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  1. #1

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    Jazz vs Blues? Is there more similarities than differences? I feel like certain questions on this forum seem to be ignored when it comes to blues - and I mean jazzy blues?

    /R

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  3. #2
    Baltar Hornbeek Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitaRoland View Post
    Jazz vs Blues? Is there more similarities than differences? I feel like certain questions on this forum seem to be ignored when it comes to blues - and I mean jazzy blues?

    /R
    Could you restate the question or rephrase the statement, please.
    Last edited by Baltar Hornbeek; 09-27-2010 at 05:38 PM.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Baltar Hornbeek View Post
    Could you restate the question or repose the statement, please.
    I don't understand your question, is my post unclear in any way?

    /R

  5. #4

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    I view blues as simpler. One can play the blues with simple pentatonics and blue notes and be quite expressive. Jazz typically requires more harmonic and rhythmic knowledge.

    As for jazzy blues, you would have to define what you mean. If you mean traditional blues using "Rhythm" changes or bIII7, bVI7 chords and such then the standard blues technique begins to be too limiting and sounds forced.

    In my opinion, regardless of the music, the player must 'make' the changes. Playing over the changes in traditional blues is far easier than say "Green Dolphin Street", "Bright Size Life", or "Giant Steps".

  6. #5

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    Aside: Eric Clapton's latest album, "Clapton", to be released tomorrow, includes "Autumn Leaves"...

    'Clapton' by Eric Clapton -- The Life - ESPN
    Build bridges, not walls.

  7. #6

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    I'll make it really simple for you. Blues is a feeling, Jazz is a genre of music. Every style of music has it's "Blues" person.

    Rock- Eric Clapton
    Country- Roy Nichols
    Jazz- Kenny Burrell

    The list goes on and on. People say blues is simple but that is an understatement.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffstritt View Post
    People say blues is simple but that is an understatement.
    Now we're talking!

    /R

  9. #8

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    Hey, fellas! I'm new here. Like the post. I prefer Jazzy blues, got more changes, more possibilites.

    But Jazz has the bluesy mood, too, or it ain't no Jazz.

    Peace!

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffstritt View Post
    I'll make it really simple for you. Blues is a feeling, Jazz is a genre of music. Every style of music has it's "Blues" person.
    Electric guitars doing pentatonic wanking over a 12 bar blues -- how is that not a genre?
    Build bridges, not walls.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jazzyfella View Post
    Hey, fellas! I'm new here. Like the post. I prefer Jazzy blues, got more changes, more possibilites.
    You got it right! Thanks!

    /R

  12. #11

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    Blues is an integral part of jazz. Without blues there is no jazz, it becomes western improvised music. i.e intellectually interesting but without soul. The blues is the heart of jazz.

    I'll now run and hide while you all get agitated.
    Last edited by musicalbodger; 09-27-2010 at 06:31 PM. Reason: punctuation

  13. #12

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    Totally agree, man. Just like I said, ain't got a thing if ya can't (blues) swing.
    Last edited by Jazzyfella; 09-27-2010 at 06:04 PM. Reason: error in "can't"

  14. #13

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    Sorry Jazzyfella, didn't mean to repeat what you said, just emphasising something which seems to often get forgotten.

  15. #14
    Baltar Hornbeek Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by GuitaRoland View Post
    I don't understand your question, is my post unclear in any way?

    /R
    Oh, never mind, I get it. Another exploration of cliched labels and genre definitions. Carry on

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by musicalbodger View Post
    Sorry Jazzyfella, didn't mean to repeat what you said, just emphasising something which seems to often get forgotten.
    Oh, never ment that, musicalbodger. Chill and peace!


  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitaRoland View Post
    Jazz vs Blues? Is there more similarities than differences? I feel like certain questions on this forum seem to be ignored when it comes to blues - and I mean jazzy blues?

