Rock vs Jazz.

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by Tag, Mar 10, 2018.


  1. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    Not on here. Not sure why. Great guy and player. I miss Scott. Talk to him on FB now and then. I have to give him a call.
     
  2. Tag

    Tag Gold Supporting Member

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    I think Off Ramp is a lot of rock. Thats still my fave album of his. I wore it right out.
     
  3. Bluesful

    Bluesful Supporting Member

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    I remember coming across some Dumble clips that turned out to be him playing. I think he was playing over Steely Dan backing tracks.

    Really great playing.
     
  4. kimock

    kimock Member

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    He got Fareed, that tells you something.
     
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  5. kunos

    kunos Member

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    At the end it can all simplified down to a simple concept:

    It doesn't matter how much technical ability and knowledge you've acquired, once you are removed from a music style you actually listen to, you'll be struggling.

    I don't listen to jazz, even if I knew how to follow the changes and what scales to play I'd still be missing the vocabulary.. my mind will try to recall the few "jazz" stuff I've listen to in my life.. but it won't be much, the entire intention and attitude and approach would be either wrong or very limited, perhaps I could still fool some occasional listener but a real jazz afecionado would see right through it.

    Same thing will happen to any musician asked to perform in a context they don't really know or understand.. they will feel out of place and this has nothing to do with skills, it really comes down to lack of exposure.

    A lot of videos have been posted here as an answer to "let's see a jazz cat that can do rock" and they all sound incredibly awkward to somebody that REALLY listens to rock but yet... they sound acceptable to people with less exposure to rock, so acceptable they are use as a "proof". It's like.. hey, they are "rock" enough for me.. which is the reason in the first place why a band would hire somebody like Holdsworth to play guitar for them in a pop context.. they WANT that exotic spice in it, they don't really want the rock experience, if you want the rock you'll hire Lukather, Schon or today PhilX or Thorn.

    Rock, jazz... it's really a different sport, it goes from having 3-5 mins to make your point in a super rich harmonic background to a loud place where your 8 bars are coming and that's your time to make a difference over 2-3 chords people have been listening for the last 50 years before you're back banging power chords out, it's not really comparable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  6. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    I love this track from start to finish. Sounds kinda futuristic? Pats solo is great:

    If I wanted to hear actual rock guitars I'd put on Eddie Cochran or something.
     
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  7. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    Wtf? Since when is Eddie Cochran rock? I mean, given nowadays rock "standards"?
     
  8. Davy

    Davy Supporting Member

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    Yep, I know that's OK, I'm a grown ass man ;) Of course I obviously don't "get it" but I also don't feel like working at it just to "get" a genre I really don't enjoy. There's already more music out there that I do enjoy than I'll ever have time to listen to.

    I have a friend who, many, many years ago now, wanted to play guitar. He decided to take lessons with a relatively well known jazz guitarist for the flawed reason Tag puts forth here, "they're the best". Of course he never ever listened to jazz and didn't even particularly like it but he was insistent that they were the "best" players and that if he learned jazz then he'd play anything. After plugging away for several years he never made any real progress on the guitar, it was all just too much for him. Now, you could definitely argue that the teacher was wrong for him but IMO he'd have been far better served learning a few cowboy chords to begin with and some simple songs he actually enjoyed. No matter how good jazz guitarists may be, if the genre doesn't connect with you it seems pointless to try and force it just because some people believe it's the pinnacle of music. In reverse, it's possibly why you don't see many jazz guys trying to play hard rock. They may simply not like it. That's ok though :)
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
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  9. Davy

    Davy Supporting Member

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    Lol, that possibly points to the age of @guitarjazz. And that's the kind of "rock" music that Bill Evans was no doubt talking about in the thread starter. I doubt very much that he was referring to Vai, Govan etc. He may have had a very different opinion of them.
     
  10. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    Sting wants them for what their good at. To add that jazz flavour (or something rather closely related) and their very own distinct qualities to his music. Same reason why Dominic Miller (not a jazzer but someone with rather deep classical roots) is his guitar player of choice - because he's adding a flavour of his own.
    Hasn't got anything to do with jazz players being "better" or what not.
     
  11. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    Well, Vai and Govan aren't exactly "rock" to me, either, at least not when it comes to their original music. They're using parts of the rock idiom to get their "art/artistic music" (in lack of better words) message through.
    For real, actual rock that is not located in the heavy, grunting or instrumental wanking realm, I recommend all jazzers to check out, say, the Foo Fighters. And I would probably give my left testicle to see Bill Evans perform with them. Or Sanborn - because fusion jazz noodling certainly is what that kind of music needs.
     
  12. PB+J

    PB+J Silver Supporting Member

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    Jazz is way harder. But that doesn't mean a jazz player can be a good rock player. Playing well in any genre requires commitment and experience and also familiarity with the "voice" of the genre. A good musician has good time and taste.
     
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  13. Davy

    Davy Supporting Member

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    Yeah, the definition is definitely kind of fluid depending on who you ask. To me, Vai is rock for sure though he goes beyond it and Guthrie plays plenty of rock though his solo stuff again often goes way beyond that. The Foos are more punk based than straight rock IMO but everyone is going to have their own take.
     
