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  1. #1

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    I have an admission to make. While listening to some nice Jazz I found some of the solos annoyed me. I won't name this great artist, but on some of the faster songs, he did two things that just disturbed my listening experience. I am only addressing the way he seemed perpetually behind the beat by a micro second - just enough to where when he would end a line, it would be after beat.

    Maybe this was for effect and intentional, but I don't recall hearing other Beboppers playing Bebop this way. They always seem so locked in.

    I would love to hear some thoughts if anyone else has noticed this approach to playing and have any opinions on it.
    Last edited by AlsoRan; 07-21-2019 at 02:05 PM. Reason: Clarity

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  3. #2

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    guitarist? modern?

  4. #3

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    It’s difficult to know exactly what you are referring to. Lester Young often played behind the beat, so did Dexter Gordon sometimes (he was influenced by Lester), nothing wrong with the way they did it, they were masters of that particular approach.

    But I don’t know if that’s what you mean, or something else.

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    It’s difficult to know exactly what you are referring to. Lester Young often played behind the beat, so did Dexter Gordon sometimes (he was influenced by Lester), nothing wrong with the way they did it, they were masters of that particular approach.

    But I don’t know if that’s what you mean, or something else.
    You know something? I think you are right, because there are times with Dexter Gordon that I just feel that same sense of unfulfillment. I guess I just don't like that behind the beat type of soloing throughout the solo.

    Of course, this is my personal problem. Singers that sing "too far" behind the beat affect me the same way when it comes to faster songs. Oh well, like I said. Its my problem. I won't go on about it. I will do some more listening.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    guitarist? modern?
    Ha, ha. Sorry to have you in suspense, Irez.

    I just don't want to in any way insult another person's style, at least not by name. Who am I? It can be so unfair since some people take it and pile on. And it is just not my place, as an alsoran jazz guitarist who ran out of time.

  7. #6

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    Unless it's someone here, I think it's fine to figure out what you like and what you don't in the players that you listen to.

    You all know that I don't like PM, I don't feel guilty about that one no matter how popular he is. My dislike won't hurt him one bit. But it does help me figure out my sound and my direction.

    To add to that, I love Barney Kessel's playing--but I don't enjoy the "smears" he did in his later playing (to sound like Coltrane maybe?)

    I'll keep going...

    I think that Pat Martino's tone can be way too dark for me at times. I love his lines, and his rhythmic feel (he's more than a "stream of 8ths" player, IMHO)--but that tone doesn't work for me.

    Once again, knowing what I like and dislike in the musicians I listen to is EXTREMELY important to my development.

    I'll do one more. I love Joe Pass's lines and his accompaniment. That said, I don't like his "excessive" use of hammer on's and pull offs. I think that technique works in Sco's feeling because his distorted sound--I think it makes Sco sound like a raunchy tenor player. But the use of that articulation with a clean tone--it doesn't work for me. As a result, I pick most of my notes--and I work on the dynamics of all my notes. I use chromaticism on two adjacent strings to get some of that "mordent type" articulation.

    I know people who hate players that pick most notes, so they'd probably hate my playing. No problem, you have to be confident with what you like.

    So, in summary, wear what you like and what you don't (in music) with pride. Your tastes might change, but there's no shame in discussing what sounds work for you and which don't

  8. #7

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    Coltrane?

  9. #8

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    Omg

    Bebop lines that are behind the rhythm - I just don't like them-c0f56cb0-a194-4702-b058-7d9440331a4f-jpeg

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by rictroll View Post
    Omg

    Bebop lines that are behind the rhythm - I just don't like them-c0f56cb0-a194-4702-b058-7d9440331a4f-jpeg

    I know. Bad joke.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    Ha, ha. Sorry to have you in suspense, Irez.

    I just don't want to in any way insult another person's style, at least not by name. Who am I? It can be so unfair since some people take it and pile on. And it is just not my place, as an alsoran jazz guitarist who ran out of time.
    Isn't piling on what the Internest is all about?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    I have an admission to make. While listening to some nice Jazz I found some of the solos annoyed me. I won't name this great artist, but on some of the faster songs, he did two things that just disturbed my listening experience. I am only addressing the way he seemed perpetually behind the beat by a micro second - just enough to where when he would end a line, it would be after beat.

