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  1. #1

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    Rene Thomas is one of my favourite guitar player and one of the most overlooked guitar player ever. I know nearly every record he''s made . Someone said me that he was not able to read music . That sound a bit odd to me . It's true that django plays bach without being able to read music . But Rene had a strong sense of harmony, and even if Django and Raney was his main influences , I suppose that he was able to read music because his guitar language had something of the Bach perfection . Did everyone know if he was able to read music ?

    Sorry for my little English

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  3. #2

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    I don't know about Thomas in particular, other than a couple of comments I see on the internet.

    But the careers of Errol Garner, Wes Montgomery, Tal Farlow, Art Tatum, George Benson and lots more should make it clear that having very limited or no music-reading ability is not incompatible with having a strong sense of harmony, and being able to play very sophisticated jazz.

  4. #3
    You 're right . It is only one of my own curiosity .

  5. #4

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    I learned about Rene Thomas from tenor saxophonist JR Monterose. They were roommates during JR's European expat period. He told me that Rene used to tie off the neck with a handkerchief to mute the strings and play bugle calls with the pick while listening to sports on the radio. I assume that means that Rene could at least read basic rhythms out of an etude book. I don't know any more about Rene, but I've noticed that when some guitarists of the bebop generation said they're 'not readers', they meant they don't read up to the level of Chuck Wayne and Howard Roberts, not that they can't decipher staff notation at all.

    PK

  6. #5

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    most excellent appreciation/overview of rene thomas by french guitarist- noël akchoté

    PREPARED GUITAR: Angle(s) VIII Rene Thomas


    cheers

  7. #6

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    There's no way of telling if you go by Rene's albums as a leader, but he did a few sideman albums that probably required reading.
    One was John Lewis' "A Milanese Story", which was music from a film by the same name that Lewis wrote the film score. The music has a lot of non-improvised single-line guitar parts that would be much easier to perform if Lewis had written them out for Rene. I can't find the record in that mess of a closet I've got, but I think there's a string quartet on it that Rene plays lines with.

    Another album is "The United Nations of Jazz", an album from the early 60s that features jazz players from all different countries playing in a sextet that also involved playing arrangements which might have required some reading, because it's not just an album where they played standards and took solos on them.
    European players made their living playing in radio orchestras, and maybe Rene played in in a Belgian or French one, which would also require reading.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    There's no way of telling if you go by Rene's albums as a leader, but he did a few sideman albums that probably required reading.
    One was John Lewis' "A Milanese Story", which was music from a film by the same name that Lewis wrote the film score. The music has a lot of non-improvised single-line guitar parts that would be much easier to perform if Lewis had written them out for Rene. I can't find the record in that mess of a closet I've got, but I think there's a string quartet on it that Rene plays lines with.

    Another album is "The United Nations of Jazz", an album from the early 60s that features jazz players from all different countries playing in a sextet that also involved playing arrangements which might have required some reading, because it's not just an album where they played standards and took solos on them.
    European players made their living playing in radio orchestras, and maybe Rene played in in a Belgian or French one, which would also require reading.
    I have those 2 lps but for the life of me can't find the United Nations lp. Anyway Thomas plays very little on the arrangements, he's almost exclusively a soloist. The one part w strings is 3 or 4 easy lines Lewis could have just played for him.

  9. #8
    Ths I didn't know the Noell AKCHOTE Blog . I'm a devoted student of Rene THOMAS's music and NOEL couldn't find better words to describe the fine art of Renè . Just few guitar players was able to put on the guitar the level of energy and intensity in Moment's Notice such as John Coltrane did. At the same time few jazz guitar players were consciousness of the evolution that jazz music did in the 60 /70 as Rene did till his end .

