Sunday, September 9, 2012

Freddie Hubbard Oscar Peterson 01 All Blues - YouTube

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Freddie Hubbard Oscar Peterson 01 All Blues - YouTube:

I recently read on an online music forum a conversation regarding the use of speed in an improviser's playing and it seems that there is an element of the audience that is loud and absolutist in their opinion that the capacity to play fast is merely cold technique executed by soul-less show off egotist. There might be something to that idea--too many musicians learn to play with it only in mind to take solos like they were Rambo blow torching a sniper's perch--but these guys, virtuosos all, play fast and furious but most of all swing at all times. 

They do not sound like they are going berserk; their phrases weave and cascade, and build a new section of their solos with quotes and paraphrase of what has gone before. This is the swinging, uplifting acceleration of musicians who happen to be interested in being musical.One can , and several thousand goosed up guitar goons insist upon pointing out that the expansive likes of a Malmsteen is able to  play guitar consistently faster note flurries against stupidly unplayable time time signatures, making those remarks with the implication that Malmsteen's bloviated ersatz fretwork is superior to what Joe Pass could do. 

Speed in itself, though, "does" nothing"; it is merely a result of   concentration in how one practices their craft, it is a facility that pays dividends for the listener only when there is something of melodic and tonal interest involved in the mix. Indeed, the melody is the motivation for how  amazing the soloing will be in a what we think of being the traditional jazz combo, bass, piano, drums, horn, guitar . Rock and roll guitarists of the virtuoso stripe are less musicians in the strictest sense than they are  quick wristed imbeciles. 

Take away the amplification and the effects and you wind up more often than not with another drop out who hasn't finished his studies on the instrument. And put any of these fellas against the likes of  Freddie Hubbard  or John Coltrane , with the emphasis being to discover which set of stylists, rock vs jazzbos, achieve the speed only God can hear, my guess, a safe one, is that FB and JC would leave the angry fretsterbators cringing in their cribs, humiliated,  crying for their mothers.

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