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  1. #51

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    I think the test is does it inform the art? If so, it’s important, if not it’s just gossip.
    Perhaps because no one else will, I would like to rise in defense of gossip. Robin Dunbar wrote a fascinating book called "Grooming, Gossip and the Evolution of Language."

    One may not buy Dunbar's thesis---that language evolved so that we could gossip---but the research supporting his view is compelling (if not overwhelming). We all seem to have a negative view of gossip yet we all engage in it. (Faculty lounges, corporate boardrooms, diners, church picnics, it is always the same: most human conversation is about other people.) Futher, we have a tremendous capacity to grasp---with little conscious effort---complex relationships among people.

    A favorite exmaple of this (-a favorite example of mine, not Dunbar's) is the soap opera. Most people don't watch them, I know. But everyone, I think, will grant that a high school student can follow a saga involving people who have been in and out of relatationships with other people, track who knows what, who believes something to be true when it isn't because they were lied to by so-and-so, who is saying X that, when overheard by Y will be wholly misconstrued given Y's expectations. This is so easy for us to do we don't even think of it as complicated.

    Curiously, some math and logic puzzles that most people get wrong become easy---obvious!--when numbers and letters are substituted by people and relationships. (That is, when people are asked about whether a social rule is being followed or not, or, to put it another way, what counts as a violation of one.)

    What we call 'word of mouth' is an example of how gossip can be a good thing. You move to a new town and you need work done on your car. You don't have a mechanic there. You don't know any. What do you do? You ask around! (And people in business WANT you to talk about them doing a good job. "Spread the word." They also want to know---and often customers misunderstand this---when things go wrong because they would much rather hear the cook burned your steak and make that right by comping you the meal and treating you on a return visit than have you say nothing, walk out never to return, and to mention the awful experience to others for years afterward.)

    It is important to note that 'talking about people behind their back' need not mean trying to harm them. Spreading falsehoods about a rival in order to get a promotion is a bad thing to do. But asking a former student of your current prof how he tends to grade is not. Or trying to get a sense of what The New Boss will do is something people will do because it matters to them.

    (We hear, and often say, "mind your own business" but it is not always clear where one person's business ends and another's begins. Do you tell a friend her husband--or wife--hit on you? How much privacy should parents allow their children? Is the boss sleeping with a candidate for a plum promotion? If you're also up for that promotion, you might very well think that possible affair IS your business. Others may disagree. This would doubtless lead to a conversation about people, and likely the mention of still other people in other situations would be brought to bear on the subject at hand. And these scenarios could get wildly complicated---run through several orders of intention as philosophers would say---and yet be easily followed because we seem to have an instinct for it.

    A murky area concerns romance and sex. If a woman dates the 'new guy in the office' and he turns out to be a real creep, should she keep that knowledge to herself or alert other women he might ask out that "he is not what he seems"? (People answer this in various ways.) If a teacher (or boss) is overly familiar, should one mention that to others or not? (Again, answers will vary depending upon circumstances, which is grist for the gossip mill!)

    Truman Capote once said "all literature is gossip." And this was not an attempt to say that literature (OR gossip) was a bad or worthless thing.

    As guitar players, we all, I think, want others to say of us, behind our backs, that we show up when we say we will, we have a good sense of time, we comp well for other soloists, and we're easy to get along with. Repuation---a good reputation---is the fruit of gossip. (And the importance of repuation is an indication that gossip really does matter.) And sometimes the fear of earning a bad reputation---such as not showing up because you're really not in the mood---prompts us to show up anyway. ("I'll never live it down if I bail on this gig.")

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #52

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    Very well said, Mark, and brings up some in treating points to consider. Stan Getz's biography was all the more fascinating to me because it so clearly outlined his very human flaws, foibles and very poor treatment of his own family that stood in such stark contrast to the heavenly sounds that came out of his horn for his entire career. Likewise, Ted Greene's bio touched on aspects of his personality (including a likely Aspergers diagnosis) that truly illuminate the work that he created and the focus with which he went about creating such an amazing teaching legacy. I'll probably pick up the Kessel bio precisely because it includes more than what he played and where and when he played it.

