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Thread: THE OLD MUSIC THREAD OMNIBUS -- NO ROCK AND ROLLERS ALLOWED UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE!!!!!!

  1. #201
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    Mister.......TAM....BOURINE......MAN!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!

    Yeah, I didn't think Shatner could out-Shatner himself, but he did it. I wonder about what he was thinking, except maybe earning his paunch the honest way, through lots of fattening...drugs or something. What an odd man.

    NO! I refuse to listen to the Nimoy "Ballad of Bilbo Baggins" again, although that was a worthy retort. Perhaps this thread will scare some kids straight and keep them off the living nightmare of horrid novelty recordings.

    On the Good hand, some van drivers at work at 0 dark thirty were rapping on the old tune "Thunderbird" (you know, "What's the price? Sixty twice!" (Although I prefer "cut it twice," but it's just an old tune with made-up words).

    My mobile connection is running slow, but I must put in a plug for James Booker's "Wine Spo-de-Odee" from the Maple Leaf recording in NOLA. Solo piano, solo singing. Yeah, he doesn't say "Wine motherfucker drinkin' wine!" which I guess was the original hobo/ghetto version and the one I like to sing, but that performance opened my ears to how much crazy can be combined with real music. In G IIRC.

  2. #202
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    Oh, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sFjTz68F-P4]Here 'tis, to borrow a phrase from IIRC a Junior Mance piano album

    I forgot Booker's version begins with a little bit of Allen Toussaint's tune "Life." I don't think he had a hit with that one as a songwriter or producer (I think Dr. John covered it on one of his Toussaint-produced albums, but I don't remember).

    I do recall the tune.....I learned it in D, and it's kind of a nice finger-stretching exercise for piano in LH. Kind of rotates with the wrist up from the octave to the major tenth.

    But "Wine Spo-de-O-dee" — that was the one that I turned my friends onto around age 19-20 or so and turned everyone's heads.

  3. #203
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    OK, fine. Well allow me to retort: https://youtu.be/Ls42F23V6rQ

    No. That's not good. I can listen to Nimoy's baritone all day before that one. Plus, I fucking hate the Beatles.

    OK, just the classic. It's a good tune about a man they call rocket. A classic in the horrid novelty genre, I'd say. For old time's sake.

    But the James Booker "Wine Spo-de-odee" is really good — I think music lovers will appreciate how Booker seamlessly uses some musicianship/tricks and has mastered the "art" of flowing from one tune to the next.

    Anyway, that's when I was eighteen or nineteen or so I learned how to "mix" tunes, sort of like a DJ, but while actually playing in real-time. Seminal.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 31 Jan 2019 at 08:03 AM.

  4. #204
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    All right, I have to put a plug in for Dr. John's classic roots-R&B album Gumbo.

    A few things I noticed after not having heard this in a while (incidentally, this album is where I learned a lot of these tunes on piano, and prompted me to learn from the original Huey Smith albums, and Eddie Bo, and everybody).

    (i) The isolated piano segments at the beginning and especially the end of some of the tunes are a treasure trove. If I were smarter back then I would have just made a loop of those on my open-reel 1/4" tape.

    (ii) Even though I still only play "Stagolee" the way the Doctor does on piano (you know, just I like to pay tribute and I don't really have much reason to play the tune except for laughs), I never really heard his version of the lyrics.

    I find it interesting that StaggerLee is pretty much the hero in Mac's lyrics. Just one of those tunes where you just make some words up that sort of rhyme and something you heard in the back of the mind, at least for me.

    Contrast that with like Professor's version which IIRC is a lot more like the way I've heard it more often, like Billy Lyon talking about his sickly wife and children.

    So, I guess after almost twenty-five years of hearing and studying this album in particular, I finally got around to noticing the lyrics in this version.

    And that is no shit — I distinctly remember actually writing out in pencil and staff paper the piano part to that tune and some of the others. Probably still around here someplace.

    I guess people have different priorities with the music — it's kind of nice to have the lyrics with the music too.

    Not too nice, but it's a little bit extra.

    ETA

    (a) No, I don't have a link. Just go buy the CD. It's on the Atlantic/Atco label or that whole thing. It's probably twelve dollars. Twenty-five years, almost exactly, and the redbook original CD still spins perfectly.

    (b) Some new refreshers I was glad to hear. I still play these myself just on piano, but "Blow, Wind Blow" (cover of the Fats Domino hit) is outstanding, and there are a few subtle arrangement/additions on piano I never noticed before. Nothing new I can recall about "Somebody Changed the Locks," but

    aw, shit, just the whole album is great. As you know, or should know, or will know. Start to finish feel-good music. Terrific horns, like somebody legend like Red Tyler on tenor or somebody heavy, exceptional (truly, I don't know if it was John Boudreaux, but it was somebody heavy) drums, and the bassist is great, probably DI into tape through the console. Impeccable sound. Mixed terrifically. Whatsisface, Ronny Barron? Anyway, some kid on Hammond organ backing the Doctor's piano up. I believe it's probably Mac playing the guitar solo on "Let the Good Times Roll," which isn't half bad.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 31 Jan 2019 at 07:42 PM.

  5. #205
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    Die Krähe sung by an apparently well-known tenor named Hans Hotter.

    Never heard of him, but apparently he was a big deal in Wagner opera, but to my ear doesn't sound like a Heldentenor.

