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  1. #1

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    So I was going through these songs with a student:





    both share a common root in the song Scarborough Fair as performed by British folk legend Martin Carthy



    One common factor between these songs is this voicing:

    0 5 4 0 3 0

    in various capoings.... Simon plays

    x 0 4 0 3 0

    I then watched Peter Bernstein talk about how Kind of Blue changed the sound of the minor chord, and something went ‘dong!’ in my head.

    he really defines the change in terms of adding the b7 to the minor chord...

    Because that voicing is in the first case very much that sound:

    1 b7 9 b3 b7 1

    in the second it’s a sus sound.

    1 6 b7 4 5

    (Lage Lund demonstrates a moveable version of this shape as an inversion of the maj9th chord incidentally.)

    Scarborough Fair is a Dorian melody as a lot these old tunes are. But the use of harmony is strikingly 20th century.

    And I remembered that McLaughlin uses the exact same voicing in the first few moments of the album ‘in a Silent Way.’ This voicing also pops up in Blues. Jimi uses it in Voodoo Chile Slight Return for instance.

    Anyway I bring it up because there modal voicings are obviously a big part of 60s music. I’m thinking of Joni, for instance, or Davy Graham’s DADGAD tuning and the way many in Irish and Scottish music seem to have adopted lush modal voicings that in another context would sound jazz. Also John Martyn (a big fan of the Miles album as you can certainly hear in his early 70s work) would use alternate tunings including DADGAD instinctively to get lush modal sounds much like Joni did.

    And then of course there’s Pentangle. Bert Jansch and John Renbourn were clearly very interested in jazz.

    any thoughts on these connections? How what we think of as ‘jazz sounds’ ended up in folk music, folk rock and acoustic singer songwriter material? No doubt people were eclectic listeners with big musical imaginations, but I’m interesting in learning more about the connections...
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-20-2020 at 08:16 AM.

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  3. #2

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    The Troubadour on Old Brompton Road was the headquarters of the 1960s folk revival, but also hosted jazz gigs. It was there that Alexis Korner discovered Charlie Watts.

  4. #3

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    Another example...

  5. #4

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    The Zombies "She's Not There" x0201x -> x0403x -> x0505x

    Free "All Right Now" A ADA x05030 -> x04030

    Emerson Lake & Palmer "From The Beginning" 5x5500 -> 5x4030

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    The Troubadour on Old Brompton Road was the headquarters of the 1960s folk revival, but also hosted jazz gigs. It was there that Alexis Korner discovered Charlie Watts.
    Ah, I spent many a happy hour in there!

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Bert Jansch and John Renbourn were clearly very interested in jazz.
    I was at a John Renbourn gig in a pub in Brighton. He played some very nice jazzy stuff at the end. He said he got the sounds from piano music.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    Ah, I spent many a happy hour in there!
    Still going

  9. #8

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    The folk thing is a hindrance, I struggle to not sound like Scarborough Fair or a jam band even on a ii7, let alone trying to play modal Jazz

    Indian music is the other 60s influence, most Hindustani CM is one of the diatonic modes

    this is the Dorian mode as well


  10. #9

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    Also John Martyn (a big fan of the Miles album as you can certainly hear in his early 70s work) would use alternate tunings including DADGAD instinctively to get lush modal sounds much like Joni did.

    Joni Mitchell.. her early attractiion to jazz..created story lines and harmonic/melodic chords movements that appealed to a jazz flavor...not surprised that an icon of the art form Charles Mingus..worked with her .. she also had some of the best jazz players on some of her work..Metheny..Hancock..Michael Brecker..and other jazz players have used her songs on some of their recordings

    over the years ther have been tributes to her work performed by musicians and singers that may not be well known but are well versed in the jazz launguage...

    and this of course brings up once again..what is Jazz..??...(or any type of music..) the ridged definitions of any type of music fail when musicians bring several elements of style into their work..Mitchell is one who did that early on..and it was noticed by some of the top musicians in all genres...





  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by wolflen
    Also John Martyn (a big fan of the Miles album as you can certainly hear in his early 70s work) would use alternate tunings including DADGAD instinctively to get lush modal sounds much like Joni did.

