Paco De Lucia, RIP Maestro

Fell asleep on the couch last night. Woke up to head up to bed but checked my iPad first and saw the extremely sad news. One of the guitar world’s heroes has passed away.

Paco De Lucia IS an amazing legendary guitarist. A flamenco guitarist who crossed many boundaries which furthered the genre’s cause. He played with Al Di Meola and John McLaughlin in THE Guitar Trio, marking his crossover into the jazz/fusion world. His long hair and rock look, coupled with his amazing guitar chops, piqued the interest of the heavy metal and rocker guitarists. And his association with greats like Los Romeros gave him notice in the classical realm.

I was lucky enough to see him in the 90s in San Diego. We had front row seats(directly in front of the Romeros) and will never forget that show!

RIP the guitar world has lost a giant…

(Paco is not the one pictured in the video capture below, he is on the left of your screen)

Run Playlist 1/26/14

Anyone who works out with their headphones knows how awesome it is when you get a big lift from your favorite song. Or hearing a cool tune you would have never picked shuffle through on your picturesque jog… With 1000s of songs on my iPod I almost always shuffle.

I’ve always thought it would be cool, interesting, perhaps even motivating to write about each playlist and the music’s effect on myself and the workout. Then I thought that might be kind of boring. Then I thought, “Yeah,” I was right…on both counts. ;)

Really just another chance to talk about music!

January 26, 2014

5 Mile Run

“China Girl,” David Bowie

“I’ll Be Waiting,” -Adele

“Angel of Avalon,” -Michael Schenker

“Harp Partita, BWV 1006A Preludium,” -JS Bach, perf.  Julian Bream

“Somebody Stole My Guitar,” -Deep Purple

“Heathens From the North,” -Yngwie J. Malmsteen

“Night of the Long Knives,” -AC/DC

“Early Morning Rain,”  Gordon Lightfoot

“Harp Partita, BWV 1006A Gavotte En Rondeau,” -JS Bach, perf.  Julian Bream

“Say What You Will,” -Fastway

“Carnies,” -Rush

“Prelude,” – Judas Priest

“Espiritu,” Pace De Lucia,  John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola

“Humans Being,” -Van Halen

“Still in Love,” -Boston

The highlight of this run playlist without doubt was, “Humans Being,” by Van Halen. It came on right at the end of the 5 miles and I still had energy to burn and this song fanned the flames! It is one of the bands heavier songs, certainly, from the Hagar era and one of Eddie’s great solos.

The tune was written for the soundtrack from the movie, “Twister.” In the solo I’ve read, Eddie wanted to emulate a ‘twister’. He uses an extended ascending line coupled with a driving rhythm to bring it home. It is also one of the first truly soulful solos Eddie put to tape, before the ‘tornado’ the calm before the storm. Adding another element to his already legendary guitar style.

The two Bach guitar works also provide a great soundscape for running. Maybe too mellow for most during a workout,  but, perfect for me. I’ve worked on these pieces and understand the Herculean task and effort it takes to perfect them. Much like the efforts of a long distance runner…very motivating! If you’re wondering why the ‘harp’ pieces are performed by a guitarist…the guitar didn’t become a legit instrument until the 19th century. So guitarist have had to transcribe the great works of Bach and others…essentially stealing them for the guitar from harp, lute, cello harpsichord, etc.

Other highlights; John Lord’s keyboards on the DP tune, AC/DC from “For Those About to Rock”(an underrated album in my opinion,) “Carnies,” from the latest Rush release , Fastway and “Espiritu,” from the guitar trio.

Gordon Lightfoot…I have to say I grew up not knowing much about his music. It is mellow and would have punched a hole in my Heavy Metal adolescent teenage musical psyche(is that really even English?) Have to say though Lightfoot has “IT”. Whatever, “IT,” is in music…the guy has it. AMAZING musicianship, its been cool to familiarize myself with his music recently. Also proud to say listening has not damaged my aforementioned psyche.

Check out previous Run Playlist Posts.

The Mighty Zep!

Zeppelin 1Did you catch it?

No not a lot of hype but it must be mentioned!

Led Zeppelin’s self titled debut album was released 45 years ago this month…thats 1969 for those slower in math and those struggling to get into their Monday groove.

Yes the Led Zeppelin era is middle-aged and unbelievably, Jimmy Page, the bands patriarch turned 70 earlier this month.

The 60’s belonged to the Beatles, but, the 70s were about Zeppelin right up to drummer John Bonham’s untimely death in 1980. Bonzo along with Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones took rock n roll to new heights throughout the decade.