  10. #9
    Ths Paulkogut , I really appriciate your words . It is so difficoult to find something about Rene Thomas.
    Monterose was another overlooked Saxophone player . I really like his unusual saxophone tone .
    What I mean is the way to feel the music of Rene , was so great that in such way he know the complex classical music structure even if didn't play classicl music.
    Jimmy Raney said that he was a devoted student of Bach and C.Parker . In Jimmy Raney music you hear an incredible amount of flux of ideas as in Rene Music .
    Maybe Rene was not able to reading well the music but he knew such as few the secrets of a complex structure . In few words a guitar genius .
    Maybe much important to me than knowing if was able in reading music or not , is to know if he listen to other kind of music other than jazz .
    It is well known that Coltrane and Raney listen to Bartok music . Yes they play jazz music but in some way you listen they consider in their music other musical influences .

  11. #10

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    Another Rene Thomas website here, seems to be something of a work in progress though, not all the links do anything:

    http://thomasia.free.fr/accueil.php

  12. #11

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    A while ago I purchased Rene’s ‘Guitar Groove’ record as an amazon download, and it included all the tracks from that ‘United Notions’ record too. On the latter you get to hear Rene introducing himself in French (as I recall).

    United Notions - Wikipedia

  13. #12

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    A friend of mine got interested in jazz at the start of the 70s and was taken to see his first proper jazz gig at Ronnie Scotts, by another friend who was a jazz buff.

    What he actually saw there was Stan Getz with Rene Thomas, i.e. some of the live sessions which were recorded as the Getz ‘Dynasty’ record. Quite something for your first live jazz experience!

  14. #13

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    I'm certain this has been discussed in great detail previously but simply stated--if you're a musical genius it probably doesn't matter. However, 99.9% of Jazz musicians are not geniuses and learning by ear takes 2-3x as long to become competent versus formal training. And, then, what do you do if you get a job that requires reading charts--exactly as written? One can learn to speak a language without being able to read or write, but, for most, you will never reach total fulfillment.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    I have those 2 lps but for the life of me can't find the United Nations lp. Anyway Thomas plays very little on the arrangements, he's almost exclusively a soloist. The one part w strings is 3 or 4 easy lines Lewis could have just played for him.
    You're probably right, I haven't heard either of those records in a long time. In that Gary Burton autobiography we mentioned, Burton said the entire MJQ tried to play a piece by Gunther Schuller, but had such trouble reading the music, they had to call Burton in to play Bags' part, so Lewis was used to that type of thing.
    I don't know about Lewis' sight reading abilities either. Aaron Sachs told me a funny story about John Lewis.
    He played on the Lewis album "Little David's Fugue", and Aaron was practicing reading Bach pieces on the flute during a break.
    Lewis asked him what he was doing. Aaron told him, and Lewis' reply was something like, "Wow, I've never done anything like that! Maybe I should
    try doing something like that sometime!"
    Aaron couldn't believe it!

  16. #15

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    One of the best members of this forum (who was banned for some reason that wasn't clear to me), whom I've remained friends with, recently sent me an interview with Rene Thomas, where he clearly states that he couldn't read music.
    Rene said that he would get guys to play the lines they would want him to play, and he would copy them, or he'd ask them to let him have the music overnight, and he'd decipher it on his own at home.
    He also informed me of a recent album of some of Rene's previously unreleased stuff on Fresh Sound Records. The record is called, Remembering Rene Thomas".Rene Thomas - Remembering Rene Thomas (2-CD) - Blue Sounds

  17. #16

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    Well, there you have it! Can you link the interview?
    I'll be buying those CDs for sure, there's even a cut w/Jimmy Smith and Donald Bailey, hoo boy!


  18. #17

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    I would love to hear this interview!

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    ....learning by ear takes 2-3x as long to become competent versus formal training. And, then, what do you do if you get a job that requires reading charts--exactly as written?
    Generally people who can't read don't take those jobs.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by belfagor
    Rene Thomas is one of my favourite guitar player and one of the most overlooked guitar player ever. I know nearly every record he''s made . Someone said me that he was not able to read music . That sound a bit odd to me . It's true that django plays bach without being able to read music . But Rene had a strong sense of harmony, and even if Django and Raney was his main influences , I suppose that he was able to read music because his guitar language had something of the Bach perfection . Did everyone know if he was able to read music ?

    Sorry for my little English

    Sure, Django could play a Bach melody without reading music. Maybe even add a convincing second voice.


