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  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    I was just taking off JS' re-harmonization of a tune from one of his Roost records for a big band chart I'm writing, and I can't believe how hip it is.
    Underestimating or ignoring this guy is a huge mistake. I also copied a chorus of his pianist, Bob Pancoast, and is ideas are so hip and musically solid, it's almost frightening that they were doing these things almost 70 years ago!
    In one interview he said his guitar chordal movements were voiced the same way he'd have voiced a horn section. I think these folks (JS, Miles, Trane, Monk, Strayhorn, Gil, etc... not that JS would have put himself in that group!) had a degree of musical sophistication that was rare and that few approach now. Maria Schneider, Charlie Haden, a few others. These are rare talents.

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #152

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    A recording I didn't know about until yesterday. Johnny Smith performing "The Annotations of the Muses" composed by Johnny Richards. This was recorded in 1955, according to Lin Flanagan's biography:








    And as a bonus the famous Schoenberg concerto conducted by Dmitri Mitropolous, when Smith deputized for a classical guitarist who couldn't read the part:


  4. #153

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara


    And as a bonus the famous Schoenberg concerto conducted by Dmitri Mitropolous, when Smith deputized for a classical guitarist who couldn't read the part:

    so funny...i was going to post that one myself! johnny played his epi emperor on the schoenberg session...acoustically!...it was later stolen during a nbc gig




    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 07-06-2020 at 08:46 PM. Reason: clarity-

  5. #154

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    Did the thief get JS's gun, too? (Johnny "Nails" Smith used to carry a revolver in the neck pocket of his guitar case. Semper vigiles.)

    [No judgment implied, here, by the way. I have long been a Smith devotee.]

  6. #155

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    johnny was not sugar coated...he was a WW II vet... played trumpet in the army...

    when he was approached last minute to do the schoenberg session ^, after a long day in the nbc pit...he took the score and stuck it under his bed and went out on the town..a real bender...(johnny liked his drinkin...)

    still intoxicated, he got a call to come for his audition right away...johnny showed up and said though he could hardly hold the guitar, he still did enough to secure the session

    when the session occurred a few days later, he nailed it in one take!

    cheers

  7. #156

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    I work with lots of musicians. Everyone reads music. Very few are brilliant sight readers. I've played in orchestras and I would say that most classical musicians are adept at sight reading, but nowhere near brilliant (me included). I have run into some true machines, however. You put anything in front of them and BAM!

    Smith, Tommy Tedesco, etc., were really gifted when it cam to this sort of thing.

  8. #157

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    totally agree gt..but schoenberg might be a bit tougher to sight read!

    i left out that johnny holed up with one of the great nbc pianists, irwin kostel, and woodshedded for a few days before the recording!!

    still nailed a complicated score tho....and went over so well..it was a live recording..they encored it for the audience!!

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 07-06-2020 at 11:16 PM.

  9. #158

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    johnny was not sugar coated...he was a WW II vet... played trumpet in the army...

    when he was approached last minute to do the schoenberg session ^, after a long day in the nbc pit...he took the score and stuck it under his bed and went out on the town..a real bender...(johnny liked his drinkin...)

    still intoxicated, he got a call to come for his audition right away...johnny showed up and said though he could hardly hold the guitar, he still did enough to secure the session

    when the session occurred a few days later, he nailed it in one take!

    cheers
    Johnny hung over, still half drunk, with the shakes and barely able to see would still a better musician than I will ever be stone cold sober.

    Geez, after one beer my fingers barely work. I always had to hold off on having a drink at gigs until after all the music was over.

  10. #159

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    My understanding of Johnny Smith (which is limited), is that he wouldn't say much either way, but if he did say something it would be positive. BUT that doesn't mean that is how he actually felt. I.e. for many people (especially those before the social media era), what they say publicly might not be what they actually feel. This use to be viewed as having a degree of class.

    Bottom line; it is folly for anyone to say what they believe someone like Smith would say, one way or the other.
    Your narrow-mindedness is showing. And you've destroyed your own bottom line. But, if you find no value in Frisell or Metheny, then it's your loss.

  11. #160

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    Quote Originally Posted by ronjazz
    Your narrow-mindedness is showing. And you've destroyed your own bottom line. But, if you find no value in Frisell or Metheny, then it's your loss.
    Hey, ronjazz, I assume you misused the "quote" feature. Re-read what you posted here; your reply has nothing to do with what I posted (and what you have quoted).

    AGAIN: all I said what that it was folly for anyone TODAY to imply what some one DEAD would have to say about current players.

  12. #161

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    This is on the NAMM website; I had never seen this. The full interview is 41 minutes long.

    Johnny Smith | Oral Histories | NAMM.org

  13. #162

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    This is on the NAMM website; I had never seen this. The full interview is 41 minutes long.

    Johnny Smith | Oral Histories | NAMM.org
    C, you made my night. I really appreciate this.
    JD

  14. #163

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    After listening to the entire interview I didn’t learn anything new. But it reaffirmed what I knew already and that was Johnny was a truly warm and wonderful human being. And listening to “muses”, also proved what I’ve known all along. Johnny was the greatest guitar player i will ever hear in my lifetime.
    That’s my hero right there. And I am very to say that.
    Joe D

  15. #164

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    There have been a few mentions about mistakes. When you play live, they are always just around the corner. And, they happen because people are not machines . . . they are people. For musicians who play live, you know you bring a bag of mistakes with you every time you play. They can come from losing focus, not feeling well, inebriation, a bad day, or just simply mechanical errors. Your audience rarely notices them. Perhaps, a few musicians will hear them. However, they are more profound when playing Classical Music since you are playing from a score that requires exactitude, precision, and certitude. Not so much in Jazz since ,if you're fast on your feet, you can turn it into something else and recover. If I am going to judge a musician, I want to hear him/her live before an audience where sound and mistakes cannot be manipulated by a recording engineer. It's a good night, indeed, when the gremlins don't visit. Play live! . . . Marinero

  16. #165

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    Those old jazz recordings were "live in the studio," union-required to complete a minimum recording of three songs in four hours for which they received union scale pay. Jazz musicians in the so-called golden age rarely if ever saw royalty payments, as the recording contract assigned those rights to the studio as a matter of course. Record companies have stolen from artists since the beginning. Johnny Smith himself did not receive any royalties from his famed Roost records until after the death of Reddy Reig, the label owner, who left a partial payment of back royalties in his will. Johnny didn't get royalties from his last three recordings (on Verve?) until an interview in Guitar Player magazine brought that forth and the interviewer contacted the label about it. This was why Johnny stopped recording, which he didn't much like very much anyway. FWIW John Coltrane got union scale for Giant Steps and that, reportedly, was it- like $500.

    There were rarely overdubs or punch-ins, due to there being no budget for that and no isolation for the various instruments anyway, and little if any rehearsal unless it was a group that had been playing live. Things are very different nowadays, with Pat Metheny famously stitching together different takes and the like, just as one example. But Kind of Blue, Giant Steps, etc., were all live performances in the studio and often the first take. No different than a club gig, just a much smaller and very quiet audience.

  17. #166

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    "and little if any rehearsal unless it was a group that had been playing live"

    This is generally true but Blue Note frequently had paid rehearsals and Alfred Lion would often put out food and soft drinks.
    These gestures relaxed the musicians and many feel is a big reason the label's recordings are so consistently excellent.