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Alain Caron and intonation

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by zortation, Apr 13, 2014.


  1. zortation

    zortation Supporting Member

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    Just curious to know if anyone here shares my view that Alain Caron has a tendency to play sharp when he solos.

    :confused:
     
  2. Jaco Taco

    Jaco Taco

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    Jul 30, 2012
    Don't know as I can't listen to him for more than a minute or so. I find his music to be horribly cliched and unoriginal. It's like "you want crappy fusion? I'll give you crappy fusion!"
     
  3. gimmeagig

    gimmeagig

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    Yes, he plays really out of tune. Just because you have a 6 string fretless doesn't mean you should play it in public
     
  4. Feral Feline

    Feral Feline Supporting Member

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    Steve Bailey plays his fretless 6er in public, too... and yet Caron and Bailey still get the gigs.
     
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  6. gimmeagig

    gimmeagig

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    Glad you brought Steve Bailey up.
    I'm not saying I could do it better but what's that Clint Eastwood line?
    "A man's got to know his limitations!"
     
  7. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

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    Ron Carter has been known to play sharp from time to time as well. I don't think it hurts his career too bad.
    I personally like Alain's playing and was a huge Uzeb fan back in the day.
    Somehow I don't think either he or Steve are staying up late worrying about it! ;)
     
  8. gimmeagig

    gimmeagig

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    Alain sure can sing.....
     
  9. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

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    Intonation can be a very personal thing. There are some players (on various non-fretted instruments) that play notes differently than I hear them, but that's how they hear it.

    Steve Bailey and to some extent Alain Caron sound out of tune to me, but I'm willing to believe they hear it that way. Alain in particular is SUCH a great player, but both his tone and his intonation make it hard for me to listen to him. He makes different artistic choices than I want to hear. It doesn't mean he's doing anything wrong.

    Ron Carter... Obviously a great player, and a really important part of jazz history. But he just flat-out has poor intonation. It's so weird to me that somebody can be such a good musician and yet be so inaccurate, but hey, he's Ron Carter, and I most certainly am not.
     
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  10. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

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    Miles Davis comes to mind here. I'm certain Doc Severinson plays more in tune, but I'd rather listen to Miles personally.
     
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  11. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

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    I love Miles' intonation. I always felt he knew exactly what sound was going to come out, even if there wasn't a name for the resulting note.
     
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  12. somegeezer

    somegeezer

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    They aren't playing out of tune. They're just playing unconventional notes between the usual notes. =]
     
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  13. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

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    OK, for comparison and sake of argument, who would you say has absolutely amazing, spot-on intonation on fretless bass? The tolerances are so close compared to DB it's definitely a challenge-like playing a highly amplified cello across your lap!
    I would venture Will Lee and Pino, but they're definitely coming from the Session Musician school of thought, not necessarily hanging out on the perimeters going for it. What about Bunny Brunel?

     
  14. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

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    Jaco?


    Mark Egan?


    Gary Willis?

     
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2014
  15. Marial

    Marial They make pills for that, right? Gold Supporting Member

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    Pino and Tony Levin generally seem to have very, very, good intonation, but no one is faultless. I've never knowingly heard Will Lee play on anything or anywhere other than in Letterman's band, so I don't know about his intonation.
     
  16. gimmeagig

    gimmeagig

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    That's kind of like saying spelling is a personal thing, isn't it?
    I've checked out some youtube concerts with Alain and sometimes he's in tune but often he isn't and that makes it less good for me. He is an incredible bass player on fretted, so seeing some weaknesses just shows we are all human, even guys like him.
    Steve Bailey plays waaay out of tune too much for me besides I don't like the sound of the high C string especially on fretless anyway. Even less if there is (out of tune) chording involved.
    In the old days a lot of the upright players were out of tune in the high registers. Even Eddie Gomez as good as he is, plays out of tune. For some reason that doesn't bug me quite as much. Maybe because I know how hard the upright is to play. Maybe because the sound is darker and not as defined.
     
  17. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt Supporting Member

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    Here's something from his new CD-sounds pretty sweet. Kind of reminds me of Marcus Miller on "Could It Be You".
     
  18. Marial

    Marial They make pills for that, right? Gold Supporting Member

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    Tasty! Thanks, Roy!

    Though, I have to say, I've never, ever, been a fan of Toots Thielemans-style harmonica. It always reminds me of the beige-est polyester-ist seventies for some reason.
     
  19. keb

    keb

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    Mar 30, 2004
    Bunny? Jaco? Egan? Willis? All hacks! Look at 'em, they all have LINED fretless basses! ;) And oh my, they're LOOKING AT THE FINGERBOARD as they play!


    (I kid, I kid... just throwing some gas on the endless eternal lined vs. unlined debate. Disclosure: I play a lined fretless. ;))
     
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  20. nicopiano

    nicopiano Supporting Member

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    I think Alain Caron is a great player even if I'm not a big fan of his 80' jazz fusion style.
     
  21. Maarten Bakker

    Maarten Bakker

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    Fantastic playing by Will Lee on this track, guys like him and Marcus are imho still way ahead of most "bass heroes". Chops AND taste.
     

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