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  1. #1

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    "The best guitar player I’ve heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso. This guy is doing something so amazingly musical and so difficult.Mostly what I hear now are guitar players who sound a little bit like me mixed with a little bit of Sco and a little bit of Frisell, using a couple of amps onstage with a little bit of delay. Then they say they don’t listen to me or Sco or Frisell; all they listen to is Grant Green. I kind of go, “Really?” (laughs) What’s interesting about Pasquale is that he doesn’t sound anything like that at all. In a way, it is a little bit of a throwback, because his model – which is an incredible model to have – is Bud Powell. He has somehow captured the essence of that language from piano onto guitar in a way that almost nobody has ever addressed. He’s the most significant new guy I’ve heard in many, many years. That’s exciting for me."

    -Pat Metheny
    Navdeep Singh.

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  3. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ View Post
    "Mostly what I hear now are guitar players who sound a little bit like me mixed with a little bit of Sco and a little bit of Frisell, using a couple of amps onstage with a little bit of delay. Then they say they don’t listen to me or Sco or Frisell; all they listen to is Grant Green. I kind of go, “Really?” (laughs)"

    -Pat Metheny
    Wow! Did he just nail the current state of affairs or what?

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ View Post
    "Mostly what I hear now are guitar players who sound a little bit like me mixed with a little bit of Sco and a little bit of Frisell, using a couple of amps onstage with a little bit of delay. Then they say they don’t listen to me or Sco or Frisell; all they listen to is Grant Green. I kind of go, “Really?” (laughs) "
    -Pat Metheny
    I resent...uh...resemble that remark

  5. #4

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    I hesitate to use the term "best" for anything but I can't think of anyone better applying most criteria.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk View Post
    I resent...uh...resemble that remark
    Haha me too! I'll shamelessly copy those guys all day long if I could! Sadly most of the time I don't sound like them.

  7. #6

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    I googled and found the interview NSJ cited

    Pat Metheny | Vintage Guitar(R) magazine

    it's a good read. It's mostly oriented towards his guitar collection, but there are a few interesting tidbits about music there too.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by unknownguitarplayer View Post
    Wow! Did he just nail the current state of affairs or what?
    he was close but he left out rosenwinkel ;-)

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by jbromusic View Post
    he was close but he left out rosenwinkel ;-)
    and Lage Lund...;-)

  10. #9

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    The guy is astounding.

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

  11. #10

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    One word "virtuoso"
    ...every note has an origin and a destination...
    - Tal Farlow

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ View Post
    "The best guitar player I’ve heard in maybe my entire life is floating around now, Pasquale Grasso. This guy is doing something so amazingly musical and so difficult.Mostly what I hear now are guitar players who sound a little bit like me mixed with a little bit of Sco and a little bit of Frisell, using a couple of amps onstage with a little bit of delay. Then they say they don’t listen to me or Sco or Frisell; all they listen to is Grant Green. I kind of go, “Really?” (laughs) What’s interesting about Pasquale is that he doesn’t sound anything like that at all. In a way, it is a little bit of a throwback, because his model – which is an incredible model to have – is Bud Powell. He has somehow captured the essence of that language from piano onto guitar in a way that almost nobody has ever addressed. He’s the most significant new guy I’ve heard in many, many years. That’s exciting for me."

    -Pat Metheny
    I made Pasquale laugh.

  13. #12

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    well my opinion of pat metheny just went through the roof

    the first time i heard pasquale grasso it was obvious to me he was the best guitarist i had ever heard

    but i'm a bud powell and charlie parker freak

    (i hope that does not make me too unusual)

    the technique is invisible despite making every one else seem like a guitar-klutz - its got NOTHING to do with the technique. he has made pure be-bop come to life on the guitar

    after the first improvised chorus of this blues i knew everything had changed



  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad View Post
    well my opinion of pat metheny just went through the roof

    the first time i heard pasquale grasso it was obvious to me he was the best guitarist i had ever heard

    but i'm a bud powell and charlie parker freak

    (i hope that does not make me too unusual)

    the technique is invisible despite making every one else seem like a guitar-klutz - its got NOTHING to do with the technique. he has made pure be-bop come to life on the guitar

    after the first improvised chorus of this blues i knew everything had changed


    Beautiful post.

