Stanley Jordan

Discussion in 'Jazz, Acoustic, Classical & Fingerstyle' started by distressed_romeo, Mar 13, 2007.

  1. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    Watching this guy playing 'Autumn Leaves' at the moment ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baDM3_6w8-E ). I desperately want to like his playing, but two things really really bug me about it...

    1) He's prone to seriously over-playing on slower songs (re. his version of 'Stairway to Heaven).
    2) Too much of his repetoire seems to be made up of pop songs and show-tunes for my liking (that's strictly a personal gripe, I know. Some people love that sort of thing.).

    Can anyone convince me otherwise, and recommend me some stuff I should investigate?
     
  2. DDDorian

    DDDorian Mantis Toboggan, M.D Super Moderator

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    Kinda related to the standards thread... The very first standard I ever tried to learn was Thelonius Monk's "Round Midnight". I had a guy I know put the original on a tape for me as well as versions by Stanley Jordan and the saxaphonist Gerry Mulligan, and all Jordan's take did was serve to confuse me immensely. He really doesn't know when to stop playing, and the fact that he uses the two-handed technique means that it's often hard to tell what's supposed to be melody and what's supposed to be counterpoint. Can't say I'm really a fan, but two-handed guitar rarely ever makes sense to me.
     
  3. MetalMike

    MetalMike IKILLUWITHMYBALDHEAD Contributor

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    I agree that the context he uses his 8 finger technique is a bit too over the top. I was about to say, 8 finger tapping is generally too over the top in a jazz/fusion context, but TJ Helmerich came to mind.

    To be honest, I've never heard Stanley Jordan referred to as a great guitarist per say. The only time he really comes up in a conversation is when 8 finger tapping is brought up. I hate to say it, but it may be a bit too gimicky. I mean I like some of the licks after 5 minutes in the video you posted, but I can't say much more about his playing. Unfortunately, his tapping technique is what made him famous, (throughout the guitar community at least) not his playing.
     
  4. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    Just to clarify, I think the guy's level of musicianship is outstanding. Check out his instructional tape...he's immensely knowledgeable about virtually all aspects of music. My problem with him lies in the fact that he doesn't always use that ability to great effect, which is a shame.
    The 'gimmick' accusation is one that comes up a lot, and to be honest, he brings it on himself a lot of the time. Like I said...a repetoire that consisted of some more substantial material rather than pop songs, and the same standards that every jazz musician has recorded ten times over, and he would probably be held in slightly higher regard.
    I seem to recall that he did actually become pretty successful outside of guitarists' circles in the 80s, but that as when a lot of smooth/pop jazz was popular, and most of what he was doing fit the bill perfectly (there's another vid of him on Youtube playing on an American talkshow from that period, and the stuff he was playing was vapid, sugary fluff).

    Regarding TJ, I think comparing him to Stanley is pretty misleading, as his style of tapping is based on using both hands as one unit, rather than piano-style, and so his technique actually has more in common with Holdsworth's than Stanleys.
    TJ's actually a great example of someone who uses tapping as a musical device rather than a gimmick; his phrasing is so brilliant that most people don't even realise he's tapping until they see a video.
     
  5. MetalMike

    MetalMike IKILLUWITHMYBALDHEAD Contributor

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    Yeah, that's what I'm trying to say. I'm not commenting on his level of musicianship. It's clear Stanley's an amazing musician. I'm only commenting on his two handed technique. I wasn't trying to compare him to TJ. I was just using him as an example of another way to use the tapping techniques without being "gimmicky". Stanley's a great musician, I just can't appreciate his music. Sorry if I was misleading.
     
  6. distressed_romeo

    distressed_romeo F'king ............ Forum MVP

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    Ah, sorry! Should have read more carefully...

    Do you know Adam Fulara? There're some vids of him on Youtube of playing Bach 8-finger-style...utterly aweinspiring to hear...
     
  7. MetalMike

    MetalMike IKILLUWITHMYBALDHEAD Contributor

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