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#155366 - 04/03/12 09:04 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: Robh]
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4202
"they drink at the bar and put bread in my jar and say, man what are you doing here? Oh, lalala la di da..."


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#155367 - 04/04/12 09:45 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: Robh]
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4400
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Quote:

<...>
Let's see If Notes is way better than KG, and Leilani is better than Carly Simon, how come it is that Y'all are playing retirement homes, and they are legends!


Opps did I say that out loud! Just kiddin' there Notes ole buddy!!<...>




I know that was in jest. And I took it as good-natured teasing.

...but...

Seriously, it's who you know. Carly is from the Simon & Schuster family - with that money and those connections she could be almost anywhere. However, I read that she wanted to be a folk singer back 'in the day', but the folk community didn't accept her because she was too rich and well-connected, so she decided to be a pop star instead. And she is talented, but simply not the best of the best.

Kenny just happened to be at the right place at the right time and knew the right people. Or perhaps he just has better hair

I was in the right place at the right time but our band's manager hired the wrong lawyers and the negotiations between them and Motown eventually failed over money.

We played huge concerts in large venues at the time, including Cobo Hall in Detroit. We opened up for headliners of the day while their records were #1 on billboard. In 1966 I was making $400 per week, playing two 45 minute sets of music per week (That's the equivalent of making $2,890.96 per week today according to the US Dept of Labor). There was even talk about releasing a solo sax LP, since I was playing a lot like Junior Walker at the time. But when the negotiations broke down between our lawyers and Motown, suddenly nobody wanted to talk to us anymore. I don't know all of what happened there, I'm sure the lawyers did the best they could, after all, they were going to get a piece of our profits.

Unfortunately being a star in the music business doesn't mean you are the best of the best. For every Sinatra, Elvis, Aretha and Whitney you have, there are also people with severe intonation problems like Astaire, Fabian, and the modern poster children for auto-tune like Taylor Swift, Britney, Kanye West, T-Pain, and Kesha.

Nobody ever said life would be fair.

And even though most saxophonists on the "Sax On The Web" forum truly believe we play better than Kenny Gorelick, if someone comes up to me and tells me that I sound like Kenny G, I take it as a compliment.

BTW, compliment is a polite expression of praise or admiration

while

complement is a thing that completes or brings to perfection.

And right now I'm playing yacht clubs, country clubs, retirement communities, and other venues for people over 40 years old, but they pay better for fewer nights, and there are no fights on the dance floor - plus, I'm in my 60s so I have no desire to play the top40 market again (even if the kids would accept me - and that's a long shot).

Insights and incites by Notes
_________________________
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#155368 - 04/04/12 11:35 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: Notes Norton]
Pat Marr Offline
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Registered: 10/25/08
Posts: 7517
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC
Notes,
you have a lot of acquired wisdom. I enjoy listening to your take on life and the music business. Thanks for adding value to the forum and to the world of BIAB styles

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#155369 - 04/04/12 12:49 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: Robh]
Malmck Offline
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Registered: 03/21/12
Posts: 33
Loc: Florida
"Well, if we had a link we might giver it a listen, but hey that's just me!"
Yeah, I will refine and redefine my request and repost it later.
Thanks

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#155370 - 04/04/12 03:01 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: Notes Norton]
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4372
Quote:

Kenny just happened to be at the right place at the right time and knew the right people. Or perhaps he just has better hair




Kenny Gorelik also had chops back when he played with Jeff Lorber. Unlike today when all he does is show off his circular breathing in EVERY ^#*@^#%^ SONG!!!

I went to see him when he first left Lorber at a beautiful venue here in Cleveland called The Front Row (since razed for a shopping strip mall). It was in the round, only 26 rows, with a revolving stage. Great seat anywhere you were, and awesome sound. I went with 2 other sax players. During the 4th song, I leaned to one of them and said "He already played this lick, but in a different key. 4th song and he is out of ideas already?" As if someone pointed at us and said "Action!" we all stood up and walked out. Coincidently when he was on the part of the stage that was facing us, and he HAD to see my slight "no" shake of the head and the disgusted look on my face.

400 or so measures and already repeating licks? Waste of money for us.

Kenny, if you are reading, you are a fine technician. I am impressed by the circular breathing thing. I can't do it. I wish I could. I wish my fingers moved like yours do. Just don't do it in every song.

You are also the whitest cat in America playing what is supposed to be a soulful instrument. Stop playing with your fingers and try playing with your heart.