    I do wish I had had the means to buy a score of the Winterreise of Schubert, instead of using photocopies, back when I did a little one-off piano performance of maybe eight or ten of the songs in in the cycle. Now, it doesn't matter, but it would have been nice to have a little record of my pencil markings. Obviously, this particular piece doesn't need the score, since it can be played by ear, at least close enough.

    This performance is quite a bit slower than others I've heard.

    But, for all I know about singing (which is nothing), that guy has some power behind the voice.

    And, instead of older recordings of people like Melchior, the sound quality is listenable. IMHO.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 09 Feb 2019 at 03:47 PM.

  6. #206
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    Here's an extraordinary instrumental-only version of the old "classic" tune "Fly Like An Eagle."

    Yeah, I know.

    But it's a very good look at how the Hammond organ is used in rock music.

    As much as I love Rick Wright's playing for that guy Pink Floyd, here it's easy to hear how the organist is using the two manuals (one has the "percussion" effect applied, the other doesn't) as well as the "expression" pedal and changing the speed of the Leslie speaker/different depths of the "chorus" effect.

    I hate this song, but it's a great example of just hearing how the backing tracks are played — IOW, we keyboard players aren't just sitting on our fat asses hiding behind a stack of keyboards.

    No comment on the synth "contribution" towards the end.

  7. #207
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    I don't have a link, but the documentary Piano Players Rarely Play Together was a nice reminiscence, particularly when there are video clips of Allen Toussaint RIP is tracking some of his famous tunes like "What Is Success?" and so on, both producing in the iso booths all the background vocals and instruments, and performing on vocals and piano at the same time.

    Son of a bitch.

    I'm pretty sure I'm fixing to settle down in NOLA when my ship comes in: it's the only kind of music I can play (all kinds!), and it's the only place I can see where there's pianists better than me, plus everything else.

  8. #208
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    This is one of the most haunting, surprising things I've seen recently. A piano transcription by Bach of an oboe concerto by some guy named Marcello.

    And it's a nice looking woman playing it, too.

    WOMAN! WOMAN! Grrr!!!!!!!

    They get all the piano glory.

    Well, them and Liberace, I guess.

  9. #209
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    OK, Bach was clearly on some kind of drugs imported from the new world. Probably dessicated sloth scat mixed with coca leaves or something.

    When he wrote the Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2, A Minor prelude.

    Not only is it very long, it's extremely chromatic, and is a very strange thing to have included.

    I don't have a link, but Angela Hewitt, true to her nature, recorded it with the repeat, so in case the oddity didn't sink in at first, you can have a second chance at it.

    The fugue is also a little bit punker-rocker, but more straightforward.

    The pair is considered one of the easier ones from both books (aka, "the 48"), but that's really just that it can be sight-read without a huge amount of difficulty. There's lots of room for interpretation and nuance in both.

    Very different from the Book I A minor set (there, too, the prelude has sort of a fucked-up little motif, but it's short and not too odd, but the fugue is extremely long and for that reason considered one of the more challenging fugues from the 48).

  10. #210
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    That was a shock.

    Again, no link, but Ashkenazy on the Decca label performing the last movement of Mozart's "Jeunehomme" piano concerto (K. 271) — yes, I know apparently it's now considered the "Jenamy" or something concerto, because of some scholarship, but I don't care about that.

    I play this from time to time (without orchestra!) and I was shocked at how fast Ashkenazy took the tempo — I do it fast, too, but sight-reading most of it slows me down.

    I find it invigorating. Although I don't much care for the first two movements — not enough piano, although I do have the Busoni arrangement of the little slow middle movement.

    I might have said here before, but the voicings in thirds and sixths around sequences of notes is, to me, a direct antecedent to some pianist tricks middle-period Beethoven did in his sonatas, like the Op. 27 no. 2 and elsewhere.

    Anyway, it's fun.

    I haven't read the liner notes, so I don't know if Ashkenazy was conducting while performing on piano or not, but given his stature, I assume Ashkenazy made most of the creative decisions.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 18 Mar 2019 at 01:16 AM.

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    /***ETA
    Similarly, I just heard a recording of Richter playing the final Rondo from Beethoven's Op. 26, which is one I actually do play (although some of the variations in the first movement are tricky and I like the second movement much quicker and more legato than the way I can do it now — and while I can play the funeral march, it's not somthing I feel like playing pretty much just for fun) and have designs to memorize more perfectly.

    He recorded this sonata a number of times, but I was shocked at how fast he took it.

    I was happy with András Schiff's performance notes during his lecture series (availble on Youtube or through the BBC/The Guardian UK website) of the Beethoven Sonatas — namely, that the final movement is a continuation of the preceding movement (the famous "funeral march") and can be interpreted as a conversational stroll back from the funeral.

    But Richter just plays it breathtakingly fast — almost like a kid doing the isolated movement as part of a recital/party piece.

    I aim for practice speed at about 20% over final speed, after learning the notes, but there is something satisfying about Richter's idea....after all, the main Rondo part recurs quite often verbatim and, while the movement is so nice that one doesn't want it to be over, it can be tedious as a performer and listener to hew to the lower extreme.
    */

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    I believe this might be the same recording as the one I was listening to.

    It's Bud [Powell] doing that tune "Indiana" (it's the one "Donna Lee" is based off, and a lot of Hammond organ players do it).

    Anyway, my speed is poor, so if it is the same one, towards the end Bud and the drummer trade bars and Bud does some stuff I'd have never thought was ever in his bag: long, graceful lines, but together with his trademark sharp attack and a new sequencing/pattern-based/semi-"outside" was what it was.