    Hearing a four voice fugue, and playing it back after a single listen? Not so much.




    I suspect many of the tales told in music, contain as much bullshit as what you read on the Internet today.

  21. #20

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    rene thomas was visually handicapped. he was probably familiar with notation but no sight reader.
    Last edited by djg; 01-20-2021 at 05:34 AM.

  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by grahambop
    Another Rene Thomas website here, seems to be something of a work in progress though, not all the links do anything:

    http://thomasia.free.fr/accueil.php
    it's been up for years. i've tried to contact the owner a few times but without sucess.

  23. #22

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    Interesting conversations. I would like to mention one last observation in a lifetime of playing music: there is not a greater group of instrumentalists, other than guitarists, who do not read music. This, of course, is not the case with Classical guitarists. The reason, for me, is that it is such a popular and accessible instrument to play reasonably well with limited formal training/knowledge. However, when we speak of someone like Renee, reading or not reading music would not, in any way, diminish the genius of his playing. He was a born musician and that cannot be taught from a book as several generations of schooled Jazzers with their lifeless and tired memorized solos can attest.
    Play live . . . Marinero

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Interesting conversations. I would like to mention one last observation in a lifetime of playing music: there is not a greater group of instrumentalists, other than guitarists, who do not read music. This, of course, is not the case with Classical guitarists. The reason, for me, is that it is such a popular and accessible instrument to play reasonably well with limited formal training/knowledge. However, when we speak of someone like Renee, reading or not reading music would not, in any way, diminish the genius of his playing. He was a born musician and that cannot be taught from a book as several generations of schooled Jazzers with their lifeless and tired memorized solos can attest.
    Play live . . . Marinero
    I started out on guitar mainly playing by ear, internalizing that whole "reading music is stuffy and inauthentic" thing that floats around from time to time. But the fact is, if someone can really play well, technically and improvisationally, and play by ear, really what's the harm in them also adding to that the ability to read music? I cannot sight-read very well, but some years ago I decided that I needed all the help I could get, and lots of musical secrets are buried in those pages of notation. I also saw notation as the "Rosetta Stone" of music, it was the key that any instrument could use, unlike tab. I don't know if I'll ever be a solid sight-reader, but I've only benefited from incorporating reading into my musical learning. It hasn't hurt my ear in the least, indeed, seeing especially rhythmic notation has been deeply helpful.

    So Rene Thomas is truly an amazing player with a distinctive voice. I jog every morning listening to JazzRadio.com's "Guitar Jazz" channel and since the tracks come at random, I enjoy trying to guess each player. Rene Thomas is easy to spot. Still, even if someone could play like him or like Wes, or like Glen Campbell who famously didn't read, I can't see how learning notation could possibly hurt, and it could help in many ways. In addition, it isn't that hard to get a rudimentary grasp of notation as applied to the guitar, or to the piano, for that matter.

    Doesn't have to be "either-or" but clearly a "both-and."

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I started out on guitar mainly playing by ear, internalizing that whole "reading music is stuffy and inauthentic" thing that floats around from time to time. "
    I'm curious how you were able to learn to play the head (melody) with the "by ear" approach? Yea, one can listen to instrumental jazz recordings but rarely is the head played as written by the composer. Listening to singers adds a lot of value but still this is their interpretation of the melody.

    Since I could read music before I started playing guitar I use this approach: find the sheet music and learn the melody as written by the composer. Listen to jazz musicians and singers interpretation of the melody and then from that point forward, play the melody by-ear (with my own interpretation).

    Of course I have just winged-it and played the melody of a song by ear before referencing the sheet music. But what I have found is that when the melody line was slightly different in various sections (e.g. an A, A, B, A+ song), the melody line I played by-ear was either a hybrid or just one of the sections (i.e. those slight differences were not there).

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    I'm curious how you were able to learn to play the head (melody) with the "by ear" approach? Yea, one can listen to instrumental jazz recordings but rarely is the head played as written by the composer. Listening to singers adds a lot of value but still this is their interpretation of the melody.

