The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
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  1. #1
    I came across this piece recently & I don't know if I've ever heard any solo guitar piece as strange & beautiful before. Apparently its part of an out of print "Anthology" LP. Side One is live tracks with a small combo of not the greatest recording quality. But Side Two are solo guitar pieces. This is the only one of those solo recordings I can find on the internet. Does anyone have the full Anthology record they can share? I'd be happy to buy the CD but seems long out of print. I think I found it on a couple of Japanese websites but, not being able to read Japanese I'm not even sure if its actually in stock, let alone will ship to Europe.

    Also, can anyone recommend any solo guitar work in a similar mood and spirit. I'm floored by this piece. I've work out about the first two minutes by ear (more or less) so far & gonna try and figure out the rest this weekend.

    Peace to All!


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  3. #2

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    It's a wild improvisation on the Beatles' tune "Michelle".

  4. #3

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    Bass string tuned down to D?

    Reminds me in some ways of "Mi Cosa" by Wes Montgomery and also of some of Johnny Smith's solo stuff ("The Man With The Blue Guitar" and his side of "Legends.")

  5. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara View Post
    Bass string tuned down to D?
    Seems to be D# or even a little higher. Maybe the original tape somehow got slowed down a little? I don't know when 440hz became the near universal standard A tuning but even into the 60s I come across songs occasionally that are tuned a little bit off of "standard" pitch.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim View Post
    It's a wild improvisation on the Beatles' tune "Michelle".
    Yeah after finding this I went and listened to the Beatles song which I'd only heard a few times. The back of the Bauer record gives song writing credit to Lennon/McCartney, which seems a bit unnecessary, I don't think anyone would have noticed!






  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanEpsInDeChirico View Post
    Seems to be D# or even a little higher. Maybe the original tape somehow got slowed down a little? I don't know when 440hz became the near universal standard A tuning but even into the 60s I come across songs occasionally that are tuned a little bit off of "standard" pitch.
    tuners weren’t as common as they are now. Everyone would tune relative. Usually to the piano.

  8. #7

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    Great, thanks!

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanEpsInDeChirico View Post
    Seems to be D# or even a little higher. Maybe the original tape somehow got slowed down a little? I don't know when 440hz became the near universal standard A tuning but even into the 60s I come across songs occasionally that are tuned a little bit off of "standard" pitch.
    ASA established A440 as the American standard concert pitch in 1936, IIRC. The French set it at 435 back in the 19th century. But the choice of standard pitch is not the commonest cause of errors in recorded music. That dubious honor goes to tape machines whose speed was not precisely calibrated. Second on the list is tuning to the piano, which obviously depends on how well the piano was tuned.

    The classic pitch error in recorded music is Kind of Blue. The main 3 channel deck was running a bit slow when the tracks for side 1 were recorded. So the playback on a machine running the correct speed was pitched a bit higher than the performance. As a result, all vinyl pressings were a bit sharp until the error was discovered and mastered out sometime in the early ‘90s

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanEpsInDeChirico View Post
    Also, can anyone recommend any solo guitar work in a similar mood and spirit. I'm floored by this piece. I've work out about the first two minutes by ear (more or less) so far & gonna try and figure out the rest this weekend.

    Peace to All!
    This Johnny Smith record bewitched me and it sails in the same seas:


  11. #10

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    Discogs says the only release was on vinyl in 1987 – Interplay-Records IP-8603.

    Allmusic has a review by Scott Yanow:

    Guitarist Billy Bauer, best-known for his early associations with Lennie Tristano and Woody Herman, only recorded three albums as a leader. While his first dates were in 1953 and 1956, this Interplay LP collects together private solo performances from 1959, 1960 and 1969 and a trio gig in 1969 (with bassist John Sherin and drummer Charles Kay) that were taped but originally not planned for release. Fortunately they were saved and in 1987 (when it finally came out) this album showed that Bauer's creative abilities had not diminished with time even though he lacked the drive to have a fulltime performing career. Most of the music is introspective but there are some swinging moments (most notably on the trio's rendition of "I'll Remember April"). Guitarists and bop historians will be most interested in this quiet set.

