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Can rockers jazz...and can jazzers rock?

Discussion in 'Technique [BG]' started by peteroberts, Oct 9, 2004.

  1. These 2 styles are so different in a lot of ways that I feel it's almost impossible to play and write in the 2 styles convincingly.

    I was just listening to one of my all-time faves, Pat Metheny. There's a record where he tried to pull off some NIN type 'rock' stuff, and to me, it just didn't come across.

    I'm not talking about fusion, either. I'm talking about playing straight-ahead acoustic jazz vs balzout rock ala Zep, AC/DC.

    Who do you know that can do both convincingly?

    Has anyone ever heard Russell Malone play rock?

    I'm thinking Jimmy Haslip could do it. Chris McBride maybe.

    Not just bass players though! List all ... even rock-n-roll trombone players :D
  2. I generally play various types of extreme metal as well as stuff like sabbath, floyd, jefferson airplane, etc., but I want to try getting into fusion and jazz, so I can broaden my playing spectrum and open up to new kinds of music.

    I started learning tapping recently, and its surprisingly fun to do. :D
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I work with people every day who can do it.
  4. OT....I was backstage at the IAJE (International Association of Jazz Educators) convention here in Atlanta a few years ago and I heard someone behind me playing some very convincing Chet-style country on a guitar. It sounded out of place after hearing non-stop jazz for a couple of days. I turned around and it was Russell Malone who was playing with Diana Krall that night.
  5. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    Alex Skolnick I guess. At least he seems to have jazz ambitions. "Jazz" and "rock" are wide terms, though... I mean, putting Led Zeppelin and AC/DC in the same category isn't quite fair. And while Duke Ellington and Miles Davis are both "jazz", well, you know.

    On a related note, I think the following comment is quite amusing:

    "My music is essentially the same as Jazz, we improvise over chord changes. It's just that it ends up sounding different, because of the way it was composed or maybe because I'm an idiot, I don't know." - Allan Holdsworth
  6. hieronymous


    Nov 28, 2002
    Northern CA
    John McLaughlin! Listen to the first two Tony Williams Emergency albums, or Miles Davis's "Live Evil". It's like jazz-metal!

    Jack Bruce - Cream were forerunners to a lot of music that came after, jazz and rock - I remember reading an interview where Anthony Jackson said he was inspired by seeing Cream live. And one of Jack Bruce's early solo albums - "Things We Like" - is pretty straight ahead jazz (with John McLaughlin on guitar) - he even plays upright on it. Then listen to his playing on Frank Zappa's "Apostrophe' "!!!
  7. FireAarro


    Aug 8, 2004
    G*******t, but John 5, formerly of Marilyn Manson's band, can do both well and much more.
  8. Rumzini


    Feb 14, 2004
    Jackson, MI
    I read somewhere that Mudvayne's, Ryan Martinie is an excellent Jazz "Fusionist"? Apparently that's why he is so diverse in his metal playing. IMO, I think it sounds awesome and would love to learn all that I could to incrporate in my metal.
  9. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA
    Uh, not that I count for anything, but I've had a few jazzy compositions, and I can rock your socks...

    or failing that, your cat.
  10. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    I've heard that his original background is very much based in jazz.

    I think it's totally true. It's a pretty stagnant musician who can't cross genres, IMO. In my band, we're gonna be releasing a demo at the end of the semester that'll have Turtle Lovin' (funk song, envelope on the bass), Ancient Rabbi Strategist (epic metal, disorted bass w/ use of controlled feedback), a metal Moonlight Sonata, blues stuff, an acid jazz jam we wrote last week, and some other stuff. That said, before we started doing all original stuff, we did classic rock covers, and an original in the kind of black sabbath kind of vein. Note that I am playing all of this on my stock Yamaha BB404 fretless.
    At the end of the semester, I'll also be releasing my own demo too. I'll have a new arrangement of Honeysuckle Rose on it, as well as latin-jazz improv jam, acoustic guitar instrumental with a lot of overdubbing, 4 solo bass things (two tapped, one overdubbed with fretted bass, and a new arrangement of Amazing Grace taken from the Jaco version and the Victor version) and a hidden alternate take of Honeysuckle Rose with a horn playing the vocal melody and a solo.

    Tha'ts all IME. I'll have recordings up around December, but in the mean time, another genre-bender is Al Di Meola.
  11. convincingly? Most people I have worked with lean one way or the other.
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Convincingly. But these are professional musicians, who get hired on thier abilities to play all styles well. Take a look at our audition requirements:

  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    There are some who cite Jack Johnson as the best Rock album. ;)

    I was listening to one of my new additions today in the car-
    Naked City; as I was listening(& shaking my head), I was thinking "...here's 5 Jazz guys doing their version of Rock"(sometimes within the same tune).
  14. Aaron Saunders

    Aaron Saunders

    Apr 27, 2002
    Oof, Flea totally slipped my mind. He first started playing music on trumpet and sat in with jazz jams with his father and music buddies for years before even picking up bass.
  15. Wildside


    Jan 12, 2004
    theater of pain
    this probably isn't a very popular opinion, but by and large I say no. There are some exceptions, like drummer extraordinaire steve smith. He played some excellent straight ahead rock stuff with journey and does some crazy technical stuff with tribal tech and in gigs with zakir hussain.

    For the most part though, guys playing outside their genre don't have the intangible factors that make for a great player. For example, guitarists like pat metheny, mike stern, and joe pass could probably play the entire guns n roses catalog note for note if they wanted to. Slash doesn't even come close to those guys in terms of technique and compositional knowledge. However, if I were starting a rock band I would definitely rather have slash playing guitar than any of the jazzers. It's not something that can be measured with chops or knowledge, there's some "x" factor that allows certain people to excel in certain genres.
  16. Lackey


    May 10, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Yikes. Gonna have to partially disagree with you on Steve Smith. His playing on Michael Manring's Thonk was kinda weak compared to Tim Alexander. Tim had such a powerful fluid style, Steve had a "studio drummer trying to keep time" feel.

    While he's a great drummer, great technique, groove and etc.. Judging from Thonk he's not great at conveying a hard hitting rock style.
  17. Oysterman


    Mar 30, 2000
    He did pretty good when in Journey, though. I'd say he's still more of a rock drummer than a jazz one.
  18. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    The keyword here being professional.GENERALLY,The bassist who can pass that audition,with minimal listening of the genre required,will find it very easy to rock out convincingly.
    The bassist who can't pass even half of those audition requirements would find it impossible to function in jazz.

    I have a degree in jazz,a large memorized swing and bop repertoire and I also work for a cover band that does SOAD,RATM,RHCP etc.
    Copping the rock material convincingly just takes listening for me.The only difficulty I encounter sometimes is matching the tone,but that is usually solveable.
  19. Matt Till

    Matt Till

    Jun 1, 2002
    Edinboro, PA

    Aparently Jazzers can do rock, but they can only do four letter rock. :eyebrow: :cool: :ninja: :bag: :scowl: :help: :hyper: :confused:
  20. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    etc. = 3 letters