    Since I could read music before I started playing guitar I use this approach: find the sheet music and learn the melody as written by the composer. Listen to jazz musicians and singers interpretation of the melody and then from that point forward, play the melody by-ear (with my own interpretation).

    Of course I have just winged-it and played the melody of a song by ear before referencing the sheet music. But what I have found is that when the melody line was slightly different in various sections (e.g. an A, A, B, A+ song), the melody line I played by-ear was either a hybrid or just one of the sections (i.e. those slight differences were not there).
    I started GUITAR playing by ear, not JAZZ! I started out a folk player, John Denver wanna-be type. I actually did manage to learn "Classical Gas" pretty much by ear when I was 14, but it took a whole summer, ruining both a record and a record player in the process! I could read chord symbols, but for the most part I did play by ear. I'd taken piano for a year when I was 8 or 9, so with a gun to my head I could name the notes on the staff, but I avoided reading like the plague until I was in my 30's and got interested in jazz. That's when I dusted off what little bit of the staff I knew and started trying to learn the fingerboard.

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I started GUITAR playing by ear, not JAZZ! I started out a folk player, John Denver wanna-be type. I actually did manage to learn "Classical Gas" pretty much by ear when I was 14, but it took a whole summer, ruining both a record and a record player in the process! I could read chord symbols, but for the most part I did play by ear. I'd taken piano for a year when I was 8 or 9, so with a gun to my head I could name the notes on the staff, but I avoided reading like the plague until I was in my 30's and got interested in jazz. That's when I dusted off what little bit of the staff I knew and started trying to learn the fingerboard.
    So to learn the heads of a jazz standard, you read the music notation. I assumed as much.

    The main reason I asked is that I play with a lot of other guitar players that can't read music and therefor, when we jam, I always end up playing the head. While these friends are fine at improvisation, their solos often are not very melodic since they don't know the melody.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    One of the best members of this forum (who was banned for some reason that wasn't clear to me), whom I've remained friends with, recently sent me an interview with Rene Thomas, where he clearly states that he couldn't read music.
    Rene said that he would get guys to play the lines they would want him to play, and he would copy them, or he'd ask them to let him have the music overnight, and he'd decipher it on his own at home.
    He also informed me of a recent album of some of Rene's previously unreleased stuff on Fresh Sound Records. The record is called, Remembering Rene Thomas".Rene Thomas - Remembering Rene Thomas (2-CD) - Blue Sounds
    Managed to find an inexpensive copy of this 2 cd set that got here in literally 2 days. Tons of great recordings, most w pretty good fidelity overall and the booklet may be the most comprehensive I've ever seen in a 2 cd set including lots of great photos of him playing everything from a German archtop early on to his signature ES-150 to a Strat, this package was a labor of love. Can never have enough Rene, highly recommended and thanks to sgcim for the heads up!

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    Managed to find an inexpensive copy of this 2 cd set that got here in literally 2 days. Tons of great recordings, most w pretty good fidelity overall and the booklet may be the most comprehensive I've ever seen in a 2 cd set including lots of great photos of him playing everything from a German archtop early on to his signature ES-150 to a Strat, this package was a labor of love. Can never have enough Rene, highly recommended and thanks to sgcim for the heads up!
    One sad thing I learned from the booklet (according to the friend that bought the 2 CD) was that Rene died from an OD.
    I remember reading in Time magazine that Rene was listed as dying of a heart attack.

  30. #29

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    " when we jam, I always end up playing the head. " Jameslovestal

    Hi, J,
    There's that word again (head) I/we never used in Chicago. See how enlightened I'm becoming now! I might keep it in a secret passbook and whisper it occasionally . . . it's great to live life dangerously!
    Play live . . . Marinero

    P.S. For those who were not involved in a previous discussion, we used the word "top" as in "Back to the top." M

  31. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    " when we jam, I always end up playing the head. " Jameslovestal

    Hi, J,
    There's that word again (head) I/we never used in Chicago. See how enlightened I'm becoming now! I might keep it in a secret passbook and whisper it occasionally . . . it's great to live life dangerously!
    Play live . . . Marinero

    P.S. For those who were not involved in a previous discussion, we used the word "top" as in "Back to the top." M
    I hear "head" and "top" in Chicago.