Much like the aforementioned Beatles, Zeppelin’s stronghold on fans was achieved utilizing a variety of musical styles beyond just rock n roll. Zeppelin’s repertoire features among others; blues, country, psychedelia, classical, Indian, Reggae, Latin and mystical influences.

Personally, I have been through many Zeppelin phases, from constantly listening  to not listening much. Either way I can’t imagine a world without Zeppelin. Certainly, the quartet and most notably Jimmy Page’s guitar and compositional prowess have had a significant impact on my own music development. Not to mention all the good times with friends over the years featuring Zeppelin as part of the soundtrack!

I was barely born when Zep debuted. Most my students today weren’t even born before they disbanded. Not to mention many of them were not even born in the same millennium Zeppelin prevailed. However, Led Zeppelin is still influencing young musicians today in 2014. Just taught a kid, “Heartbreaker,” this weekend. “Stairway to Heaven,” “Kashmir,” and “Over the Hills and Far Away,” are still staples of the guitar’s ‘must know’ landscape. When I am out performing, “Babe I’m Gonna Leave You,” always gets one of the biggest crowd responses.

I always wonder what the shelf life of rock music will be. Technology and global media seem to have added to the life of the rock n roll era. Keeping it out of the dinosaur ‘symphony halls’ for now. As much as I want rock n roll to be around forever, I’d love to see what future generations/incarnations of popular music will hold?

More Human Than Human, A.C. Jobim

get-attachment-29.aspx“More Human than Human” is a blog series here at 12 Notes & the Truth! dedicated to the unexplainable moments in music that defy words.

Sometimes there is an extra-human element that finds its way into recordings and performances that can’t be explained…a visit from the Muse!

You know the parts of a song that you play over and over because the way they make you feel? Here is my attempt to bring you some of the moments that have moved me over the years, hope they hit you the same way.

“Aguas de Marco,” is a nice little tune written and recorded by A.C. Jobim, the famous Brazilian Bossa Nova composer. In this clip there is a vocal interaction between Jobim and Elis Regina. An exchange that results in a laugh and a light-hearted tone that could not be planned. It could have been edited out as an outtake, but, thankfully it was left as performed! All this happens over an intertwining of descending chromatic lines set by Jobim.

Additionally, there is a slightly out of tune whistling over the piano line that creates an odd chorus-y toy piano sonority.

A small song that packs a heck of a ‘More Human Than Human,’ punch of emotions over a brilliantly composed tune.

Enjoy!

Here’s to a Musical 2014!

Been a great year on many fronts. Day to day it was great, life and work, enjoyable and getting better, although, overall it was a weird year and I can’t really say I am sorry to see 2013 in the rearview mirror.

Blogging was waaaay in the backseat this year, for many reasons. To ALL my fans and followers(mom) I greatly apologize.

Still there were a few interesting trends at 12 Notes & the Truth!

-The little Michael Schenker post I wrote a couple of years ago continues to get hits all the time. Personally I am glad to know there is so much interest in one of my all time favorite guitarists!

-Folks are interested in 12×12 Sudoku, lots of continued hits there, as well

-Malaysia found its way to 12 Notes ALOT. In fact more than any other non-English speaking country. And I know my mom was not in Malaysia this year. Welcome and hope you keep visiting!

-Allegedly Google’s privacy policy has blocked  the ever valuable resource of knowing the ‘search terms’ that led visitors to websites. I am SURE they didn’t mine your information any more either…right?!

-One thing that has not changed is my lifetime love of music. Creating, performing, listening, studying and discussing the effect these 12 Notes have on our lives!

Soon this blog may split between another website http://www.guitarguys.com keep an eye out for it as the year develops and I am sure I will let ya know, as well!

Well that’s it short and sweet…

I am looking forward to many great projects and wish you all a prosperous and healthy New Year 2014!

I always teach my kids/students, major, sounds happy and, minor, sounds sad…with that in mind…

Keep life on the Major Sonority side of the street!

Peace,

Mike

Kennedy Assassination Announced at Boston Symphony

Yes, today we are bombarded with remembrances of the events which transpired 50 years ago in Dallas on this date. Sorry to jump on the bandwagon, but, here is a somewhat musical take regarding the incident.

The following video is, Erich Leindorf, conductor of the Boston Symphony announcing what had happened to the President. Kind of odd that he ‘hopes’ that it is unconfirmed but they go ahead with Beethoven’s Funeral March anyway…bold move!

The reaction seems to be edited a bit, I can’t imagine everyone just sitting in their seats, but, those were different times.

Read the details on the following link:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/deceptivecadence/2013/11/21/246551876/hear-what-happened-at-bostons-symphony-hall-after-jfks-assassination