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  1. #1

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    .Very sorry if I missed this when it was previously posted.....I just stumbled upon it and found it informative and enjoyable.


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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    I had never seen this before and will come back to it after work. I saw him play once in the early '80s in a small bar in Cincinnati. He was about 15 feet away from the bar were I sat. I was mesmerized.

  4. #3

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    I always enjoy hearing Tal, even when I have to 'edit' some time issues. He's always fresh and in the moment---a real improviser who lets fly and takes chances. I'll take him any day over 'cleaner' and infinitely more boring players...

  5. #4

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    Burnin' on that 1st minor blues! Smooth sailing...

  6. #5

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    Tal's warmth is very disarming and likable throughout, and he communicates his concepts simply and effectively. This was worth watching...

  7. #6

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    True! I was fortunate to study with/be friends with Tal for 8-9 years, and what you see is what he was. The kindest, warmest and most genuine human being I’ve met in my 60 whatever years. A true gentle-man...
    and OMG could he play. Most lessons I’d end up just staring at his hand

    Then I went and destroyed both wrists on a bicycle.

  8. #7

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    Wow! Sorry...

  9. #8

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    Tal looked at the same guitar neck as the rest of us but he heard things in his head and was able to find and execute them at incredible speed - much faster and deeper than most of us can. Maybe because he led a somewhat sheltered early life he was able to have a less cluttered mind that helped his natural musical instinct develop in such a profound way?

    Some talents just need the right environment to bloom. My mom had incredible natural ability on the piano. She could play most any song she knew in any key off the top of her head, with no rehearsal, adding bass runs and passing chords - but all in a kind of bouncy showtune style that was deeply unhip. I always wonder how that talent would have developed had she been immersed in a jazz environment.

  10. #9

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    Joelf thank you.

    Tal talked about the neck as a series of pictures that overlapped. It was hard (for me) to grasp at the time. He linked the ‘pictures’ together when improvising. His imagination in chord melody was wicked. The chords he built on a songs bass line were just wild. I think you’re right the fact that he learned listening to records not encumbered by theory, modes, ‘sub this with that’ thinking led him in directions no one thinks of going.
    That huge hand of his didn’t hurt either. Imagine thumb over third fret g minor, leaving his pinky to go all the way to C.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    Joelf thank you.

    Tal talked about the neck as a series of pictures that overlapped. It was hard (for me) to grasp at the time. He linked the ‘pictures’ together when improvising. His imagination in chord melody was wicked. The chords he built on a songs bass line were just wild. I think you’re right the fact that he learned listening to records not encumbered by theory, modes, ‘sub this with that’ thinking led him in directions no one thinks of going.
    That huge hand of his didn’t hurt either. Imagine thumb over third fret g minor, leaving his pinky to go all the way to C.
    When I saw Tal playing with Red Norvo back in the early 80s at Donte's in North Hollywood he talked about how playing with Norvo improved his playing. This is fairly well documented but it was great to hear it directly from Tal with Red sitting next to him.

    Norvo tended to play songs at a very fast pace, but the songs were of a fairly short duration 3 - 4 minutes if that) and Tal had to learn to 'say a lot' in those solos. One can hear that 'training' when Tal went on his own making albums for Verve.

  12. #11

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    James.....Yes he respected Red and enjoyed those CA gigs, the scene was more to Tal’s temperament than the hyped, drugged 52nd street crowd.

    And he had practice tapes he used nearly every day that were purposely speeded up... constantly trying to go faster. (I remember the tape on the capstan.) A TEAC with 15” reels, ancient history!

    Good to have a chance to share, thanks guys, it’s been a long time.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    True! I was fortunate to study with/be friends with Tal for 8-9 years, and what you see is what he was. The kindest, warmest and most genuine human being I’ve met in my 60 whatever years. A true gentle-man...
    and OMG could he play. Most lessons I’d end up just staring at his hand

    Then I went and destroyed both wrists on a bicycle.
    I met Tal when he and a friend of his came down to hear the jazz group I was playing in at a club in NY. As you said, considering he was one of the greatest jazz guitarists that ever lived, he was the most unpretentious jazz great I've ever met. Just a great human being is all you can say...
    We went out to have breakfast, and I gladly paid the bill. I still have the receipt after all these years!

