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  1. #1

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    I recently went with my wife to hear Diana Krall over in Zürich. It was a beautiful concert. Diana is a major artist. Jazz was meant to be a music enjoyed by everyone not an academic discipline. Diana is in the business of making music not "statements". Significantly, Diana said she listens to Nat King Cole almost every day to this day. It wasn't dumbed down jazz in any way, either. My wife who dislikes jazz generally enjoyed herself greatly from A to Z, even the straight jazz numbers.

    Diana had two star players with her, Joe Lovano and Marc Ribot.
    Joe was outstanding; particularly memorable was his performance on Quiet Nights, a tribute to João Gilberto, who had passed the night before. As to Diana she said some simple, heartfelt words, and quoted Chega De Saudade during another song.


    Ribot was interesting. I knew very little about his music. I didn't like him at all at first. On the pure jazz songs, he seemed, especially at first, almost out of his depth, his right hand seemingly outpaced, especially in choruses. I was vaguely aware of his stature as a recording and performing artist and couldn't quite understand what was going on; or maybe he was on the delcine, so why had Diana selected him? But then came a song Diana sings on a previous album, Like a Butterfly Caught in the Rain. That song has an acoustic guitar intro. and Marc picked up an old Gibson sunburst acoustic, like a OO model and went on to create pure magic, just sublime stuff. That performance alone was almost worth the price of admission. Marc made a fan out of me in just those few seconds, as it dawned on me why he was who he was, Marc Ribot.

    Now on to the subject, Marc's OO Gibson was unamplified. As best as I could make out, it was miked not even in stereo, with just one mike. I'm positive the guitar wasn't plugged. The Gibson sounded fabulous and as jazzy as you could desire. Thick strings and pick, most likely. The tone clearly harked back to a 30ies tone, similar to the guitar players in the Nat King Cole tunes that had been playing on the PA before the show (Marc clearly had done his homework after all). Make you wonder why flat tops, at least certain types of flat tops, aren't used more by today's players. I also wonder why flat tops have this reputation of being so hard to get a nice sound from on stage. The miking seemed so straightforward. There might have been some undetected wizardry involved from the sound engineers, because the whole band sound was fabulous, down to the deepest bass note. But I'd be curious to know Jonathan/CampusFive's thoughts about all that - the miking situation, and the flat tops question, as he once mentioned using, enjoying and recording with a Waterloo acoustic.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    Any percussionists?

  4. #3

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    The best live sound I ever heard was the punch brothers round a condenser mike. I’m not surprised ribot was great.


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  5. #4
    Nope. Additionally to the players mentioned, just a drummer and a bassist.

  6. #5

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    Always nice to have professional sound engineers. Most gigs never have that luxury, until your a headline act,and even then LOL!

  7. #6

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    Sound men can really do magic with acoustic instruments (see my post on my experience on a gig two nights ago). It's when you're playing electric guitar that they do their damage...

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by dlew919 View Post
    The best live sound I ever heard was the punch brothers round a condenser mike. I’m not surprised ribot was great.


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    Me too!

  9. #8

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    This guitar? A 1937 Gibson HG-00...

    The acoustic guitar miked from the stage - what I heard at a Diana Krall concert-gztfsgn9rsusytshldebcn-650-80-jpg

  10. #9

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    Most Soundpeople are not only Tone Deaf ,just plain Deaf!

  11. #10

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    Yeah its the best solution when the sound guy and the stage are decent..

  12. #11

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    Thanks for allowing us to tag along to this concert, if only in the music of our minds.

    Diana Krall, I've been a big fan of hers since the early 90's. I saw her perform first in her home town of Nanaimo B.C. This was a time before she first recorded. She's a player, and her Nat King Cole inspiration is warranted.
    "You've got to be in the sun to feel the sun. It's that way with music too." - Sidney Bechet

  13. #12

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    Acoustic guitar sounds best, IMO, when it's just mic'd. Things go downhill from there when you start adding under-bridge pickups, contact mics, etc.

    Ribot is top shelf.

  14. #13

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    There are just some wonderful ways to shape acoustic sound these days. I wouldn't be surprised that Diana and Marc have access to some of the best sound techs in the business.

    Re' Marc Ribot--interesting quote: Ribot admitted to Guitar Player a relatively limited technical facility due to learning to play right-handed despite being left-handed: "That's a real limit, one that caused me a lot of grief when I was working with Jack McDuff and realizing I wasn't following in George Benson's footsteps. I couldn't be a straight-ahead jazz contender if you held a gun to my head, but that begs the question of whether I would want to be one."