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    The guy is astounding.

    Bud Powell - and dare I say Nat King Cole (pre vocals) - is there in the lines and chops but also the tone. Sounds like a record from the 40s. Wow.

  16. #15

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    "When I was about nine in Lee’s Summit, I was still into baseball and throwing rocks at girls at that point."

    that's funny, that's what I used to do......I'm glad it worked out for him.....

    "I had a paper route throughout those years, and I told my parents, “I think I want to get a guitar.” For them, that was like, “I think I’m going to join the devil worship church down the street. Is that okay?” They said, “No, you’re not. You’re not going to play electric guitar.” So that made me really want to do it."

    Excellent!
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  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    The guy is astounding.

    I was gonna say that I loved PG's solo guitar things, and wasn't crazy about his Chuck Wayne bass pickup approach to single line playing, but that clip had enough percussive picking to make it swing like mad.

    His LH is just sick; probably from his CG studies.

    I'm gonna call the Immigration Bureau to get this boy deported back to Italy where he belongs; America is having enough self-esteem problems with having just elected a man with the brain of a cockroach...

  18. #17

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    Good grief. There are as many people visible in the audience as there are on stage. In New York! I'm not surprised when that happens here (Minneapolis- St. Paul) because there's less than half as many people to begin with. But jeepers. Players of this caliber and no audience; it's tragic!
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  19. #18

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    Well, of course he takes off on Art Tatum's famous version of Yesterdays--still the best ever performed, in my opinion. PG swings it more after the intro, showing the influence of the later beboppers.

    Converting stride piano into guitar is devilishly difficult. He makes it look easy.



    (I've commented elsewhere that this live version by Tatum is note-for-note identical to his studio recording, which is interesting for someone so renowned for his virtuosity in jazz.)

  20. #19

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    Apparently, Pasquale also teaches counterpoint, as applied to the guitar. I'm all videoed and booked out for a while, but that is the one video/book I would not even remotely hesitate to pick up.
    Navdeep Singh.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    His LH is just sick; probably from his CG studies.

    What is CG?

    Anyhowdy I call that LH "spider fingers". Damn!
    Build bridges, not walls.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk View Post
    I resent...uh...resemble that remark
    Lol, me too. Though for me it's actually true, I love a modern tone, but my ears aren't big enough to hear what the hell guys like Gilad and JK and Moreno are doing, so I cop locks from Kenny Burrell and Green and CC.
    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

  23. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    What is CG?

    Anyhowdy I call that LH "spider fingers". Damn!
    Classical guitar.

    Or Computer Graphics.
    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

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad View Post
    That left-handed player next to him is pretty good, too!


  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Good grief. There are as many people visible in the audience as there are on stage. In New York! I'm not surprised when that happens here (Minneapolis- St. Paul) because there's less than half as many people to begin with. But jeepers. Players of this caliber and no audience; it's tragic!
    he's at the same spot tmmr night.
    i'll go check it.. and bring some people too.

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    What is CG?

    Anyhowdy I call that LH "spider fingers". Damn!
    Use of acronymes is what I dislike the most at this forum. Usually it is for someone's name, or title of the song, but just as usually I have no idea what it is about.
    In fact, maybe there's one worse thing, when they address some public person by their first name, like I'm supposed to know each and every Peter, Jane, or Joe.


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  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk View Post
    I googled and found the interview NSJ cited

    Pat Metheny | Vintage Guitar(R) magazine

    it's a good read. It's mostly oriented towards his guitar collection, but there are a few interesting tidbits about music there too.
    So there is something clipped into the F hole of all of PM's stage archtops in the photos. What the heck that is? (Sorry, Pasquale, for the thread drift).
    Beauty is as close to terror as we can well endure. -Rainer Maria Rilke

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    So there is something clipped into the F hole of all of PM's stage archtops in the photos. What the heck that is? (Sorry, Pasquale, for the thread drift).
    Microphone. DPA, I think.
    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

  29. #28

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    I love Pat, but complimenting some player while at the same time minimizing others is not necessary.
    every body draws from everyone else. Including Pat. Nothing wrong with that. As long as you are expressing yourself.
    and that is the goal.

