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SoundGround >> Ronald Shannon Jackson


2/10/13 10:27 PM
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Majic Sam
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Hugo and Ali,I used to post on a few of the more popular drum forums about RSJ,and you could almost hear crickets chirping...They seem more into the fastest new kid on the block/jock players.Pretty hung up on technique rather than musical awareness.

How many drummers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?







Who cares?Machines can do that,now!Badump,dump!
2/10/13 11:32 PM
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Ali
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RSJ has as much technique as any of 'em, too, I'd bet. (Not a drummer, so tell me if I'm wrong...)
2/11/13 3:20 AM
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Majic Sam
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Tons of technique,but,more importatly,an identity and sound.He can swing,rock,freak-out,compose and a total array of dynamics.It doesn't really matter that he happens to play drums.He would probably stand out on any chosen instrument.Downright inspirational and into it.
2/11/13 11:58 AM
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hugomma
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Edited: 02/11/13 12:07 PM
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Majic Sam - Tons of technique,but,more importatly,an identity and sound.He can swing,rock,freak-out,compose and a total array of dynamics.It doesn't really matter that he happens to play drums.He would probably stand out on any chosen instrument.Downright inspirational and into it.

 

I agree 110% Sam.  Ali & I were talking about this a while back.  RSJ plays & composes on the flute.  Neither of us have ever been big jazz flute guys (except for Eric Dolphy, another monster with technique, identity, freak-out, soul, & sound, but he deserves his own post...).  But we both love the way Shannon uses the flute in his music.  He also uses that weird shalmei horn to great effect, which, to my ears, sounds like a bizzaro bagpipe.

Although I'm not a drummer, to my ears, Shannon belongs anyone's short list of great drummers.  He deserves to be mentioned with guys like Elvin Jones, Tony Williams, Art Blakey, Max Roach, Billy Cobham, Jack DeJohnette, etc.  He was as much an innovator in his feilds (avant garde, harmolodic, free funk fusion) as they were.  Besides his technique, IMHO, his drumming has an emotional component that only the best drummers have.  

A few years ago my world was turned upside down seeing Zappa Plays Zappa.  Then least year, it was Nels Cline & Frisell.  The past few months, it's been RSJ.  I thought music as divine intervention was supposed to stop happeneing in my 20's, but I was wrong, & I'm grateful for it.

  

3/22/13 5:52 PM
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hugomma
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Majic Sam - Tons of technique,but,more importatly,an identity and sound.He can swing,rock,freak-out,compose and a total array of dynamics.It doesn't really matter that he happens to play drums.He would probably stand out on any chosen instrument.Downright inspirational and into it.

A little something to help drive your point home.

3/24/13 1:03 PM
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hugomma
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Here's another one from last July's Kessler Theater show in Dallas.  According to this review:

http://blogs.dallasobserver.com/dc9/2012/07/ronald_shannon_jackson_-_the_k.php

...Shannon choose Wayne Shorter's "Deluge" becasue "a lot of people didn't hear because they were still listening to John Coltrane's My Favorite Things."

3/25/13 1:21 AM
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Ali
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"The Beast" -- in France, Jef Lee Johnson and Jack DeSalvo era.

3/26/13 11:41 AM
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hugomma
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Edited: 03/26/13 1:57 PM
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Ah, the elusive Jack DeSalvo.  RSJ's hidden guitarist. 

3/26/13 12:42 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/26/13 2:12 PM
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DeSalvo does stay background, it seems, that's for sure.
3/26/13 1:23 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 03/26/13 1:59 PM
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I haven't heard as much of of DeSalvo, Masujaa, & Cary Dengris as I have of the Royal Trinity of Vernon, Fuze, & Jef Lee. 

BTW, what album(s) is are DeSalvo on?

3/26/13 1:37 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/26/13 2:07 PM
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He's one of the three on Red Warrior.
That's all I know for sure with RSJ.
3/26/13 1:54 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 03/26/13 1:59 PM
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When it come to RSJ guitarists, I have my favorites but I love 'em all...

3/26/13 2:17 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 03/26/13 2:17 PM
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Posting deaf at work, but here is some DeSalvo on YouTube.  His fingers look like they're going nuts on the fretboard.  Your thoughts, Ali?

3/26/13 2:30 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/26/13 2:33 PM
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That's cool -- it's on the "intellectual" side; rather abstract chamber music, so for me only for certain moods... The players sound good, one and all. Tone is clean to the point of a little dry (that fast stuff at the beginning on guitar is "pointillistic" almost, for lack of a better word).
3/26/13 2:38 PM
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hugomma
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Edited: 03/26/13 2:41 PM
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I like intellectual/abstract chamber music at times...sounds good to me.

Don't know where Shannon finds these guys.  Never heard of DeSalvo, Dengris, or currrent Decoding Society guitarst Gregg Prickett, but they're all excellent, & they're all very different. 