  12. #11
    Quote Originally Posted by curbucci View Post
    This Johnny Smith record bewitched me and it sails in the same seas:

    Wow, terrific, very sad stuff stuff! I guess they don't call him the man with the blue guitar for nothing. I'm familiar with the Moonlight in Vermont record which I like, but somehow never came across this. Thank You

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick View Post
    Discogs says the only release was on vinyl in 1987 – Interplay-Records IP-8603.
    Apparently a small Japanese record label released it on CD in 2011. But its impossible to find in stock anywhere
    ã?¢ã?³ã?½ã?­ã?¸ã?¼ï¼?ï¼?/ã??ã?ªã?¼ã?»ã?ã?¦ã?¯ã?¼ ã?»ã?«CD - TSUTAYA åº?è??æ??å ± - ã?¬ã?³ã?¿ã?«ã?»è²©å£² å?¨åº«æ¤?ç´¢

  14. #13

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    Puts me in mind of Jim Hall.

  15. #14

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    I also came across his records just a few days ago thank to a fellow - player... very interesting musician.

    He seems to be much ahead of his era than it may firts seem... his collaboration with Tristano and approach to music shows very free creative and open musical nature.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanEpsInDeChirico View Post
    Yeah after finding this I went and listened to the Beatles song which I'd only heard a few times. The back of the Bauer record gives song writing credit to Lennon/McCartney, which seems a bit unnecessary, I don't think anyone would have noticed!




    Northern Songs Inc would have noticed.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by VanEpsInDeChirico View Post
    Also, can anyone recommend any solo guitar work in a similar mood and spirit.
    Have you looked at Rob MacKillop's archtopguitar.net site, in particular William Bay – ArchtopGuitar.net ? I think you'll find similar pieces in Bay's "Preludes, Sonatas & Nocturnes" but he has other bundles with contemplative works in them (from what I can tell).

    As to the pitch: I understand it's quite common among solo acoustic players and even classical guitarists to tune to some lower pitch that works well for them (and/or their instrument). I don't see why a solo jazz guitarist wouldn't.

  18. #17

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    Also, can anyone recommend any solo guitar work in a similar mood and spirit. I'm floored by this piece. I've work out about the first two minutes by ear (more or less) so far & gonna try and figure out the rest this weekend.

    Maybe Kenny Burrell's solo slbum Tenderly



    And also some of his soli tracks on Lotus Blosum?

  19. #18

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    Wow, so glad to hear this, thanks for sharing! I was a student of Billy's in the mid 70s though mid 80s. I've never heard this recording before and wish I could hear the rest of it. Somewhere I have an old cassette with a recording of him doing "You Stepped out of a Dream" - amazing version.

  20. #19
    I just bought a copy of the record on vinyl. Now i have to buy a record player to hear it. I'm buying a record player so I can literally hear this one record!

  21. #20

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    Where did you get the vinyl? Was it just a lucky find?

  22. #21

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    I bought a copy when it came out and was always running into it at used record stores. here's a few available in EU


    Billy Bauer - Anthology (Vinyl, US, 1987) For Sale | Discogs

  23. #22

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    Back in 1982 I was given transcriptions of two of his solo pieces. I no longer have them but I memorized them both and they were very intricate and difficult to play. One was based on the standard Yesterdays.
    I travelled from Australia where I grew up to New York and took some lessons with Billy in the summer of ‘82 and played those pieces for him and I remember him being so pleased that I’d flown all that way and I’d spent all that time working on his music. I wish I still had those pieces. He told me they had been commissioned by someone who wanted solo guitar music.

  24. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieAG
    Where did you get the vinyl? Was it just a lucky find?
    I found a copy on discogs.com
    If you're not familiar with it, there's a great marketplace section of the website where you'll find some quite obscure old records, often reasonably priced.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by curbucci
    This Johnny Smith record bewitched me and it sails in the same seas: The Man With The Blue Guitar (1962) - Johnny Smith
    Nice easy listening music, but you really have to like that (borderline annoyingly boring sterile) electric sound

  26. #25
    Very cool recording.
    This is my first time hearing Billy play, and I love it.
    Thanks.
    Rene