    Maybe this was for effect and intentional, but I don't recall hearing other Beboppers playing Bebop this way. They always seem so locked in.

    I would love to hear some thoughts if anyone else has noticed this approach to playing and have any opinions on it.
    You seem to be talking about two different things.

    1. Playing behind the beat a little bit (must be a white guy, lol).

    2. "Over the bar line" phrasing.


    Regarding the latter, the improvised line is a big deal in jazz. When jazz improvisation gets too orderly with strict fidelity to the changes/harmonic rhythm it can sound a bit like Mozart. It can sound.... square.

    NOT the objective.

  13. #12

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    Learn Donna Lee...

    Start with Bird

    By the time you get it under the fingers and thoroughly implanted in the memory...

    I think Jimmy Bruno said that.

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fortune View Post
    Coltrane?
    You know what I'm talking about. Don't be a brash broccoli!

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    You know what I'm talking about. Don't be a brash broccoli!
    You know I hate to say anything about Coltrane, I'm pretty much a beginner, and I think he's got a lot of really great stuff. But once in a while his time did feel wonky to me. Then again my own time feel usually sounds wonky when I listen back. So I'll shut up now

  16. #15

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    Fortune,

    who said anything negative about Coltrane?

    Coltrane got me into jazz--I listened to John Coltrane's "Coltrane" with my dad when I was 6 years old.

    I still love Coltrane's playing. All of it. Only now can I work some of his melodic material into my playing... 27 years later! The way Coltrane can play with basic material, like a Bm pentatonic scale--it's inspiring, especially because everyone always talks about his "sheets of sound"

    Clarification, I was talking about Barney Kessel trying to be hip and doing his "random notes in quick succession" in his later playing.

    We did a thread on this a couple of years back.

    That said, if you don't like some of Coltrane's stuff--why is that blasphemy?

    Maybe you'll visit it in a couple of years and love it? Maybe not?

    Too much hero worship.

    I know PM would probably make another video rant about "people 'not' understanding his music"

    John Coltrane wouldn't care, because he was on another ethereal plain...

    If we all liked the same thing, music would be boring.

    Or you could say, if you don't like it get... nah, I won't do that here...

    Oh brother...

  17. #16

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    Without knowing what player the OP is talking about, I can’t really add any thoughts.

  18. #17

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    Barney had a habit of looking at the audience in between his solos..real rapport with them...So.....just saying..omg coltrane flourishes..he made it look effortless
    Last edited by voxss; 07-21-2019 at 10:26 AM. Reason: d

  19. #18

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  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzstdnt View Post
    You seem to be talking about two different things.

    1. Playing behind the beat a little bit (must be a white guy, lol).

    2. "Over the bar line" phrasing.


    Regarding the latter, the improvised line is a big deal in jazz. When jazz improvisation gets too orderly with strict fidelity to the changes/harmonic rhythm it can sound a bit like Mozart. It can sound.... square.

    NOT the objective.

    Ha, ha! I read through that thread about White players playing behind the beat. I am glad we were able to isolate it down to more of a case culture/exposure rather than race, LOL.

    But to clarify, I am referring to playing behind the beat. I do like when players surge ahead, lag behind, and lock into the beat in a given song. It adds variety. But when the whole song is played seemingly behind the beat, it is just not my cup of tea. Dexter's Blue Bossa, if I remember correctly, seemed to be where I first noticed this style. I kept thinking, "catch up, my friend, you are not keeping up."

    Most of my music exposure must have been on the beat playing, such as dance music, R&B, etc.. So, when I hear a faster, more uptempo song, I kind of tap my feet and I find with some songs, I don't know whether to follow the soloist or the rhythm section, which messes up my personal groove.

  21. #20

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    C'mon man .. I can understand not wanting to out a player for lack of chops, but disagreeing with an artistic choice is fair and only adds nuance and discussion. Post example!

  22. #21

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    Jimmy Raney talks about timing here. As he says, some players like to play behind the beat, it gives a certain feel.


  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lobomov View Post
    C'mon man .. I can understand not wanting to out a player for lack of chops, but disagreeing with an artistic choice is fair and only adds nuance and discussion. Post example!
    I surrender to the mercy of the judge, but I cannot throw my man under the bus like that. I invoke my fifth amendment rights.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop View Post
    Jimmy Raney talks about timing here. As he says, some players like to play behind the beat, it gives a certain feel.

