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grant green
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peckerwood



Joined: 09 Dec 2008
Posts: 44
Location: vancouver, WA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 29, 2008 11:14 pm    Post subject: grant green Reply with quote

my band is doing a cover of grant green's "windjammer" and can't get the tune out of my head! i'd never listened to much anything by him but i didn't know how he rated among a jazz guitar audience. he's pretty diatonic and doesn't do anything real "outside" as far as i've heard, but his phrasing is beautiful if nothing else. "betcha golly wow" is a fantastic track as well, i don't know if it would categorize as smooth jazz or what but i love it.

anyone else picking up what i'm laying down? Very Happy
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surfrider



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smooth jazz wasn't even invented during Green's time. I have always been a fan because he plays the tunes straight away with nothing fancy. Give a listen to his standards album. It has a lot to say as far as playing well inside the changes. He is not fast and has a much different tone from his contemporaries. Smooth jazz. . . definitely not.

surf's up!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wink
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Alexo66



Joined: 08 Mar 2008
Posts: 97
Location: South Wales, UK

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice to see a thread here about Grant. He is my man!!

Grant Green was the first jazz guitarist I properly got in to. I agree with you about the whole inside thing, he doesn't pay much outside stuff and he was deeply rooted in the blues. It's still hard bop though as far as I'm concerned. But in the early '70's he tried very hard to gain the commercial success he deserved and thus disappointed a lot of his fans by playing lots of pop tunes and funk. Many thought his improvisations were worse in the context of this 'pop' music, and to some extent they're right. I love it all though.

If anyone is just getting into GG, they NEED to check out (in my opinion):

- Standards
- Idle Moments
- The Latin Bit
- The Complete Quartets With Sonny Clark [Double-Disc]


Unfortunately overlooked, but brilliant.

Alex
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peckerwood



Joined: 09 Dec 2008
Posts: 44
Location: vancouver, WA

PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

right on, i'll keep digging for his other stuff. yea, i'm listening to his CD "live at the lighthouse" which sounds like it fits the description of his poppier stuff. but, i am playing this tune for my band which does alot of funk and stuff like that so it fits.

i find myself playing more "outside" while jamming to this CD and it seems odd to me that he didn't do more of that on these tunes. whatevah.
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ingeneri



Joined: 03 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 30, 2008 12:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote



Last edited by ingeneri on Tue May 18, 2010 3:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jazzbojesus



Joined: 03 Dec 2008
Posts: 28

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

He had what I call the two "T's" - taste and tone. Man, what a great tone.



I have all his stuff on Blue Note and some other CDs like "Iron City." He had an amazing blues feel, which I think helped get him through any jazz situation.


His version of "Round Midnight" to me if the definitive guitar version. I think he nailed exactly what Monk had in mind when he wrote the tune. I never get tired of listening to his version. So souful!

He also had a great sense of rhythm in his single lines, and raised repeativeness to high art.

What is really interesting is that Green didn't really play a lot of chords and stuck to mainly single notes. But you could always, and I mean always, hear the chords clearly outlined, even when it was just him, bass and drums.


He had the uncanny knack of playing the exact perfect note at the exact perfect time. Although he frequently repeated licks and such, they never got old, because they had that blues thing happening.


He could fit in any situation, from playing with Elvin Jones and Larry Young to Latin and even hymns. All those Blue Note albums are supreme, there's not a lemon among them.

Those soul jazz and funk vamp records in the late '60s and '70s are just killer. Sophisticated simplicity married with a strong sense of swing, all rooted in funky blues. Man, I LOVE those records.


It just didn't get any better than Grant Green, and he's one of my all-time favorite players. I always make sure my students listen to some Green and tell them, "Now, this is great guitar playing."
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greentone



Joined: 31 May 2008
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jazzbojesus wrote:
He had what I call the two "T's" - taste and tone. Man, what a great tone.

It just didn't get any better than Grant Green, and he's one of my all-time favorite players. I always make sure my students listen to some Green and tell them, "Now, this is great guitar playing."


AMEN! It's worth noting that other musicians--horn players, pianists, etc.--preferred to play with Grant Green over other guitarists. I'd add a third "T" to Jazzbojesus' list to explain why: taste, tone, and time.
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Jake Hanlon



Joined: 11 Jul 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I make my students listen to "it Ain't Nessesarily So" from the complete Clarke recordings so that they can hear a few things.

1 . Repetition (also get them to listen to the My Favorite things solo)_
2 . Intention!

Grant meant everything he played with a lot of energy and passion. he didn't have lots of chops, didn't have a huge vocabulary and didn't play a lot of chords. But his fire and energy made it work, not to mention swinging real hard and being able to really get deep into the tunes. Lots of people like Grants tone, I don't like it very much, but it works for him and that is all that matters. he had a great sound for what he was doing on the instrument, plus didn't really sound like anyone else did at the time. You hear his influence all over the place, especially anything soul jazz.

