Reply to Thread
Page 3 of 3 FirstFirst 123
Posts 101 to 132 of 132
  1. #101

    User Info Menu

    Below is an except from a Jim Ferguson article about the Pablo sessions. The entire article which is a very interesting read is in the link below. Jim Ferguson bio for those that don't know of him. About Jim Ferguson: Guitarist, Composer, Author, Educator, Journalist

    Jim Ferguson's Guitar Master Class


    An example of Granz' uncanny ability to pair artists, Take Love Easy for the first time combined Pass' brilliant abilities as an accompanist with Ella Fitzgerald's pure yet soulful timbre and amazing control. Despite the fact that there were no rehearsals and the transparent setting was challenging in its own right, the participants hit it off from the start. Throughout the album, Joe alternated between electric and acoustic instruments; however, on "You Go To My Head" he opts for a nylon-string acoustic, framing Ella's voice with lush harmonies and tasteful single-note fills, creating an intimacy that would age like fine wine over the years to come. And to think that some critics had said that Ella couldn't sing anymore.


    Having already been in the company of two legends-Ellington and Fitzgerald-Pass walked into the most important, pivotal dates of his career, ones that would result in his seminal solo album,Virtuoso. The sessions were based on the same concept Granz had used in 1953 for Art Tatum's Clef recordings: call a multiplicity of tunes and give the artist his head, with the idea of realizing new creative heights. In the case of Virtuoso, where a total of 40 or 50 songs were committed to tape, the idea paid off in more ways than one.

    Pass' genius as a solo guitarist was largely unknown prior to Virtuoso, and the eye-opening way in which he spontaneously interwove diverse elements had never been realized so definitively. "Night And Day," with its extended introduction, shift to tempo, and subsequent development, set the tone of the entire set. Along with the remainder of the album's material, "Here's That Rainy Day" and "Have You Met Miss Jones" offer further evidence that there was almost no limit to Pass' ideas or ability.


    Catching the wave of popularity that the guitar enjoyed at the time, Virtuoso outsold virtually every other item in the Pablo catalog-a phenomenon that surprised many and made Granz particularly happy for Joe's sake. Perhaps more importantly, it permanently established Pass as the premier mainstream jazz guitarist of the time. (Technical Note: Although the original idea was to mix the guitar's acoustic and amplified sounds, Pass' amplifier failed partway through the session, leaving only the miked acoustic signal on tape. His indifference to technology and to his own sound in general continued to vex producers for much of his career.)


    Issued in 1983, the material that appeared on Virtuoso #4 came from the original 1973 dates. In the case of a lesser artist, unused performances might be considered leftovers; however, here they further document what arguably remain the most significant sessions in the history of solo jazz guitar. While the brief liner notes mention that the music was exclusively played on acoustic guitar, "Indian Summer," an exquisitely rendered free-flowing ballad, features amplification and was apparently captured before Pass' amp cut out. In contrast, both "Lush Life," which in places displays seamless moving harmonies, and "Weaselocity," a greasy slow blues that gradually achieves an easy-going tempo, are purely acoustic from start to finish. "Weaselocity," incidentally, appeared as a bonus track on the 1993 CD version.

  2.  

    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #102

    User Info Menu

    the material that appeared on Virtuoso #4 came from the original 1973 dates

    This is correct. So, the same amp failure is apparent on the V4 tracks. I always dug the archtop with med/light flats sound, acoustic tone on V1 and V4.

    If you ever get hold of an early 175--say, from the first dozen years of production--string it up with flats, that thin ply top plate is going to give you this Joe Pass sound. I experienced it in spades with Herb Ellis' 1953 ES-175. Plenty of acoustic volume, and slightly better tone than Pass' double pickup guitar--strung with flats, too.

    It's all about the music anyway.

  4. #103

    User Info Menu

    Makes me curious to try a JP 20. I like brightish jazz tones.

  5. #104

    User Info Menu

    I can well believe Virtuoso was recorded on an acoustic 175.

    I don’t normally bother plugging in mine - which is a louder box than the modern ones - for videos if anyone wants to compare (on a phone mic lol.)

    Thing is imo laminates with a small voice often close mike pretty well. It’s like vocals. Big voices close mike less well than small voices.