    Joni Mitchell.. her early attractiion to jazz..created story lines and harmonic/melodic chords movements that appealed to a jazz flavor...not surprised that an icon of the art form Charles Mingus..worked with her .. she also had some of the best jazz players on some of her work..Metheny..Hancock..Michael Brecker..and other jazz players have used her songs on some of their recordings

    over the years ther have been tributes to her work performed by musicians and singers that may not be well known but are well versed in the jazz launguage...

    and this of course brings up once again..what is Jazz..??...(or any type of music..) the ridged definitions of any type of music fail when musicians bring several elements of style into their work..Mitchell is one who did that early on..and it was noticed by some of the top musicians in all genres...




    Well it’s easy to hear that Court and Spark on where her sound started to realign with jazz/rock to a greater and greater extent... but it was always there in her voicings.

    take these chords that open this atmospheric early song



    its easy to hear where Metheny got some of his sounds from.

    Although to be honest I’ve never been crazy about jazz artists covering her songs. Or anyone tbh.

  12. #11

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    So in a way I’m kind of less interested in the artists who obviously crossed over into jazz like Joni and Martyn, because their connections are well known, and more in those who play acoustic folk music and yet use these rich voicings... where does all that stuff come from?

    ive heard some stories about Scottish band leaders hearing American jazz broadcasts on long wave and adding voicings into their arrangements that way, which is a good story... but I don’t know much about that music or where to start... certainly it’s fascinating to me that for instance Irish Trad Folk music is actually extremely eclectic, but instantly recognisable... a bit like jazz....

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by BWV
    The folk thing is a hindrance, I struggle to not sound like Scarborough Fair or a jam band even on a ii7, let alone trying to play modal Jazz

    Indian music is the other 60s influence, most Hindustani CM is one of the diatonic modes

    this is the Dorian mode as well

    there’s a terrific guitar summit out out by my music masterclass a few years back...



    IIRC Fuse (I think) demonstrates the blues scale embellished in an African American way, a Hindustani way and a Carnatic way. Each example sounds like that music right away....

    So an awful lot of music is ornamentation and rhythm. We favour pitch choices in education because we are idiots. Sorry I mean because it’s easier to quantify and assess. so the killing blues guitarist gets told to demonstrate knowledge of more scales for instance, and a weaker musician with more theory gets marked higher... (one of my students had that experience at the uni I was teaching at)

    Even changes in intonation. West African scales that sound superficially Ionian have subtle differences in intonation that make them sound very particular....

  14. #13

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    Having said that there’s something pretty jazz about rolling a scale out vertically as a chord, which is what those voicings do...

    Obviosuly not hard at all - simple chord forms moved up the neck with open strings.... but to hear those sounds as valid requires a conceptual leap?

    the Bob Dylan example is a sleeper, because we all imagine he’s a three chord guy (at least I do) - and I think of those chords had been used a generation earlier they would have been regarded as beyond the pale...

    or maybe not.

  15. #14

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    I suppose the traditional connection is the harp, especially for the fingerstyle stuff.

  16. #15

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    As far back as I can recall, the folk guys were not sticking to straight major minor and seventh chords. Rather, they were employing guitar tricks to add other notes. So, they'd drop their pinkie on B string 3rd fret (D) to add some richness to a Cmajor. Same thing by adding an A on the G string in a Gmajor. And, so on.

    I can't tell you who did it first, but I'd question whether it really comes out of a jazz sensibility or just the pop music of the day.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So I was going through these songs with a student:





    both share a common root in the song Scarborough Fair as performed by British folk legend Martin Carthy



    One common factor between these songs is this voicing:

    0 5 4 0 3 0

    in various capoings.... Simon plays

    x 0 4 0 3 0

    I then watched Peter Bernstein talk about how Kind of Blue changed the sound of the minor chord, and something went ‘dong!’ in my head.

    he really defines the change in terms of adding the b7 to the minor chord...

    Because that voicing is in the first case very much that sound:

    1 b7 9 b3 b7 1

    in the second it’s a sus sound.

    1 6 b7 4 5

    (Lage Lund demonstrates a moveable version of this shape as an inversion of the maj9th chord incidentally.)

    Scarborough Fair is a Dorian melody as a lot these old tunes are. But the use of harmony is strikingly 20th century.

    And I remembered that McLaughlin uses the exact same voicing in the first few moments of the album ‘in a Silent Way.’ This voicing also pops up in Blues. Jimi uses it in Voodoo Chile Slight Return for instance.

    Anyway I bring it up because there modal voicings are obviously a big part of 60s music. I’m thinking of Joni, for instance, or Davy Graham’s DADGAD tuning and the way many in Irish and Scottish music seem to have adopted lush modal voicings that in another context would sound jazz. Also John Martyn (a big fan of the Miles album as you can certainly hear in his early 70s work) would use alternate tunings including DADGAD instinctively to get lush modal sounds much like Joni did.

