Whatcha listening to?

For the discussion of Movies, Television, Comics, and other existential distractions.

Moderator: Moderator

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Moderator » Tue May 13, 2014 1:17 pm

Mark Tiedemann wrote:
FrankChurch wrote:Mark, name something pop you really like.


That I really like? Hmm. Not much. I like the Corrs. I like Rickie Lee Jones. I don't listen to enough pop to know, really. It faded out of my attention because most of it is just too frothy, insubstantial. I guess the closes thing would be in jazz---The Rippingtons sound kind of pop to me, but man can that guy play guitar!


No question. Russ Freeman is one of the top guitarists in the music business, but often gets ignored by people who prefer the likes of Van Halen.

True story: Cris has gigged a couple of times with Jeff Kashiwa, The Rippingtons sax player. Very, very cool guy. Got a chance to hang with him backstage at the Carpenter Center here in Long Beach.

You can get a sense of Freeman and Kashiwa both on this track. One of my favorites. (That's the late, great Carl Anderson on vocals. He also was a friend and is sorely missed.)

David Benoit guested on keys.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mMSSLhqlvSs


(Forgive them the mullets...this was '92)
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby FrankChurch » Wed May 14, 2014 1:59 pm

I will not allow my Eddie to be lambasted like that. He changed the history of guitar in major ways. I'm sorry but he is wonderous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_lwocmL9dQ

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Wed May 14, 2014 3:22 pm

Calm down, Frank,nobody's dissing Eddie. I agree, he is amazing. Just...there's others, you know?

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Moderator » Wed May 14, 2014 4:21 pm

SteveBarber wrote: Russ Freeman is one of the top guitarists in the music business, but often gets ignored by people who prefer the likes of Van Halen.



FrankChurch wrote:I will not allow my Eddie to be lambasted like that. He changed the history of guitar in major ways. I'm sorry but he is wonderous:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z_lwocmL9dQ


I love Eddie's playing. But to my original post: do you know who Russ Freeman is? Or, more accurately, would you have known if I hadn't posted the link? If not, you're among the group who ignore him...

Start listening around the 2:10 mark and tell me this guy can't hang with Van Halen and others.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCtGV3yCcXE&list=PL784213D1E3FAA3D7

Or if you still doubt it, the 2:50 mark on this one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=THFvOuniztI&list=PL784213D1E3FAA3D7
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby FrankChurch » Wed May 14, 2014 4:31 pm

He sounds like Carlos Santana. Very Princelike songs.

User avatar
Steve Evil
Posts: 3519
Joined: Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:22 pm
Location: Some Cave in Kanata
Contact:

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Steve Evil » Wed May 14, 2014 7:33 pm

Thin Lizzy. Sheer genius. Chistgau can suck my. . .

User avatar
FinderDoug
Posts: 1530
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby FinderDoug » Thu May 15, 2014 8:51 am

The terrible truth of the CD-in-iTunes age is that if I haven't ripped it to the hard drive, it tends to get overlooked. I'm between stereos (would like a firing solution for the whole house - it's small enough to do that without a lot of gyrations - that'll let me load a hundred CDs at a go), so most of my musical day is whatever's on the computer. Great for the 1,217 albums in there; not so much for the other 1,800.

I recently decided to eliminate jewel casing for a binder system for my discs, reclaiming a ton of library space. The process forced me to look at each and every CD in the collection. I found a lot of things I'd forgotten I had, and I've been circling back around to them. I went through a serious GRP Records phase back in the early 90s - Dave Grusin, Lee Ritenour, The New York Voices, The Rippingtons, Chick Corea - the label was also my gateway to BB King with LIVE AT THE APOLLO - but the contemporary, more fusion-y style of jazz and I drifted. Looking back, I suspect part of the issue I wound up with was that I burned myself out on the style. I also lifted the lid on bop, and all this stuff FLEW out. And I may have been snooty about 'smooth' jazz for a time, the way the guy who discovers French Bordeaux looks down his nose at the superb California Zinfandel that was all the rage in his own wine cabinet just a few years before.