That is all.
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#155371 - 04/04/12 03:43 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6505
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
I know what you're saying Eddie. One of my organ hero's is Brian Auger. I love his rocking style, completely different from the jazz cats like Jimmy Smith or Joey D but I love those guys too. It's my other side I guess. I learned Auger's versions of Compared to What and Freedom Jazz Dance basically note for note years ago and performed Compared To What for years. Still a fun version to play. Freedom is a bit too out there for a lot of my gigs. I found a bunch of videos of him on Youtube from his old stuff to the 2011 Namm show demoing a new keyboard. Same licks over and over and I learned them already. He's good, fast, has a great jazz/rock feel but same o same o. Dissapointing, I really thought he was more than that. He's a schooled player I'm sure he can do more but must feel his fans don't want to hear it. Kenny G probably feels the same. He's now one of the morning DJ's on KJazz here in LA along with David Benoit. He will name drop with the best of them, talks about how he got started playing straight ahead and big band stuff and who he's worked with in his intros to songs. Listening to him DJ it's obvious he's been around, he can play anything with anybody but he's gone to the bank in his niche and that's where he feels he needs to be in a public performance. Sad to say but you and I are not the ones paying his bills.

Bob
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#155372 - 04/04/12 03:58 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: jazzmammal]
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4372
If you can find a copy of Jeff Lorber's "Galaxian" album, there is a track on there called Bright Sky where Kenny G "TO' IT UP!!!!" Amazing runs in the bridge. As tasteful as he ever played and drippin' with down home!

Then he moved to Sell Out City and all that Celine Dion pap....
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#155373 - 04/04/12 04:33 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6505
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
I'll check it out, I have most of Lorber's albums. He's another one, I've done several of his tunes over the years too.

Have to disagree about the "sell out" comment. If selling out means I'm a millionaire and still playing, where do I sign up? It's all about making enough money to keep on truckin. If you don't you're out of the music biz and you turn into a tax accountant like me doing occasional gigs and talking about real players with guys like you...

Kenny's a solid legitimate player, maybe if he feels confident enough in his position with the public he'll release a smokin jazz fusion album and blow us all away. It would probably make 1/100th of what one of his big commercial albums makes if he's lucky and I doubt it would help him much with his live shows.

Bob
_________________________
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#155374 - 04/04/12 06:27 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: jazzmammal]
ROG Offline
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Registered: 12/12/11
Posts: 2540
Loc: York, England
Eddie and Bob.

Don't you think that it's always the case that the longer you've been playing and the more competent you get, the greater the chance that you'll get into a rut. It's easy to find yourself playing the tried and trusted riffs, rather than something dangerous and on the edge and you end up just living in your comfort zone. This must be especially true if you've already made a fortune from it.

I think it's good to listen to the kids who are just starting out. They have no pre-conceived ideas and are happy to break all the rules that tie us down, but they can often use this to turn out something wonderful. Then we can steal it, incorporate it into our own style and call it our own!

When I listen to Clapton playing now and compare it to what he did with John Mayall back in the 60s, there's no comparison. I found myself wondering if it's just an age thing, but then I listen to BB King and realize it doesn't have to be.

ROG.

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#155375 - 04/04/12 07:13 PM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: jazzmammal]
eddie1261 - gone Offline
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4372
Quote:

Have to disagree about the "sell out" comment. If selling out means I'm a millionaire and still playing, where do I sign up? It's all about making enough money to keep on truckin.




I have had this discussion with a lot of people and I will restate what I say in those discussions.

If money is the way you keep score, then I suggest a career in drug sales. You can make a lot of money that way.

If My G really believes in playing scales really fast on that soprano, bless his curly haired heart. However, knowing what he USED to play.....

I always thought that Kenny G and Michael Bolton should only tour with each other. That way there could be one big wimpathon in every major city and all the yuppies could go and stand in the aisles with their hands in the air swaying back and forth to the sweet sounds of The Heart Will Go On and listen to Bolton sing all the songs he stole.

I will continue to go see AWB and EW&F and TOP. You know, music with testicles.....
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#155376 - 04/05/12 12:27 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: eddie1261 - gone]
Sundance Offline
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Registered: 05/30/08
Posts: 4202


Quote:

And she is talented, but simply not the best of the best.




Best is a matter of taste and personal criteria. Best at what…. Carly Simon wrote songs that resonate with generations of women. She did not have to rely on vocal gymnastics. Her voice is distinctly recognizable. She is one of the great female singer/songwriters of our time - that’s my POV. Being compared to her by one of her fans is a compliment to any female vocalist in my opinion.