  6. #105

    User Info Menu

    "Big voices close mike less well than small voices."

    This can be very true. Some people with big voices, however, know how to tamp it down and sing to the mic--e.g., Tony Bennett...or, especially, Ella.

    Buy, yeah, 16" Gibsons and small-body Martins mic beautifully.

  7. #106

    User Info Menu

    I was thinking of opera singers in particular who regard singing “off the voice” as a mortal insult

  8. #107

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Makes me curious to try a JP 20. I like brightish jazz tones.
    While I prefer a darker guitar, my JP-20 was a great guitar for gigs in dark rooms. My CME ES-175 figured is a bright guitar (for a 175) and has replaced the JP-20 for that purpose (and is way better for me with the shorter scale)
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  9. #108

    User Info Menu

    For a really large voice, as say a dramatic tenor or soprano, the difference in "size" is really the vastly greater resonance to the voice.

    It's very hard to pull that amount of sound down to a "normal" voice level without completely altering the nature of the sound. You have to kill the resonance. Very few truly large voice operatic singers have ever been able to dramatically reduce apparent output and keep the resonance of the sound. As in, 5 or 6. Of hundreds.

    So, you like that big carve-top and it's BIG acoustic sound? How about we stuff a blanket in it to damp that resonance down some? Yea, now record it acoustic ... hmmm.

    Miking instruments or voices well takes knowing the right mic and technique/placement for that mic/instrument combination.

    Or a lot of futzing. Sometimes ya just gotta experiment ...

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

  10. #109

    User Info Menu


  11. #110

    User Info Menu

    It's the Peavey amp in that video that really sets me back a few paces.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  12. #111

    User Info Menu

    It's what was on hand in the studio that day. And truthfully, that's about the best tone I've ever heard from Joe Pass. It's usually dreadful. He was a great player, but the apparently didn't care at all about amps, using whatever was available, or none at all.

  13. #112

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    It's what was on hand in the studio that day. And truthfully, that's about the best tone I've ever heard from Joe Pass. It's usually dreadful. He was a great player, but the apparently didn't care at all about amps, using whatever was available, or none at all.
    I totally disagree about Joe Pass' tone being dreadful. Albums like Blues for Fred for example have fabulous tone. His tone on Summer Nights is lovely, as is Ira, George, and Joe. As is almost anything he did in the studio in the last 10 years of his life. Portraits of Duke Ellington is also fine, I think.

    It has become very fashionable to ding Joe Pass' tone, but I pretty regularly listen through his entire discography and find the folklore on that point just to be dead wrong, generalizing from a few notably poorly recorded live albums mainly made in performances where he just played through a DI box and the house PA system.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  14. #113

    User Info Menu

    Most people repeat what they have heard, fewer report what they hear.

  15. #114

    User Info Menu

    I own Ira, George, and Joe, and I really don't care for his tone on it. I also own several more Pass albums, both live and studio. His tone is highly variable, and I don't like much of it. But that's my taste, and not anyone else's. It's entirely subjective, and like all subjective judgements, valid only for me, and different from someone else's.

  16. #115

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cavalier View Post
    Most people repeat what they have heard, fewer report what they hear.
    Most people subsist on a diet of other people's regurgitation. It's what happens when you think it's too much trouble to assemble the ingredients and know your own tastes.

    David

  17. #116

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    I own Ira, George, and Joe, and I really don't care for his tone on it. I also own several more Pass albums, both live and studio. His tone is highly variable, and I don't like much of it. But that's my taste, and not anyone else's. It's entirely subjective, and like all subjective judgements, valid only for me, and different from someone else's.
    True. It's one thing to say "I don't like his tone" and another to say "That's bad tone." I really like the sound on IG&J, on Joe's Christmas album, his album with Roy Clark, and the one with John Pisano. For a live recording, I really like his sound with Red Mitchell on "Finally." The album he did with a whole orchestra in German, "Joe Pass in Hamburg" I also think has a gorgeous and full tone. I don't know what guitar he used, but it's wonderful in my opinion.

    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  18. #117

    User Info Menu

    Joe's electric tone on "For Django", "Simplicirty", "Joy Spring" and "Intercontinental" cannot, IMO, be beat.

