[JPL] Guitar vs Piano

Lazaro Vega wblv.wblu.fm at gmail.com
Sat Oct 7 00:30:38 EDT 2006

James Ridl and Pat Martino had it goin' on...Kenny Burrell and Cedar
Walton made it work..and Wes and Wynton Kelly (well, Wynton Kelly and
just about anyone) swung the world..Oscar Peterson and Barney
Kessel...and yet, in general, the guitar-piano combination creates
potential for ear itching, and a harmonic underpinning like
cement...guitar and organ seem to share timbres more
compatibly.....Dave Holland described the use of vibes in his band as
giving it a "transparent" quality...and of course Ornette Coleman's
famously not using piano all those years, or even today...that period
in the 1990's when he and Geri Allen were together, and his music with
Joachim Kuhn, showed that he works well with a strict harmonic
instrument, makes beautiful music...it was a choice to not have
one.....as radio goes, there are about a million tenor saxophone with
piano/bass/drums recordings out there yet, aesthetically, a recording
such as Sonny Stitt and Bud Powell's "All God's Chillun Got Rhythm"
stands the test of time, and is most likely not surpassed in energy,
creativity, performance. To how man young saxophonists coming up today
is that tried and true? Those young folks learning to play jazz light
up when they hear something like that because it presents as
discovery... The majority of plain folks say, "I don't KNOW a lot
about jazz." Playing the classics fills that hole with joyful
information. In terms of introducing newer performers, how many are
coming with an evolved aesthetic? Don't get me wrong, we play a
balance of new and old, and right now Wess Anderson's new quartet CD
is on the air as we get ready for a live, in studio performance by him
in December (thanks in part to a grant from The Michigan Council for
the Arts). Yet how often are we willing to say, here's something from
the tradition that's developed after late Coltrane, Ornette, Cecil,
Ra....I don't know...here we are and how many jazz greats are in their
70's and  80's? I say play them now -- Brubeck, McPartland, Haynes,
Weston, Lateef, Ornette, Motian -- while they're alive and
touring....active in our time....

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