    "You take the head on this one."
    "Let's trade 4's for a chorus and then back to the top."

  32. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    I hear "head" and "top" in Chicago.

    "You take the head on this one."
    "Let's trade 4's for a chorus and then back to the top."
    Here in So Cal both terms are used.

    Hey, yesterday, I was reading about Chicago schools and teachers and the virus. Hope things are getting better for you or at least the near future looks like they will.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Here in So Cal both terms are used.

    Hey, yesterday, I was reading about Chicago schools and teachers and the virus. Hope things are getting better for you or at least the near future looks like they will.
    Thanks...total and complete shit show over here...tomorrow, barring any breakthroughs in negotiations, we are doing a "teach in," everyone is staying home and teaching remotely...after that one side either compromises or I'm on strike again.

  34. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Thanks...total and complete shit show over here...tomorrow, barring any breakthroughs in negotiations, we are doing a "teach in," everyone is staying home and teaching remotely...after that one side either compromises or I'm on strike again.

    Hi, J,
    THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT but a personal observation: I lived in Chi the majority of my life and it is clearly a city in rapid decline with rising crime rates, skyrocketing taxes, poor schools below the national average, unsafe neighborhoods, corruption, mismanagement, exodus of core corporate/independent businesses in record numbers, and negative population growth. I don't think it can be saved and will go down the road of Detroit in the late 60's and beyond. Did I mention the weather?
    Play live . . . under the palm trees . . . Marinero

  35. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, J,
    THIS IS NOT A POLITICAL STATEMENT but a personal observation: I lived in Chi the majority of my life and it is clearly a city in rapid decline with rising crime rates, skyrocketing taxes, poor schools below the national average, unsafe neighborhoods, corruption, mismanagement, exodus of core corporate/independent businesses in record numbers, and negative population growth. I don't think it can be saved and will go down the road of Detroit in the late 60's and beyond. Did I mention the weather?
    Play live . . . under the palm trees . . . Marinero
    Actually much of the city is way safer than it was when I was a kid. My old neighborhood has "lofts" now

    The schools are better and safer now too. Don't believe only the doom and gloom media stories.

    Chicago will be ok. It doesn't rely on one industry like Detroit did, there's still a thriving arts community, tourism, the best food in the US...Don't sign off on Chicago's death yet.

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    Actually much of the city is way safer than it was when I was a kid. My old neighborhood has "lofts" now

    The schools are better and safer now too. Don't believe only the doom and gloom media stories.

    Chicago will be ok. It doesn't rely on one industry like Detroit did, there's still a thriving arts community, tourism, the best food in the US...Don't sign off on Chicago's death yet.
    Hi, J,
    Rather than debate, why not let our readers decide. Play live . . . Marinero


    Chicago area drops population for fourth straight year, census ...

    www.chicagotribune.com › news › ct-met-census-chica...

    and:

    Chicago reports 700 murders so far in 2020, Cook County on ...

    abc7chicago.com › chicago-police-homicides-murder-r...

    and:
    Is Chicago a declining city?

    Chicago has lost residents for the fourth year in a row, according to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday. The city shrank by about 7,000 people between 2017 and 2018, up slightly from the previous year, when the population fell by just under 6,000, according to the new estimates.May 23, 2019

    Well, there's enough here to make a point that Chicago is on the same trajectory as Detroit. Remember, Detroit never lost its downtown area of business and high rent housing during its overall dissolution. However, the greater Detroit area which comprised the lionshare of its population/business rapdily decayed, then disappeared. Today, similar to Detroit, Chicago is a bad bet. And, did I mention its legendary political corruption? R












  37. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, J,
    Rather than debate, why not let our readers decide. Play live . . . Marinero
    Didn't you start this discuss with "a personal observation"? So what is there for "readers" to decide? You gave your personal observation, and someone else gave theirs.

    Here is my personal observation: somethings are trending better, somethings worst. Some areas are doing better, some are doing worst.
    This is another topic that shouldn't be looked at in a simplistic, binary manner.