    Well, it made me sit right back down and tuck in that neck, Mister, I'll tell you what.

    /****Oh, just today I did, speaking of above, read through Busoni's arrangement of the middle movement of Mozart's Eb maj piano concerto. It's dreadful as an arrangement played on a modern piano.

    And the first movement is, while agreeable, also not very much piano, from the orchestral parts: IOW, most of the time you just play all the orchestral parts and the piano is just waiting to play its very nice solo sections. Very catchy tune, though. I still like the final movement better, though: with some careful supplements from the orchestra score, it's really all solo piano.

    ***/
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 27 Mar 2019 at 02:33 AM.

  13. #213
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    Speaking of concertos, this is one of those Leonard Bernstein episodes (about fourteen minutes long) explaining stuff and then doing a performance.

    This time it features Glenn Gould at the piano and Bernstein conducting a small orchestra doing the first movement of the D minor keyboard concerto of Bach.

    Not only is it interesting to see Gould's unusual technique up close, but one can see that the two interpreters would have, indeed, not been very much on good terms personally. If I were a conductor, I'd probably find the pianist conducting himself with his LH annoying. But they and Lennie managed to accompany all of the orchestral "hits" at the right time, so I find it a good performance.

    I'd never seen any video of Bernstein conducting. He was indeed flamboyant in his physical gestures, but a pretty eloquent speaker.

  14. #214
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    I submit for your approval, from Debussy's first volume of his Préludes:

    (a) "Minstrels" (XII). This is one I'm having an eye on to playing through. It's kind of a looking-glass mirror of the famous "Golliwog's Cake-walk" from Debussy's suite, Children's Corner, but much more free with tempo and traditional chords — sort of a pastiche of hurdy-gurdy music, perhaps.

    (b) "La Sérénade interrompue" (IX). Extremely interesting piece with, to my ear, some nods to old-fashioned guitar-esque pieces, à la Scarlatti in his K. 1 or K. 141. Tricky, but not unplayable.

    (c) "Ce qu'a vu le lent d'ouest" (VII). "What the West Wind Saw." Some very impressive arpeggios throughout. Very much a traditional (for 20th C music) piece in a kind of expressionist style. This is quite possibly playable, but it's kind of long and would take some doing, to be sure.

    In fact, many of the pieces from the Préludes Bk. 1 are, to me, of a piece with so-called expressionism in music — think, say, early Schoenberg or perhaps Berg.

    No, I don't have any Youtube links. In fact, even at home or on various hard drives I only have one or two recordings of these. Michelangeli's versions are captivating, but I haven't studied them, although they are AFAIK on youtube, at least in concert versions. Also Angela Hewitt, but I don't think she's on Youtube, and I can't find my copies of her renditions right now.

    One thing is for sure — these hardly, for the most part, "leap out of the page" when sight-reading them. It's essential for me to hear the records, in the same way I have trouble reading some of the slower Bach dance movements without hearing some examples, even though the notes are typically crystal clear on paper.

    ///////////////

    Also, about the Bach d-minor Concerto in its keyboard version.

    Yeah, I was playing through the first movement again this morning before work.

    It's such a texturally interesting piece for the keyboard to play — Bach isn't content to just have two voices at the octave, of course. And his debt/hommage to Scarlatti fils or at least the "Spanish" guitar-esque school is clear.

    I think that will be a worthy piece to get closer to playing adequately.

    Then again, there's quite a bit of Bach that I feel the same way about.

    But he continually surprises one with how many different textures in his keyboard writing he is able to work with — I think a more modest goal is to play the Suites/Partitas and other pieces from Bach one chooses, but with an eye to beginning to think as Bach does, and at least to be able to modulate keys and create harmonically appropriate (and generally musical) accompaniments ex tempore.

    They say that the Three-Part Inventions (aka Sinfonias) were primarily compositional exercises, but I don't find that to be the case for most of them. The Two-Parts, sure. But I typically play six or so of the Sinfonias daily (not perfectly, but I get through most of them OK), and for me they resound as little gems of miniatures. Similar to Chopin's Préludes (some of them).

    IMHO Bach's real compositional/improvisational "student works" are in the WTC, and in pieces like the D-minor concerto, and the suites/partitas. Which are not all easy, but I find, say, the E minor Partita (no, I can't do the final Gigue at all — it's ridiculously complicated, but I can play most of the early movements up through the "Air" OK) to have a sort of prototypical structure of "the Bach touch." Or the Preludes from the A major and A minor English Suites, as well as both Bourées from the same two Engl. Suites — classic lessons in modulation and harmony, that also happen to be very pleasing music.

  15. #215
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    HERE is a pretty entertaining, lighthearted interview between the Candian pianist Oscar Peterson and Dick Cavett, with Oscar at the keyboard and demonstrating some little tricks of a few styles.

    I'd recommend having a look if you want to see a friendly, funny conversation with some jokes, but also some brief demonstrations of such-and-such a little style at the keyboard.

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    Well, I don't know if this fits with your all sensibilities, but some reefer-smoker put Maggotbrain up on his phone at the bar after work.

    I knew it was Eddie Hazel doing "Maggotbrain," and it was nice to hear the extensive reverb used by the engineers, which I'd never noticed before — I'd say Eddie Hazel used reverb (or had it used on him!) the way others used distortion and feedback.