    And then of course there’s Pentangle. Bert Jansch and John Renbourn were clearly very interested in jazz.

    any thoughts on these connections? How what we think of as ‘jazz sounds’ ended up in folk music, folk rock and acoustic singer songwriter material? No doubt people were eclectic listeners with big musical imaginations, but I’m interesting in learning more about the connections...
    Paul Simon saw Martin Carthy perform SF at a club in the UK, and went backstage and Carthy wrote out the changes he used for his version for Simon.
    Simon thanked him by not giving a cent to Carthy when it became a hit record in the US. Carthy kept bothering Simon for years about it, and finally, after about 30 years, Simon gave him credit for the beautiful arr. Carthy wrote of SF.

  18. #17

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    There's also a lot of very hip changes in Nick Drake's folk tunes of that time, and Drake played a bit of jazz alto sax in college. River Man was covered by that US jazz pianist (forgot his name). Drake told the arranger of "River Man" to "do something 20th century classical" with the string arr. of River Man. "Maybe a bit of Delius" he suggested.
    Drake used jazz guys like Danny Thompson on acoustic bass on most of his recordings, and the use of acoustic bass was one of the strongest connections jazz and folk music of the 60s had. Donovan used acoustic bass on a lot of his stuff, and even mentions Mingus in the lyrics of "Sunny Goodge Street", a jazz-influenced tune of his.
    Pentangle's "Reflection" was their most overt excursion into jazz. Dylan's "If Dogs Ran Free" was an homage to the jazz/Beat poetry movement of the 50s.
    The hipper folkies were more well rounded musically than the strict traditionalists, and were quite aware of what was going on in jazz.
    US artists like Dave Von Ronk, Richie Havens, Judee Sill (was a jazz bassist) and others were hip to jazz, and Judee Sill used Paul Horn and Don Ellis' bass player, Bill Plummer on all her records.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjazzguitar
    As far back as I can recall, the folk guys were not sticking to straight major minor and seventh chords. Rather, they were employing guitar tricks to add other notes. So, they'd drop their pinkie on B string 3rd fret (D) to add some richness to a Cmajor. Same thing by adding an A on the G string in a Gmajor. And, so on.
    I’m not being funny but are there people who don’t know this stuff? (Actually probably are, there are people who go direct to djent after all) It’s the deep folklore of the instrument. Must have come from somewhere though.

    the Beatles have some tricks for sure, where they picked them up - harder to trace. I’m sure some people have the knowledge.

    I can't tell you who did it first, but I'd question whether it really comes out of a jazz sensibility or just the pop music of the day.
    its the timeline.

    when you are taking about someone like Carthy you are certainly not talking about a pop musican but someone who was obsessed with English folk music, and in addition you are talking about someone who was influential on Dylan etc and therefore on the entire music scene after. Dylan, man. The song he helped inspire, Girl from the North country was 1963. The Beatles were in the early stages .

    So a lot of this guitar folklore was probably being developed at this time. And things like ‘You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away’ sounds like an attempt to channel Dylan, for instance, which I mention because it has all those droney added note tricks.

    I would also question it; but just saying ‘it was the pop music of the time’ tells us nothing. Everything comes from somewhere... V7sus4 chords are a trope of the time, and I have a good working theory of where they came from.

    those m7 tinged tonic minors are a real trope of 60s music of all kinds.

    So the question I’d like to know is was this a thing elsewhere/before Miles? Did he really have that far reaching an influence? Or was it more of a convergent thing?
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-20-2020 at 06:50 PM.

  20. #19

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    Come to think of it Bossa quite often used these sounds. At least m9....

    Paul Simon has mentioned being a Jobim fan for instance....

    Bossa comes a bit out of Barney Kessel, doesn’t it?