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#155377 - 04/05/12 09:00 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: Sundance]
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 4400
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Yes, we all depend on our "favorite 5 licks" but Kenny's are just too sappy and formulaic. Junior Walker only played 5 notes but he knew when and how to play them

And I would guess more than half the professional saxophonists on the planet think they can play better than Mr. Gorelick. For that genre of music, I'd take Grover Washington Jr. or Najee any day.

And as far as Kenny "Selling Out" - I have no problem with any musician selling out. If you find something that works, and they are paying you to do it, then do it until it doesn't work anymore. Playing commercial music is better than a day gig - and yes you can make more money selling drugs, but that's a very dangerous profession (unless you are a pharmacist).

And I play commercial music for a living. I enjoy most of the songs I play, but if I had my druthers, I wouldn't play "Yakety Sax" anymore - but when someone asks for that, I play it the best that I can and actually enjoy playing it in spite of my self.

So Kenny is doing what he should be doing, making tons of money, playing to thousands of adoring fans, and enjoying life.

And some artists do get "fat and lazy" when they get older, others keep on getting better and better - Jeff Beck is playing better now than he ever did, Jimmy Smith never lost it, neither did Stan Getz.

And yes, Carly wrote some very memorable songs, plays piano well, and sings decently, but she isn't the best of the best. There are plenty of singers with better voices, better control, and more versatility out there. That's not to take anything away from her talent.

When I was playing at the "Hilton Of The Palm Beaches" saxophonist Tom Scott dropped in after he finished the "Steve & Eydie" concert. We got to talking about talent and Tom said this (and I'll paraphrase), "I know there is a saxophone player playing in a Holiday Inn somewhere like Valparaiso Indiana that can put me in his back pocket. But I was in the right place at the right time, knew the right people, showed up straight and did the job." Tom is an excellent saxophonist, and it is wonderful to hear someone that famous be that humble.

In sports, among those who have been scouted, the best rise to the top. But art is not that way. We have singing stars who can't sing without auto-tune as well as singers who are at the top of their craft and talent. The singers who can't sing can actually make more money - depending on promotion. One of the best singers of the last half of the 20th century is Mark Murphy but most non-jazz people never heard of him. But that's the breaks. Same goes for visual arts, Jackson Pollock painted what to me looks like a house painter's drop cloth and because he knew the right people, he got to be famous.

I saw a documentary once about a woman who bought a Pollock in a thrift shop because she thought it was the ugliest thing she had ever seen. Someone mentioned it was from Pollock so she took it to the most famous art dealers and critics all over the country. They all said "Definitely not a Pollock, this was done by someone with absolutely no talent." After years of investigation, somebody found Pollock's fingerprint on the back of the canvas, then suddenly the piece of trash was a work of art that is worth millions of dollars.

In art, an ounce of promotion is worth a pound of substance.

But no matter how good you are, there is somebody better and somebody not as good. That's something we all have to remember.

And if somebody comes up to me with admiration in their eyes and tells me that I sound like Kenny G, I'll take it as a supreme compliment.

Insights and incites by Notes
_________________________
Bob "Notes" Norton smile Norton Music
http://www.nortonmusic.com

100% MIDI Super-Styles recorded by live, pro, studio musicians for a live groove
& Fake Disks for MIDI and/or RealTracks

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#155378 - 04/05/12 09:26 AM [Off-Topic] Re: Insult or complement? [Re: ROG]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Quote:



Don't you think that it's always the case that the longer you've been playing and the more competent you get, the greater the chance that you'll get into a rut. It's easy to find yourself playing the tried and trusted riffs, rather than something dangerous and on the edge and you end up just living in your comfort zone. This must be especially true if you've already made a fortune from it.





That is why we MUST initiate and maintain a constant educational/practice situation for ourselves.

No matter what level, every practicing musician can and should be 1) under the tutelage of a competent teacher or 2) engaged in a good self-education situation, which nowadays can really pay off when one considers the various DVD or other media courses offered that represent a lot of bang per buck.

And we must discipline ourselves to spend a bit of time each day, working on both the learning of new things and the practicing of same.

Finally, I am a firm believer that the working musician should also consider *teaching* what they know to others in some sort of organized situation, because teaching is learning. Sometimes having to put something that you take for granted into words such that someone else can get it can really open up new doors for us.

No matter what level your playing, you can find someone who needs to know that which you do, and teach.


--Mac
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