[JPL] Guitar / Piano/ B3

Jae Sinnett jaejazz at yahoo.com
Sun Oct 8 17:13:57 EDT 2006

Blaise, hope you're doing well. I'll agree with you in that the B3 has definitely made a come back. It's a sound when played correctly and the right cabinets are used produces a depth of soul that's unmatched in jazz. Organissimo, 3osity, the Elastic Band and many more are certainly bringing the instrument to a new generation of listeners. My personal fav was the great Larry Young and "Unity" is one of the great jazz organ classics with Elvin, Joe and Woody. Then you have "Emergency." Don't get me started on that one. In reference to your comment about the piano.... I must say I don't agree that mainly listeners 60 or over are the ones that like the piano. In fact, far from it. 
  I would say the majority of recorded and purchased jazz features recordings with the piano. The guitar certainly is popular - and I'll agree and say more so than the piano...BUT.... in non jazz circles. The guitar is obviously used much in jazz but I would still say a larger portion of jazz listeners prefer the piano over guitar. This is why this particular demographic you speak of likes groups like MMW or Charlie Hunter because of their "rock" or "funk" sensibilities...not jazz. From my view point there is very little jazz played in these groups. They don't swing....the improvisation border lines elementary to me and they aren't funky. 
  Charlie comes close to funk but I certainly wouldn't say jazz is his focus or concept. It's interesting in what he's doing...playing the bass and guitar parts but this creates many technical limitations when you play jazz - music with or that should have very creative improvisation. You mentioned Pat Metheny.....and I'll ask is he getting as much response when he records with the trio as he is for The Pat Metheny Group in your area? I would find that strange if he is.
   While his guitar work has progressed considerably in the group it's very different in concept as to what he plays in the trio setting. I'm sure this is why he plays with the trio because it gives him more room to stretch out on his instrument. In terms of his popularity - think about this.....what if "The Way Up" hit 25 years ago instead of "Off Ramp," how popular do you think he would be? His earlier group releases had much more rock elements then what he's doing now.  
  Charlie Hunter was here Friday night and he gets a young crowd as you mentioned but rarely do I see these folk at "jazz" events and this is because there's not much jazz being played in what they're supporting. In a musical way they aren't really supporting jazz. For my ears it's closer to rock and funk and this is why it's more appealing to younger folk. Maybe this crowd are supporting "jazz" events in your area but not here. They support anything that sounds like that.   
  You mentioned Eldar....now here is extraordinary musical talent. You say he doesn't bring in the younger listeners. If he isn't I would say it's because he's not presented in a way that makes the younger listeners think he's worth their support. In some cases if we as broadcasters rely on sound alone then someone with the superior talent of Eldar won't reach the younger demographic and this is where commentary is important. Believe me it can be done.
   I think most on this list know you don't need high level talent to have a following and getting folk to write about you and unfortunately have "jazz" attached to it. Not saying you did but I certainly wouldn't put Pat Metheny in the same category with MMW or the Bad Plus or Charlie Hunter. That's like putting Kenny G in the same category as Michael Brecker. What's popular too often gets confused with superior musicianship and craft. 
  Jae Sinnett
Blaise Lantana <blaise.lantana at riomail.maricopa.edu> wrote:

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Interesting that you think listeners prefer piano.

My take is that it depends on the demographic. Over 60 or long time jazzers
seem to prefer piano. A lot of the 40 to 60 crowd coming to jazz now are
old time rock and rollers who practically worship the guitar and young
listeners who are new to jazz are more familiar with guitar than piano.
Anything by Pat Metheny gets interest and phones. Charlie Hunter pulls in a
young crowd and is good for keeping my young demo up. Eldar, while I love
his playing, is not pulling as much of a young demo as MM&W, or Charlie

I like both and it helps keep the variety alive and well on KJZZ.

There is a wonderful difference between the two in the voicings of altered
chords that can make playing horn or singing with a guitar very different,
so it depends what you are used to. Habit and preference. Whenever I work
with one or the other it takes a little getting used to, a minor adjustment
, when I make the switch from guitar to piano or visa/versa.

Now my question is how does the B3 go over in your markets? Especially now
that we are swamped with B3 records, I'm feeling like KJB3 some days. I
think I have four new B3 artists in play right now. I find that the younger
audience digs this sound and some of the older cats, 40 to 60 demo, call to
say they don't dig it. (Definitely not a Philly crowd here in the desert.)

It's such a distinctive sound and such a great groove, how often do you all
fit it in? 

Blaise Lantana
Music Director
KJZZ Phoenix
91.5 Fm


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