  30. #29

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    Barry Harris deserves a lot of credit for urging the Grasso brothers in the direction of Parker and Powell.

    He used to say "you should hear these little cats in Italy" when Pasquale and Luigi were kids.

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    So there is something clipped into the F hole of all of PM's stage archtops in the photos. What the heck that is? (Sorry, Pasquale, for the thread drift).
    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont View Post
    Microphone. DPA, I think.
    Yes .. In the article below he states: I have had a mic of some kind inside all of my guitars since the mid 80’s

    Pat Metheny, USA - New Vintage Guitars

  32. #31

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    My buddy just emailed me about this guy. Very ether.


    You can't analyze something you can't play! (Robert Conti)

    Technique is the means to play just like your voice is your means to speak. (Robert Conti)

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by #selfie View Post
    he's at the same spot tmmr night.
    i'll go check it.. and bring some people too.
    great!
    check him out if you get a chance.. you won't be disappointed.

    (went by myself.. three people backed out due to cold weather )

  34. #33

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    Much as I appreciate what I'm hearing from a technical perspective tied to a strong musical sense, it doesn't move me very much emotionally. At this stage in my life, I'm over chops. A beautiful, sustained harmony is more my cup of tea. And BTW, there is NO best in art.
    Last edited by AndyV; 01-11-2017 at 05:18 AM.

  35. #34

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    Wow, hadn't heard of Grasso before. He is jaw dropping amazing.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by NSJ View Post
    Mostly what I hear now are guitar players who sound a little bit like me mixed with a little bit of Sco and a little bit of Frisell, using a couple of amps onstage with a little bit of delay. Then they say they don’t listen to me or Sco or Frisell; all they listen to is Grant Green. I kind of go, “Really?” (laughs)
    I'm sorry, Pat, but this is completely incorrect.

    It's actually guitar players who sound a little bit like Metheny mixed with a little bit of Sco and a little bit of Frisell, using a couple of amps onstage with a little bit of delay. Then they say they don’t listen to ANY guitar players, they only listen to piano and horn players.

  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by dasein View Post
    I'm sorry, Pat, but this is completely incorrect.

    It's actually guitar players who sound a little bit like Metheny mixed with a little bit of Sco and a little bit of Frisell, using a couple of amps onstage with a little bit of delay. Then they say they don’t listen to ANY guitar players, they only listen to piano and horn players.

    It's early, but this might be a contender for best post of the year.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by trap View Post
    I love Pat, but complimenting some player while at the same time minimizing others is not necessary.
    every body draws from everyone else. Including Pat. Nothing wrong with that. As long as you are expressing yourself.
    and that is the goal.
    It absolutely destroyed my Metheny experience when I first read his rants. His music is so different from what he comes across as in print when criticizing other players. He disses the so called Young Lions in that Vingate Guitars article ("They don't sound that good"). Why so angry and bitter? You've had success most guitarists of any genre will never have! Is it a lack of empathy? I don't know.

    I mean, music may have mathematical underpinnings as in the rate at which strings vibrate together and by themselves but for Christ almighty, this is art. No one has the right (even if they do it) to tear down other successful artists in the manner that Pat does. It totally messed up the way I listen to his music and I've been trying ever since to put that first experience away just so I can get back to listening to the music without angry Pat creeping in on my experience.

    Oh well...
    You can't analyze something you can't play! (Robert Conti)

    Technique is the means to play just like your voice is your means to speak. (Robert Conti)

  39. #38

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    TBH, I've never liked Pat Metheny. I can think of dozen guitarists I'd rather listen to before him.

    I saw him play 2 yrs. ago at Detroit. He spent 10 minutes futzing around with the 42-string gizmo. My gf, a casual listener, was with me, and we sat and listened for about another 15 minutes. We left, and she turned to me and said "That was really boring."

  40. #39

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    Pasquale is probably the best guitar player in the world, as they say (haha!) He has ascended to the fuckoffosphere inhabited by the likes of Allan Holdsworth. Well actually probably only Allan Holdsworth come to think of it.

    Who else has mastered the instrument to that level? I can't think of anyone. For sheer playing, sound, fluency, technique, etc etc he has completely moved the goal posts.