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    There's also a lot of very hip changes in Nick Drake's folk tunes of that time, and Drake played a bit of jazz alto sax in college. River Man was covered by that US jazz pianist (forgot his name). Drake told the arranger of "River Man" to "do something 20th century classical" with the string arr. of River Man. "Maybe a bit of Delius" he suggested.
    Drake used jazz guys like Danny Thompson on acoustic bass on most of his recordings, and the use of acoustic bass was one of the strongest connections jazz and folk music of the 60s had. Donovan used acoustic bass on a lot of his stuff, and even mentions Mingus in the lyrics of "Sunny Goodge Street", a jazz-influenced tune of his.
    Pentangle's "Reflection" was their most overt excursion into jazz. Dylan's "If Dogs Ran Free" was an homage to the jazz/Beat poetry movement of the 50s.
    The hipper folkies were more well rounded musically than the strict traditionalists, and were quite aware of what was going on in jazz.
    US artists like Dave Von Ronk, Richie Havens, Judee Sill (was a jazz bassist) and others were hip to jazz, and Judee Sill used Paul Horn and Don Ellis' bass player, Bill Plummer on all her records.
    Im also thinking very obviously Astral Weeks.... not that Van was a ‘folk’ artist exactly: but it fits into the vibe.

    Everyone used Danny Thompson haha. According to John Martyn he was a Blue Note obsessive before Martyn hipped him to electric Miles later on, but all the ‘folk baroque’ guys seemed to play with him....

    super eclectic scene it sounds like although I’m sure a lot of the traditionalists hated it...anyway this was all a few years later... Martin Carthy and Davey Graham were foundational figures on that scene... Graham’s thing was a fusion of folk with jazz and Moroccan influences influenced Jimmy Page to use DADGAD (which he is meant to have invented) for instance....

    but then DADGAD shows up as a popular tuning in Irish trad

  22. #21

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    Also @sgcim - Donovan taught the Beatles to fingerpick didn’t he? So the White Album stuff - Dear Prudence and Blackbird, Mother Nature’s son can be tracked back to him to some extent...

    I must confess I don’t know Donovan’s music very well at all. Listening to Sunny Goodge Street, brush waltz drums, mellow electric guitar in the mix, chromatic descending bass... OK

    EDIT: double time 4/4 jazz flute solo
    i have reached peak late 60s, but also the jazz vibe is not small.

    Goodge Street for those who don’t know is a street and tube station in north soho, Central London.

    You’d head south to the seedy side of town where the jazz scene was in the 60s... Ronnie Scott’s and the Pizza is still there now. On the way you’d pass Ivor Mairants guitar shop where I bought my Macaferri and my first archtop; where John McLaughlin used to be a salesman back in the 60s. Sadly gone last year.

    And presumably also the folk clubs back in the 60s.

    I was in halls there as a student in the 90s. Changed a lot since then even...

    Certainly gets the vibe....
    Last edited by christianm77; 05-20-2020 at 07:33 PM.

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I’
    I would also question it; but just saying ‘it was the pop music of the time’ tells us nothing. Everything comes from somewhere... .
    That "somewhere" can be the background music of life. It doesn't have to be a more specific influence. I don't see any reason to assume that folk musicians couldn't find an altered chord without having listened to Monk.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So I was going through these songs with a student:





    both share a common root in the song Scarborough Fair as performed by British folk legend Martin Carthy



    One common factor between these songs is this voicing:

    0 5 4 0 3 0

    in various capoings.... Simon plays

    x 0 4 0 3 0

    1 b7 9 b3 b7 1

    in the second it’s a sus sound.

    1 6 b7 4 5

    Scarborough Fair is a Dorian melody as a lot these old tunes are. But the use of harmony is strikingly 20th century.


    Anyway I bring it up because there modal voicings are obviously a big part of 60s music. I’m thinking of Joni, for instance...

    And then of course there’s Pentangle. Bert Jansch and John Renbourn were clearly very interested in jazz.

    any thoughts on these connections? How what we think of as ‘jazz sounds’ ended up in folk music, folk rock and acoustic singer songwriter material? No doubt people were eclectic listeners with big musical imaginations, but I’m interesting in learning more about the connections...
    First of all, thanks for posting Carthy's (pre-Simon) version. Beautiful singing and playing---so pure!

    I've been thinking about this myself a lot lately, especially since I recently got a good Martin and plan to do a lot of performing/recording with it. Those beautiful, dark, low-position voicings were as much the lingua franca of the '60s as the electric stuff---and I'm a child of the '60s. Those things are in all our souls and brains. I was turned on to Jansch and Renbourne while still a teen. Remember learning Angi (did Paul Simon also record that?). Yeah, Joni played some weird-ass chords too! (And, since singing is so important in that music, I'd like to add the great Sandy Denny to the list).

    And, yes, there are connections to jazz, strong ones---but we also ought to be a bit careful about hybrids. If you don't do right by either component you can ruin both. That folk music is so pure to me---like basic blues is---that I'm sort of torn between using it as a jumping-off point and just presenting it 'uncorrupted' (harmonically). Both ways can work, but I myself can't see, say, stacking a whole bunch of pentatonics and stuff over one or two chords solely on the grounds of 'alleviating boredom' or sameness*. That sound of low E, B, and adjacent F#/open G, D---3rd fret of B string is so pure, and resonant, it speaks volumes with nothing else needed. Simple, 'inside' improvising over that is what I hear---for myself.

    *But I've been wrong before, lord knows...

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Also @sgcim - Donovan taught the Beatles to fingerpick didn’t he? So the White Album stuff - Dear Prudence and Blackbird, Mother Nature’s son can be tracked back to him to some extent...

    I must confess I don’t know Donovan’s music very well at all. Listening to Sunny Goodge Street, brush waltz drums, mellow electric guitar in the mix, chromatic descending bass... OK

    EDIT: double time 4/4 jazz flute solo
    i have reached peak late 60s, but also the jazz vibe is not small.

    Goodge Street for those who don’t know is a street and tube station in north soho, Central London.

    You’d head south to the seedy side of town where the jazz scene was in the 60s... Ronnie Scott’s and the Pizza is still there now. On the way you’d pass Ivor Mairants guitar shop where I bought my Macaferri and my first archtop; where John McLaughlin used to be a salesman back in the 60s. Sadly gone last year.

    And presumably also the folk clubs back in the 60s.

    I was in halls there as a student in the 90s. Changed a lot since then even...

    Certainly gets the vibe....
    Is the Bull's Head still going? I recently read the Tubby Hayes bio "The Long Shadow of the Little Giant", and never knew that it became his home base after Ronnie Scott had a little tiff with Tubbs.
    The folk-jazz-rock cross-pollination of the 60s and early 70s produced some great stuff. Who knew that Ian McDonald originally wrote KC's I Talk To the Wind as a folk song for Judy Dyble, and then Giles, Giles and Fripp changed it a bit, and finally KC produced the masterpiece on TCOTCK, with Fripp's octaves solo, and McDonald's swinging flute solo with Giles' tasty drum fills.

  26. #25

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    Bulls head still going!

  27. #26

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    I suppose its just about possible Jansch, Renbourn and co may have heard Kind of Blue and liked it a bit



    Pretty much a perfect rendition of a real trad English folk song


  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by joelf
    First of all, thanks for posting Carthy's (pre-Simon) version. Beautiful singing and playing---so pure!

    I've been thinking about this myself a lot lately, especially since I recently got a good Martin and plan to do a lot of performing/recording with it. Those beautiful, dark, low-position voicings were as much the lingua franca of the '60s as the electric stuff---and I'm a child of the '60s. Those things are in all our souls and brains. I was turned on to Jansch and Renbourne while still a teen. Remember learning Angi (did Paul Simon also record that?). Yeah, Joni played some weird-ass chords too! (And, since singing is so important in that music, I'd like to add the great Sandy Denny to the list).

    And, yes, there are connections to jazz, strong ones---but we also ought to be a bit careful about hybrids. If you don't do right by either component you can ruin both. That folk music is so pure to me---like basic blues is---that I'm sort of torn between using it as a jumping-off point and just presenting it 'uncorrupted' (harmonically). Both ways can work, but I myself can't see, say, stacking a whole bunch of pentatonics and stuff over one or two chords solely on the grounds of 'alleviating boredom' or sameness*. That sound of low E, B, and adjacent F#/open G, D---3rd fret of B string is so pure, and resonant, it speaks volumes with nothing else needed. Simple, 'inside' improvising over that is what I hear---for myself.

    *But I've been wrong before, lord knows...
    Nice!

    You know Carthy still performs... there’s a local pub I often play at where he and other masters such as Martin Simpson play... so crap at getting out to things. Will try and change that after lockdown.

    in the hands of Dylan that repetition becomes hypnotic...

    No I agree, with jazz fusions with anything like this- classical as well - I find the improvisation has to be very reigned in and sparing. A little jazz goes a long way.

    Anyway one of the most successful fusions of recent years is Quercus with June Tabor, Iain Ballamy and Huw Warren on ECM. Anyone unaware of this album - it will wreck you.

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    Is the Bull's Head still going? I recently read the Tubby Hayes bio "The Long Shadow of the Little Giant", and never knew that it became his home base after Ronnie Scott had a little tiff with Tubbs.
    The folk-jazz-rock cross-pollination of the 60s and early 70s produced some great stuff. Who knew that Ian McDonald originally wrote KC's I Talk To the Wind as a folk song for Judy Dyble, and then Giles, Giles and Fripp changed it a bit, and finally KC produced the masterpiece on TCOTCK, with Fripp's octaves solo, and McDonald's swinging flute solo with Giles' tasty drum fills.
    i have McDonald’s Beatles book. He hates all my favourite songs.

  30. #29

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    Christian: Did you know Frank Griffith any of the 20+ years he was in London? (He's in Liverpool now). An old mate of mine, going back to the early '80s. We're still very much in touch.

    Sorry, everyone, to go off-topic for a sec...

  31. #30

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    'Quercus with June Tabor, Iain Ballamy and Huw Warren'...

    So much music I don't know.

    Ya need 2 lifetimes---at least...

  32. #31

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    god..you all have me remembering my early roots...seeing Dylan on a live TV interview show..hearing his name on radio music stations the DJ's would play peter paul & mary and would credit Bob Dylan as the song writer..having no idea who Dylan was..I pictured a 40+yr old guy who played piano..and wrote songs..like the tin pan alley guys did..

    so the Les Crane show..and Les says...ok..Bobby...and my life changed and i could not do anything about it..

    out comes this young guy looked to be 20 at most...with a guitar and a harmonica around his neck..with hair that was windblown at best..and he starts singing..
    and now he sounds 30 yrs older with a twang somewhere in his craggy sounding voice..not singing but not talking...and the song made no sense at all
    what the hell was he singing about..."..Its alright ma..I'm only dying.." the guitar playing was ok I thought..but when he played the Honer blues harp held with the metal holder that was not melodic but outlined the song ...help...
    the combination of "looks young/sounds old/guitar and harmonica going in different directions..

    and then Les interviews him...and Bob is just so casual-cool ..he waves to friends in the live audience..one being Odetta..a popular folk singer at the time..and Les ask him questions about
    Allen Ginsberg being a friend of his and Allen smoking pot..and Dylan says "..yeah?..no.. I didnt know that.." with such a innocent face..."who..me??"

    then he played another song...and i felt like aliens had abducted me ...."you must leave now..take what you need you think will last.."

    by the time he finished Baby Blue..I knew my parents would never understand what happened to me .. I know i sure didnt..
    Last edited by wolflen; 05-21-2020 at 12:40 AM.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    i have McDonald’s Beatles book. He hates all my favourite songs.
    Different guy. The Beatles book author, Ian MacDonald's real name was Ian MacCormick (no idea why he used a pseudonym). And yes, I also find that book annoying...

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by ragman1
    I was at a John Renbourn gig in a pub in Brighton. He played some very nice jazzy stuff at the end. He said he got the sounds from piano music.
    I had a pint with John Renbourn in the break at a folk gig in Brixton in '88. Lovely chap. He was always arranging piano tunes and played a couple by Abdullah Ibrahim/Dollar Brand (Cherry) and Randy Weston (Little Niles) that evening. John also shared a funny story with me. He'd felt a bit of a fraud playing medieval-inspired music throughout his early career and decided to study at Dartmouth College as an adult student. When the lecturer asked the lutenists in the class how they stumbled upon early music, they pointed at John!

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    Nice!

    You know Carthy still performs... there’s a local pub I often play at where he and other masters such as Martin Simpson play... so crap at getting out to things. Will try and change that after lockdown.
    Where's that, Christian? Don't mean to bore with another story but the first time I ever caught those two was in London in '83 (I live in Sydney but seem to have spent a decent amount of time in London pubs!). I saw Martin's name advertised on a blackboard outside the bar one morning so went back to the gig that night. A host of really terrible players got up first and I thought for a minute that it was some other guy, maybe Marvin McCarthy who was going to perform and was about to leave when Martin Simpson came on and played a stunning set. He then introduced Martin who was fantastic, in fine voice and playing his '59 Martin guitar with characteristic dexterity.
    Last edited by PMB; 05-21-2020 at 06:09 PM.

  36. #35

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    Davy Graham was another one who did some jazz tunes.


