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9376Re: Re : [RedHotJazz] Re: Clarence Johnson - also: musical signifying

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  • ROBERT R. CALDER
    Dec 31, 2012
      While I would sincerely doubt the advisability of trying to play like Jimmy Yancey before trying to play like Jimmy Blythe,  I do take Andrew's point, which is that according to report (and what my hearing tells me) Jimmy Blythe was a gifted and notably idiomatic barrelhouse pianist who with benefit of tuition (Clarence Jones, I think) was able to extend his range and repertoire
      I mean that he did not undergo a deformation of his original fingerings into an orthodoxy which diminished or did away with his expressive capacities --
      If you want to go in the other direction, toward playing in a decent barrelhouse style after having had standard training, you do need to clear up various habits which come with legit. or orthodox training.  The piano teacher who can have nothing but a complete fresh start is just not asking what the pianist wants to learn.
      One extremely capable blues and boogie player of my acquaintance was working for a while in proximity to a legit.-trained jazz player and asked about getting some assistance -- and the teacher was so thoroughly musical he refused.
      A few people can play almost anything
      Rather too many can almost play an enormous range of work without ever managing to play anything/
      It's where you put the almost, and where and when the player puts the fingers.  And Jimmy Yancey was entirely special and singular. 

      and I shall now think myself in E-Flat to end

      Robert R. Calder

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