Archive for The Rosenberg Trio

Paco de Lucia (II)

Posted in Players, Playing with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 17, 2016 by theguitarcave

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I posted here about Paco de Lucia in the wake of his death a few years ago. Lately I have been playing the album and song Zyryab constantly. What an amazing piece of music! Named after Ziryab, a 9th century poet and musician who many credit with introducing Spain to the Persian lute, which would evolve into the Spanish guitar. The album also features jazz keys virtuoso Chick Corea and flamenco guitarist Manolo Sanlúcar. There are many live versions of this on YouTube, but this one below from 1992 in Sevilla, Spain is really hard to beat. It’s amazing how much more awesome Paco looks and sounds playing this compared to EVERYONE ELSE on YouTube. I mean, seriously, it’s not even close.

I also watched this documentary again recently. It has English subtitles and is REALLY GOOD retrospective of Paco’s life, has many great live performances, and also has a lot of camera time with the maestro himself. The viewer can really get a a great sense of the man behind the artist. The word that always comes to mind when I hear or see Paco (aside from virtuoso or maestro) is dignity. He had a very fiery and explosive passion that was always balanced with the softest musical side known to man. The kind of control needed to strike that balance can only be found in a real genius. The world and music is poorer for him not being around anymore.

http://tvpacodelucia.blogspot.com.es/ is also a very good link for all things Paco, flamenco and guitar-o. Really cool stuff. The more I’ve listened to Paco lately the more I realize how much of a huge influence he had on Manouche Superstar Stochelo Rosenberg. Probably only 2nd or 3rd after Django Reinhardt and Stochelo’s father or uncle. You can really hear the influences on The Rosenberg Trio’s albums Sueños Gitanos and Gipsy Summer both of which I have. While Stochelo almost always plays with a plectrum and doesn’t employ any obvious flamenco technique that I know of, he certainly channels the sound and feel of the music very well and his compositions are always exciting, colorful, and passionate. There is a lot of crossover between gypsy music and flamenco (and that probably is part of the “tribute” behind the song Zyryab). I’m sure Paco de Lucia appreciated Django’s brilliance as well. Paco played the yearly Django Festival at Samois in 2010, a few years before he died. For any aspiring guitarists out there looking for influences, it’s hard to go wrong with guys like Django and Paco!

ONLINE CONCERTS (FULL)

Posted in Movies, Players, Playing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 25, 2013 by theguitarcave

There is a plethora of really cool (full) concerts online so I’m starting a sticky list. Of course, one never knows how long they will remain — I do try to go through the archives from time to time and weed out any links that are dead, but sometimes that may take some time. I watch a wide variety of stuff — as long as there is a guitar present, I’m down!. I have taken out the embedded movies because it was taking too long for my blog to load. Click on the titles to go to the concert.

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble: An absolutely blistering concert from Italy in 1988. Stevie was clean by this time and he and his band were just amazing even though there are obvious sound problems and technical difficulties going on throughout the performance. Completely ripping blues and rock guitar.

The Rosenberg Trio: Another great concert from Italy from 2011. I think the Rosenbergs are one of the best bands in the world at the moment and Stohelo the lead guitarist just returned from a doozy of a Japan tour with his other trio. The only thing about this concert — it’s outside…WTF is up with the smoke/fog machine. Hello, concert promoters? Were you expecting Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson?

Muse: Live at the Itunes Festival 2012. I just got turned onto this British band. Some of their songs I can take or leave, but guitarist Matthew Bellamy is a total guitar powerhouse in all of the best possible ways. Believe it or not, I had never heard of them prior to last week. Just goes to show how much great music and how many great guitarists are out there.

System of a Down: Live at the Rock AM Ring 2011. I always liked SOAD even though some of their stuff is over-the-top to the point of hilarity. Guitarist Daron Malakian and the SOAD rhythm section have brought many moments of memorable crunch and intensity and they still have it. They can still bring out the awesome crowds too obviously!

Paco De Lucia: Can you believe Paco has been doing this for 50 years? He’s had an amazing career and is still one of the most inspiring guitarists in the world. He also always assembles great bands to interact with, but I could listen to him play solo guitar all day!

Rodrigo y Gabriela: Totally love these two! They integrate so many musical sounds and styles in the course of one concert and have such a full sound that it’s really remarkable. Although this concert is from a few years ago I can say that they have continued to expand their sonic capabilities because I just saw them a few weeks ago with a full band on Austin City Limits. Watching Gabriela doing her rhythm thing while simultaneously jumping around is flat-out amazing!

