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Discussion in 'Tab & Music Forum' started by dogletnoir, Oct 1, 2019.
This 1961 date with Jim Hall on guitar is one of my favourites:
'Dry martini' sound in full effect!
I once asked Bruce Turner, who played sax in the Humphrey Lyttelton band for many years, how Paul Desmond was regarded among British jazz players. He replied that some saxophonists found his tone somewhat "emasculated". At the time, I thought: well, who am I to argue?
Today, I actively disagree. While I freely admit that I have no idea what a Dry Martini should sound like (pre-dinner jazz?), I am absolutely certain that Desmond honed his tone until it matched the one in his head. To my ear, it suits what he plays perfectly, whereas a higher velocity approach would have added a rougher edge. I always hear him in a room, rather than an auditorium, if that makes any sense. It's an intimate sound that draws you in, rather than insisting you pay attention.
I really like that album you posted @dogletnoir.
Thanks, @simoncroft. i think it's pretty awesome.
As for the 'dry martini' thing, i heard tell it was mostly about the comparative absence of vibrato in his sound.
Unlike earlier players such as Sidney Bechet (the master!), Johnny Hodges, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster,
and Lester Young (to name just a few), a lot of the guys who came of age in the 1950s eschewed anything
resembling a wide vibrato.
Lee Konitz and Warne Marsh are another two who exemplify that style of playing... cool and cerebral.
You also get some excellent comping by Billy Bauer on electric guitar and a killer Oscar Pettiford bass solo
on that track.
Back on topic, here's the very first version of Take Five i did this time around:
This was before i decided to use the tune for this month's PMW, so i was just playing it for my own
purposes and not worrying about anything else (like how difficult it might be for others to follow
and play along with because of the way the parts and sections align).
i wanted to see what it would sound like with a more contemporary approach, so i used a trap beat
and worked everything else around that.
Oh joy! My Focusrite Saffire interface seems to be faulty now. It's been a bit erratic for a few weeks, but I've always got it working somehow. Now the LEDs on the front either all light ups like a Christmas tree, or don't come on at all – and that's even if the computer is off. Looks like back to Focusrite for a service. Meanwhile, I've bought a cheaper model, used on ebay. I won't get it until maybe Thursday. Until then, I can still practice using the computer's headphone socket.
I doubt the jazz greats of the 1950s were too troubled by such issues.
No, just if the amp worked...did we erase the good take...that sort of thing.
which still plague us today....
Believe me, there is no danger of me erasing "the good take".
All I can say is that I'm glad I'm not working on tape this morning, there's been enough bad language as it is...
ALERT: RESOURCE MATERIAL POST!!
This is a fairly deep look at the tune.
Apologies for going off-topic, E, but as you share so unstintingly of your knowledge, here's how to 'de brand' an Epi Joe Pass Emperor without making a whole new guard:
1. Remove screws and brackets from guard.
2. Slide thumbnail or pick under raised 'E' logo. Prise it off.
3. Carefully rub out Joe Pass logo using 1000 Grade Wet & Dry paper. (Dry is OK.)
4. Polish out scratches using Brasso cloth.
Although it looks a lot better, it still can't get the tune to Take 5 quite right...
How are you fingering the head?
Thank you for asking, @davidKOS, it's kind of you . I've tried it a number of ways. The less strings I use, the more sax-like the phrasing, but the less efficient it is in terms of "don't make your wrist do the work your fingers could do". I need to cook dinner, but I'll happily notate string/fret position over the score a bit later.
Just a teaser
in the original record he repeats the melody in a different way. He skips a note an pauses for a 16th note I guess, I just can’t get it right. I would appreciate any help
*Ignore my boobs*
Most jazz players will take small liberties with a melody line in terms of both rhythmic placement
and/or pitches during repeats, or even in the initial statement of the main theme.
The B section sounds pretty good, @Omar...
as for the A section, the melody actually begins on the 4th beat of the measure;
this is what's often called a 'pick-up' (starting before the 1 count).
You're playing it starting on the 1, which puts it a little out of phase both rhythmically and harmonically.
Count 1, 2, 3 and then start playing the first set of notes.
1 2 3 ba da da da / Da da da da Dum, dum dum daa / deedley dum daa etc...
i hope that makes sense the way i've written it out, LOL.
I think I'm sorted, thanks. The basic problem was inadequate practice (tinnitus is really bad at the moment, so it's hard to get motivated sometimes), plus I hadn't really thought through the count-in to the melody. So I was starting out wrong, then getting flustered. Fingering-wise, I'm basically following the scheme @dogletnoir explained at the start.
I'll get it. It just takes me longer to learn than I'd like. I can be on it one day, then it's "what did I do?" the next.
As i said in the first post it's really quite a tricky line to play correctly and fluidly,
especially in the B section.
i use a technique of visualizing the notes at the start of each little phrase as 'targets'
as i move the patterns up and down the various string pairs.
Now, i normally play Take Five in D minor just because i like the way it sounds on the guitar
resonance-wise, and i believe Trap Five was recorded like that.
However, for the sake of keeping things consistent with standard practice, i thought it would be
best to present the tune in its usual 'Real Book' iteration for the Workshop.
Little did i know that my well oiled position shifts would take a rude hit when i had to move them
all up a half step, LOL.
My first 'quick and dirty' solution was not to use a capo.
Instead, i simply retuned my guitar to F Bb Eb Ab C F and played it with my usual fingerings for
the first straight time version. Pretty slick, eh?
(Maybe not, but it was quicker than digging up a capo. i do own one, but it only gets used for setups.)
My sense of ethics was somewhat triggered by this, though.
i felt it was only fair that i too should be challenged by the gauntlet i had thrown down, so i proceeded
to relearn all of the fingerings in standard tuning, and in the 'proper' key of Eb minor.
So, why all this talk of this and that?
Simply because in the end, relearning the piece was really only a matter of shifting the 'target' notes
up a half step while keeping the fingering patterns consistent in this case.
Consistency really is the key; especially on string instruments, it's really all about moving patterns around
(although this shouldn't be dictating how and what you play in a musical sense, but rather used in the service of that).
i'm sure glad i didn't have to do a half step key shift on my clarinet; that would have involved a LOT more work
in relearning fingerings!
I use all 4 fingers in one position to play the head.
Bb on string 4 fret 8
Eb on string 3 fret 8, both w/ finger 1
Gb on string 3 fret 11 fringer 4
F on string 3 fret 10
Ab string 2 fret 9 finger 2
A natural string 2 fret 10 finger 3
Bb string 2 fret 11 finger 4
The Db's are string 4 fret 11
The low Ab's you have to decide on what to do! I use string 4 and slide between the Bb and Ab. Most of the time.
I hope I typed this correctly.
Thank you E!
Yes, it makes sense I just listened to the original record and then to my take, starting on the 1 makes it sound awful. I'll play along with your take as to practice when to start and stop.