  14. kimock

    kimock Member

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    Quinn, I’m a dear friend of Fareed’s and we’ve played together under all kinds of circumstances, but when it’s time to get off the page in the direction of “rock” he looks to me, because I live there.
    I sure as sh*t know when to pass the ball, but so does he.
    He’s an awesome musician, and a truly wonderful human being, but he knows what he knows and he knows what he doesn’t know.
    As a practical matter of two guitar application it’s “good cop, bad cop” and at a certain level you know immediately who’s Kung Fu is best and things go back and forth very naturally.

    Sometimes I’m the jazz guy and sometimes I’m the rock guy depending on who else is playing, same deal with Fareed with other guitar players. “I’ll handle this bag, you handle that bag”.
    It’s not a binary of mutually exclusive thing when you get down to making music onstage with another guitar player in “Jazz vs Rock” terms.
    It’s more like “oh that’s hip, do that” coming from both players.

    First and second solos, intro’s and outro’s, interior changes vs space, end of the set energy, stuff like that. It naturally falls out to different bags if they’re available, and those judgements are usually pretty obvious.

    Fareed’s absolutely ridiculous but he’s not a rock n roll guitar player.
    You know what I mean?
    He couldn’t care less about that bag as “music” , he’s a f*cking professor. .

    But he knows when it’s appropriate energy as a player and he defaults to that energy when it’s the right thing to do.
    Right? Onstage, when the whole thing has to look good, the rock vs jazz issue sorts itself out no problem, and Fareed does his best at “other than rock” and I can guarantee you he knows that.
    But yeah, check that cat out if you’re not hip, he’s special.
     
  15. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    Punk? Nah, not really. They're borrowing elements, but their entire stuff is arranged pretty cleanly/elaborated and the playing is extremely disciplined - not exactly punk-ish attitudes. And let's not even talk about their songwriting (which, IMO of course, is just great). You don't get "February Stars" from punk acts.
     
  16. Davy

    Davy Supporting Member

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    We'll have to disagree a little then. Dave Grohl and Pat Smear grew up on punk and it's in their DNA. It shines through on their music IMO though I don't disagree they're far more polished. Much of their music wouldn't necessarily get called punk but the attitude is there for sure IMO. Love me some Foos :)

    MTV News asks Dave Grohl "What is 'Punk Rock'?"
     
  17. Sascha Franck

    Sascha Franck Member

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    I don't even exactly disagree with that, but IMO they have "evolved", "matured" or whatever you may call it, so there's still quite some traces left while the music itself certainly couldn't be called punk (apart from a handful of tunes maybe). And yes, love them too. Great folks as it seems, funny and all that, down to earth as well and incredible live performers. Gonna see them for the second time this summer, first time around 3 years ago was just incredible, 3.5 hours of a full blast.
    And I'd still like to see any genuine jazzer to perform with them. Benson would certainly rock the arena - harrrrr (of course, chances are that Grohl would enjoy to play a set with Benson, but it'd certainly not be a typical Foo Fighters set).
     
  18. Davy

    Davy Supporting Member

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    I'm lucky enough to have seen them several times over the years and every time they've given the crowd absolutely 100%. They always seem to bring their A game for their fans. God knows where Dave Grohl gets the energy. I'm about the same age as Dave and I get tired just watching him :)
     
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  19. biffoz

    biffoz Member

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    Haha, that might just be me! Pursuing a personal vision can be lonely, unrewarding financially, and misunderstood, but I'm sticking to my guns for now. I also love music that grooves, with chordal complexity and will certainly wander back into that territory at some point.

    That's also why you don't hear a lot of Fred Frith and Derek Bailey on the radio, right? Despite that reality, those dudes and many others committed themselves to paths that any A&R guy would strongly advise against. I'd be horribly sad to not have Henry Cow, Sonny Sharrock, or Stockhausen in my music library.

    Here's a fairly recent duo collaboration with Chris Muir, which was pretty satisfying—it's still a mess, but it's our mess. I even play some tweaked Chuck Berry. Rock or Jazz? We're too damned old to care—we just want to do more before we die—sessions booked later this month.



    @kimock: I had the pleasure to see a Kaiser-Haque show in Santa Cruz way, way back and would love to hear him again, especially with you onboard. I've also been digging a recording of your recent Love Supreme show with Henry at the Sweetwater. Anyway, I hope to hear you again live, sooner than later.
     
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  20. JonR

    JonR Member

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    If you enjoy it, that's all that matters. Music is recreation, as well as art.
    If you can persuade other people to like it, so much the better. (You seem to be achieving that too, to some small degree on here at least. ;)
    Ha! I'm also a fan - kind of - of Derek Bailey and Sonny Sharrock, at least. But I wouldn't have them "in my library". To me, that kind of "free jazz" (if I can use a debatable term) makes no sense unless it's live. And I mean live in front of you now, not on a live recording. That's because it's not referring to some piece of music you've heard before, it's referring to nothing but that moment in that place, and maybe to any other musicians present. If you want more, you go to another gig. You don't play a recording of a previous performance. What would be the point of that?

    When it is live it can be the most amazing musical experience. UK avant garde guitarist Billy Jenkins sent the whole thing up with his Big Fight Nights, but it still produced some brilliant, profound music because his musicians were so good.
     

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