  38. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marinero
    Hi, J,
    Rather than debate, why not let our readers decide. Play live . . . Marinero


    Chicago area drops population for fourth straight year, census ...

    www.chicagotribune.com › news › ct-met-census-chica...

    and:

    Chicago reports 700 murders so far in 2020, Cook County on ...

    abc7chicago.com › chicago-police-homicides-murder-r...

    and:
    Is Chicago a declining city?

    Chicago has lost residents for the fourth year in a row, according to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday. The city shrank by about 7,000 people between 2017 and 2018, up slightly from the previous year, when the population fell by just under 6,000, according to the new estimates.May 23, 2019

    Well, there's enough here to make a point that Chicago is on the same trajectory as Detroit. Remember, Detroit never lost its downtown area of business and high rent housing during its overall dissolution. However, the greater Detroit area which comprised the lionshare of its population/business rapdily decayed, then disappeared. Today, similar to Detroit, Chicago is a bad bet. And, did I mention its legendary political corruption? R











    I don't know a lot about Chicago, but I do know a bit about statistics. Those are aggregates for the entire city.

    You might want to break them down geographically within the city. You might well have a situation where Chicago as a whole is a far better place to live than it was 20 years ago .. except for Cook county that is shite and only getting worse.


    Also a loss of 7000 people out of 2,7 million .. I dunno .. Usually the complaint is that too many people are moving to overpopulated cities which both is trouble for the big city, but also kills off the the rest of the country side as the smaller places struggle to survive and create jobs. I'm not sure why we're complaining about Chicago here?


    Would Illinois prefer Chicago to have double digit growth rates over the last ten years like Phoenix, Houston, Columbus, Charlotte etc?

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  41. #40

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Didn't you start this discuss with "a personal observation"? So what is there for "readers" to decide? You gave your personal observation, and someone else gave theirs.

    Here is my personal observation: somethings are trending better, somethings worst. Some areas are doing better, some are doing worst.
    This is another topic that shouldn't be looked at in a simplistic, binary manner.
    Hi, JL,
    The only reason I responded was because the statements made by Jeff do not coincide with real statistics. I lived in Chicago 26 years. I left because of changing neighborhoods, overall poor schools, unsafe public transportation, unconscionable real estate and sales taxes, rising crime rates, poor maintenance of streets and infrastructure, to name a few. I, then, moved outside the city to the NW suburbs where it was a polar opposite of Chicago. There are some neighborhoods in Chicago that are decidedly safer/more gentile than others but compared to the suburbs, their crime statistics are comparatively high and they do not represent the majority of the city which looks like the aftermath of an apocalypse. And, if one wanted a Classic picture of its pending demise, witness the burning and destruction that happened on State St. and Michigan Avenue during the riots where the irresponsible mayor did not provide ample protection, if any according to news clips, to protect the business and personal property. And, contrary to the past, those prime commercial/cultural districts areas are now the sites of regular car jackings, purse snatchings, street robberies, and flash mobs stealing from the stores on a regular basis. Many on the "Magic Mile" will never return. State Street will be changed forever. So, I'm certain Jeff loves the city ,as I once did, but his remarks, although personal, paint an untrue picture of Chicago's reality. People vote with their feet and those civilized inhabitants are leaving in droves for the suburbs and beyond.
    As a final remark, at one time, I preferred to use public transportation(bus/L) whenever possible and traveled widely throughout the city. However, the safety declined seriously in the 80's and ,today, unless there is direct police presence on the bus/train, one would be foolish to travel if any of your route went through Chicago's omnipresent blighted neighborhoods. And, just yesterday, a group of adolescents carjacked numerous vehicles across the city. Well, I'm done beating this dead horse and I have no idea how this relates to Renee Thomas? Sometimes when you love something, you see it through rose-colored glasses.
    Play live . . . Marinero

    4 teens in custody after Noble Square carjacking | WGN-TV


  42. #41

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    We've gone really far from Rene, but I did want to respond to Marinero.