Queen: Live in Argentina in 1981. Great concert. Queen at their rock best. Amazing sound and for anyone who thinks Brian May needed to overdub all of his guitars to sound good, you should watch this. And of course, there is Freddie in total Freddie Mode. All of the great ones are here and totally smoking!

T-REX: Here’s a real piece of history — Marc Bolan and T-Rex live in 1972 and filmed by Bolan’s good friend Beatle Ringo Starr. In my opinion Bolan never got the credit he deserved for glam rock. People always focus on Bowie and the New York Dolls and that credit is deserved, but T REX was very influential and a rousing, rocking band when they were cooking…as they are here.

Jeff Beck: Jeff in Tokyo back in 1999 with the absolutely shredding Jennifer Batten and Randy Hope-Taylor on bass. Jeff at his funky, fusion-y best with a great band and great sound. JB & JB work really well together interweaving their lines and respective styles together and Beck looks like in did in 1975! Does playing without a pick keep one from aging? Hmm.

Acoustic Alchemy: I don’t know too much about these guys but I like what I hear on this concert and what I’ve heard on the IR (Internet Radio). Great grooves and a great blend of acoustic guitar playing from Greg Carmichael and Miles Gilderdale. AA has been around since the 80s and enjoyed some mainstream success in the 1990s. This concert from Jakarta in 2011 proves they’re still bringing it.

High on Fire: Back when they were a stoner rock band. I saw this tour and was blown away! Yea! As you can see from the concert, it was obvious they were destined for the big time and greatness. Though the band has gone through changes, the riffin’, shred and energy that made them was in effect from the very beginning. It felt and sounded absolutely awesome from 15 feet away lemme tell ya!

Earl Klugh: The fantastic Earl Klugh live from last year. He’s absolutely brilliant and though the concert starts a little slow he will blow you away with his command of the instrument and plays some very beautiful music in the process.

More to come very soon!:

Guitar Spambot

Posted in This and That with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2013 by theguitarcave

Brilliant…bloody brilliant. No…seriously. That this collection of guitar terms and non sequiturs is sent to a blog post that mentions spam is really just too cool for school. Human? More Human? Incoherent Guitar Child? Drunk Rasputin with a Strat? Mad Machine? Whoever or Whatever you are:

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I was watching Food Tech the other night because I CAN’T SPEND EVERY WAKING MINUTE PRACTICING SCALES AND ARPEGGIOS (even though I should). The show takes a very important American meal or food choice (Italian dinner, baseball park fare, breakfast) and illustrates how all of the latest industrial technology is used to produce the high quantities of food necessary to satisfy American stomachs. The show is comparable to Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives without all of the WHAM! BANG! fast scene cutting (which I find highly annoying). The host of Food Tech, Bobby Bognar, is a self-effacing, down-to-earth guy who gets really excited about food and technology. I guess he has to if he’s going to host the show. He’s also a guitar picker, singer and songwriter and is/was a member of The Piper Downs, a Warped Tour-style band that was a hit with the kids a few years ago.

Anyhow, this past week’s episode happened to feature Chinese takeout and during the course of the show BB revealed that a few years ago there were so many winners (110) on one Powerball ticket that officials suspected fraud. But as people came in to claim their prizes they all mentioned that they had taken their numbers from a fortune cookie and eventually the cookies were traced to a facility right across the river in Long Island City. The factory, owned by Wonton Food, makes four million cookies a day and the Food Tech crew showed how the cookies are produced. Up until the mid-1960s the fortunes were hand-written and hand inserted ’cause you know there were only like 200,000 people in the USA back then, but now the fortunes and lucky numbers are computer-generated and machines stuff the paper into the cookies because the population has grown to millions and billions and trillions as Carl Sagan would say. Of course most spam (and I don’t mean SPAM) is similarly produced and sent out. As I found out today, spam sent to blogs is a form of Spamdexing; a huge amount of stuff sent to blogs like mine in order to increase the spammer’s site indexing. This is a perverted type of SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and if you’re trying to hype your weight-loss or genitalia augmentation website or service it seems this would be a good way to go. If you consider that a Google search on weight loss produces 415 MILLION results in 0.57 seconds it becomes obvious why ranking is so important. But the whole spam thing is very impersonal and I have to admit, watching Food Tech can also leave me cold. Yes, it’s neat-o that machines can do all of these amazing things, but the high degree of industrialization in large-scale food production is similarly impersonal, sometimes to the point of cruelty, to the animals, the final products(food) and ultimately to us humans. The world grows larger and spins faster and people and industries seem to go to ever more ridiculous lengths just to keep up. I much prefer the shows that highlight smaller-scale farming and food production and a more personal and nurturing relationship between humans and various flora and fauna in the same way I prefer The Rosenberg Trio to an auto-tuned pop star with 15 backup dancers. One day, perhaps the auto-tuning, food factories and spam bots will become self-aware and then all your Music, Moo Shu Pork, and Blogs are belong to us! Or maybe…that’s already happened… *shivers*

Finally, a great Django Reinhardt documentary, Django Reinhardt — Three Fingered Lightning, that includes interviews with Stephane Grappelli and other musical peers from that era. Originally aired on Australian television I believe, now on Youtube HERE. (I can’t embed it). It’s a nice little hour’s worth of entertainment and if you’re like me you NEVER tire of anything devoted to The Master!

