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  1. #1
    I was reading my ’85 issue of Guitar World, which had a description of Benson sitting in with SRV and Double Trouble at the Kool Jazz Festival at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC.

    I can only imagine…

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  3. #2

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    That would have been something to see.

  4. #3

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    I can only imagine...George has talked about how he has to bring in the "special sauce" on occasion when he's about to get outplayed. Wonder if he brought it out for that.

    Not sure how their styles would meld though.

    Saw the Johnny Winters rockumentary the other day...I know he met and thought highly of SRV, but would like to see footage of them playing together.

    Reminds me that Jimi Hendrix sat in with Johnny once and played bass.

  5. #4

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    I get the feeling it would either have been great, or really awkward...no in between.

    SRV isn't my bag, but I don't deny his greatness...Double Trouble though, to my ears, was often just a backing track for him. There wasn't collective improvisation, there were 2 guys holding a steady beat for SRV to blow on...I wonder how George would feel with that?

    My guess is, he's a pro, and did just fine....but I do wonder...

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I get the feeling it would either have been great, or really awkward...no in between.

    SRV isn't my bag, but I don't deny his greatness...Double Trouble though, to my ears, was often just a backing track for him. There wasn't collective improvisation, there were 2 guys holding a steady beat for SRV to blow on...I wonder how George would feel with that?

    My guess is, he's a pro, and did just fine....but I do wonder...
    I think you should listen to more Double Trouble. Yes they were “just a backing band”, but incredibly tight. They gave SRV his sound.

    Listen to Cold Shot or Little Sister. There’s some serious boogeying going on. Clayton and Shannon have continued playing together, but it’s too bad they didn’t work regularly with Jimmie Vaughn or someone else of that stature to keep working steady.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I think you should listen to more Double Trouble. Yes they were “just a backing band”, but incredibly tight. They gave SRV his sound.

    Listen to Cold Shot or Little Sister. There’s some serious boogeying going on. Clayton and Shannon have continued playing together, but it’s too bad they didn’t work regularly with Jimmie Vaughn or someone else of that stature to keep working steady.
    Oh, I'm not doubting their tightness. It's just not my thing, and I imagine, not what Benson is used to playing with either...but that doesn't make it bad.

  8. #7

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    Benson also did a song or two with Santana on the former "Midnight Special" TV show. Poor Carlos' playing seemed distracting to me on "Breezin", but his jamming on "Valdez In The Country" was pretty good.




  9. #8

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    Ii had the opportunity to see SRV and his band with Jeff Beck at the end of his life.
    Great band and tight like a James Brown band with intros and subways between different songs. Great performance for sure.

    But that said SRV was fairly narrow in his scope of harmony and improvisational skills. Riviera Paradise was a good example of it being pre planned. He really didn't understand how to improvise through the changes.
    I don't think any less of SRV for his limitations, but I'm not sure it would be very interesting for someone of George Benson's harmonic abilities.
    More of an entertainment thing for the crowd I'd imagine.

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Moontrane
    I was reading my ’85 issue of Guitar World, which had a description of Benson sitting in with SRV and Double Trouble at the Kool Jazz Festival at Avery Fisher Hall in NYC.

    I can only imagine…

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57

    But that said SRV was fairly narrow in his scope of harmony and improvisational skills. Riviera Paradise was a good example of it being pre planned. He really didn't understand how to improvise through the changes.
    .
    Riviera Paradise was improv, you know that right? Obviously the changes were written already, but the solo playing was improv. It was at the end of day of recording, Stevie asked the producer to leave the tape running, and they started playing Riviera Paradise. They almost ran out of tape, the producer had to get Chris Layton's attention to start ending it, because the tape was almost gone.

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Ii had the opportunity to see SRV and his band with Jeff Beck at the end of his life.
    Great band and tight like a James Brown band with intros and subways between different songs. Great performance for sure.

    But that said SRV was fairly narrow in his scope of harmony and improvisational skills. Riviera Paradise was a good example of it being pre planned. He really didn't understand how to improvise through the changes.
    I don't think any less of SRV for his limitations, but I'm not sure it would be very interesting for someone of George Benson's harmonic abilities.
    More of an entertainment thing for the crowd I'd imagine.
    Well, George said that Jack McDuff taught him to put some blues in everything. George and SRV had the blues in common. That's enough for a jam session...

  13. #12

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    Riviera Paradise is SRV taking single mode pentatonic improvisation about as far as it can go without playing changes on a song with strong changes; the song's progression just harmonically screams for playing changes, fingers especially aching to play Lydian Dominant, upper extensions, etc.

    I've performed the song with numerous bands and I would never try SRV's pushing of pentatonic all the way through. It is a testament to SRV that he just brute forced it and his expressive instincts saved the day, but any jazzer's teeth are going to be grinding a little listening to that - the potential musical ideas so strongly suggested by the song that SRV just didn't step into.

    We've all heard soloists and thought to ourselves to some degree, "Why isn't he going there?" SRV on Riviera Paradise is almost a pure example of this from a jazzer's perspective.