Growth is recognizing when you've behaved as a cultural shit-heel.

Anyway - taking stock of the entire collection brought about a "hmm... let's see if this still works for me" mode. It wasn't a direct path back to The Rippingtons - Joyce Cooling hopped in line first, and comported herself well. So MOONLIGHTING and WELCOME TO THE ST JAMES CLUB were recently sucked into iTunes. And it's not unlike stumbling upon a friend on Facebook that you haven't seen in 20 years, remembering why this person was a friend in the first place, and reconnecting.

User avatar
FinderDoug
Posts: 1530
Joined: Wed May 21, 2003 1:58 pm
Location: Houston, TX
Contact:

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby FinderDoug » Thu May 15, 2014 8:53 am

Steve Evil: Christgau might, but I wouldn't count on a good review.

User avatar
Moderator
Site Admin
Posts: 10607
Joined: Sun Jan 15, 2006 12:17 pm
Contact:

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Moderator » Thu May 15, 2014 10:09 am

FinderDoug wrote:And I may have been snooty about 'smooth' jazz for a time, the way the guy who discovers French Bordeaux looks down his nose at the superb California Zinfandel that was all the rage in his own wine cabinet just a few years before.



I can see that, and rather like the wine analogy. Smooth Jazz got a bad reputation from the purists who, as you note, looked down their noses at it. But the thing is, Smooth Jazz has its place at the table and boasts some of the most generously talented musicians on the planet. I don't think anyone will take this as a biased point of view, but in the world of popular music (as opposed to classical) jazz musicians tend to have significantly better chops than do pop artists.

This is not to reflect badly on other musicians. We mentioned Eddie Van Halen, who is a supremely gifted rock guitarist. No question. And he has bled into pop music (Michael Jackson's Beat It) with terrific results. But he is a rock guitarist. I doubt he has the ability to do B.B. King-style Blues, or Freeman's Jazz.

Jeff Beck is probably the best example of a cross-genre guitarist, starting as a simple rock and roller and migrating into blues, heavy metal and jazz. It takes serious chops to pull this off with any kind of credibility, and jazz training is essential to build them up.

I sense serious howls of protest, but consider this: a jazz musician must, by definition, have the ability to sense rhythm and the musicality of a piece. They have to mold their style to the group style without losing any of their own feel for the piece being played. At the same time they may be called upon to invent something on the spur of the moment -- a solo -- and then drop seamlessly back into the group mix. That doesn't happen too often in rock, pop or heavy metal. When it does, you're dealing with the best of the best musicians. If you take your better-than-average house band musician and let them sit in with jazzers, watch the deer-in-the-headlights as they're thrown a solo.

Meanwhile jazz musicians can sit down in a group of strangers and riff off of each other as if they'd been playing together for years. I've seen it happen a hundred times, including just two weekends ago when Cris played a gig with a different bass player than usual (last minute gig and both her regulars were booked). The first song the guy just played along, sounding out the band and getting a feel for the groove. Second song he was in the pocket and by the third he took a solo that matched what he was hearing from the rest of the band.

Again, there are dramatic exceptions. I'm speaking in general terms, not to any specific musician.

But by and large, a jazz player can play any other kind of popular music. The reverse is much more rarely the case.
- I love to find adventure. All I need is a change of clothes, my Nikon, an open mind and a strong cup of coffee.

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu May 15, 2014 10:58 am

Jeff Beck is in my top 10 all time great guitarists. He already was when I saw his Les Paul tribute, with Imelda May singing the Mary Ford parts, and there was Beck playing like Les Paul note for fucking note! And he can do a reasonable imitation of John McLaughlin. And he can't make a guitar weep like no one else.

But to Steve's point, jazz is the training ground if one wishes to be a solid all-arounder. Look at Al DiMeola, who can lay down runs with Steve Vai any day.

The other 8 in my pantheon would include, depending on the day, Joe Satriani, Buckethead, John Mayer (except when he sings), Les Paul, Tommy Emmanuel, Carlos Santana, John McLaughlin, and Steve Howe.

