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  1. #1

    New John Williams interview

    Interesting recent interview with John Williams and Marcelo Kayath:


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  3. #2
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    Thanks for sharing. My favorite classical guitarist. Such a great player.
    Check out my new book, Essential Skills for the Guitarist on Amazon.

  4. #3
    One of the Greatest Guitarists of all time....

    He took Segovia's Technique and elevated it technically, tonally, dynamically.

    Amazing facility with rest strokes in his pieces and the crisp Tones he gets and he can play almost anything.

    Interesting where he discusses the inability of Classical Techniques for speed of the Violinists...(which we are approaching with the Pick)
    and the Rhythmic differences he and the Narrator speak of between more 'street' type Musicians often having stronger or more innate Rhythmic Ability..

    Where's part 2 ?
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 08-06-2016 at 10:21 PM.

  5. #4
    I think there will be another 3 parts, but they haven't uploaded them yet.

  6. #5
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    Some funny bits at the end. I studied with Williams at Paco Pena's festival in Cordoba in the early 80s, and his interest in jazz led him to pick me out to give him jazz lessons. His musicianship is so deep that I couldn't imagine him having difficulty with basic jazz theory or application, but it quickly became evident that he was lacking the ability to loosen up enough to swing and improvise. He was crestfallen, admitting that he didn't feel it, and I said that there was really no reason that he or anyone else should be able to do everything they think of. He agreed, but mentioned his father's ability, so I think he was really missing that connection. One of his daughters is a very good jazz pianist, for which he takes absolutely no credit.

    I look forward to more episodes, we spent a lot of time chatting about these subjects, and his viewpoints years later are interesting, as some have changed, but many have solidified. I'll also note that he clearly has great respect for Kayath, who is a monster musician and guitarist that has come back to the guitar after a long layoff.

  7. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz View Post
    Some funny bits at the end. I studied with Williams at Paco Pena's festival in Cordoba in the early 80s, and his interest in jazz led him to pick me out to give him jazz lessons. His musicianship is so deep that I couldn't imagine him having difficulty with basic jazz theory or application, but it quickly became evident that he was lacking the ability to loosen up enough to swing and improvise. He was crestfallen, admitting that he didn't feel it, and I said that there was really no reason that he or anyone else should be able to do everything they think of. He agreed, but mentioned his father's ability, so I think he was really missing that connection. One of his daughters is a very good jazz pianist, for which he takes absolutely no credit.

    I look forward to more episodes, we spent a lot of time chatting about these subjects, and his viewpoints years later are interesting, as some have changed, but many have solidified. I'll also note that he clearly has great respect for Kayath, who is a monster musician and guitarist that has come back to the guitar after a long layoff.
    Yes. He refers to that fact and also I was surprised that he loves Venezuelan Music .

    Years ago I did a little Jamming with some Venezuelan Musicians and I absorbed some of the Rhythms of the Cuatro using pick and fingers not in a Travis Picking or Bastardized Classical way ( using free strokes with M and A while picking and strumming with the pick = bastardized Classical ...lol )...

    But I was doing strums and also hitting strokes with M A and pinky finger to get the complex but precise Rhythms the Cuatro Players use.

    There are some that play Solo Cuatro - think of Flamenco Chord Melody Style who are incredible Rhythmically and John loosely refers to that ...

    I am not going to develop it because I am doing great with the Pick and I don't want to waste 5 years lol but I am almost certain [ because I can demonstrate it ] that in order to have Finger Style " rest strokes" swing and also play at Violin type speeds and Rhythms [ which I approach with pick ] -
    And also loosen up the Rhythms to flow more as John Williams alludes to:

    The Fundamental Idea of floating the right hand of Classical and Flamenco for
    99% of Players will not work for swinging and effortless almost legato but picking every note stuff and playing across strings in Rhythm [ wider intervals] -and in the more flowing Rhythms;
    Until they start lightly resting [ not anchoring] the base of the thumb on the face of the Guitar...which reduces the margin for error and shortens the strokes and makes immediate Mind to Body connection to the Guitar much easier.

    Notice the Narrator talking about how they need to 'warm up' and etc etc. and be so precise...resting base of thumb just touching it to face of Guitar opens a lot of doors because it automatically reduces the Tolerances ( distances margin of error ) for wild rest stroke type playing and in fact you are not even ' banging into the next string as hard on rest strokes 'because of more inherent precision).

    For certain things the Thumb can come up off but not way off ..

    By the way - I am very impressed that you gave Lessons ( !) to a legendary Guitarist like John Williams and know him.....Wow !

    I really want to hear more Interviews from him for Interest and Enlightenment of Music in General...
    Last edited by Robertkoa; 08-07-2016 at 01:05 PM.

  8. #7
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    Don't be impressed, we were just two guitar players looking for information. He's formidably intelligent and inquiring, and I felt a little bad for him that he couldn't experience that feeling in jazz. On the other hand, he's performed and recorded with some of the world's greatest orchestras, toured and recorded with Inti-Illimani, Cleo Laine, Richard Harvey and Julian Bream, recorded with Jacqueline Dupre, Skye and Bela Fleck.

    Really, John, nobody gets to do everything, but you're well ahead.

  9. #8
    I am not the hero worship type...but still impressed...lol.

    I think it's the lineage...and the fact you were playing ...talking music makes it cooler...

    Yes. It's too bad he didn't turn into a Classical ...swinging..rest stroke playing ...lol.

    Next time ( slim chance) I think you should show him some Bossa Nova type stuff...maybe his
    internal clock can feel that more...

    But as you say...being the Historical Heir to Segovia should be enough or whatever he is...lol.

  10. #9
    I read an interview in a Gene Lees book with Milt Bernhardt about the problems classical virtuosi have with improvising jazz.
    MB was in the studio during Andre Previn's first attempts at making a jazz LP. He said that Previn would rush like mad, and it was a total disaster.
    Ray Brown worked with him on it, and he improved a great deal.
    MB also spoke about the disastrous jazz CD Ithzak Perlman made with Jim Hall and Red Mitchell.
    At one point, they had to write out his improvisations for him, because he just couldn't do it without reading.

  11. #10
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    that Perlman CD is worth the money for Hall and Mitchell, though.

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