    Even the bartender didn't really believe my story about Geo. Clinton saying to Hazel, "Play like your mama just died!" Probably a rock legend story, but everyone's heard that one.

    Until some older guy at the end of the bar came up to the bartender and asked what tune it was. Caroline had to walk over and check, but, goddamned, people love this especially on good sound.

    Hendricks can suck Hazel's dick.

    OTOH, Hendricks got to play with Larry Young, but Hazel got Bernie Worrell.

  17. #217
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    Well, I'm pretty sure this doesn't count as non-rock-and-roll, but there's the whole tradition of 20th C legit composers and musicians using or mastering electronic devices. The ondes martenot, the Theramin, and later synthesizers, especially after that new-fangled transistor with no vacuum tubes gained (heh) ground — very heavily pursued by serious musicians and composers of art music.

    I guess I'll link to this "news" story — there's a more comprehensive account linked to by pitchfork, but it includes an autoplay youtube TV news segment which sucks.

    Oh, the whole thing is that an EET (electrical technician) was working on an older Buchla synth, and inadvertently was dosed with LSD by contact with one or some of the components. Buchla and his instruments had a long history, it seems, going back to Owsley and everything in the Bay area.

    Not much to it, just kind of a funny story that seems to be corroborated.

    And, no, I totally was not thinking of dosing large amounts of people. Mainly because it's expensive, and difficult to synthesize, from what I hear.

    ETA Oh, sorry about misspelling Hendrix's name above.

    EETA The person handling the initial stages of the instrument's restoration was probably not an EET, just a regular guy. From what I see. Don't know for sure.

    EEETA That's "Theremin," spelled correctly. At least I got ondes martenot correct on the first try.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 24 May 2019 at 03:37 PM.

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    Well, I'm not sure about this bold claim, but I think that the WTC2 in the first brace of couplets (the C major and the C minor preludes and fugues) puts what Bach wrote for the WTC1 to shame.

    No, I don't know how, and I've read the Cm at the keyboard before: the C major was a revelation, although I've read it before at the keyboard. It's not that these are tricky pieces: rather, I think they are better music than their analogs in the WTC1. And, yes, I know about the BWV 870a, which is cute and about whose correspondence to the C maj. prelude I shan't say any more. I believe it's a worthwhile birds-eye view of Bach's idea for the prelude.

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    Oh, well, I'd bet some of you heard that Mac Rebennack a la Dr. John died.

    TBH, I'd have put him on one of those perverse "Celebrity Death Watches" for a while, except I'm not that sick a bastard.

    I think he's known to the average public as more of a swamp-rock guy who had some hits in the 1970s in the popular vein, and reappeared in the early nineties as part of a revival of some of the classic singer+big band records.

    To me I know him more as a conduit through which a lot of instrumental styles on piano flowed, so he was kind of a teacher of a bunch of different genres in piano as well as a master piano player.

    I think this is the only celebrity death I ever felt a bit sad about hearing, ever, just because I copied so many things off his records.

    With Allen Toussaint going, last year, I believe, I don't think there are any people left from that generation that bridged NOLA R&B/rock-and-roll of the 1950s with today's times. Both formidable pianists, and more than adequate vocalists.

    Yeah, sure, deep thoughts.

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    I saw him live twice, one in New Orleans and once playing in Ringo's All Star Band, right here in Central Jersey.

    I like him but I mostly know him for his few hits in the 70s like Iko, Iko and Right Place Wrong Time.


    As to the NOLA R&B bridge, what about Aaron Neville & brothers?
    Last edited by What Exit?; 07 Jun 2019 at 12:22 PM.

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    Yeah, that's a good call: I'm not sure of their dates, but I think of Art Neville (organ player) and the Funky Meters as being a little bit generationally-removed from the people like Toussaint and Rebennack who came up in the 1950s (as teenagers) doing studio work, primarily influenced by Professor Longhair on piano.

    Maybe like half-a-generation younger.

    No doubt, Mac Rebennack's peak was in the 1970s: not only was he playing the spoons on Exile From Main Street and so many other sessions, like Maria Muldaur and Rickie Lee Jones's big records, but he had the NOLA-funk-pop, as well as the album Dr. John's Gumbo (disc three, track three is the one I can remember from my current CD changer in the car if I want to get psyched up). Some more pop-oriented albums, with good piano and tunes with interesting chord changes.

    Then, of course, the early 1980s, with that set of masterful solo piano+vox records, "Dr. John Plays Mac Rebennack" and "The Brightest Smile In Town."

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    Whoops. that was my ignorance.

    Art Neville was for sure around in the 1950s, and is in fact Mac's elder in age.

    Sorry about that, and thanks to WE? for pointing that out.

    Clearly it wasn't something I'd considered.

    Well, maybe there's such a thing as "musical generations," as contrasted to genealogical ones. I don't know what that would look like for modern times: "before 'Fess" or "after Fats."

    Something like that.

    Anyway, one thing that should be mentioned is Mac's contributions to edumacation, as he versified it in one of his songs. I still have the audio cassettes from when I was fifteen or sixteen from Homespun records, of Dr. John chatting with Homespun's owner Happy Traum as he broke down some of his style.

    I haven't listened to the tapes in decades, but there isn't a single thing I do in a minor key in the NOLA pop/trad style which isn't informed by having learned it off those tapes. Chord voicings, all those variations on different turnarounds, how to play things in every key.