  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    Where's that, Christian? Don't mean to bore with another story but the first time I ever caught those two was in London in '83 (I live in Sydney but seem to have spent a decent amount of time in London pubs!). I saw Martin's name advertised on a blackboard outside the bar one morning so went back to the gig that night. A host of really terrible players got up first and I thought for a minute that it was some other guy, maybe Marvin McCarthy who was going to perform and was about to leave when Martin Simpson came on and played a stunning set. He then introduced Martin who was fantastic, in fine voice and playing his '62 Martin guitar with characteristic dexterity.
    The Ivy House in Peckam, which used to be the Newlands Tavern.... pretty legendary music pub, you might have heard of it? Jeff Beck and Ian Dury among others played there... The folk music night there is pretty much a who's who....

    Great pub anyway.... run as a cooperative.

  38. #37

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    Lots of modal folk music predates modal jazz, so I think the folkies looked to the roots of their own genre, it's usually part of the tradition, right? Early folk music of most ethnicities is very modal. Can you get more modal than bagpipes? The 60s was already the folk revival vs traditional folk music.

    This is a traditional arrangement of a tune from at least the early 40s.


  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by PMB
    I had a pint with John Renbourn in the break at a folk gig in Brixton in '88. Lovely chap. He was always arranging piano tunes and played a couple by Abdullah Ibrahim/Dollar Brand (Cherry) and Randy Weston (Little Niles) that evening. John also shared a funny story with me. He'd felt a bit of a fraud playing medieval-inspired music throughout his early career and decided to study at Dartmouth College as an adult student. When the lecturer asked the lutenists in the class how they stumbled upon early music, they pointed at John!
    Haha that sounds about right...

    Well certainly when I was getting into Machaut, the Lady and the Unicorn piqued my interest because I already knew of Renbourn. He was influenced by David Munrow, which was the first performances of that music I heard. Sad I never got to meet him.

    Munrow had a real vibey, almost jazz approach to that music. Of course, scholarship has moved on (inevitably) but those recordings still work as music. Big influence on me. I definitely think that was an influence on Robert Sadin's Machaut project years later (featuring Lionel Loueke, Brad Mehldau and others... Sadin also produced Wayne Shorter's Alegria...)

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    Lots of modal folk music predates modal jazz, so I think the folkies looked to the roots of their own genre, it's usually part of the tradition, right? Early folk music of most ethnicities is very modal. Can you get more modal than bagpipes? The 60s was already the folk revival vs traditional folk music.

    This is a traditional arrangement of a tune from at least the early 40s.

    There's a distinction between a drone and using modal harmonies .... the second is... more jazz? As you rightly say modes and drones have been in existence since forever... but the idea of taking a mode and using it as some sort of harmony, less so.

    Things that pop into my head outside jazz though include Bulgarian choir singing.

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    Fantastic recording btw, love that stuff.

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    There's a distinction between a drone and using modal harmonies .... the second is... more jazz? As you rightly say modes and drones have been in existence since forever... but the idea of taking a mode and using it as some sort of harmony, less so.
    It seems that modal use in folk music comes more from their own tradition than modal jazz. This is modal harmony too. Banjo is open tuning and mandolins are in 5ths, that almost gives you default modal chord voicings.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    It seems that modal use in folk music comes more from their own tradition than modal jazz.
    The 'major scale' modes predate jazz by several thousand years.

    This is modal harmony too. Banjo is open tuning and mandolins are in 5ths, that almost gives you default modal chord voicings.
    Sure...

    Banjos and mandolins not so common in the music I'm discussing specifically (1960s folk-baroque), and while banjo is used in Irish music, it's a different instrument - the tenor banjo. Again the retuning of the guitar encourages modal voicings, but the most popular tuning (DADGAD) was popularised among by a man who wrote a tune called 'Tristano' - so, yeah. Hard to disentangle.

    When I listen to something like this (and for overring type techniques on banjo, or any stringed instrument), the main reference point I hear is the harp.

    Maybe that's what Carthy had in mind when he came up with the Scarborough Fair arrangement? It seems more likely, I'm not sure if he was terribly interested in jazz.

    But McManus plays 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' so... yeah.

    So, my suspicion is this move towards modal sounds in all areas of music in the 60s was ... eclectic convergence... interest in folk music, Indian music and jazz moving to a more vamp based approach (rock musicians often talk about Coltrane) all influenced it...

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77

    Bossa comes a bit out of Barney Kessel, doesn’t it?
    Yes. His backing of Julie London was hugely influential among Latin musicians of the time.

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    So, my suspicion is this move towards modal sounds in all areas of music in the 60s was ... eclectic convergence... interest in folk music, Indian music and jazz moving to a more vamp based approach (rock musicians often talk about Coltrane) all influenced it...
    I see that, but the climate was also about being stoned on pot, exploring, and finding a couple of cool chords to space out on. That was the 60s. Yes, it was a time of change and stoner folkies got electric guitars and started getting loose.