    I will maintain that Chicago, by and large, is mostly safe, and is overall safer than when I was a kid. This isn't necessarily an "only good" thing though. Ill explain.

    Chicago's problems stem from decades of racist public policy-- first the creation of housing projects as a way to contain poor black people to small areas of the city, and then, after that proved to be a massive failure, the subsequent demolitions of those projects as part of an attempt (which coincided with a war against public education orchestrated by Richard Daley and Paul Vallas) to solve Chicago's crime problem by driving poor black people out of the city period.

    And in the short term, it worked. Large gangs were dismantled and scattered about, and Chicago's murder totals dropped by half from their heights of over 900 a year in the mid 90's.

    Of course, it didn't last, as it was a policy based on a racist quick fix and it didn't address real issues that weren't going to go away. Gangs and violence are not just a crime problem, they are a socio-economic problem.

    But in the wake of all of this, gentrification spread like wildfire. In fact, property values across the city shot up, rents were raised, and the city's NET loss of 7000 people doesn't reflect the fact that Chicago actually lost over 50k in black population-- and gained a whole bunch of yuppies. Truthfully, for me, a teacher-- I couldn't afford to own a home in well over half the neighborhoods in this city. As more and more neighborhoods-- even black neighborhoods, were reluctant to offer more section 8 property, the poorest of the poor became concentrated again, this time not in projects-- but in small neighborhoods on the south and west sides...violence in the city in concentrated here largely as well, while much of the city stays quite safe to very safe. You really don't even have so much "bad neighborhoods" in Chicago...you have a bad block...a bad apartment building.

    Pretty disgusting, really. So why do I stick up for Chicago? Because I get to witness every day that there are things that are getting better, and while my experiences as a teacher in one of Chicago's "bad" neighborhoods are anecdotal, they are not unique.

    Young people in Chicago are tired, and beginning to make a fuss. Some people saw only riots this summer...I saw young faces that were fed up with the status quo. Young people who are ready to do something about it. Fewer kids i teach have gang affiliations than they did 10, 15 years ago. There's hope. And my school is not alone.

    There is no doubt that there are problems in Chicago, but its a very small percentage of the people making the problems. Chicago is not the wild west as depicted in the media, its also a lot of hardworking people who want better for their neighborhoods. Black teenagers are overwhelmingly NOT gangbangers and drug dealers. Community organizations are sprouting up more than ever, and I'm seeing more and more opportunities for inner city students like mine to learn real skills and chances to stop the seemingly endless cycle of drugs and violence. I have watched my school and other schools become safer, less gang infested, better places with (albeit) slow gains in key areas like graduation rate, academic growth, and attendance. There are signs of real community investment.

    Politicians did a lot to make the city artificially safe. But young people are going to be the ones to turn their neighborhoods around, and I have every confidence that they will.

  43. #42

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    Rene Thomas - An overlooked Bebop player? (who never played in Chicago, as far as I can tell).

    Glad I found this video since I play this song often and always steal melodic lines from this specific recording.

    Last edited by jameslovestal; 02-05-2021 at 01:36 PM.

  44. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Rene Thomas - An overlooked Bebop player. (who never played in Chicago, as far as I can tell).

    Glad I found this video since I play this song often and have always steal melodic lines from this specific recording.

    Hardly overlooked this side of the pond James!

    DB

  45. #44

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    Theres a great record-- from these jazz in Paris albums released in the early 00's...Rene swinging hard with an organ group.

    He was a lot more than a Jimmy Raney clone.

    Rene Thomas - reading music-51pjg-4nqrl-jpg

  46. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    thanks for posting!

  47. #46

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    looks like someone finally posted the whole performance from this show besides 'Meeting' which has been on youtube for yrs. great set!


  48. #47

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    Quote Originally Posted by jameslovestal
    Rene Thomas - An overlooked Bebop player. (who never played in Chicago, as far as I can tell).

    Glad I found this video since I play this song often and have always steal melodic lines from this specific recording.

    i don't think RT is overlooked as much as he was under recorded. Anyone who loves bop guitar will find RT highly recommended by those who know this domain of music. He was a great player and I always sit up a bit when a track by him comes on.

  49. #48

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    i don't think RT is overlooked as much as he was under recorded. Anyone who loves bop guitar will find RT highly recommended by those who know this domain of music. He was a great player and I always sit up a bit when a track by him comes on.
    His “Guitar Groove” is a classic. Fantastic album on a par with the best jazz guitar recordings of the day.

    DB


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  50. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutchbopper
    Hardly overlooked this side of the pond James!

    DB
    Hardly overlooked by me and I'm in California. I was just paraphrasing the title of the video.

    I got into many of the fine European jazz guitarist around the same time I did the American 50s cats.

    This happened when I went from Rock to Jazz via Larry Coryell, and discovered those Coryell and Philip Catherine recordings. I read up on Catherine and his influences and one was Rene. From then on I was hooked. Also, it is nonsense to say that Rene or other were Raney clones. Of course they were influenced by Raney (as well as others) but they created their own path. The only issue I have with Rene is that his recordings are hard to come by, some are recorded poorly (or at least the versions I could locate), and he passed way to young.

  51. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by mr. beaumont
    We've gone really far from Rene, but I did want to respond to Marinero.

    I will maintain that Chicago, by and large, is mostly safe, and is overall safer than when I was a kid. This isn't necessarily an "only good" thing though. Ill explain.

    Chicago's problems stem from decades of racist public policy-- first the creation of housing projects as a way to contain poor black people to small areas of the city, and then, after that proved to be a massive failure, the subsequent demolitions of those projects as part of an attempt (which coincided with a war against public education orchestrated by Richard Daley and Paul Vallas) to solve Chicago's crime problem by driving poor black people out of the city period.

    And in the short term, it worked. Large gangs were dismantled and scattered about, and Chicago's murder totals dropped by half from their heights of over 900 a year in the mid 90's.

    Of course, it didn't last, as it was a policy based on a racist quick fix and it didn't address real issues that weren't going to go away. Gangs and violence are not just a crime problem, they are a socio-economic problem.

    But in the wake of all of this, gentrification spread like wildfire. In fact, property values across the city shot up, rents were raised, and the city's NET loss of 7000 people doesn't reflect the fact that Chicago actually lost over 50k in black population-- and gained a whole bunch of yuppies. Truthfully, for me, a teacher-- I couldn't afford to own a home in well over half the neighborhoods in this city. As more and more neighborhoods-- even black neighborhoods, were reluctant to offer more section 8 property, the poorest of the poor became concentrated again, this time not in projects-- but in small neighborhoods on the south and west sides...violence in the city in concentrated here largely as well, while much of the city stays quite safe to very safe. You really don't even have so much "bad neighborhoods" in Chicago...you have a bad block...a bad apartment building.

    Pretty disgusting, really. So why do I stick up for Chicago? Because I get to witness every day that there are things that are getting better, and while my experiences as a teacher in one of Chicago's "bad" neighborhoods are anecdotal, they are not unique.

    Young people in Chicago are tired, and beginning to make a fuss. Some people saw only riots this summer...I saw young faces that were fed up with the status quo. Young people who are ready to do something about it. Fewer kids i teach have gang affiliations than they did 10, 15 years ago. There's hope. And my school is not alone.

    There is no doubt that there are problems in Chicago, but its a very small percentage of the people making the problems. Chicago is not the wild west as depicted in the media, its also a lot of hardworking people who want better for their neighborhoods. Black teenagers are overwhelmingly NOT gangbangers and drug dealers. Community organizations are sprouting up more than ever, and I'm seeing more and more opportunities for inner city students like mine to learn real skills and chances to stop the seemingly endless cycle of drugs and violence. I have watched my school and other schools become safer, less gang infested, better places with (albeit) slow gains in key areas like graduation rate, academic growth, and attendance. There are signs of real community investment.

    Politicians did a lot to make the city artificially safe. But young people are going to be the ones to turn their neighborhoods around, and I have every confidence that they will.

    Hi, Jeff,
    Racism is the problem for Chicago's woes? O.K. Let's get back to Renee Thomas!

    Play live . . . Marinero