    I recognize the effect that he is talking about. To me, it gives the song a kind of relaxed, lazy feeling a la Billy Holiday.

    I don't want that feeling in fast tempo, so there is where my taste diverge from those that like this type of playing.

  25. #24

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    I hear Barry Harris as a behind the beat bebop player



    Personally I really like this feel. It reminds me of Jimmy Raney on guitar, and it's no surprise to me that Barry is a big fan of Raney's playing.

    Then you have someone like Wynton Kelly, more on the beat.


    Actually his phrasing on this one almost feels straight against swing.

    Grant Green on this one seems to be more on the beat too.

    Is this the sort of thing you mean AlsoRan?

  26. #25

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    Damn, I want to get that Barry Harris album.

    It's not on Amazon--new at least.

    So I guess it's off to Discogs

  27. #26

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    If a soloist is behind the beat, go with the rhythm section...always.

    the job of the rhythm section is always provide foundation...unless you are purposefully avant guard

    there is a way to play behind but at the right moment give the pivot point to the rhythm section...if it's not there, well, it's someone I wouldn't want to accompany

    a great soloist, as an accompanist, pulls you in to listen, a bad soloist forces the accompanist to not listen and hold hands with fellow rhythm sectionists

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Irez87 View Post
    Damn, I want to get that Barry Harris album.

    It's not on Amazon--new at least.

    So I guess it's off to Discogs
    I recently got it from iTunes as a download. It is indeed a great album.

    Here’s another track, I love the relaxed feel Barry gets on this.


  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by bonsritmos View Post
    If a soloist is behind the beat, go with the rhythm section...always.

    the job of the rhythm section is always provide foundation...unless you are purposefully avant guard

    there is a way to play behind but at the right moment give the pivot point to the rhythm section...if it's not there, well, it's someone I wouldn't want to accompany

    a great soloist, as an accompanist, pulls you in to listen, a bad soloist forces the accompanist to not listen and hold hands with fellow rhythm sectionists
    Yeah... not sure if I get this completely and feel free to pull me apart, but this is my working model.

    At medium - medium upbeat tempos players synchronise on the accented upbeats. Now you can do this by having quite a dotted eighth (Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly) or a straighter 1/8 that sits behind the beat (Barry Harris). Either way the upbeats - the "ands" are in the same place so you are giving the information to the group - the tempo doesn't drag because the upbeat placement is consistent, and everyone feels it and is locked in.

    Some players are super consistent and articulated (Dexter Gordon, most guitar players) others can be a bit haphazard, but always nail the important accents so they totally swing (Hank Mobley.)

    Now Barry Harris often talks about the importance of triplets in the line - his favourites, Bird and Bud, always play 1/8th triplets in their lines even at the fastest tempos. The triplet is executed exactly to my ears - the 1st note is very much right in the middle of the downbeat, and notes are evenly separated. This, I find, is f***ing hard on the guitar. I've been working on it for about 5 years, and it's only starting to come together and that's at tempi south of 240. More on that later.

    So in the style of players like BH, the triplet offers the chance to reference the beat, and so you get this delicious push/pull effect that I find intoxicating.

    OK, so we whack up the tempo. Now, it's a lot harder to perceive the upbeats, and many players lock into the downbeat instead. This can still really swing - if my ears are right and that's what Wynton is doing, I couldn't say it isn't swinging (Wynton is incapable of not swinging.) There is a paper where they analyse Gerry Mulligan on an up tune, and this is what he seems to be doing.

    On the other hand - from my own practice - if I can get just the right amount of lag at fast tempos, so my upbeats align consistently with the swung upbeat, I get a very nice, relaxed but locked in feeling.

    Now it's possible to lag MORE than this... I think this is what BH may be doing. But the use of triplets pull him back in.

    Now for guitarists, or at least for me, this is a problem because - triplets are hard. However, few modern players use them as much as Bird did (even bop sax players come to think of it), so they lag the beat (because I think it's widely known that's a viable solution) but they don't play many triplets.