As far as smooth jazz, his funky stuff wasn't smooth enough to be smooth jazz. Smooth jazz as a term to define a style might not have been around but there was Smooth Jazz in the 60's more notably Montgomery's pop albums in the last 2 years of his life, while still musical it was music made with the intention of main stream attention and making money, not art. Not all Smooth jazz is crap either, there are plenty of outstanding players who play smooth jazz... ie Ron Carter... look at his discography as a side man in the 70's and 80's.... smoooooooooth
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peckerwood



Joined: 09 Dec 2008
Posts: 44
Location: vancouver, WA

PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2008 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yea, players like grant green really appeal to me in a jazz sense, for a number of reasons:

i kinda split my playing between fast showboating crap a la malmsteen and stuff like that, so i play wicked fast enough of the time.

jazz for me is a chance to really THINK instead of let my fingers lead my brain. i'd rather play changes with tenacity and feeling than be able to fleetly finger bird solos and have a huge jazz vocab.

of course, both would be nice Wink
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Jazzbojesus



Joined: 03 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 04, 2009 12:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jake Hanlon wrote:
I make my students listen to "it Ain't Nessesarily So" from the complete Clarke recordings so that they can hear a few things.

1 . Repetition (also get them to listen to the My Favorite things solo)_
2 . Intention!



I LOVE what Green does on that. It's such a joyous and infectious track. If you listen carefully, you can hear Art Blakey yelling in the background, egging Green on.


That would be a beautiful lesson indeed to show students the value of building tension and suspense in a solo.


Using simple, funky phrases, Green ratchets up the tension with each passing chorus. His solo sounds spontaneous and has an inner logic at the same time.


What's really interesting is that Green starts out playing more sophisticated lines and gradually begins paring off notes, casting aside the extras and going for a bare-boned blues feel as each chorus progresses. And it works.


Actually, that track rocks! I think of it as Green's "Angus Young" moment!

The common link - the blues.
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jamester



Joined: 14 Jun 2008
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Location: Baltimore, MD

PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 5:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll be the odd man out and say I've never "gotten" Green. Yeah, he's pretty tasty because his playing is so minimal and simplistic...ok, but considering his extremely limited vocabulary and emphasis on repetition over motivic development, frankly I don't think i'll ever understand why he's made it onto the (relatively) short list of jazz guitar greats.

I'll have to dig out Solid and give it another go...
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Jazzbojesus



Joined: 03 Dec 2008
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's never a bad idea to give a player you didn't care for in the past another listen.


For me, it's his genuine flair for the blues that really gets to me. Not all players, even great ones, can have a natural flair for blues. And I've always thought the best jazz has some affinity with the blues.


When it comes right down to it, you can have all the chops in the world, all the devices too, but if you can't feel it, the listener probably won't either. Motivic development works great for some players (Sonny Rollins), and those guys usually have a ton of chops. But repetition also can be a great device for creating tension and release.

And to my ears Grant had that funky thing happening and an ability to connect through it. A lot of modern jazz guitar cats have lost touch with that in their struggles to become better technicians and such.

Grant also had a genuine personal "sound" and vocabulary. I like that aspect of a player's personality being so up front. For example, Count Basie could play three notes and you could immediately recognize who it is. Basie's sparse playing and so-called limited ability became an advantage, a signature that he used to put a personal stamp on the music.

Once upon a time I hated Oscar Peterson's playing. It just struck me as a lot of notes and chops. Recently I decided to give him another listen and found that I really liked some of his stuff, especially with Barney Kessel.

The lesson for me is that it's all just how you feel about a certain music at a certain place in your life. Sometimes you can listen with fresh ears and get a new perspective.
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dewey decibel



Joined: 15 Feb 2006
Posts: 1677

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jamester wrote:
I'll be the odd man out and say I've never "gotten" Green. Yeah, he's pretty tasty because his playing is so minimal and simplistic...ok, but considering his extremely limited vocabulary and emphasis on repetition over motivic development, frankly I don't think i'll ever understand why he's made it onto the (relatively) short list of jazz guitar greats.

I'll have to dig out Solid and give it another go...



Don't sweat it- I don't dig half the players other guys love.
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surfrider



Joined: 04 Jun 2005
Posts: 342
Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I would have to say that Grant Green is not in my top five, however, I always look at a musician's or artist's work in its proper context and I do like Green. If I had to think about which guitarists really influence me it would be more towards Pat Martino, Freddie Green, Pat Metheny, Jim Hall, and Wes. But again, the context of their playing should be considered.

Surf's up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Gorecki
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Joined: 06 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wasn't a GG fan until someone told me to get 'Born to be Blue', 'Matador' and the one that put me over the top 'Solid'.

Now he's part of my regular playlist rotation. Wink
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