  14. #13

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    Well said above statement! I didn't realize it was originally an improv. Wnen I saw him live played mjost of his solos exactly lime the recorded versions.
    Again not a knock on SRV's musical abilities, just his lack of Harmonic knowledge. I am a huge fan of his playing!
    Jimi Hendrix was much the same as are most famous Rock Guitarists.

    Jeff Beck may be the lone ranger out there with good enough ears and instincts to be the exception.
    Not counting guys like Glenn Campbell, and some other Pop guitarists

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pauln
    Riviera Paradise is SRV taking single mode pentatonic improvisation about as far as it can go without playing changes on a song with strong changes; the song's progression just harmonically screams for playing changes, fingers especially aching to play Lydian Dominant, upper extensions, etc.

    I've performed the song with numerous bands and I would never try SRV's pushing of pentatonic all the way through. It is a testament to SRV that he just brute forced it and his expressive instincts saved the day, but any jazzer's teeth are going to be grinding a little listening to that - the potential musical ideas so strongly suggested by the song that SRV just didn't step into.

    We've all heard soloists and thought to ourselves to some degree, "Why isn't he going there?" SRV on Riviera Paradise is almost a pure example of this from a jazzer's perspective.
    Makes me wonder... do "jazzers" think the same about much of Kenny Burrell's playing?

  16. #15

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    That comment makes me think you've never listened to Kenny Burrell.

    Kenny plays blues, but he doesn't just force blues licks over complex harmony.


  17. #16

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    C'est magnifique, mais ce n'est pas la guerre.




    C'est de la folie.


  18. #17

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    In these two Benson+Santana clips it is fascinating to see the difference in body language as well.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    ...George has talked about how he has to bring in the "special sauce" on occasion when he's about to get outplayed. ....
    George Benson? Outplayed? By SRV ?? I'm shocked that someone on this forum could even think this...

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    That comment makes me think you've never listened to Kenny Burrell.

    Kenny plays blues, but he doesn't just force blues licks over complex harmony.

    I’ve been transcribing a lot of Robben Ford recently and I notice he always sounds like he’s playing the blues even when he’s playing ‘jazz stuff.’

    It’s almost like the blues isn’t a scale or licks...

  21. #20

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    SRV had a ‘steamroller’ vibe, that was kind of this thing I guess. It plays to advantage on these cheesy live guitar-offs and so on.

    The only person I heard so it back to SRV was Dick Dale. There’s always a bigger steamroller.

  22. #21

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    I think STV is great. And he did for the blues the same thing Slash did for rock, really helped the popularity of the idiom at a time when it was needed.

    Why judge Riviera paradise with a jazzers outlook? SRV was a blues artist, and his playing on that is stellar. Same with the band. I remember there is one chord on the tune where pentatonics won't cut it, and he chooses to always lay out on that, doing it in such a masterful and musical way. Like Hendrix, he was so much into the guitar it was the first thing to come through.

    Such a pity that he had the accident after managing to turn his life around, work with Jimmy Vaughan, etc. Imagine the music he would have given us, the collaborations he would have made, etc..

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    That comment makes me think you've never listened to Kenny Burrell.
    Haha, well you'd be quite wrong there. But I'm not a "jazzer" so I may hear things differently than someone who is does. Interestingly, SRV is who turned me onto Burrell, with his version of "Chitlins Con Carne".

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet
    George Benson? Outplayed? By SRV ?? I'm shocked that someone on this forum could even think this...
    Maybe I should have said when someone was “trying to outplay him.”

    Let’s not forget SRV’s contribution to the guitar world in general. By the time he appeared on the scene the guitar was dead in pop music. It was all synths and hair and clothes. SRV took it back to the roots and made the guitar front and center.

    Another cat like that was Brian Setzer.

    In the end it’s just 6 strings and the truth.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter
    Why judge Riviera paradise with a jazzers outlook? ..
    Agreed. But people do what they know. Not just in music, in everything. I remember I was having neck problems once, and went to an orthopedic for x-rays etc. Long story short, he told me he could operate. I asked him if he could tell me if the operation would fix my pain. He said "no." But he was eager to cut. When I expressed my desire to NOT undergo surgery but would like to discuss other options, he suddenly had no time for me. I was wasting his time if I wouldn't let him operate. When I told this story to a friend of mine, he said "(the doc was a jerk but) he's a surgeon. Surgeons CUT. It's what they DO."

    Narrow outlooks - with anything in life- are always a bad idea, close-minded, and non-growth oriented.

  26. #25

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    I loved Stevie's playing.
    He went all in. Great rhythm player. (Trio guitarists pretty much have to be, eh?) Relentless drive.
    And quite a few songs that still sound strong: Pride & Joy, Cold Shot (-heard Dr. John cover that in New Orleans), Wall of Denial, Tightrope, Crossfire, Scuttle Buttin', Stang's Swang....
    RIP, SRV.