    /R
    Well, there's blues-blues, which is probably outside the scope of this forum, and blues as a component of jazz, which shouldn't be, but I suspect this is one of those things where the articulacy of the folks here tends to fail us - because you hear it first and foremost, if you can explain it later, fine, if you can't, it doesn't really matter.

    A few thoughts:

    - It isn't that there are similarities and differences, but, as I just said, that they overlap. Each is part of the other, so I think it more productive to look at differences than similarities.
    - 'To begin with, most of us know how to play blues-blues, I think, if only a little, and most of us, I think, would not dream of doing so in a jazz context, except momentarily. Blues scales and minor pentatonics are just not enough for jazz. I'm not sure exactly how to define this, though (so much for my articulateness, see what I mean?), especially since the time I suggested there might be more than one blues scale and I got landed on.
    - One thing worth bearing in mind is that, rhythmically, blues tends to be triple, jazz double. Even when the jazz has a swing feel to it, when the tune is slow or moderate tempo and the player wants to put more notes in, he will be likely to double-time, whereas a blues player would turn his triplets into sextuplets.
    - Jazz seeks angular melodies, big leaps which keep the listener alert, blues needs smooth ones, singable ones.
    - Same goes for phrasing, jazz requires syncopation and off-beatness. Even if you're playing straight eights, you have to put in some kind of rhythmic interest.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    Aside: Eric Clapton's latest album, "Clapton", to be released tomorrow, includes "Autumn Leaves"...

    'Clapton' by Eric Clapton -- The Life - ESPN

    I'll bet you it's mostly a vocal version. He did Come Rain or Come Shine with BB King. He also did Somewhere Over the Rainbow on one live album and then Georgia with Steve Winwood. on another.

    Also on "EC WAS Here" he did Smile with Yvonne Ellerman.

  19. #18

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    this thing got off track starting at the second post, and also in the original question somewhat.


    in jazz studies blues may be clearly defined as either one of two things:

    1.blues music which is a style. (also known as country blues, gut bucket blues, down home blues, BB blues, etc, etc). Think of the delta blues men. In modern times you have the blues-rockers, like Clapton, SRV, Duane Allman, and on and on and on.

    2. blues tunes which follow a 12-bar form. this form can be varied and altered in a number of ways, including harmonically. see Aebersold for one (of many) examples. this is what jazzers are referring to when they play "a blues". and yes, it can be rendered in a fashion that tilts towards the blues style. but if it confines itself to 3 chords (I, IV, V) and simple melodic/harmonic approaches like hot licks based on the blues and minor pentatonic scales, then it is not representative of the typical jazz/blues practice.


    and as to whether there are more similarities than differences, it depends on the tune/form/style of playing. some bluesmen "jazz it up" from time to time, and some jazzers "get low down and dirty" from time to time.
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 09-27-2010 at 11:57 PM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by fumblefingers View Post
    this thing got off track starting at the second post, and also in the original question somewhat.


    in jazz studies blues may be clearly defined as either one of two things:

    1.blues music which is a style. (also known as country blues, gut bucket blues, down home blues, BB blues, etc, etc). Think of the delta blues men. In modern times you have the blues-rockers, like Clapton, SRV, Duane Allman, and on and on and on.

    2. blues tunes which follow a 12-bar form. this form can be varied and altered in a number of ways, including harmonically. see Aebersold for one (of many) examples. this is what jazzers are referring to when they play "a blues". and yes, it can be rendered in a fashion that tilts towards the blues style.
    but if it confines itself to 3 chords (I, IV, V) and simple melodic/harmonic approaches like hot licks based on the blues and minor pentatonic scales, then it is not representative of the typical jazz/blues practice.
    and as to whether there are more similarities than differences, it depends on the tune/form/style of playing. some bluesmen "jazz it up" from time to time, and some jazzers "get low down and dirty" from time to time.
    Wow, there's a few bald statements for you!
    this thing got off track starting at the second post, and also in the original question somewhat
    Interesting that you say the OPs original question is off track. It may not be the most articulate way of putting it but his question is his question, not yours.

