Sunday, May 31, 2009
My new favorite quote is from the liner notes of James Taylor's recent album "Covers" (2008). "I want to thank the cats for what they played, and for what they didn't." Great reminder for us all! but....
This next phrase keeps coming out in my blogs but...what the hell. THOSE OF YOU THAT KNOW ME, know that I'm a bit of a noodler. For sure not Vinnie or Weckl, but not exactly Gadd either. I like to sneak some weird extraneous shit in under (ok sometimes over) the radar. Those of you that know me also know that I'm a HUGE JT fan, so that quote carries some weight with me. Now with that out of the way, I'm about to go a little esoteric on y'all about the noodling. I think if it's done right, a little overplaying won't kill anyone. If you disagree, fuck you if you can't take a joke :-).
Take your hands and put them together. Now do the old "church/steeple" thing where your fingers interlock. This was the first image that came to me as I sat in the audience at a recent David Sanborn show in Las Vegas. His live show blows away the "Smooth Jazz" concept that he is associated with. Gotta love the publicists. Anyhow... the sound was impeccable so we were able to hear every level of interaction taking place on stage. The concept I referred to in my previous blog "Planet 10.." was in full force. These guys were able to keep a deep groove going and still throw great musical ideas back and forth amongst each other. Why? The antannae were up. I'm blessed to know the keyboard player so when we were hanging backstage the rest of the band confirmed what I had been thinking. They hadn't played together in a couple months so everybody's radar was way up, thereby creating an incredibly interactive (read:slightly noodly) but wonderfully musical situation. They automatically knew just when to lay back so that the audience wasn't overwhelmed with too much information, and yet played just enough to keep the listeners challenged. Perfect balance by me.
If you have the opportunity, go see a David Sanborn show. Gene Lake (drums), Richard Patterson (bass), Ricky Peterson (keys), and Nicky Moroch (guitar). These guys have their ears on!!