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:: Posted by Ornate_Coal_Man on June 16, 2012
Not interested in discussing prog. But ballads? Totally different story. Talk about a lost art. My teacher always says, "ballad playing is what separates the men from the boys".
Particularly if you don’t double time ’em. What has rock and roll given us, developmentally, with regard to ballads?
Yes, indeed. The, ahem, "power ballad". The wiki entry for the "power ballad" contains this extremely insightful point: "To emphasize the emotional aspect of a power ballad, crowds customarily hold up lit lighters.".
Indeed they do. Or, more exactly, thy did. Now, they’d probably violate the local fire code. And thankfully so.
In contrast to the "power ballad", I was listening to an old radio broadcast from 1968--Studs Terkel was interviewing my teacher, who was being featured as the primary soloist in a then upcoming Vivaldi guitar concerto with the Grant Park Symphony Orchestra. Studs was asking him some questions about jazz, about what it means for a musician to have an original voice. My teacher decided to show him with his classical guitar (he did not have his jazz box handy), and demonstrated how Johnny Smith may play a chorus of "My Funny Valentine" differently than Django. So, he improvised two distinct choruses, the first a beautiful chord melody/solo, the 2nd a wonderfully sculpted single note line. Done as ballads, which allowed each poignant moment to ring out beautifully and forcefully.
Ballads are what separate the adults from children. The most distinctive, the most utterly unique voice I can imagine in music was Johnny Hodges.
Now Jeep has been firmly supplanted by REO Speedwagon and their successive progeny.
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