    Re. your "jazz studies" comments,
    ...but if it confines itself to 3 chords (I, IV, V) and simple melodic/harmonic approaches like hot licks based on the blues and minor pentatonic scales, then it is not representative of the typical jazz/blues practice.
    So, that puts Blue Monk, Blue Sphere, Straight No Chaser, Monk's Point, Raise Four, Misterioso (just to quote some of Thelonious' tunes) outside the realms of jazz. An idiosyncratic viewpoint I have to admit and not one any jazz musician would agree with.

    I fall in with the Count, Bird, Duke, and many others (can't be bothered looking up the exact quotes as anyone who has studied jazz will know of them), as mentioned earlier, Jazz has to have the blues in it or it isn't jazz. Why are the blue notes called blue notes and used by so many jazz musicians? It has to be in the playing or it loses the essence of jazz and becomes something else. As I said earlier western improvised music fits the bill.

    As for the rest of what you said, you're right.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by 4thstuning View Post
    In my opinion, regardless of the music, the player must 'make' the changes. Playing over the changes in traditional blues is far easier than say "Green Dolphin Street", "Bright Size Life", or "Giant Steps".
    Giant Steps has 3 key centers just like a 12 bar blues (just something to think about)

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by jayx123 View Post
    Giant Steps has 3 key centers just like a 12 bar blues (just something to think about)

    Bluesers and rockers have been trying their pentatonic licks over GS for 5 decades with consistent lack of success. Eventually most figure out that they can't use one pattern for the whole tune and actually have to make the changes. With that epiphany they either move forward into jazz or ... they get the blues

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by musicalbodger View Post
    Wow, there's a few bald statements for you!
    Interesting that you say the OPs original question is off track. It may not be the most articulate way of putting it but his question is his question, not yours.

    Re. your "jazz studies" comments, So, that puts Blue Monk, Blue Sphere, Straight No Chaser, Monk's Point, Raise Four, Misterioso (just to quote some of Thelonious' tunes) outside the realms of jazz. An idiosyncratic viewpoint I have to admit and not one any jazz musician would agree with.

    I fall in with the Count, Bird, Duke, and many others (can't be bothered looking up the exact quotes as anyone who has studied jazz will know of them), as mentioned earlier, Jazz has to have the blues in it or it isn't jazz. Why are the blue notes called blue notes and used by so many jazz musicians? It has to be in the playing or it loses the essence of jazz and becomes something else. As I said earlier western improvised music fits the bill.

    As for the rest of what you said, you're right.

    I’m glad that we are debating terms. So,

    1. I stand corrected. I should have said: "the original post was inarticulate, clumsy, and grammatically incorrect." I hope that helps.

    2. And the second post was fine, just unnecessary. Meaning, the question in post one was understandable.

    3. I should also expand on the other statement that you took issue with, to clarify. I did not say that 3 chord music was not jazz. I said that if a 12 bar blues confines itself to 3 chords (I, IV V) - AND - the players improvise with nothing more than blues scale or minor pentatonic licks like many blues players do, then it is not TYPICAL of the jazzman's treatment of the blues. Put another way, they make use of more expansive or ambitious materials (for lack of a better term) when they improvise. Wide interval leaps, arpeggios, superimposed/extended harmony, sophisticated and florid phrasing, harmonic substitution in the solo when it’s not in the accompaniment, complex rhythms, playing outside, etc.

    Granted, that's still a general statement, but I stand by it.
    Last edited by fumblefingers; 09-28-2010 at 08:32 AM.

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffstritt View Post
    Blues is a feeling, Jazz is a genre of music.
    Why isn't blues a genre? And jazz without the blues - what would the jazz had been?

    /R

  25. #24

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    you are correct. the blues is a style, or genre, as you said.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitaRoland View Post
    Why isn't blues a genre? And jazz without the blues - what would the jazz had been?
    Of course blues is a genre, a separate one from jazz and slightly older than it. It might be worth looking at their origins a second, because although the two are associated with Afro-American slave descendents, blues and jazz were culturally different from the outset. Blues was a folk music, arising among/from people who were musically (and often literally) illiterate (which doesn't mean unskilled and much less unmusical). Jazz on the other hand was from the start a music form associated with trained, educated musicians, people like W. C. Handy. And like "art" music down the ages, it drew on the folk music around it, including the blues.