    An improvisational toolkit, it was, for me. And still is. I don't copy note-for-note some of his improvised boogies or solos or eight-bar blues, but I certainly have in the way past, and his approach is still the way I play things that are in that bag.

    ETA And, yes, I know he was in a down-period in his life, probably, when he did the Happy Traum cassette tape sessions, and it may have not been that much money at all for him, The Night Tripper, to have been doing some cassette tapes for a small company.

    But, yeah, between him and a few others when I was getting OK at copying Clapton and Page on guitar, he helped me not forget about the piano, which, after all, besides all the legit music, really started for me at a much younger age with the ragtimes and the strides and all that.

    I mean, you can never get away from that trad-jazz influence, and Mac had a way of bringing it into the modern age, with no compromises.

    No, he wasn't playing Jelly Roll Morton solos off the record, but it's the same thing, what he did. Just kept moving.

    "Somebody Changed the Locks" indeed.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 07 Jun 2019 at 04:57 PM.

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    Hey, Herbie's coming to play at one of the local zoo concerts on....the bartender told me....Aug. 17th?

    Unfortunately the tickets are pretty expensive, and I'm no longer a member of the zoo, and my girl is even more broke in cash than I am.

    I liked seeing him play his Fazioli grand at the OR Symphony, doing...."Rhapsody in Blue" and some other stuff, but he didn't really bring the jazz/improv so much for that job.

    I guess I can spend eighty or ninety dollars for two tickets, but N____ie is probably not going to be having me treat her to a concert.

    Which is her prerogative, and I understand why, but IMHO that would be a pretty cool way to spend a summer evening, sitting on the grass (along with a bazillion other people), and probably get a chance to ram my tongue down her throat.

    Which is nice.

    Well, probably won't happen, but it's a good idea.

    I can still go to the zoo with her if we can get our schedules lined up — that's a fun date, IMHO.

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    Here's a couple of little lagniappes, in honor of Mac Rebennack:

    Just a short excerpt from one of his instructional videos demonstrating one real good way of playing "When the Saints Go Marching In." He does it in D, which is kind of not the typical key you'd usually do something like this on piano. I mean, you can, clearly, but check out his reach in the LH, hitting the tenth (from D to F#). Big hands. I can hit that one myself, but a lot of people who don't use that technique have problems with it, even if they probably could with enough careful stretching.

    This one's a madman: a solo piano version of one of his better-known hits from the 1970s called "Such A Night."

    He does an extended introduction — really a traditional jazz-influenced blues before getting to the tune itself.

    If I had to guess, he may not have planned ahead of time to segue into "Such A Night," but that he does.

    I've never heard him do the tune just solo piano, although I certainly know his piano parts of the tune off the recorded version.

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    Well, fuck me in the ass, I was just fixated on Mac's version of "Saints" and how he hit the D7 and Eb in tenths.

    Of course, if you actually look/listen at the video/audio, the minor version is just in Gm, and for the major version (the walking back from funeral version everybody knows better), naturally, that's just in Bb.

    Still a nice version.

    I had the cassettes as a teenager, but I think it'd be easier for kids now with the video.

    Maybe not — it's still the same music.

    ///

    ETA Holy shit, I don't I've ever heard that version before.

    I not only learned a few new tricks, but I learned that I'm going to have to learn those new tricks.

    Not the flashy right hand parts or anything, just some subtle variations in voice leading split between the two hands.

    Just when I thought I learned everything the Doctor had in his bag.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 02 Jul 2019 at 01:11 AM.

  26. #226
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    I've been playing this old duplicated cassette in the car — both sides are Kenny Drew (jazz pianist) albums.

    The choice of some tunes on the "Kenny Drew" trio really is disagreeable. Absolute dogshit tunes, like "Paper Moon" and "Taking a Chance on Love" and "When You Wish Upon A Star" (OK, I can see the appeal of the last one, if one is set on doing a cheesy ballad. Maybe KD knew someone IRL who liked that tune, or something).

    But, he actually gets some mileage out of them (although he doesn't do much with his arrangements of the melody itself).

    So, I suppose it's a good lesson on how to get something out of tunes that aren't really very much at all, if not outright offensive to the senses (which they are in my very small opinion).

    And, his style and abilities in general are much more generalized than one would think if one knew just his more famous, blues-based original compositions, or his playing on Coltrane's Blue Train album (I suppose that's where most people would know his playing best from).

    So, not just an interesting, blues-based player with unique ideas, but a really well-rounded player with quite a bit of traditional technique (arpeggiated flourishes in the RH+LH together, pretty traditional bebop-style changes-running). His way of playing block chords isn't the way I'd try to play it, but it's still a legitimate sound.

    ///////////////

    STILL am trying to really master that one trick Les McCann (pianist) uses all over the place. Namely, just repeating a little rhythmic pattern in the LH, up near the middle octave. While doing whatever in the RH.

    It's kind of a traditional technique, but it's really hard for me to do without "anchoring" the LH using some deeper bass notes.

    I think that's something that to master it truly, should be done with the eyes closed.

    Which, incidentally, I'm finding is a powerful technique for getting "inside" Bach's music.

    At least for me it helps me hear the polyphonic lines better, as well as sometimes making it easier to remember the music. There really isn't much that is as difficult to memorize as Bach's music, especially if one isn't satisfied with just using unreliable muscle memory or superimposing some roman numeral analysis over key points in one's mind (both are defective techniques that rob the music of its clarity and coherence). In my opinion.