    Marc Ribot - Wikipedia
    “Without music, life would be a mistake”--Friedrich Nietzsche

    Current lineup: Gibson ES-135 ('02), Peerless Sunset, Harmony Brilliant Cutaway ('64), Godin 5th Avenue, Alvarez AC60 A/E classical, Kay K37 ('56), Fender Squier VM Jazz bass, several ukes. Amps: Fishman Artist, Fender SCXD, Pignose 7-100.

  15. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Flat View Post
    This guitar? A 1937 Gibson HG-00...

    The acoustic guitar miked from the stage - what I heard at a Diana Krall concert-gztfsgn9rsusytshldebcn-650-80-jpg
    This one, I'm pretty sure.

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    There are just some wonderful ways to shape acoustic sound these days. I wouldn't be surprised that Diana and Marc have access to some of the best sound techs in the business.

    Re' Marc Ribot--interesting quote: Ribot admitted to Guitar Player a relatively limited technical facility due to learning to play right-handed despite being left-handed: "That's a real limit, one that caused me a lot of grief when I was working with Jack McDuff and realizing I wasn't following in George Benson's footsteps. I couldn't be a straight-ahead jazz contender if you held a gun to my head, but that begs the question of whether I would want to be one."

    Marc Ribot - Wikipedia
    Wow, that explains it all. The first tune was straight ahead and I remember thinking, if the whole gig is straight ahead, it's gonna be tough. But again Marc's struggling was less apparent after that. And I don't know that the audience notices much, at least my wife didn't.

  17. #16

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    He's a real stylist. I really enjoyed his work with Tom Waits, some great playing in those CDs.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff View Post
    Re' Marc Ribot--interesting quote: Ribot admitted to Guitar Player a relatively limited technical facility due to learning to play right-handed despite being left-handed: "That's a real limit, one that caused me a lot of grief when I was working with Jack McDuff and realizing I wasn't following in George Benson's footsteps. I couldn't be a straight-ahead jazz contender if you held a gun to my head, but that begs the question of whether I would want to be one."

    Marc Ribot - Wikipedia
    So there is still hope for me… (Same, I am left-handed but started playing the ‘right-handed way’ as a child because my dad's guitar laying around the house was a regular one and somehow kept to it). I can definitely feel Marc's pain…

  19. #18

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    Ribot knows his way around a guitar like few other people I've ever met, but straight-ahead is not really his style

  20. #19

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    Am pretty sure the right-handed left-hander thing also applies to Mark Knopfler.

    Huh! No wonder these guys can't play.

    Yeah, and Ringo Starr, too.

    Actually, this confounds me deeply.

    P.S.: Ribot is swell

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57 View Post
    Most Soundpeople are not only Tone Deaf ,just plain Deaf!
    Most guitar players are egotistical a$$holes who only care about how they sound in the band.
    Shall we trot out any other stereotypes and generalizations?

  22. #21

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    I manage a recording studio and mixing an acoustic is an art. You get it right and it’s magic for sure. Even more of an art in a live environment.
    I really can’t stand the sound of any flat top plugged in.
    The sad thing is that plasticy piezo pickup sound is becoming icon and people actually want that. But those into good sound know a mic well placed is the way to go.

  23. #22
    Yeah, plasticky is the right word. I thought the tech would have improved by now. They did a good job. Marc's tone was so pure and thick, a thing of beauty.

  24. #23

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    Mic'd guitar sounds about as good as unamplified guitar. Other solutions to making an acoustic guitar loud tend to make them more or less all sound like Ovations. Quacky/piezo.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alter View Post
    He's a real stylist. I really enjoyed his work with Tom Waits, some great playing in those CDs.
    was he the guy that played on this ?


    I love that !

  26. #25

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    One of the best sounding live acoustic playing and room filling tone was at a Tommy Emmanuel concert. Over the years he's updated/modified/tweaked his amps, but he always gets great sound his rig. Check this out with headphones or a good sound system and you'll get a general idea of the quality. But its MUCH better live.


  27. #26

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    was he the guy that played on this ?
    I think that's from the album Franks Wild Years, and Mark Ribot does play on some tracks.


    Well, these days with the triple or even dual systems that combine a piezo, a mic and an internal sensor or something similar you can get great results as well, but they also are complicated to successfully work with. For an established artist that can have their own soundman/pa or generally plays in better rooms, or if playing dedicated acoustic stuff, maybe mics are the way to go, but for playing here and there, with full bands, drummers, solo, the works, i 've gone to simple, problem-free stuff. Don't even use regular acoustics live anymore usually, its godin-style guitars most of the time. No feedback, no placement problems, they work on stage the way electrics do, etc..