    But the blues was not the only 'folk' music which influenced jazz. There was ragtime (both the original dance music and the formal piano music that developed from it), the plantation music and minstrel shows (which tend not to be discussed much in these politically correct times) which Stephen Foster milked, so-called "Spanish" music (which really meant Mexican, ranchero-type things, or Cuban habaneras and criollas), and more.

    So could jazz have existed without the blues? Sure, however hard it may be to imagine.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnRoss View Post
    Of course blues is a genre, a separate one from jazz and slightly older than it. It might be worth looking at their origins a second, because although the two are associated with Afro-American slave descendents, blues and jazz were culturally different from the outset. Blues was a folk music, arising among/from people who were musically (and often literally) illiterate (which doesn't mean unskilled and much less unmusical). Jazz on the other hand was from the start a music form associated with trained, educated musicians, people like W. C. Handy. And like "art" music down the ages, it drew on the folk music around it, including the blues.

    But the blues was not the only 'folk' music which influenced jazz. There was ragtime (both the original dance music and the formal piano music that developed from it), the plantation music and minstrel shows (which tend not to be discussed much in these politically correct times) which Stephen Foster milked, so-called "Spanish" music (which really meant Mexican, ranchero-type things, or Cuban habaneras and criollas), and more.

    So could jazz have existed without the blues? Sure, however hard it may be to imagine.
    Nicely summed up, John.
    Probably one of the biggest single influences was kletzmer music. But I guess that takes us a bit off topic. Well, no it doesn't, I guess, because you don't get much Kletzmer influenced blues........ Now there's a thought!

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffstritt View Post
    I'll make it really simple for you. Blues is a feeling, Jazz is a genre of music. Every style of music has it's "Blues" person.

    Rock- Eric Clapton
    Country- Roy Nichols
    Jazz- Kenny Burrell

    The list goes on and on. People say blues is simple but that is an understatement.
    I thought Grant Green was the jazz guitarist that everybody considers the bluesiest. If that's a real word.

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  29. #28

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    Who's everybody??

  30. #29

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    Another way of saying the general consensus.

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  31. #30

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    Blues and Jazz are baaed on different attitudes and philosophies - catchy hooks vs. sophistication; blue-collar bar vs. downtown...

    You can mix stuff together but when you do warm sounding jazz runs or when you go for a bend with piercing tone - nobody will be confused as to what musical style you're playing.

  32. #31

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    Jazz is the Blues' precocious little brother.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_L View Post
    Blues and Jazz are baaed on different attitudes and philosophies - catchy hooks vs. sophistication; blue-collar bar vs. downtown...

    You can mix stuff together but when you do warm sounding jazz runs or when you go for a bend with piercing tone - nobody will be confused as to what musical style you're playing.
    So if someone is doing a bend with a piercing tone over a II\V\I type standard they are playing what?

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal View Post
    So if someone is doing a bend with a piercing tone over a II\V\I type standard they are playing what?
    They say it's not jazz if you're bending strings.

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  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by FZ2017 View Post
    They say it's not jazz if you're bending strings.

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    This proverbial "they" is an asshole.
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal View Post
    So if someone is doing a bend with a piercing tone over a II\V\I type standard they are playing what?
    Oooohhh... I do it a lot - sounds a lot more bluesy than jazzy. Not saying that you can't bend in a jazz solo, or that it will never sound jazzy, etc... but if you aim for the blues - with your tone, note choice and technique, the result will be, well - bluesy... even if you play over jazz chords and with non-pentatonic scales...
    .
    .
    .
    .
    I was kind of expecting people to notice the examples more than my general idea. The internet is where you can't make any generalization without triggering someone. Maybe it's for the best... but it makes describing anything in the social realm much more difficult.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    This proverbial "they" is an asshole.
    ???