And I need to take back what I said before about Masujaa, & Cary Dengris.  I've been listening to "When Colors Play" A LOT lately.  At this point, I can't really say I haven't heard as much of those two.  DeSalvo, on the other hand...can't quite make him out on "Red Warrior".

3/26/13 2:52 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/26/13 2:54 PM
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Nobody gets that gig without being really good, and really individual, no doubt.

Vernon was the guy who to me was like... WTF??? Where did THIS come from??? I was more prepared for everyone who followed.

Some people knew, because Vernon had played on Joe Bowie/Defunkt's "Thermonuclear Sweat". I hadn't heard it yet, though. He was on great on that. I was struck then and to this day that this was maybe the best rhythm player I've ever heard, even apart from the shredding. He turned it up a notch in Decoding Society, though.
3/26/13 3:03 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/26/13 3:05 PM
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More "abstract chamber" stuff -- a bit warmer, with nylon strings classical chops.... this is pretty damned impressive, good, subtle stuff. This is hard chit to play.... but don't expect some jaw-dropping Monder space-alien chops display, either. I like this more as it goes on.

3/26/13 3:20 PM
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hugomma
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I'll have to check for myself later, but what's his nylon string tone like?

3/26/13 3:46 PM
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Ali
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It's excellent. It's all about control of timbre, playing different "colors". He shows a whole lot of that, actually. It's clear he's studied classical guitar.

The clip has him on a piezo-pickup solid body thing. He gets what he wants out of it. Nothing haphazard (like, say, Steve Howe on nylon... or Clapton.... or any of the other rock guys I bitch about when they play nylon).
3/26/13 3:54 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/26/13 3:55 PM
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Jef Lee Johnson (aka Rainbow Crow). I think this is good -- but also as far removed from the Decoding Society as the DeSalvo clips, just in a different direction. That is, it's straight up pop, in mid-period Beatles mode maybe. He uses instrumentation to fill in what would be vocal harmonies if he *really* wanted to sound like the Beatles. Which makes sense. He plays a million instruments.

3/26/13 4:10 PM
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hugomma
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Now I'm even more curious about DeSalvo...nylon string tone control is a very subtle/advanced skill that non-nylon string specialist aren't aware of.

I like that Jef Lee pop album you turned me on to (the one with "Everything Starts Right Now"), except that almost all of the guitar solos fade away.     

Jef Lee breaks my heart in every way: tone, phrasing, being unsung, and the fact that he's no longer here.  RIP Jef Lee.

3/26/13 4:16 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/26/13 4:33 PM
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Guys like DeSalvo or Monder have clearly studied classical. Like, with classical players, studied. I mean, it's possible they just taught themselves, but... it's rare that people get what the right hand has to do on their own. On the other hand, maybe it's just that a lot of guitarists don't know how to listen to themselves once they're not plugged in. I mean, Paul McCartney always has exquisite tone on nylon strings. Steve Howe doesn't. That has just to be about paying attention,ears before hands.

I'm not even sure John McLaughlin should be playing nylon strings (with a pick)... but that gives me much more mixed feelings.

The above video is Jef Lee "aka" Rainbow Crow. Which is more overtly a pop identity than the record you have. You'll hear when you get home... barring the vocals, it almost could BE a McCartney tune from the 70s. (This, coming from me, is not a put-down, by the way. I know it might be from someone else).
3/26/13 4:56 PM
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hugomma
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Ali - Guys like DeSalvo or Monder have clearly studied classical. Like, with classical players, studied. I mean, it's possible they just taught themselves, but... it's rare that people get what the right hand has to do on their own. On the other hand, maybe it's just that a lot of guitarists don't know how to listen to themselves once they're not plugged in. I mean, Paul McCartney always has exquisite tone on nylon strings. Steve Howe doesn't. That has just to be about paying attention,ears before hands.

I'm not even sure John McLaughlin should be playing nylon strings (with a pick)... but that gives me much more mixed feelings.

The above video is Jef Lee "aka" Rainbow Crow. Which is more overtly a pop identity than the record you have. You'll hear when you get home... barring the vocals, it almost could BE a McCartney tune from the 70s. (This, coming from me, is not a put-down, by the way. I know it might be from someone else).

Now I'm dying to hear Jef Lee too.

I have a lot of great childhood memories of 70's era McCartney & Stevie Wonder.  Like anything else, I like certain things more than others, but I don't take 70's era McCartney as any kind of put-down.

 

3/26/13 5:23 PM
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Ali
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Edited: 03/26/13 5:23 PM
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there are two or three Rainbow Crow records. or 'a/k/a Rainbow Crow". That's Jef Lee in pop-song mode. I like what I've heard. Not enough to buy them...

I'm pointing out how guys that meet in the Decoding Society go in very different directions away from that center. Or come into that center from very different directions.

The rule seems to be that you have to be able to play your ass off, and you have to be able to add a lot of dirt where needed.
3/27/13 1:11 AM
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Majic Sam
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Edited: 03/27/13 1:23 AM
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Blue breds,feel like upping a Last Exit video,or 3?Thanks!

...anything but Destination-Out

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