  4. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by takefive
    Here's him playing on the Jazz Scene, some of it is pretty heavy guitar hero type stuff.
    What a great video! There was such a wealth of art on TV in the late 50’s and early 60’s. (Some people think nothing interesting happened until 1967.)

    He sure does burn through April in Paris!

    BTW, that guitar (ES-350 with CC pickup) was sold at auction last year. I can’t find any information about the buyer or price. It was listed in “fair” condition LOL...

  5. #54

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    Heyy I love Barney Kessel, been a little while since I've listened to him. I've just enjoyed watching a few of these videos and I think they get better over time. (meaning I'm appreciating new things that I didn't notice before)

    Also, I just scored his "The Guitar" book on amazon. I wanted this when I heard about it years ago... that gift card I got for Xmas came in handy!

  6. #55

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    Another nice one (they even put some trees in the studio!)


  7. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    BTW, that guitar (ES-350 with CC pickup) was sold at auction last year. I can’t find any information about the buyer or price. It was listed in “fair” condition LOL...
    It is definitely a unique guitar, but Barney could probably play any guitar and sound like himself.

  8. #57

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    Repost - this looks like it's an Ibanez:



  9. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Another nice one (they even put some trees in the studio!)

    That’s how I play Autumn Leaves in my dreams!

    Is that Neils O-P on bass? And who is the drummer?

    Edit: just found out it’s Jim Richardson on bass and Tony Mann on drums. I guess he finally got his drummer to drop the final “e”... ;-)

  10. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by takefive
    Here's him playing on the Jazz Scene, some of it is pretty heavy guitar hero type stuff.
    Some more trivia: Oscar Brown Jr who was the host of that series was a well-known singer, poet and activist who wrote lyrics for a number of iconic jazz songs including Work Song, Watermelon Man and So What that are still sung by vocalists wishing to tackle these songs.

  11. #60

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    Speaking of Oscar Brown, Jr, he also wrote this


  12. #61

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Speaking of Oscar Brown, Jr, he also wrote this

    And this:



    And this is may be the best known one from this set:


  13. #62

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    And this:




  14. #63

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    Barney is one of my favorites and I a big fan. The only thing he gets a bit aggressive for me at times and then like others say he gets sloppy. He manages to set the standard for big full chord melody guitar that makes it sound much bigger. My favorite Kessel recording is Kessel Plays Standards. The only thing he really does not do as well as some is those neat and flowing bebop lines like Chuck Wayne, Jimmy Raney, and Tal Farlow. I listen to Barney when I want to hear swinging chord melody and all guitar.

    One thing Barney has that makes him truly one of the masters is you know is it Barney playing in first 3 measure of him playing. He has his own sound and identity.

  15. #64

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    Regarding the Kessel book by his ex, I just finished it. Save your $.
    Just filled w dates and places of gigs and his mood swings, womanizing and her unpleasant marriage.
    Not sure what I was expecting,
    I find so many books like this about jazz musicians to he almost unreadable.

  16. #65

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    The first Jazz records I ever bought were the Poll Winners 1 to 4, a Django single (Manoir De Mes Reves / Swing 42) & a Johnny Smith Single (Moonlight In Vermont / Taboo) - 2nd hand record shop & I hadn't heard any of them, although I may have known Django's name...

    A good start to my jazz guitar education.

    Kessel's own tunes as published by Windsor music are fun to play too, working my way through the first (of three) volumes...

  17. #66

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    Hey, me too. I had plenty of my dad's jazz records around the house, but the first ones I actually bought were The Pollwinners series, the Moonlight in Vermont album, and a Hot Club album.

  18. #67

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    BK really swings on this album. (As do the other 3!)




  19. #68

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    Thanks for sharing the great tunes Woody.

  20. #69

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    Thanks to a 21 year old kid with tape recorder, we have this ....