The Guitar Cave Book Review #2

Posted in Music Business, Players, This and That with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on November 17, 2011 by theguitarcave

Two more books from the library! I have some rilly cool things to share: The BB King Treasures and Stochelo Rosenberg (part 1). Both of these coffee-table-esque printed productions are very stylin’ and function as the kind of material I lay out when important and sophisticated people visit. It’s my way of saying, “Hey, I’m New York SASSY and I moved on from Hammer of the Gods a long time ago. But aside from that, both these books are complete and total eye-candy and serve as scrapbooks that detail the lives of two very accomplished musicians. Reading over them puts one smack in the middle of a whole lot of music history and culture and contained within are all kinds of special features that add to the experience. Both were obviously put together with a WHOLE LOTTA LOVE and it shows.

Riley B. King is a musical institution and The USA is lucky to have him. Over a career spanning 60+ years BB has become a world ambassador and “global musician” of the guitar, influencing some pretty high-powered people along the way and entertaining literally millions of people. The BB King Treasures, which was released to coincide with his 80th birthday, traces his story from very humble beginnings in a Mississippi sharecroppers cabin, through his early love of music and apprenticeship with cousin Bukka White, to his early successes in Memphis radio. It then moves on to the many years of relentless touring and recording. While James Brown might’ve called himself the hardest working man in showbiz, BB just went out and did it, year after year. By the 1960s when British guitar heroes like Eric Clapton and Jimmy Page brought the blues back to the United States, BB saw his popularity skyrocket because he WAS the blues and could kill them at The Fillmore playing to a bunch of hippies who were there to see Cream or The Jimi Hendrix Experience. BB and Albert King (no relation but another very influential player) were both revered by white audiences and players alike and enjoyed tremendous success during the late 60s and early 70s.

Year after year BB kept taking his message of music to the people and eventually became a full-blow icon — I mean he’s had an audience with the Pope fer crying out loud. (Supposedly John Paul II played a little guitar himself and wanted BB to show him how to play The Thrill is Gone — but that might’ve been just a rumor). Aside from great writing, this book contains so many cool reproductions of mementos that trace BB’s career — posters, business cards, booking schedules, stickers…neato! There is also a CD that has BB talking about a whole lot of guitar stuff. He relates how he admired Lonnie Johnson, Blind Lemon Jefferson and other players that he heard when he was growing up and how he tried to mimic the guitar bends, slides and chord patterns. He also recalls sitting next to cousin Bukka as he did his thing, but ultimately BB could never reproduce any of it like he heard it. (He illustrates what he’s talking about by singing and picking an acoustic guitar) Listening to the CD it’s obvious ALL of that blues is in BB, but he went and did his own thing with it, took it somewhere else. His vibrato is legendary and his great FEEL gives all of his guitar playing a very human voice — a powerful enough influence that Duane Allman learned all of BB’s licks note for note and John Lennon once said, “I wish I could play guitar like BB King”. John even name-drops BB King in his Dig It jam that showed up on Let It Be. Even after all of the success and world-wide acclaim BB is very humble and cognizant of how he is a part of this long thread of guitar and music and this book serves as a real celebration of all he has accomplished. The combination of the writing, BB’s input, the relaxed feel of the audio interviews and all of the cool little add-ons, give this package a very personal feel and because there is so much here, you can revisit repeatedly without exhausting your interest level. The video below doesn’t come with the book, but it’s one of my favorite BB cuts covered at Monterey by Jimi Hendrix. If Jimi covered you then you know it was great stuff!

While Stochelo Rosenberg doesn’t have BB King’s 60 years of history or name recognition, he has established himself as the premier emissary of gypsy jazz throughout the world. Coming from a Manouche gypsy background he is steeped in traditions that date back literally hundreds, if not thousands of years. Stochelo’s book is a great family album he put together with help from Harry Klunder and guitar maker extraordinaire Leo Eimers.