  27. #227
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    All right, so here's the deal. The Contrapunctus IX from Bach's Ars fuga.

    You've all heard it, I'm sure. I think it was the Swingle Singers or somebody who did some (cough, jive-ass, cough) version of it.

    So, yeah, anyway, whatever. If you haven't heard it performed on a modern piano, I'd recommend finding the Glenn Gould version on youtube or wikipedia or whatever. Whatever one's opinions about Gould as a musician, it's still only a fugue, and he's good at it, as long as it doesn't involve too many creative decisions.

    So, anyway, I've been playing this (well, playing "at" it — I probably have about the first half or 69-70 bars down in memory.

    Thing is, let's look at the entry of the subject in Bb in bar 35 of my edition. Here begins, very obviously, with the top two fingers of the RH stating the "Art of Fugue" theme.

    Over the course of....seven bars.

    This is not the theme of this fugue, it's the main theme of all the fugues in this collection.

    No, it cannot be done, even on a modern piano, to have the sustaining notes in the treble ring out while at the same time the other...well, in these few bars, there are only two other voices playing. Sort of.

    Anyway, that gives me a somewhat clear indication of what the tempo of the piece is supposed to be. Namely, breathtakingly fast. Which is fine: after all, you wouldn't be playing this if somehow you couldn't do some stuff in either hand.

    But also to what extent the ornamentation of this fugue's subject should be performed.

    To my mind, playing the trill in the LH obscures the clarity of the longer, sustained notes in the very treble voice.

    Normally, I prefer the subject to be fully ornamented with the trill, in whatever voice, but I think the lesson is that in some places one has to carefully decide when to not have the thundering bass or baritone voices overpower the music in the weaker registers.

    On the piano, of course. I'm not talking about someone doing the big Queen of the Night aria "Die holle Räche" or however it's spelled. Strictly on the piano keyboard.

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    I did have a chance just now to hear the classic "Bud on Bach" yet again. I'm sure it's on wikipedia or youtube or those things.

    Yes, that was the only reason I learned the little CPE Bach "Solfeggio" or "Solfeggietto" or whatever you want to call it. Pretty clever exploitation of the keyboard, and some nice tricks.

    But, what caught my ear this time is that Bud really can do it all, solo piano, or combo, or whatever. His approach never seemed to depend on others.

    I mean, just anchor the LH and he doesn't matter if he's doing some ostinato Latin shit like "Un poco loco" or just straight bebop.

    Man just delivers.

    That's what I said.

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    Yeah, well, I should have done a thing for Art Neville's recent demise.

    It's not a blog, anyway.

    But, aside from his work with (AFAIK) the heart and soul of The Meters, and any number of classic records where he played, produced, and just was a part of, New Orleans records, I mean, I think anybody with a good record collection, a pulse on the times, and a good heart should remember all those recordings he "magically" produced on quarter-inch tape from out of his tape deck. Going back to the olden days.

    You wouldn't have a lot of anything except nothing were it not for AN, and that's not even talking about his great keyboard work in front of the mic, and whatever he made happen in the room.

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    Well, shit.

    I don't know if it was Delaney Bramlett on the acoustic piano or who of many it might have been, but that was the kind of stuff I was playing in my early twenties in peoples' kitchens and stuff and just doing.

    Real solid, real solid blues-rock piano. At least off the Vanishing Point score.

    Chuck Leavell-level stuff.

    Real solid.

    I'd have a bad time keeping up with that feel now — real steady rock and blues.

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    Oh, in case anyone forgot:

    Batman got on my nerves
    He was running me amok
    He ridiculed me calling me a bum

    I wupped Batman's ass

    Batman thought he was bad
    He was a fucking asshole in the first place.
    He got knocked to the floor.

    I wupped Batman's ass

    Batman beat the hell out of me and knocked me to the floor.
    I got back up and knocked him to the floor.
    He was being such a jagoff.

    I wupped Batman's ass
    https://youtu.be/k8gHubY94rA

    That is correct.

    Batman is a fucking asshole.

    It's too bad WW is no longer with us: he might have had some good critiques of Aquaman and all of that stupid assholes running around in their Games of Thrones.

    They are all fucking assholes in the first place.

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    Oh. Well, probably not too interesting, but I did do some metronome "work" with Wesley Willis's "Suck My Dog's Dick" and "I Wupped Batman's Ass."

    Actually, that was not very interesting, musically, although I did enjoy hearing WW's lyric....originality once more.

    So, I forgot what the MMs were, because I put on the Glenn Gould recording of the 9th Contrapunctus from the Ars fuga (no, don't even ask why they call it that....just, like, tradition or something).

    I did find that one of the ways GG kept the strands of this rather long fugue, with a very long set of episodes, is that he seemed to increase the tempo, which he, correctly, in my view, already started at a nice, brisk pace.

    SO, what I was coming in to say was that I heard two cuts off an album I hadn't heard in a dog's age. Barry Harris and his little band of renown (it's a trio date).

    One tune I'm always crazy about and enjoy playing myself is called "I'll Remember April." I'm sure you'd recognize it.

    I was shocked at how slack the rhythm was. Yeah, they did the "A" sections in a kind of "latin-ish" thing, but, and don't take my word for it, but I was just putting my Bic lighter against my glass desk and just first, giving the upbeats, then just the downbeat, then trying to use the metal part of the lighter to do a clave thing.

    I don't know what they were doing.