User avatar
Ezra Lb.
Posts: 4547
Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2004 8:02 am
Location: Washington, DC

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Ezra Lb. » Thu May 15, 2014 11:32 am

An interesting discussion.

Ok I'll take you guys word that Eddie Van Halen is a wonderful guitarist but that kind of thing doesn't do anything for me. That two handed tapping style got old for me real quick. On the other hand I've been a Jeff Beck fan for decades and I worship at the altar. Music just oozes outta his pores. So I take your point. He's one of those artists who can play with anybody and still he is truly himself. Maybe that's why he can play with anybody!

I don't think there's any question that Jazz folks have the superior technical ability. Most pop music now is autotune hell with a few exceptions. And I privilege the live gig and that's where Jazz comes alive and where pop music whips out the precorded backing tracks and the lipsync.

It is rare when a pop musician expands into more sophisticated areas. But these instances do tend to be pretty interesting. I'm thinking of Joni Mitchell and some of Sting's work.


I'm like you FinderDoug I've turned into a downloader. I can't remember the last time I bought an actual CD. (Which is of course what helped my favorite local record store, Melody Records, right off Dupont Circle, to eventually go out of business. Guilty as charged.) I already stuffed one hard drive full, dumped it onto an external drive and I'm halfway to filling it up again. What clinched the deal was discovering the Sansa Clip, a tiny little 4 gig flash drive thing you can clip on your collar and carry your music around with you. I have a CD cabinet piece of furniture on wheels full of CDs but my faves have long since been downloaded. The funny thing is I have the exact opposite response with books. I got a Kindle* but didn't like it and eventually got rid of it. I prefer the physical book**. Which explains why my apartment looks like the warehouse of a used bookstore. But I suffer happily.


*My problem with the Kindle is not philosophical it's tactile. A real book opens naturally in your hand. I think the technical ability to have literally hundreds of books at your disposal is cool. But I couldn't get beyond the fact I was holding a flat piece of plastic in my hand.

**However I do love audiobooks and so I save them to my PC and then download them to the Sansa and away I go.
“We must not always talk in the marketplace,” Hester Prynne said, “of what happens to us in the forest.”
-Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter

User avatar
Rick Keeney
Posts: 1099
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 4:40 pm
Location: Minneapolis, MN

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Rick Keeney » Thu May 15, 2014 12:20 pm

Black Francis

Tim Raven
Posts: 255
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2010 10:30 pm

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Tim Raven » Thu May 15, 2014 12:41 pm

Pat Martino burns on the guitar. He had to relearn to play after a brain tumor in the eighties. He still fuckin'rocks. Joyous Lake, check it out.

User avatar
FrankChurch
Posts: 16283
Joined: Wed May 28, 2003 2:19 pm

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby FrankChurch » Thu May 15, 2014 1:19 pm

No mention of Jimi? How do we rate Hendrix in this cathedral of sound?

Zappa! Don't forget, that sound maven had a very powerful sound. He made the guitar his bitch and his lover. He got so good at it that he quit it and went to electronic sounds--bad choice, but there you are.

Mark Tiedemann
Posts: 2575
Joined: Sat Jan 22, 2011 1:51 pm

Re: Whatcha listening to?

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Thu May 15, 2014 1:48 pm

FrankChurch wrote:No mention of Jimi? How do we rate Hendrix in this cathedral of sound?

Zappa! Don't forget, that sound maven had a very powerful sound. He made the guitar his bitch and his lover. He got so good at it that he quit it and went to electronic sounds--bad choice, but there you are.


Both of them are in my top 20. But concerning Zappa...I saw him live once. He was a superb player, but he rarely did anything that, in my estimation, merited the expertise he brought to it. I have his Jazz From Hell album and aside from one track, it's all but unlistenable. Superbly executed, to be sure, but he only did one solo at that live performance that was truly memorable. This was his own choice. He was vociferously opposed to what he consider "sentimental" music, so he either did those amazing over-the-top satires or theory-driven experimental work that a friend of mine once labeled "music for Gort."


Return to “Pop Culture”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests