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Your favorite JAZZ album?

Trevordog

Member
Messages
3,638
I have tried several times--as recently as last week--to get into Smokin' At The Half Note, and I simply can't understand what all the fuss is about. Can someone explain it to me?
The fuss is that Pat Metheny copied a lot of it in his teens, and amazed everyone at Berklee or UM when he auditioned by playing it for them. Since PM is very popular with some people, they think that was the greatest jazz album ever made. I like a lot of Wes' albums more than that one.
 

Außensaiter

Member
Messages
60


I can't say that this is my all-time favorite Jazz Album, because Jazz is so diverse and it depends on my mood (for example: I love Metheny's "Secret Story" too, which is a totally different beast) but I know that I listen to Green's quartets with Sonny Clark at regular intervals. It's like Metallica's Ride the Lightning in the Metal-Genre. I always come back to it ;)
 

tommyg

Member
Messages
1,408
Impossible to have just one general jazz album.

If we're talking "Jazz guitar" that's hard too, but I'll go with Jimmy Bruno and Joe Beck's collaboration "Polarity".
 

jnovac1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,195
Great choices!
therein lies a tale. in my past working life as a dispensing optician, a lady sits down with me for optical service, and our discussion somehow turns to music. i mentioned that mal waldron record as being a favorite, she proceeds to tell me that she managed mal’s later career in europe and the u.s. WHAT?? we became friends, i played mal’s piano. she showed me a picture of mal composing at that very instrument. other interesting things occurred...
 

Sam Sherry

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,068
I have tried several times--as recently as last week--to get into Smokin' At The Half Note, and I simply can't understand what all the fuss is about. Can someone explain it to me?
Here's the first tune, "No Blues."


Listen to Wes' solo. He starts in single notes, then he starts playing single notes with octave hits. Then he's soloing in octaves. Around 3:00 it's octaves and chords mixed. 3:20 he's soloing in block chords and Kelly leaves him the room by almost completely dropping out. 4:30 he's swapping between soloing in chords and octaves. 5:15, same but the other direction. 5:45, soloing in octaves with chords punches. 6:15 he's out.

Wes' solo is simply a masterpiece. He takes something very, very difficult -- soloing and accompanying yourself -- and plumbs the heights and depths of it, adding layer after layer of challenge, all while working completely in the moment and making it sound easy. The result is something so natural and musical that every single note sounds like the only note for that moment. Underneath that the all-time ace rhythm section is listening at every turn, providing nuanced support but leaving Wes all the room he needs to tell his tale.

The more I work on accompanying myself while soloing the deeper I fall under Wes' spell. Straight-ahead jazz isn't all I listen to, play or write, but if "Smokin' at the Half Note" is spinning when I die I will go out with a smile.
 
Last edited:

Trevordog

Member
Messages
3,638
hjyu
Here's the first tune, "No Blues."


Listen to Wes' solo. He starts in single notes, then he starts playing single notes with octave hits. Then he's soloing in octaves. Around 3:00 it's octaves and chords mixed. 3:20 he's soloing in block chords and Kelly leaves him the room by almost completely dropping out. 4:30 he's swapping between soloing in chords and octaves. 5:15, same but the other direction. 5:45, soloing in octaves with chords punches. 6:15 he's out.

Wes' solo is simply a masterpiece. He takes something very, very difficult -- soloing and accompanying yourself -- and plumbs the heights and depths of it, adding layer after layer of challenge, all while working completely in the moment and making it sound easy. The result is something so natural and musical that every single note sounds like the only note for that moment. Underneath that the all-time ace rhythm section is listening at every turn, providing nuanced support but leaving Wes all the room he needs to tell his tale.

The more I work on accompanying myself while soloing the deeper I fall under Wes' spell. Straight-ahead jazz isn't all I listen to, play or write, but if "Smokin' at the Half Note" is spinning when I die I will go out with a smile.
He used the technique of going from single notes, to single notes with octave hits, to octaves, to octaves with chord hits, to block chords, on many tunes, on many of his albums.
It became a kind of technique of building his solos, like Errol Garner used to do.
 




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