    The acid test is not really what we think, but how his music is received by non guitarists. I haven't got too many opinions from players of other instruments... Anyone?
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-12-2017 at 03:42 PM.

  41. #40

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    in response to west la jazz:

    it must be difficult for people who are often imitated.

    on the one hand it will be flattering - but on the other it will be irritating because it will seem to you that the imitators are not getting it right (or missing the important bits altogether etc.).

    so we shouldn't be too hard on the poor sausage

  42. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Pasquale is probably the best guitar player in the world, as they say (haha!) He has ascended to the fuckoffosphere inhabited by the likes of Allan Holdsworth. Well actually probably only Allan Holdsworth come to think of it.

    Who else has mastered the instrument to that level? I can't think of anyone. For sheer playing, sound, fluency, technique, etc etc he has completely moved the goal posts.

    The acid test is not really what we think, but how his music is received by non guitarists. I haven't got too many opinions from players of other instruments... Anyone?
    I dont have any comment on your query, but, thanks, I learned a good phrase today.

  43. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    The acid test is not really what we think, but how his music is received by non guitarists. I haven't got too many opinions from players of other instruments... Anyone?
    I remember discovering Al Dimeola in Return for Forever and being blown away by his technique. I played some of it to a girlfriend (See! So long ago I had girlfriends!) and she shrugged and said, "sounds kinda Spanish".

    When you set aside the technique, Grasso is pretty old school, eh? Not that there's anything wrong with that.
    Build bridges, not walls.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigDaddyLoveHandles View Post
    I remember discovering Al Dimeola in Return for Forever and being blown away by his technique. I played some of it to a girlfriend (See! So long ago I had girlfriends!) and she shrugged and said, "sounds kinda Spanish".

    When you set aside the technique, Grasso is pretty old school, eh? Not that there's anything wrong with that.

    Lol, I still play stuff for my wife, as if she's gonna like it. I should try Grasso with her, I can already imagine what her response will be...
    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

  45. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Pasquale is probably the best guitar player in the world, as they say (haha!) He has ascended to the fuckoffosphere inhabited by the likes of Allan Holdsworth. Well actually probably only Allan Holdsworth come to think of it.

    Who else has mastered the instrument to that level? I can't think of anyone. For sheer playing, sound, fluency, technique, etc etc he has completely moved the goal posts.

    The acid test is not really what we think, but how his music is received by non guitarists. I haven't got too many opinions from players of other instruments... Anyone?

    i think this is just right. (though i don't know anything about allan holdsworth - except that he was into maths?)

    but the idea (which is sometimes put forward) that his playing lacks emotional content (if we know what that means - lets say we do for the sake of argument at least) - is bonkers it seems to me.

    to say that he plays a lot like bud powell and bird is to say - among other things - that he plays with an intensity that is pretty much unmatched in the history of the music (armstrong, powell, parker - surely). its not that he plays some of the phrases they played - or a lot of them - its that he plays THE WAY they played. (you might actually be able to do that, without playing any of the actual phrases they played. interesting question.) you can hear their fire and their intelligence in what he plays. he does it JUST like they did. (i can hardly believe it)

    i can't think of players on other instruments that have achieved this. i mean, you could say that barry harris has achieved it - that he plays JUST the way bud powell played. but it would be hard to think of another (sonny clarke perhaps)

    but sonny stitt - no way. (ornette perhaps and phil woods) i think we've got lots of examples of players who remind one of bird or powell - but almost none who play just like they did.

    maybe the best way to try to achieve it is to play just the stuff they played (as pasquale does and also barry harris). so, maybe the best way to try to replicate the emotional intensity and intelligence of their playing is to play out of the repertoire of ideas that they in fact used. i think barry harris and pasquale grasso have achieved musical wonders pursuing this strategy. some may dismiss this strategy as much too conservative and creatively unambitious.

    not me. i just dig the vibe too much.

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by christianm77 View Post
    Who else has mastered the instrument to that level? I can't think of anyone. For sheer playing, sound, fluency, technique, etc etc he has completely moved the goal posts.
    Me neither.
    "Learn the repertoire. It’s all in the songs. If you learn 200 songs, you will have no problem improvising."
    Frank Vignola

  47. #46

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    So, the dual amp setup is a Metheny thing, is it?