    But, from the same album, "Night In Tunisia," yeah, that's not really supposed to be some kind of authentic "exotic" rhythm. There they acquited themselves, and even inspired me to walk the fifteen feet to my piano and play along in the Bud Powell style.

    One thing I noticed, and this surprised me: so I was just playing along to the record, as one does, and I was trying to do that classic Bud Powell LH comp, where he'll stay in octaves in LH and for the dominant chord just use the #11.

    Shit, I mean I was just happy to cop the groove and comp chords, but on this cut, Barry Harris didn't play much more than my efforts at RH soloing.

    That surprised me, given how much of a soloist's paradise this tune is, not just for Bud, but for everybody else, like, obviously Lee Morgan, and stuff.

    I conclude BH just wasn't having a great day at the studio, nor were his bandmates.

    Only way I can explain it.

  34. #234
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    I'm mildly both outraged and impressed by my acumen, whenever I made these vinyl/CD-->cassette tapes.

    Yeah, so I've been playing the Kenny Drew Trio and Talking' and Walkin', for a long time, until I decided I couldn't have anymore of it.

    So I found an old tape I made of one of the Hampton Hawes "All Night Sessions" with Jimmy Hall on guitar, b/w "Workin'" from the Miles Davis 5tet from like 1957 or whatever.

    Yeah, I already knew was that I didn't want to hear Miles bleating all over "In Your Own Sweet Way" and all that, but I knew "Ahmad's Blues" and stuff would make up for that.

    I knew what the HH album was about and I still dig it. Jim Hall is fucking fierce on this one, and HH isn't too far behind. Haven't heard that in ages. Still have the vinyl right on my shelf.

    What I didn't realize is that I (*past me*) had padded out each side with cuts from that ... well, one of the first ... album of Horace, the one with the blue color photograph, where he does "Opus de Funk" anfd "The Preacher."

    Man, I almost want to get down on myself, for having had that prescience decades ago.

    THAT is some timeless music. Perfect execution of a new idea.

    Why didn't I just transfer more of Horace's albums?

    I don't know: to me, at the time, I already had the CDs, as I still do, and I thought cassette ttapes were just something fun to walk around in wearing headphones, or do some goofy mix tapes for friends.

  35. #235
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    I don't know if many of you are aware of, say, over the past decade or more, a pretty large portion of unmixed tracks from popular music.

    I don't know where they come from — obviously, studio vaults.

    So, you can hear Stevie Wonder just playing the Clavinet (electric harpsichord) parts to "Superstition," or Nicky Hopkins' piano tracks to "Sympathy For The Devil" and all kinds of stuff.

    They used to be available pretty freely if you knew who to ask or hung out at the right music performers' boards.

    Now it seems that it's much more effort to find these tracks. I somewhat blame people using Youtube for hosting.

    However, I don't see the harm in a monetary sense of sharing some of these, in bootleg fashion: certainly nobody's going to buy an album of these, nor would they be released.

    Oh well. It's certainly private property and I don't pretend to have any right to hear the tracks.

    I will say that after hearing at a bar "Sympathy For The Devil," I'd never paid attention to the pretty imaginative way the piano part kept varying the higher-register rock and roll bits.

    Here's a sample of an isolated track of Nicky Hopkins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0dN8Hh2lW4 Probably some kind of rehearsal.

    Here's one with piano and Keith's guitar solo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26Lz...ature=youtu.be Piano and guitar overdubs were put on a single track, I believe.

    Not that Ian Stewart couldn't have played it, but I somewhat suspected it was Hopkins lwhen listening to the original mixed and mastered track.

    Very nice. So, I guess I have another three-chord tune I know how to play, which is nice. ETA, OK, actually four chords!
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 28 Oct 2019 at 01:14 AM.

  36. #236
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    So, background, I'm down to a cassette player in my car: the CD cleaning disc is...I don't know. Not 100% working. So I finally grabbed my "Dr. John Teaches New Orleans Piano and the Roots of Rock and Roll" five cassette set from my young teenage years.

    Yeah, I have a bunch of other cassettes, but that's what I've been listening to lately.

    By now, one would think, I'd learned everything off those, but there are some subtleties I missed back then in the Doctor's performances, and I find it amusing.

    SO just at home I put on the CD player Mac's album The Brightest Smile In Town.

    There too, even though I thought I'd learned most of those tunes way back when off the disc, there are some subtleties.

    The main lesson is that, even though I can jump on the piano and play along, it just plain doesn't work with two pianos at once.

    This is probably the main inspiration to reorganize my music room (well, technically, it's the entire front room of my place, but I need a lot of space for scores, instruments, and speakers).

    Take the medley on the above mentioned album, from "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" to "Didn't He Ramble" — yes, I know those tunes and play them in the doctorated style of the night tripper, but it just doesn't work to have two full-sounding piano styles at the same time.

    So, if I got off my ass and rearranged my keys, I could just jump on Hammond organ and still play along.

    OH, yes, I don't know if everybody would hear this — at age fourteen or whatever, I didn't, since I was just getting the rough outlines and the feel down — but Mac has really got some very subtle work on chord changes and substitutions going on.

    I thought I knew most of his tricks, but he's doing quite a lot, like inner voice motion and voice leading.

    ETA Oh, I forgot a related thought inspired by the same recordings. Yes, the NOLA style generally is pretty relaxed, at least when it comes to improvising in the RH (and the LH coming up to make some of the voicings), but I'm now reconciled that I should do more metronome work.