Of course the shadow and presence of the awesome Django Reinhardt is always with Stochelo and all of those who play gypsy jazz. Django was the first world-wide hero of the Manouche community and founded a school and style of music that enjoys great popularity today. The success of Stochelo, his incredible guitar abilities and the wonderful music he and the trio have created has been a very important part of WHY there are so many people listening to and playing the music today. But they always acknowledge and give homage to the master and there is a section in the book devoted to Django. In addition to being a great musician, Django dabbled in painting and favored the female form as subject matter. (Who can blame him!) There are some samples in the book and this is the first time I’ve seen nice reproductions of his work. For over 20 years The Rosenberg Trio has been releasing beautiful discs and completely flooring everyone with their live performances. In addition to Stochelo, the trio features Nou’she, his cousin, one of THE preeminent gypsy rhythm guitarists in the world today and his other cousin, Nonnie an awesome bass player. Because they are all related and have been playing together for so long, TIGHT doesn’t even begin to describe how well they work together. Metal shredders, tube screamers, fingerpickers and technique geeks take notice. The Rosenberg Trio are amazing!

This book is hard to find and maybe impossible to buy now…I don’t know. There were a limited number of copies made. I have # 57. [edit message from co-author Harry Klunder: Hello, for Your information, the book is still on stock, however not so many. Let me know if you are interested, there are about 750 ex. left and they will be presented on the market again next year.Harry Klunder] It comes with one of Stochelo’s guitar picks embedded in the inside front cover, tabs of original music he wrote just for the book, a really insightful interview on his playing technique and equipment preferences and a WHOLE LOTTA HISTORY. It’s a great presentation of Stochelo’s family and Manouche culture. The Rosenberg Trio was shaped and is sustained by their roots and there are lots of great stories and fantastic pics of family, friends and associates. While Django looms large as Stochelo’s main influence, there were others, much closer to home like his legendary uncle Wasso Grunholz and the well-known and terrifically awesome Fapy Lafertin. There is also a section on Leo Eimers, the guy who makes some of the best Selmer style guitars in the world. It’s obvious Stochelo had a lot to do with the creation of this book because all of the highlights of his life — playing with Stephane Grappelli, success with the Rosenberg Trio and carrying on the proud tradition of Django Reinhardt are contained within. He is also a devoted father and husband and, like BB, just comes across as a real humble, down-to-earth guy, GUITAR GOD, though he may be.

What’s really great about all four of the books I’ve profiled so far is that authors and producers really did a swell job. There isn’t any expense spared to get the story right and make even the tiniest details available to the audience (which I gotta figure includes many guitar players). Anyone in the publishing world will tell you that CONTENT IS KING and what makes these books enjoyable is that at the most basic level, they are great stories told by great communicators about great communicators. All of the extras serve to augment what is already an enjoyable experience for the reader. While I am a great fan and daily participant in the digital publishing landscape, there is always room for printed material, especially 5-star efforts that create an experience that is unique and informative. Both of these books certainly do that and a whole lot more!

Swinging with Stochelo

Posted in Movies, Playing with tags , , , , on May 21, 2011 by theguitarcave

As I related in an earlier post, Gypsy Jazz superstar Stochelo Rosenberg has his own online academy here. I’m proud to be a member and consider myself fortunate to be living in an age when someone of Stochelo’s talent can take on the role of guitar instructor and still live thousands of miles away. I encourage anyone who is interested in learning this style to check the site out. Even though I was self-taught up until a few months ago, I have learned much in the last 12 weeks and was able to fine-tune some technique things I wasn’t doing right. Stochelo shows you how to play all of these songs almost lick by lick and this is how he learned — from watching others do it and from copping licks from Django off his records.

Here are two songs that I’ve already done and can do at tempo…sort of. I still have to get the right-hand much better, but it’s coming along. Sometimes the things I practice go out the window when I try to record or perform and I revert to old (bad) habits. As with the Swinging with Django videos I just tune up and go for it and take the first take. I think it’s important to get to the point where it’s just automatic and THERE when it has to be there. I do better versions when I practice S L O W L Y, but I like to record them fast and on the fly so I can notice where I am reflexively doing it wrong. Posting these videos at the Academy allows the really experienced and helpful staff to comment and that sure does help. I wouldn’t have been able to play any of the songs as well last year at this time. There are more in the works and the Rosenberg Academy encouraged me to post these here…in case you’re wondering. They are super-nice people, and really helpful and attentive to any questions, plus they have already put up a whole lot of material and they are only on month 5. It is a great deal considering you are studying with one of the best guitarists in the world for less than what a local guitar teacher would charge for an hourly lesson.