    Only someone my age or older can understand what it meant to hear how very important the band Traffic was, as it happened. These guys were a gateway band to modern jazz for many listeners and musicians. It was an organic blend of folk, rock and modal jazz. I don't know if younger cats can look back and realize how important they were.

    Don't skip the outro jam...


    title track

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I see that, but the climate was also about being stoned on pot, exploring, and finding a couple of cool chords to space out on. That was the 60s. Yes, it was a time of change and stoner folkies got electric guitars and started getting loose.

    Only someone my age or older can understand what it meant to hear how very important the band Traffic was, as it happened. These guys were a gateway band to modern jazz for many listeners and musicians. It was an organic blend of folk, rock and modal jazz. I don't know if younger cats can look back and realize how important they were.

    Don't skip the outro jam...


    title track
    yeppers...folkies with electric guitars..ahh..yes..the greatful dead..jefferson airplane..et al...
    there was a "one hit wonder" band called "its a beautiful day" did a tune called White Bird.. with a very sweet violin solo..that brought flavors of folk/country to many new ears..

    some may not realize how "new" electric guitar was in the music of the 60's ..I mean it became THE VOICE unto itself...

    remember the tune Sombody to Love by the Airplane and Jormas solo at the end of the tune was considered "radical" at that time..

    1967...Monterey Pop..the first "rock festival" and the first time the US got to see Jimi...and the electric guitar world changed and is still changing

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    i have McDonald’s Beatles book. He hates all my favourite songs.
    As PMB said, there were two Ian McDonalds; one, some rock critic, doing his best to turn music into the garbage it's become, the other was the multi-instrumentalist/composer, co-founder of KC. The latter was the one I was referring to.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    As PMB said, there were two Ian McDonalds; one, some rock critic, doing his best to turn music into the garbage it's become, the other was the multi-instrumentalist/composer, co-founder of KC. The latter was the one I was referring to.
    Actually the Revolution in the Head is rather a musically literate book.

    He argues well why he dislikes my favourite songs, and I think in terms of making a case for Aesthetics in musical terms (which is always a stupid idea, from any direction, but can be an interesting thing to engage with) he does it better than most writers on rock. A lot of it is fairly conventional musicology, completely alien to the NME of my youth.

    Musicians themselves are disincentivized to have any musical taste whatsoever (it interferes with work) and also have an emphasis on craft and technicality (they sit around gawping at Jacob Collier's voice leading), so there's definitely a space for a discerning critic in my opinion. So long as they don't portray their opinions as objective, which of course no professional critic does. (Although MacDonald does kind of come across as quite modernist)

    Also 'the garbage music has become' is a boring and arid perspective. MacDonald is not to blame for the current form of chart pop, some of which I rather like. I don't think he's good enough at production.

    And a King Crimson fan should find a LOT of music around today to enjoy... It's wall to wall prog out there...

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmic gumbo
    I see that, but the climate was also about being stoned on pot, exploring, and finding a couple of cool chords to space out on. That was the 60s. Yes, it was a time of change and stoner folkies got electric guitars and started getting loose.

    Only someone my age or older can understand what it meant to hear how very important the band Traffic was, as it happened. These guys were a gateway band to modern jazz for many listeners and musicians. It was an organic blend of folk, rock and modal jazz. I don't know if younger cats can look back and realize how important they were.

    Don't skip the outro jam...


    title track
    In one book on British Jazz in the 60s I read, Stevie Winwood was actually perceived in the UK as being originally a jazz musician, who switched over to R&B and rock, when he joined The Spencer Davis Group. His father was a p/t jazz musician, and Winwood used to play piano, and his brother Muff played drums in clubs, when they were playing in their father's jazz band when they were still in their early teens.
    I was a Traffic fanatic when I was a kid, because my older sister had their records, and my little rock band would play stuff like "40,000 Headmen", which had a modal vibe to it. When "John Barleycorn" came out, this tune made it clear what Winwood's roots were. Check out his piano solo towards the end:

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77
    I suppose its just about possible Jansch, Renbourn and co may have heard Kind of Blue and liked it a bit



    Pretty much a perfect rendition of a real trad English folk song

    Pentangle went full thrust into modern modal jazz on this one. Why can't there be a singer like Jacqui in the US!

  51. #50

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    Stevie Winwood on the Moog with John Martyn.