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who was guitar's equivalent of Thelonius Monk?
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aiq



Joined: 17 Mar 2004
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Those hats were not silly... Cool
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Viper



Joined: 04 Oct 2005
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2009 5:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If Monk had had to wear his instrument on a strap around his neck I doubt if he would have been jiving about during other's soli.
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Henryrobinett



Joined: 01 May 2010
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always considered Sco the Monk of guitarists. I think of Monk as quirky, funny, wise, rhythmically and harmonically interesting and not at all conventional. AND the opposite turn on the bop facile, fleet fingered, hyper chops Bird, Bud, Dizzy approach, yet covering same language. I'd say the same things bout Sco, and perhaps Frisell and Ralph Towner. But to me Sco wears the crown.
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cjm



Joined: 16 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Up thread, and some time back, several people said what I would reiterate here: It's really an impossible question to answer -- but there really aren't any guitarists who can be compared to Monk anyway.

In terms of hours spent on the bandstand, I've gigged on the bass much more than with the guitar...even though the guitar is my first love as an instrument...but my first love overall is a jazz combo. The combo is the real instrument to me.

Even though the guitar is my first love as an instrument, the problem with the guitar (in my opinion, of course) and also -- jazz guitarists -- is that the guitar fits into jazz best as a sideman's instrument. And guitarist's don't like that...many would rather go hungry than pick up more paying gigs by playing bass 90% of the time, for example.

Most guitarists focus on the soloist's role to the exclusion of working at, or even caring about, being properly supportive in the group setting, and being able to assume the sideman's role when necessary...

In live performance, or in recordings, most groups led by guitarists come off as a demonstration of the guitar first, and as a jazz performance, second.

And I've never been left with that sort of impression from Monk. It was jazz first -- not a piano recital that happened to be in a jazz style.

Until a guitarist breaks through that barrier to put jazz first (and do it at a master's level), I don't think there will be a guitarist who can be compared to Monk.
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Henryrobinett



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I kind of see your point, but my favorite Scofield recording is the one where he is a sideman to Joe Henderson - So Near, So Far.

I mean it's a silly question in the first place. There's only ONE Monk, and he didn't play guitar.
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Tung



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 5:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cjm wrote:


And I've never been left with that sort of impression from Monk. It was jazz first -- not a piano recital that happened to be in a jazz style.

Until a guitarist breaks through that barrier to put jazz first (and do it at a master's level), I don't think there will be a guitarist who can be compared to Monk.

Even though my vote was for Sco, i have to agree with some of the points you brought up here. Monk has no equilvalent, regardless of instrument or player. I consider him to be one of the most important figure in jazz history, for many reasons.
As far as guitarists, one can only draw a comparison with someone who has the same spirit and musical endeavor as Monk. in this respect, I think Sco can be consider. He has tried to have that same freedom, self expression through improvisation.
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cjm



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 22, 2011 7:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suppose I ought to listen more to John Scofield.. But to be honest, I've never connected to the idiom of fusion well enough to really analyze his approach. Yes, I know Scofield isn't only a fusion player, but that's mostly what I've encountered on his recordings...

So that makes it tough for me to judge.

Still, what I have listened to, gives me the impression that he is a guitar player -- a good one, certainly -- but a guitar player.

Whereas Monk, while yes...nominally a piano player...wasn't really playing the piano so much as he was playing his small combo. The piano was only a component of the greater instrument in Monk's performance.

I'm not certain if that makes sense or not, but it's as close as I can come to explaining it.
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Henryrobinett



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 23, 2011 12:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scofield is much more than just a guitar player. And I don't consider him a fusion guitarist. He's a great writer. I'm not much of a fan of what he's been doing the past several years. But he's a great artist, I think.

Check out Time on My Hands with Joe Lovano, DeJohnette and Charlie Haden under Scofields leadership and the aforementioned Jeff Henderson recordings.
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Ovader



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Allan Holdsworth!
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Henryrobinett



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too heavy in the chops department to be the Monk of the guitar, IMHO!
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Ovader



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

With the quotes I have listed below from earlier in this thread I would say that Holdsworth qualifies since there is no reason to disregard him because of his impressive technical command of the guitar.
greentone wrote:
Hmm? He'd have to have been pretty taciturn. Compositionally, he/she would have had to have changed music, yet his or her compositions would yet be widely utilized. The next generation of musicians would have had to have gone to this cat to seek knowledge, wisdom, and inspiration--a la Coltrane.

In terms of all characteristics, i.e., askew personality (misunderstood), compositions, musical legacy, etc., I'd pick Django Reinhart. Otherwise, I'd pick Charlie Christian, who--working with Monk at Minton's--helped create Bop out of Swing. Christian, who was lionized by the next generation of players (they would flock to him for insights) was a man of very few words. His legacy is indelible.

I'll still go with Reinhart, though.
randalljazz wrote:
hmmm...someone who played like no one else in his time, whose playing is immediately recognizable, whose style influenced a generation or two that came after, who wrote distinct and wonderful tunes unlike others...wes?...
Tung wrote:
As far as actually pursuing the same path as Monk, harmonically and aesthetically, being adventurous with intervals and rhythm, it would have to be Sco and Frisell. these 2 guys pretty much started an approach to improv that is very similar to what Monk started, using dissonant intervals and going outside with an edgy angst to their lines.
Jake Hanlon wrote:
You have to go with someone recognized for a style in improvisation based strongly on melody and rhythm with harmony that is complex yet utilized in simple ways.

You need someone who wasn't instantly famous but was respected by his peers.

I go with Jim Hall, who didn't really break out into the scene as a famous player until the Bridge and all that came after that, into the 70's where as a leader he changed the shape of the instrument and had a huge impact on sound, feel, melody and composition of all guitarists that came after him.
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Henryrobinett



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 9:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know why you're quoting others in this thread. It's all a pointless game anyway and your guess is as good as anybody's -- BUT Monk is known for no chops. Not that he didn't have them. He had his own, and they were difficult in their own way. Hell Trinkle Tinkle is a bitch anyway you want to look at it. But he was the anti chops pianist. Opposite of his friend Bud Powell who was he pianist equivalent to Bird in those days.

Monk was the High Priest who defined and taught the younger musicians, somewhat less that Dzzy, but still.

Monk was a primitivist. Not fluid, but rather hesitant and halting; jagged and very humorous. He used A LOT of space.

Holdsworth wasn't that at all. He is fluid, fast, legato in his technique. He's not known for using a lot of space.

I've is innovative and iconoclastic.
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Last edited by Henryrobinett on Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:28 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Ovader



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've used the quotes to help illustrate the characteristics from their opinions which lead me to consider Holdsworth for inclusion.
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Henryrobinett



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes but their opinions/our opinions aren't important. We're as lost as anyone. You have to refer to the source, MONK and what characteristics MONK has and how those might be ascribed to some other modern or otherwise jazz guitarist.

Are you very knowledgeable of the music of Thelonious Monk?

I mean, as I said - so what? It's just a silly pointless game. You say Alan Holdsworth. That's fine. I don't hear that at all, but that's just me. I'm just a little curious as to whether you came to that from reading peoples opinions or actually from listening to Monk's music. Or a combination, of course. I'm not getting all heavy and stuff.
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stratocasturbator



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

there isn't one.
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