August 28, 2006

And from the

by Chris Randall

Meet the Pikasso guitar. Apparently, this was originally commissioned by Paid-By-The-Note ambassador Pat Matheny, not Rick Nielson as one might think at first glance. There are 42 strings. One would assume that once you got done tuning it, you wouldn't feel like playing any more. I'm sure it sounds quite nice and all, as Linda Manzer is no slouch viz. making guitars, but the way I look at it, if Django only needed 6 strings, well, you get my drift. Product page is here.



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Aug.28.2006 @ 8:29 PM
"Django was good for his time... but he's no Metheny... there's not really a comparison to be made there."

Django may or may not have had the chops that Metheny does, but who the fuck cares? Django could consistently do the one thing music is supposed to do - elicit an emotive response. He was able to use his musical vocabulary to convey meaning, most of Pat Metheny's stuff is just gobbledegook. I'm not saying he's never done anything good - I'm actually glad that musicians like him exist, if only as a cautionary tale on how *not* to approach music.

Honestly, I think talent is overrated (I'll take poorly articulated music with real empathy over talented pap any day) and a lot of "players" need to cut their practice time in half and use the spare time to go have some life experiences worth making music about. I know Django did, Pat Methany just comes across as a pompous geek with no interests outside of his own guitar playing.


Aug.28.2006 @ 8:36 PM
Chris Randall
Amen to that. A-fucking-men.



Aug.28.2006 @ 9:31 PM
Like I originally said, some people are unable to appreciate the difference.

A player that can play jazz AND combine it with modern relevance... John Scofield's new "Saudades" release with Larry Goldings and Jack DeJohnnette is some serious jam.


Aug.28.2006 @ 9:34 PM
Dave McAnally
I think its cool when guitarists are actually REALLY fucking good technically, but don't let it lead them by the nose. I know he's not jazz, but I always thought Reeves Gabrels was awesome like that.

Aug.29.2006 @ 12:08 AM
There's one big difference between Django and Metheny (make of it what you will): Nearly all of Metheny's recorded work is with him as leader or as a sideman with significant name recognition. The bulk of Django's recorded legacy is as a session player on everything from show tunes to radio dramas to children's records. Django's signature tunes are a puny fraction of everything he did.

Metheny has had the good luck to be essentially left to his own devices, whereas Django (despite his wild reputation) was a blue collar paid-by-the-hour music laborer who never saw a royalty check his whole life. He was never a band leader (perhaps by choice). Despite that, Django managed to make great and timeless music. All of Metheny's economic, social, and technical advantages seem squandered when you line the two up.

The only thing Metheny has going for him is that he isn't backing up that awful squeakbomb fiddler Stephane Grappelli.


Aug.29.2006 @ 12:30 AM
"Just about the most complex chord voicings, dexterity, rhythmic and melodic sense of any jazz guitarist of any time." -and yet it still sounds like musical wanking to my ears. As far as my experience goes, jazz musicians seem to fall into two categories: the viceral and the intellectual. And honestly, if I can't feel the music I could care less about how awesome the technique and theory is. I'm not really a musician though, so maybe that's why none of that impresses me.

Aug.29.2006 @ 12:56 AM
Chris Randall
I agree with you, but there are certain artists that can combine the intellectual and visceral. For one example I posit X Mars X, one of Mars Williams' many projects. It's much heavier than NRG Ensemble, which I find to be a bit too much most of the time. (Between Mars and Ken Vandermark, there's a fuck of a lot of honking going on with NRG, and about as much math as you can put in any given song.) But that said, I've seen X Mars X live twice, and both times was blown away. I have a CD somewhere that Mars gave me, but I don't know where the hell it is.

In any case, it's possible to mix the two, but you're correct inasmuch as they rarely meet. The Chicago jazz scene tends to math these days, so it's nice to have something that is a little more about showmanship.

Did any of you notice all the strings on that guitar?



Aug.29.2006 @ 4:05 AM
Suit & Tie Guy
re: the Chicago jazz scene.

there's always Chris Foreman, holdin' it down like a mother hen in a chicken shack!


Aug.29.2006 @ 6:39 AM
"Django was good for his time... but he's no Metheny... there's not really a comparison to be made there."

wow... I really don't know what to say to that, except that anyone who could utter such a statement thinks about music in a way that is so diffferent from the way i think about it that I can't even conceive of where they could be coming from. wow...

django made great, timeless music. (imho, especially the stuff he did with grappelli. but maybe that is because I am a "squeakbomb fiddler" too, though I don't play jazz. I have to say, though, that I detest everything that grapelli did without django.) I have only heard a little bit of metheny, and I found it all to be completely soulless. All of the fancy chord voicings in the world are no substitute for soul. I have heard a little bit of less notey stuff by him, but most of what I heard basically made him come off like the Yngvie of modern jazz. I can't think of any modern jazz guitarists better than him offhand, though, because, except for django, I really don't like jazz guitar.


Aug.29.2006 @ 12:36 PM
Chris Randall
Somehow I knew S&TG would bring up Chris Foreman. He's good, no doubt of that. I saw him play with Clyde Stubblefield and some sax player who's name escapes me at Elbo Room. Now, _that_ was a good show.



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