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  1. #101

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    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 ...

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #102

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    It's the Peavey amp in that video that really sets me back a few paces.

  4. #103

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    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.

  5. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    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.

  6. #105

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    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.

  7. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    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.


  8. #107

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    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.

  9. #108

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    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.

  10. #109

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    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.

  11. #110

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    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."

  12. #111

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

  13. #112

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    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.

  14. #113

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    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.

  15. #114

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    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.


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  16. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    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?


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  17. #116

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    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.

  18. #117

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    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!

  19. #118

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    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.

  20. #119

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    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.

  21. #120

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    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.

  22. #121

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    Interestingly, there are a ton of Emperor IIs on Reverb but only a handful of JP20s, which have an asking price of at least 3x that of the II... I never played a II but one of my students had a JP20, and I thought it was a really nice guitar for the price. At the time they were all over the place for about $350 used, looks like that has bumped up to $450, which is still not bad for a very playable laminate top that you can take to a gig without worrying about every little ding that might happen.

  23. #122

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    Quote Originally Posted by starjasmine
    Interestingly, there are a ton of Emperor IIs on Reverb but only a handful of JP20s, which have an asking price of at least 3x that of the II... I never played a II but one of my students had a JP20, and I thought it was a really nice guitar for the price. At the time they were all over the place for about $350 used, looks like that has bumped up to $450, which is still not bad for a very playable laminate top that you can take to a gig without worrying about every little ding that might happen.
    I think you confuse the Ibanez JP-20 with the Epiphone Joe Pass. Very different guitars (I have owned both).

  24. #123

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stringswinger
    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)
    I have owned three JP-20’s over the years. I loved the look and the feel, but each time I eventually came to the conclusion that they were too bright for me and I went back to my ES-175. The JP-20 is a beautiful instrument, but the pickup placement gives it a sound that is unique.
    Keith