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by jazzkritter
    ...he learned listening to records not encumbered by theory, modes, ‘sub this with that’ thinking led him in directions no one thinks of going.
    You nailed that one. The ear and intuition always leads in super-creative people. They usually can explain what they're doing quite well, and have studied seriously (the 'log cabin' theory is BS, in other words). I call it 'the way of the autodidact': in music it's the ear, talent and intuition that eventually lead to great accumulated knowledge.

    But however one comes to it is okey dokey. I love Red Rodney's (1994 interview with Phil Schaap on Bird Flight) quote, after he had averred that he always felt that Charlie Parker 'didn't have the great knowledge attributed to him'---because whenever Rodney would ask about a thing he played Parker would give the same answer: 'Bb 7th'!

    'It's what you got, not how you got it'...

  15. #14

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    “Dave, you can’t play jazz without some fire in your belly.” Never forgot that.

    personal opinion but jazz education seems to have become an industry unto its own. Books upon books. Man it’s an aural tradition, not a formal educational course curriculum. You can learn every scale and every mode and every possible chord. But putting them together? That’s where the fire in the belly comes in.

    BTW JS Bach frequently used his standard harmonic trick at the end of the ‘big’ organ fugues. It was.....
    a -9 chord!

  16. #15

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    I haven't watched the full video but I did watch some of it yesterday. A couple thoughts:

    - yes, OK, Tal mostly learned by ear not books, but it seems to me that he figured out quite a bit of theory on his own. I think you sort of have to in order to reharmonize, don't you? Also he had a regular article in Guitar Player (or some other magazine) which a teacher once hipped me to and from what I recall it was clear that Tal knew a thing or two about theory.

    - his suggestion in the video to only use downstrokes on a ballad is so simple but I'd never thought about it before. I ran through a couple ballads last night using this approach and I thought it had some advantages.

  17. #16

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    There’s always been a misconception that Tal couldn’t read. He read as well as anyone could. His music theory chops were also excellent. His sister was a church organist, and Since my undergraduate was a classical organ performance major, we spoke often about using classical phrasing and Harmony in jazz as it exists in Bach. As well as how he found both inspiration and harmonic ideas in the classical world. In fact a few of his most used licks were borrowed from Maurice Ravel. He would listen carefully and find interval jumps to pull out and use.

    As an organist it was very natural for me to grasp the idea of a bass line driving the harmonic choice as we study counterpoint based on the ancient method called thoroughbass or figured bass. This is defining harmony as not a chord or mode, but as intervals stacked on top of the moving bass part, moving forward observing half step motion. Considering Tal knew all about figured bass as a musical concept gives you an idea how thorough his musical thought process was. A true genius.

    I have no idea where the all downstroke thing came from. Tal based chord melody on the outline of the songs bass line, an built up his harmonization based on using leading tones to move in half step motion from one harmonic idea to the next. (Figured bass!!!) Did it often using fourths (stack your fourths he would say.). While he did that, he used the pick to accentuate the bass line as well as the half step passing tones. Listen to a solo recording with that in mind, you will hear that. He used up and down picking to pull out the melody and the rest of the harmony. Way easier to demonstrate than describe. I studied and hung out for a bit over eight years. Wife and I were with him at the Sea Bright Hotel brunch gig for years. Usually Gary Mazzaropi on bass, or Jack Six. A lot of good times.

  18. #17

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    KCSM.org rerunning an archival interview with Tal and Charlie Byrd right now 8 AM PDT 4/18/21
    91.1 FM in SF Bay area
    EDIT: Well that's what yesterday's ad said... they seem to be running late. Playing trad jazz now. Just gave ID. Program starting now 8:03 am

  19. #18

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    It's been posted before, but here's a latter-day Red Norvo Trio with Tal from 1982. People sometimes grouse about Tal's technique becoming sloppy later in life (which happens to all of us), but he was 71 here and still burning.



    Edit- Tal playing in a music store in 1990; never saw this before today. I am amazed how new footage of our musical heroes keeps surfacing.

    Last edited by Cunamara; 04-25-2021 at 02:15 PM.