    It's too great a temptation to let the tempo lag: maybe it's Mac's excellence at boogie or medium-up tunes, but no matter how he's improvising, he's definitely not playing in some kind of syrupy molasses-slow.

    I guess I knew that, but it's easy to forget now that I'm not doing jobs out with a (good!) drummer. Something for me to keep an ear on, so I don't get lazy and eksetera.

    Now, my time is good — if I drop a beat, I always pick it back up in the next bar or even two, even just solo, and I don't think I slow down or speed up unless I want to — but I just need to remind myself what a good tempo is, so as to not get lazy and down in the mud.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 15 Nov 2019 at 10:19 PM. Reason: ETA tempo and reference click

  37. #237
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    Pete Johnson, "Lone Star Blues" from 1939.

    Fucking proto-rock and roll.

    I'm such a smart guy, or just a lucky sumbitch, to have bought the Chronological Classics CDs of people like Pete Johnson and so many others when I was younger and had more disposable income, as well as having been in environments which made their acquisition no harder than walking down the street.

    Yeah, well, whatever. You're not going to find that shit on Netflix or whatever. If it's on Youtube, it shouldn't be, without recompense: I can't remember the main stick's name behind Chronological Classics, but they busted ass to do those transfers and remaster the recordings.

    There used to be a time not too long ago when any musician who mattered in rock and roll and its descendants was very familiar with that marque.

    Apparently fifteen years is a long time for little kids. Hint: it is not a long time.

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    Yeah, I know, The Last Waltz and "Happy Thanksgiving!!!!" and all that.

    But, what I'm finding good at this moment is the new (to me) "bonus CD tracks" from Led Zeppelin's album Led Zeppelin II. No, I don't know what the official title of the album is, it's just....well, everyone knows the album backwards and forwards.

    So, run down to your local CD and record shop and buy the reissue with the extra disc of backing tracks and rough mixes.

    It was always hard to underestimate Bonham's drum sound on the final mixes, as well as Plant's vocals, but there are quite a few details that are obscured by those two's prominence in the final mixes.

    For one, Bonham's stability and ability as a drummer. I don't think there can be any question he wasn't just a big voice with big microphones and a sympathetic mix engineer. He could have done anything. Some joke of a bloated prog-rock drummer can play a thirty-bar form down and everyone licks his balls, but people underestimate the real people, always.

    If anything, JPJ was dragging the beat on bass. Not crazy about his organ playing, but he did better than I have in just punching in and adding some things.

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    Heh.

    Yeah, I was rewatching the movie Once Upon A Time in Hollywood and I guess it was some dude named José Feliciano who covered the tune "California Dreamin'."

    Well, that's what they say anyway.

    I thoroughly enjoyed playing along to the movie: unless my ears are deaf, that's just C# minor, with a descending pattern leading to the V7, and then it gets through some circuitous routes to the relative major, but always back to the tonic minor key.

    Actually, it reminds me of both why I love and detest playing with string players, such as guitarists. In the first place, weird keys like that. No problem. I play in every key, it's fine. In the second place, they can be challenging in a good way, namely creating cute little bits like static harmonies developed over some chromatic lines, or some things not normally associated with the keyboard, like voicing lines in parallel fourths, or fifths for that matter.

    It's all part of the musical bag of tricks, but it's pretty not that often I feel like playing along to a music from a movie or whatever. Well, that's not entirely true: I think I can do the theme from that cartoon Archer and stuff like that.

    But not real music, you know.


    ETA That was stupid. It's a good tune, and I'm glad I learned it, sort of, while the movie was playing. C#m is a good old key. It's a good song, anyway. I'll never be able to remember all the lyrics or whatever, but it's a nice groove.

    Good song.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 11 Jan 2020 at 11:56 PM.

  40. #240
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    Motherfucker.

    Just when I thought I was king shit of playing the blues.

    Motherfucker.

    Just listening to The Atomic Basie again.

    Yeah, everybody knows about the killer piano on "Red Bank," but the second track, "Duet" really knocks me out to this day, and right into "After Supper."

    No better blues piano. Even Ray Charles couldn't have done it.

    ETA You tell me, what is play a blues in "After Supper"! Shit. I mean, sometimes late at night I can get it, but that's a good piano and a good horn.
    Last edited by Jizzelbin; 22 Feb 2020 at 06:20 PM.

  41. #241
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    Quote Originally posted by Jizzelbin View post
    Well, I'm not sure about this bold claim, but I think that the WTC2 in the first brace of couplets (the C major and the C minor preludes and fugues) puts what Bach wrote for the WTC1 to shame.

    No, I don't know how, and I've read the Cm at the keyboard before: the C major was a revelation, although I've read it before at the keyboard. It's not that these are tricky pieces: rather, I think they are better music than their analogs in the WTC1. And, yes, I know about the BWV 870a, which is cute and about whose correspondence to the C maj. prelude I shan't say any more. I believe it's a worthwhile birds-eye view of Bach's idea for the prelude.
    Actually, that's completely fucking wrong.

    OK, the C major from WTCII, point taken.

    But the Cm fugue from WTCII is an order of magnitude more difficult than its counterpart from WTCI.

    The prelude is much better, and it's not that difficult.

    No. The fugue is fucking tricky as hell. More complicated, more voices, just a shit ton more shit going on.

    Not necessarily the notes off the page: it's pretty idiomatic to the keyboard, and you can get it. It's just a lot more complicated than at first glance.

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