    Joe's acoustic tone on "Summer Nights" and "Appasionato" cannot, IMO, be beat.

    When I am trying to dial good tone in at a gig, Joe's tone is my benchmark.
    _____________________________________________
    "When the chord changes, you should change" Joe Pass

  19. #118

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger View Post
    Joe's electric tone on "For Django", "Simplicirty", "Joy Spring" and "Intercontinental" cannot, IMO, be beat.

    Joe's acoustic tone on "Summer Nights" and "Appasionato" cannot, IMO, be beat.

    When I am trying to dial good tone in at a gig, Joe's tone is my benchmark.
    I don't think anyone would dispute that Joe had a few albums where the tone just wasn't as it should have been. Funny, but had those albums not been released, we'd all likely be sad that these wonderful examples of his matchless talent were wasting away in a vault because the tone wasn't good enough!

    I'd rather have the music to marvel at, even if the recording quality is off.
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  20. #119

    User Info Menu

    If all I cared about was tone, Joe Pass wouldn't be among my favorite musicians, and I might not even listen to many of his recordings. But tone is not the entirety of music, and there is no doubt he was a great musician.

  21. #120

    User Info Menu

    I bought my 1980 Ibanez JP20 just before Christmas 2001 from a guy in Morrinsville, New Zealand - a rural town not known for its jazz guitarists! (Although it's now known as the home town of current NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern.)
    The guy was a school teacher who had split up with his wife and was selling the guitar to pay for Christmas with his kids. I drove out to Morrinsville to try it, then drove home to sleep on the decision. He was asking NZ $1200. I called him the next day and offered $1000, but he said he really needed the full money, so I agreed on $1200 then drove back to get it.
    I've had a hot and cold relationship with the JP20 over the past 17 years. I've made some good recordings with it, but I don't recall which strings, picks, amp/DI combinations I used and obviously the room and my current state of musical fitness (chops, touch etc) would've played a part in it.
    It's had buzzes and rattles in the body, which several guitar guys have tried to fix with tape, screws etc. it's spent a lot of time under my bed, while my 1982 Ibanez Artist (acquired in 1995) has done most of my jazz gigs over the years. It can sound like anything and has a fuller sound than the JP20.
    One of the best tones I've got with the JP20 was when I was at music school, playing all the time, and practising in my bedroom with a cheap 10w amp (transistor, with battery capability...), with flat wound 11s or 12s and a Jim Dunlop jazz II pick.
    It also sounded good with round wound 11s or 12s playing "singer songwriter alt country" stuff. A friend offered to buy it on the spot when we swapped guitars for a jam.
    I've used it through a Fender Blues Deluxe and it sounds great across all frequencies. Not thin at all. I've done duo and solo gigs with it.
    I'm not a huge fan if the neck and fingerboard. Because I've used 12s on it, it's been hard to bend, so i rarely do that. So it's not been an easy guitar to play.
    The pickup placement caused me trouble for a while about 15 years ago. I asked my teacher, Leigh Jackson, about it at the time. He suggested getting a smaller pick.
    Last year I strung it with round wound 12s and raised the action for a big band gig, mic-ing it in front, using a footstool to separate my body from the back to keep the vibrations for that Freddie Green sound. I used a touch if volume on a Fender Blues Junior for monitoring/blending purposes. Mission accomplished.
    Tomorrow evening I'm taking it out for a duo gig with a singer. I'll go through my Fender Deluxe Reverb and may lower the pickup a little. I hardly ever play this guitar and almost never plug it in. Today I tried it out and had to roll off the volume a bit to sound good. I think full volume with this pickup height creates too much presence. I don't know who raised it - probably a guitar guy who was helping me with some other issue.
    A friend told me, "Never sell your gear". If I was offered and could afford a Gibson one day, I'd probably try it. But in the meantime it's a case of, "Start where you are, do what you can, use what you have."

  22. #121

    User Info Menu

    Those Dunlop Jazz IIs are the secret (not!) sauce for my ES-175 jazz tone. Works for me.
    Best regards, k

  23. #122
    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    It's what was on hand in the studio that day. And truthfully, that's about the best tone I've ever heard from Joe Pass. It's usually dreadful. He was a great player, but the apparently didn't care at all about amps, using whatever was available, or none at all.
    Dreadful?!? SMH!