    That reminds me when I was going for my lessons a while back, I JUST missed George Benson, who had stopped by.

    Why, pray chance, did he show up on the north side of Chicago (apart from visiting my teacher, which he normally does)?

    To pick up a Polytone amp, which he was going to use for a stereo amp set up with some sort of Fender (tube and solid state, together) at his Symphony Center gig downtown.

    Did Benson get that from Metheny, too? I doubt it. I think Metheny, like every body else, wishes he or she could play like Benson.

    Pasquale may be the best, but, mark my words, nobody cuts Benson, nobody.
    Navdeep Singh.

  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad View Post
    i think this is just right. (though i don't know anything about allan holdsworth - except that he was into maths?)

    but the idea (which is sometimes put forward) that his playing lacks emotional content (if we know what that means - lets say we do for the sake of argument at least) - is bonkers it seems to me.

    to say that he plays a lot like bud powell and bird is to say - among other things - that he plays with an intensity that is pretty much unmatched in the history of the music (armstrong, powell, parker - surely). its not that he plays some of the phrases they played - or a lot of them - its that he plays THE WAY they played. (you might actually be able to do that, without playing any of the actual phrases they played. interesting question.) you can hear their fire and their intelligence in what he plays. he does it JUST like they did. (i can hardly believe it)

    i can't think of players on other instruments that have achieved this. i mean, you could say that barry harris has achieved it - that he plays JUST the way bud powell played. but it would be hard to think of another (sonny clarke perhaps)

    but sonny stitt - no way. (ornette perhaps and phil woods) i think we've got lots of examples of players who remind one of bird or powell - but almost none who play just like they did.

    maybe the best way to try to achieve it is to play just the stuff they played (as pasquale does and also barry harris). so, maybe the best way to try to replicate the emotional intensity and intelligence of their playing is to play out of the repertoire of ideas that they in fact used. i think barry harris and pasquale grasso have achieved musical wonders pursuing this strategy. some may dismiss this strategy as much too conservative and creatively unambitious.

    not me. i just dig the vibe too much.
    Dunno... not sure I agree with that. What I would say is that PG, along with Bruce Forman, Jimmy Raney actually has proper bebop phrasing on the guitar. That's not terribly common IMO.
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-12-2017 at 04:20 PM.

  49. #48

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    pasquale and benson in a cutting contest....

    oh matron....

  50. #49

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    'be-bop phrasing' - yes, that's just what i mean

    as long as one remembers that this sort of phrasing is fiery and intense as well as articulate and intelligent.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by Groyniad View Post
    maybe the best way to try to achieve it is to play just the stuff they played (as pasquale does and also barry harris). so, maybe the best way to try to replicate the emotional intensity and intelligence of their playing is to play out of the repertoire of ideas that they in fact used. i think barry harris and pasquale grasso have achieved musical wonders pursuing this strategy. some may dismiss this strategy as much too conservative and creatively unambitious.
    Thing is, it kind of is conservative. Unambitious ... No. Playing bop guitar to a proficient level is ambitious, IMO beyond bop sax or piano. It's f**king difficult. Playing bop guitar to a world class level - well it's extremely ambitious, and for little reward. All jazz players have to respect it though.

    Creativity? Well that's a tricky one isn't it. There's something very creative about the use of rhythm in bebop - those syncopations and triplets against 4/4, something very right brain. Charles McPherson compares it to Magic Johnson playing baseball... Perhaps us Brits would think maybe George Best weaving past defenders all loose and natural and unexpected?

    I think some of that is missing in more recent jazz and the phrasing is less creative. The creativity in the music is kind of more left brain, more scientific - look what I can do with harmony and difficult rhythms. Barry Harris always rants about how 'modal players' (i.e. modern CST guys) are locked into 8th notes, and he has a point.

    Surely modal playing would allow more rhythmic freedom and creativity not less? And yet, we don't often hear that in contemporary jazz guitar IMO.

    And yet, I'm far too eclectic to be a bebopper in my bones. I love the music and admire it, much like admire Bach, but I hope to take some of the rhythmic freedom I've learned from bebop and employ it elsewhere. It's hard though.
    Last edited by christianm77; 01-12-2017 at 05:07 PM.