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_L View Post
    ???
    It's a joke..."they" say this, "they" say that...who''s this "they?"
    Jeff Matz, Jazz Guitar:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/jeffreymatz

    "Jazz is like life...it goes on longer than you think, and as soon as you're like 'oh, I get it,' it ends."

    --The Ghost of Duke Ellington

  39. #38

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    All my favorite jazz guitar players loved to play blues.



    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  40. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by Johnny_L View Post
    Oooohhh... I do it a lot - sounds a lot more bluesy than jazzy. Not saying that you can't bend in a jazz solo, or that it will never sound jazzy, etc... but if you aim for the blues - with your tone, note choice and technique, the result will be, well - bluesy... even if you play over jazz chords and with non-pentatonic scales...
    .
    .
    .
    I agree that when using the common blues guitar techniques in a jazz solo, over jazz chords, one will sound bluesy. But I don't call that playing the blues. I call that sounding bluesy while playing jazz.

    To me what makes a song someone is playing either the blues or jazz is the harmonic progression, more so than their overall sound. E.g. I view a lot of fusion as playing with a rock sound over a jazz chord progression.

    Of course genre categorization needs to be nuanced as well. There is not one definition 'they' all agree upon.

  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    It's a joke..."they" say this, "they" say that...who''s this "they?"
    Exactly you can't show sarcasm in a post.

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  42. #41

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    In a Venn diagram, Miles Davis is right in the middle of the overlapping section of “blues” and “jazz.” So very wonderfully and uniquely so.


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  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    It's a joke..."they" say this, "they" say that...who''s this "they?"
    Just made sure because I'm the one who implied that bending is more common in blues...

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal View Post
    I agree that when using the common blues guitar techniques in a jazz solo, over jazz chords, one will sound bluesy. But I don't call that playing the blues. I call that sounding bluesy while playing jazz.

    To me what makes a song someone is playing either the blues or jazz is the harmonic progression, more so than their overall sound. E.g. I view a lot of fusion as playing with a rock sound over a jazz chord progression.

    Of course genre categorization needs to be nuanced as well. There is not one definition 'they' all agree upon.
    If you aim to be jazzy you'll get there over a standard 12 bar blues or even over a 1 chord jam... I just feel that each genre is focused on different things and different techniques create the "right" feeling.

    I do get what you're saying - I'm more of a blues player... but when I write I always have the tendency to explore new chords and not limit myself to the standard 12 bars. But when I add chords it usually makes songs loose their bluesy tension and drive...

  45. #44

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    "The blues is the beginning of jazz..."

    Frank Vignola giving a short lesson on blues (in Bb) and playing over rhythm changes.

    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    All my favorite jazz guitar players loved to play blues.



    I agree but will add that all of my favorite jazz musicians loved to play blues. If you don't at least have a feel for the blues you're not going to be able to really play jazz or any vernacular American music.

  47. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    This proverbial "they" is an asshole.
    He's Everybody's little brother.

    Regarding the topic, I hear jazz and blues as being interrelated, on a continuum ranging from a field holler at one end to free jazz at the other.

    I'd love to hear the OP's opinion on T-Bone Walker.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Thumpalumpacus View Post
    He's Everybody's little brother.

    Regarding the topic, I hear jazz and blues as being interrelated, on a continuum ranging from a field holler at one end to free jazz at the other.

    I'd love to hear the OP's opinion on T-Bone Walker.
    Maybe if you give your opinion he'll reciprocate!

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  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by FZ2017 View Post
    Maybe if you give your opinion he'll reciprocate!

    Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
    I think he's great, very blues but informed by a nice harmonic sensibility that goes beyond I7-IV7-V7. Definitely on the blues side of the continuum, but full of sweet and sour.

  50. #49

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    Jazz is the teacher - Blues is the preacher

  51. #50

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    Blues isn't a how it's a what.