  24. #123

    User Info Menu

    No hate, just trying to be honest. His tone was all over the place, and sometimes dreadful. Not always his fault, of course, but still not always great or even good. Sometimes very good. I don't listen to Joe Pass for tone, but for his playing. And truthfully, I don't listen to him nearly as often as I might because of tone. I know I shouldn't care, but I listen for enjoyment, and tone is part of that. I prefer listening to Farlow, Raney, et al more than Pass, mostly because of tone. His talent is undeniable, but there are so many talented players and so little time to listen.

  25. #124

    User Info Menu

    Well, on that Hamburg recording his tone is as good to my ears as any Tal Farlow or Jimmy Raney or Doug Raney recording I've ever heard.
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  26. #125

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Well, on that Hamburg recording his tone is as good to my ears as any Tal Farlow or Jimmy Raney or Doug Raney recording I've ever heard.
    That recording is a tone high water mark for me. Just melting.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  27. #126

    User Info Menu

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    No hate, just trying to be honest. His tone was all over the place, and sometimes dreadful. Not always his fault, of course, but still not always great or even good. Sometimes very good. I don't listen to Joe Pass for tone, but for his playing. And truthfully, I don't listen to him nearly as often as I might because of tone. I know I shouldn't care, but I listen for enjoyment, and tone is part of that. I prefer listening to Farlow, Raney, et al more than Pass, mostly because of tone. His talent is undeniable, but there are so many talented players and so little time to listen.
    Hey we see/hear differently but I just want to say I respect your opinion. You’re not hating on Joe Pass at all. You’ve got a viewpoint and it’s not off the wall or random. Thanks for that.

    What would you consider a Joe Pass recording with tone you like?


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    - Lawson
    "Whenever you come near the human race, there's layers and layers of nonsense." - Thornton Wilder, Our Town

  28. #127

    User Info Menu

    The one Jack posted is fine. The recordings with Herb Ellis sound good. I don't like the sound on his Gershwin album at all, for instance. My only point is that he didn't always sound good, and I'm not sure he cared that much about tone, and sometimes the recording engineer seemed to be out to lunch and phoning it in. All this has nothing to do with his talent.

  29. #128
    from my conversations with him, he did care about it but he was paid very little and he was on a lot of pablo records at the time and didn't have the time or luxury to sit in the mix room and obsess over his guitar sound. And a lot of what he did later in life was just coasting TBH. He once told me that he'd rather sit and enjoy a nice italian meal and a bottle of wine than practice. Remember he was a heroin addict earlier in life and he overcame that to be one of the best jazz guitarists in history so he deserved to coast a little bit, later in life.

    Those "great guitar" days, he told me he played through polytone because it was cheap and light weight. Not for tone!

  30. #129
    incidentally, i was lucky because his manager at the time (and barney's and herb's) was the same guy who managed maryland/dc local charlie byrd who my dad played with many times so I got a chance to meet and hang out with Joe, Barney and Herb many times, often shuttling them to engagements including workshops at the college I attended.

  31. #130

    User Info Menu

    I don't think anyone has any business criticizing another musician because of music choice, whether he "sold out for money", or coasting or whatever. Everyone's priorities are different. If someone wants to suffer in poverty for their art, fine, but don't expect everyone else to. I'm far from a professional, but I too prefer a good meal and a glass of wine to practice. I'll never be much better than I am now, and that's nobody's business but my own. Same for Joe. I just don't have to listen to him exclusively, or at all. My musical taste is mine and nobody else's. Same goes for the rest of the human race. I think you need to walk a lot further than a mile in someone's shoes before being critical of them. More like a light year.

  32. #131

    User Info Menu

    Can't I have both?

  33. #132

    User Info Menu

    If the economics of jazz were that of pop or rock, Joe Pass could have afforded curated experiences in the studio and a touring schedule that included an equipment budget.

    In jazz, however, the order of the day was arrive, roll tape, or arrive, meet band/see what amp is on hand.

    In this scene, just having a guitar /string deal was super. Tone quests were beyond the budget.

    Still, Joe Pass delivered great lines and incomparable time feel, every time. He was boss.