    Furthermore, north of 200 beats per minute or so it becomes very hard to consistently dot the 1/8ths on guitar. Because of this most guitarists play pretty straight 1/8ths and swing by playing slightly behind - Moreno, Bernstein etc all talk about 'straight but behind.' Even Charlie Christian, who had a larger dot at 200 than most, if not all, modern players had to straighten out to cross strings. It doesn't make it swing any less, but the dominant aesthetic of modern jazz guitar is play very evenly and consistently. Pat Martino is probably the graddaddy of this aesthetic.

    One problem is that if you do this you can end up leaning to much on the drummer because you rely on finding the pocket rather than establishing one in your playing... I definitely have/had that problem myself...

    However, not all guitar players are so 8th-ey. George Benson uses a lot of rhythmic variety, for instance.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I hear Barry Harris as a behind the beat bebop player



    Personally I really like this feel. It reminds me of Jimmy Raney on guitar, and it's no surprise to me that Barry is a big fan of Raney's playing.

    Then you have someone like Wynton Kelly, more on the beat.


    Actually his phrasing on this one almost feels straight against swing.

    Grant Green on this one seems to be more on the beat too.

    Is this the sort of thing you mean AlsoRan?

    You nailed it. I also hear some of that behind the beat phrasing in both Jimmy Raney and Doug Raney on his "Backbeat" album. It probably depends on my mood how I like it.

    And Grant Green's Standards was my first Jazz CD and it helped inspire me to start trying to learn to play Jazz. His playing on that "Standards" album seems to be a little different that his more Bluesy sound on his other albums - at least to my ears. I really like his playing "on the beat."

    By the way, that Barry Harris piano is just so beautiful to me. I did not detect that behind the beat playing. Like I said, maybe its just me!
    Last edited by AlsoRan; 07-22-2019 at 09:42 PM.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    I hear Barry Harris as a behind the beat bebop player



    ..................

    That is one squeaky hi-hat.

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone View Post
    That is one squeaky hi-hat.
    But, wow! Did they fill up my speakers with sound. I am looking up that album, right now.

    Update: Like Irez said, they have some copies on Amazon, used. $24.00 + shipping. Ouch, but given the rarity, probably worth it.

    The wife is not going to be happy....
    Last edited by AlsoRan; 07-22-2019 at 10:18 PM.

  33. #32

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    Among jazz pianists, Wynton Kelly is considered to have had the most swinging effortless feel ever. And he could vary his eighth note pairs within each phrase in a sublime way. Red Garland also had a great great swinging feel, but with less variation in his pairs. That’s why Miles Davis cherished thise two pianists in particular. They are my favorites.
    Studied privately with Mark Levine from 1986-1989 and with Barry Harris 1990-1992.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    But, wow! Did they fill up my speakers with sound. I am looking up that album, right now.

    Update: Like Irez said, they have some copies on Amazon, used. $24.00 + shipping. Ouch, but given the rarity, probably worth it.

    The wife is not going to be happy....
    It's on itunes for 8 bucks...

    But it's not a hard copy...

  35. #34

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    It's got "our delight"!

    I tried to play that recently--WHAT A TUNE!

  36. #35

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    I hate the Apple Store... ate my money and won't let me play Barry Harris...

    Apple gets the badass finger... and a stern phone cal l

  37. #36

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    I really appreciate your decent decision not to name anyone.
    However as Irez said, opinion can be expressed in appropriate way, and then there is nothing wrong about it, assuming limiting this to the "great perfomers" and not to each others demo's.

    ***

    This thread has literally no point without hearing the recording(s) you are referring.
    Talking about a specific performance style without sample to demonstrate? Think about it: it is really non-sense.


    Not knowing what are we talking about, the only thing I can say:
    Behind the beat, above the beat, exact beat: all can be terrible torture to listen if played by an unmusical person or could the coolest swinging jazz played by a great musician.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlsoRan View Post
    But, wow! Did they fill up my speakers with sound. I am looking up that album, right now.

    Update: Like Irez said, they have some copies on Amazon, used. $24.00 + shipping. Ouch, but given the rarity, probably worth it.

    The wife is not going to be happy....
    It's terrific for sure but I'm a little annoyed every time I listen to it that the engineer or producer didn't notice the squeak.

  39. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by A. Kingstone View Post
    It's terrific for sure but I'm a little annoyed every time I listen to it that the engineer or producer didn't notice the squeak.
    The bass isn’t well recorded either. The 70s....

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    The bass isn’t well recorded either. The 70s....

    But as usual, Barry's on fire!