise of continuing to do so, a la "Misty" and all that. Sad stuff -- I could listen to him all day, but there's more than a little rawness in my own emotions as I consider what he may have been up against himself.
  13. The Organ

    Is she anything like the lady lawyers on TV? If so, I'm going to need a phone number, Jazz Kat.
  14. Groove Holmes

    Thanks Marcello, for those anecdotes -- it's great to hear recollections that Western NY (at least Buffalo-Rochester) was really prime territory for organ playing back in the day, not that I was around here when it went down. For what it's worth, I got the idea for this thread when a spin-off from another one from a while back ("The Joy of Knowing the Chords") was suggested, thinking of these two comments by: organfreak: "While extremely bitter about his feeling that he had been denied the same opportunities as Jimmy Smith, Groove was one of the sweetest ppl who ever lived, and was totally generous in letting me record, no questions asked." BruceW: "We all know Groove got blacklisted for awhile, but does anybody know what actually happened to cause that drastic action???? How long did it actually last????"
  15. The Organ

    I once transcribed Don Patterson's solo on "Oleo" and, for kicks, a few choruses of Sam Jones's bass on (I think) the Bill Evans recording of the tune. The similarities in the use of space between each note were pretty astounding. IMO it's one of the reasons why most pianists don't sound like Dave McKenna when they try to walk bass -- the separation of each note isn't as obvious to pick up on by ear as it is on the organ. Just a theory.
  16. Best Rolling Stones reissues?

    Bummer there's no "Exile" (yet) -- maybe they couldn't find the tapes or they were damaged by Gallic excess. Fortunately there's no lack of good Stu elsewhere. An excellent argument for keeping an EQ of some kind around -- I wouldn't listen to a great many rock and roll sides without trying to tweak up the piano in the mix, personally.
  17. Groove Holmes

    The recording was made in 1982. It's hosted with Groove's permission at http://organfreak.tripod.com//newestsnds.html. The playing is extraordinary -- well beyond anything I've heard on ANY of his records, in terms of of his stretching out and ebulliance. Somewhat like JOS's "Groovin' at Small's Paradise," mutatis mutandis. On one of his announcements he says something like "It's good to be playing up here. I got blocked out of a lot of jobs, a lot of clubs, but I'm finally moving." (I can't remember exactly his words). Also, "Right now I can't find no cash at all -- it's like finding gold if I get a dollar," but that's hardly a situation unique to Groove, especially for that time, I imagine (although maybe a tad surprising, given that he earned his reputation as one of the ONLY masters of the instrument). Even if he did record a number of things -- including some sideman dates not listed in AMG -- I suppose it seems like not enough to me, even though a lot of those recordings are really classic.
  18. The Organ

    You mean like a contrapuntal thing? Sounds hard! Don't miss Bob (Bobby) Jones's playing on some of Bobby Millitello's records -- he'll actually, during his solos, play all the bass on his feet and comp LH for his solos. It's an odd sound, but it's worth hearing. Since I live in Buffalo I've thought about trying to get some lessons from him if I get the time to devote to learning a new thing. The suggestion Scott Hawthorn gives for an "organ bass" record, Groove Holmes's "Soul Message" is a good one, as well, if you're interested in really learning to distinguish the manual and pedal tones by ear.
  19. The Organ

    At the risk of repeating some of the same information (or slightly different) presented here, it might be useful to have a look at: http://organfreak.tripod.com//bass.html Scott's page collects a number of different insights, with examples, into kicking bass on one single page -- it was helpful to me a couple of years ago, even though your ears will be the final primer on the subject, especially on deciding if you want to bother doubling all your lines on pedals on each and every chorus. Maybe not so much new content we haven't already heard here, but a different presentation style, for sure. I love Joey D's remarks on tapping in (one of?) his Keyboard Mag interviews: "Sometimes, at the end of the night, when my leg gets tired, or on a blues, I might just tap one pedal" (or something like that). The truth may be somewhere in between, for a lot of guys anyway, not necessarily Joey, who I'm sure can do whatever he wants technically. John Patton, for example, seems to use (I'll have to check on which cuts of which albums) a LOT of footwork more frequently than almost anyone I can think of -- I mean the actual doubling of lines such that your ear can tell which notes are being played and when. At least that's what I hear. Sounds fantastic -- a great sound, but definitely not the only sound possible (although it's the one I'm most interested in at the moment). For a really special out-front lesson, if you have the RVG of "Grantstand," check out the cut "Green's Greenery" -- one chorus of Jack McDuff playing just bass with nothing else going on, medium-up. Nothing fancy, but you can hear for yourself what's going on.
  20. Best Rolling Stones reissues?

    If anyone has the new mastering of "Exile on Main Street," I'm wondering if there's been any improvement in the audibility of Ian Stewart's piano on, for example, "Turd on the Run" and "Rip This Joint"? That's always bothered me in particular -- his playing is astoundingly in the pocket on these cuts, but difficult to hear even with tweaking the EQ on the older CD issues. Somewhat the same story on "Get Yer Ya Yas Out".... Thanks, John
  21. BMG Sale Corner

    Good point -- yesterday I bought a bunch of clearance $1.99 titles and, using the 60% off/no s/h code bought two 2-cd sets -- that, with four free cds I had coming to me brought the average cost to around $4.12/CD or something like that. At any rate $1.99+2.74 < $4.99, if you're into the uber-realm of bargain seeking. Also at $1.99: Hampton Hawes, "Northern Windows"; Richter on Prokofiev's 8th Sonata and 5th Concerto; von Karajan conducting Mahler's 5th; Monk's "Misterioso" (one of my favorites); recent Brendel on Mozart's concerti 22 and 27 (if you're an Alf fan); Martha Argerich "Live from the Concertgebouw 1978-1979"; Emerson Str Quart playing Webern's works for string quartet (if you don't have one of the boxes, this is a good place to start, I suppose). Plus the ones mentioned and some others.
  22. "You're my Everything"

    I'm really fond of Freddie Hubbard &co's version on "Hub-Tones." If I remember correctly, Mark Levine in "The Jazz Theory Book" gives at least a couple of examples of Herbie's voicings from this performance -- but I don't know if they are accurate or not.
  23. GRE

    I took the GRE (paper) about five years ago. Verbal, Analytical, Quantitative (or something like that). I certainly did nothing to prepare, and was rewarded by an imperfect result. One certainly *can* study for this, though. Probably not worth your while to spend time learning vocabulary lists, unless you have hopes of becoming a professional Scrabble player as well. But, a brief glance at an intro to formal logic book (like the book Copi co-authored with another fellow, called "Intro to Logic" [sections on formal and informal logic] or some such) could help, if you're at all concerned with the Analytic portion. Good luck!
  24. I've just read the thread you linked to, BW. I'm surprised the Audioasylum folks were quite as tolerant of someone who, while supposedly living the good life with his "fillet [sic] mignon," his "art and music," and his staggering collection of 10,000 "songs" (soon to be augmented by another 10,000 "songs" bequeathed unto him by a "close relative"), can't manage to write better than an ungifted high school student. It hurts me to see such poor literacy among the young, far more than any criticism of "ALS" may insult.