Thursday, November 6, 2008

Explained in November, part II

Ok, I promised a little more explanation on what inspired me to do a 48-minute improvisation on One Day in August. No technical mumbo jumbo in this post, just a bunch of YouTube.

First and foremost, my guitar playing on this piece was chiefly inspired by Frank Zappa. Anyone who knows his style probably figured that out right away, but for the rest of you, here's some prime Zappa guitar playing from Halloween 1977 at the Palladium in New York. And ladies, he's shirtless!

Frank's 1981 album Shut Up 'N Play Yer Guitar is one of my Top Five. Three LPs/CDs of his live guitar solos, removed from their original context as links between songs and presented as pieces of beauty in their own right. Since I've gotten away from heavy metal and back towards fusion jazz, the Zappa influence has reemerged in my playing big time, and it's all over One Day in August.

The second big influence for me was saxophonist John Coltrane. I will be posting a lot in the future about Coltrane's influence on me as a musician, but for now, just enjoy this beautiful example of the best improvising musician who ever lived. As a bonus, it features the astounding piano playing of McCoy Tyner, who is another big influence on me. More about him later, too.

Here's another clip of live Coltrane, from the 1966 Newport Jazz Festival. No video to go along with it, but just some of the most amazing soprano saxophone ever. Coltrane in full flight makes me want to go break all the boundaries, and I think you can hear a little of that on One Day in August. Not that I come anywhere near Coltrane.

These videos explain my musical inspiration more than words ever could. Tomorrow, I'm going to try and explain how One Day in August fits into my overall musical goals, which would be a very good transition back to explaining what the hell it is I'm doing with this web site and with a bunch of recording equipment in what used to be our spare bedroom

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