  21. #70

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    Nice article...
    Attached Images Attached Images

  22. #71

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    Regarding the Kessel book by his ex, I just finished it. Save your $.
    Just filled w dates and places of gigs and his mood swings, womanizing and her unpleasant marriage.
    Not sure what I was expecting,
    I find so many books like this about jazz musicians to he almost unreadable.
    SOME WOMEN PLAY ROUGH 2 CASES CITED....Lee Morgan.TRUMPETER...common-law wife Helen shot and killed him following a confrontation at Slug's Saloon, in New York City... Lenny Breau...wife, Jewel Breau, was the chief suspect in the case but she was never charged

  23. #72

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Regarding the Kessel book by his ex, I just finished it. Save your $.
    Just filled w dates and places of gigs and his mood swings, womanizing and her unpleasant marriage.
    Not sure what I was expecting,
    I find so many books like this about jazz musicians to he almost unreadable.
    I'm reading it now. I find some of the early material about his background in Oklahoma interesting. I knew some of that from another bio of Kessel I read. But I've had a family crisis (mom, 90, fell and fractured her hip, so there was hospital>>surgery>>recovery>>and now rehab) and that's cut into my reading time, so I haven't gotten too far into the book.

  24. #73

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    In my youth Barney Kessel and other great and well known players were always accessible through recordings that exerted tremendous influences over young players. Their recordings were rich sources of the highest values of jazz guitar.

    Most of us saw only album cover pictures of these masters, but the recording was always of inestimable value as a major learning tool. Over and over again we carefully dropped the needle to review a phrase in order to really feel it as we tried to approximate or replicate it. Thus, our ears became very finely tuned and we relied on them with great faithfulness, particularly since interviews of the greats revealed that their unique styles came about, in large part, through their ears.

    Thus, I spent a great deal of time with Barney Kessel; so much so that I can sing note-for-note most of his solos that I chose to concentrate upon---sixty years later! He, and a handful of others with rare individual musical gifts fashioned untold numbers of guitarists of every talent level. For some of us they leave behind rich legacies that are profound and eternal. They were great artists and teachers, an elite cohort to which Barney Kessel rightly belongs.

    Ron Vitarelli
    CT, USA

  25. #74

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    In my youth Barney Kessel and other great and well known players were always accessible through recordings that exerted tremendous influences over young players. Their recordings were rich sources of the highest values of jazz guitar.

    Most of us saw only album cover pictures of these great players, but the recording was always of inestimable value as a major learning tool. Over and over again we carefully dropped the needle to review a phrase in order to really feel it as we tried to approximate or replicate it. Thus, our ears became very finely tuned and we relied on them with great faithfulness, particularly since interviews of the greats revealed that their unique styles came about, in large part, through their ears.

    Thus, I spent a great deal of time with Barney Kessel; so much so that I can sing note-for-note most of his solos that I chose to concentrate upon---sixty years later! He, and a handful of others with rare individual musical gifts fashioned untold numbers of guitarists of every talent level. For some of us they leave behind rich legacies that are profound and eternal. They were great artists and teachers, an elite cohort to which Barney Kessel rightly belongs.<Ron Vitarelli
    CT, USA

  26. #75

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Regarding the Kessel book by his ex, I just finished it. Save your $.
    Just filled w dates and places of gigs and his mood swings, womanizing and her unpleasant marriage.
    Not sure what I was expecting,
    I find so many books like this about jazz musicians to he almost unreadable.
    I just don’t get into these posthumous tell-alls by aggrieved parties. All that matters to me about Barney - and every other musician I love - is the notes he played on the records. His personal life is of little interest to me. If you married him and it didn’t turn out to be peaches and cream, well that’s your problem - I didn’t marry Barney, or have any relation to him other than enjoying his music, so I’m not really going to let you spoil that for me, just because you made a bad relationship choice and now Barney is gone so he cannot defend himself against your accusations. And guess what, Lady - you never made a record I love as far as I know, so your stories are really of no interest to me.

  27. #76

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    On the other hand, this loving, highly intimate tribute to Ted by his Barbara Franklin is genuinely insightful and illuminating about the man who made the music.

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  28. #77

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes
    Love this video of Barney and Herb playing the theme to "The Flintstones."


    Great googly moogly!!

  29. #78

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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpnblues
    Great googly moogly!!
    Always been a favorite. Good energy.