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Thread: Distortion in jazz guitar playing?

  1. #1
    Registered User UprightGuitarist's Avatar
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    Distortion in jazz guitar playing?

    Are there any jazz artists that use distortion in their playing with jazz? I've always wanted to hear how this would sound if done right...

    -Matt
    Why don't they make upright guitars...

  2. #2
    Guitarist/Oudist/Composer jazz oud's Avatar
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    John Scofield
    John Abercrombie
    John McLaughlin
    Pat Metheny
    Kurt Rosenwinkel
    Brad Shepik
    Bill Frisell

    I'm sure others can come up with tons more, that's just off the top of my head.

  3. #3
    Gitariz Acci's Avatar
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    Ben Monder

    Jonathan Kreisberg

    Mick Goodrick

    Nir Felder

    "Fusion" and fusion-related music sure features a lot of guitar players with distortion....Scott Henderson, Frank Gambale, Allan Holdsworth

  4. #4
    Registered User UprightGuitarist's Avatar
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    Like heavy, gainy distortion, though?
    Why don't they make upright guitars...

  5. #5
    Registered User djangoblackbird's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UprightGuitarist View Post
    Like heavy, gainy distortion, though?
    No, probably not. Intensity is one thing, but any jazz musician strives for clarity in their lines. Whereas rock and metal bands want to create a constant, intense barrage of sound, even the most "fusiony" of fusion artists would want their improvisations to come through and their lines to "sing".

    It is worth mentioning that Kaveh Restagar from the jazz-rock band Kneebody prefers a heavily distorted bass sound, so much so it sounds like the low end of an electric guitar.
    "Se Wo Were Fi Na Wosan Kofa a Yenki" ------- "It is Not Taboo To Go Back and Fetch What You Forgot" - Akan proverb

  6. #6
    Distracted dsschicago's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UprightGuitarist View Post
    Like heavy, gainy distortion, though?
    Frisell, sure. Though it's not exactly your Grant Green type guitar jazz. Try Frisell's album "Quartet". It's a great album, and he definitely has some heavy grainy distortion on it. It's a great album. If, however, you come at me and say it doesn't count as a jazz album for what you're looking for, I won't be offended. It's not exactly straight-ahead jazz. Though I've heard him live a handful of times, and he does apply lots of distortion to more traditional jazz pieces with great success.
    Some of John Zorn's earlier albums is a good place to look, but again, not exactly straight ahead jazz.
    I feel like I should be able to come up with other suggestions, but I'm really struggling at the moment. I'll revisit your thread later.

    Welcome to the forum. Cheers.

  7. #7
    Registered User UprightGuitarist's Avatar
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    Thanks man! Glad to be here. Learning a lot reading some of these threads.

    And thanks for the recommendations; I'll have to check some of these out. I was just really curious if anyone's ever combined these two types of styles, really. I didn't think it would be common, per se, but would be interested to see if anyone has done it.
    Why don't they make upright guitars...

  8. #8
    Registered User le_ste's Avatar
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    listen to "the roots of coincidence" by Pat Metheny (from "imaginary day" album)
    he uses distortion with a classical fretless guitar

  9. #9
    Registered Hipster walkin's Avatar
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    You should give Sonny Sharrock a listen:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mz4Se8owymc


    Carlos Santana/John McLaughlin`s version of Acknowlegement from Coltrane`s A Love Supreme:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c9g7Gzg9Ew

  10. #10
    Registered User flyin' brian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by basste View Post
    listen to "the roots of coincidence" by Pat Metheny (from "imaginary day" album)
    he uses distortion with a classical fretless guitar

    You beat me to it. He said he was into listening to Nine Inch Nails at the time.

  11. #11
    Musician Author Educator Jeff Brent's Avatar
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    My guitar amp is a Fender Twin Reverb.

    I found that in concert, its clean clean sound wasn't cutting it for me.

    I needed to "fill the room with ONE note" (we're a trio - me + bass and drums).

    My answer was to buy a pedal with a tube. I tried out a whole bunch of solid state pedals and they all sounded like metal wankerdom.

    Mind you, I'm playing jazz at my gigs, so I still want a jazz vibe. Consequently, I've got the gain on the tube pedal set virtually as low as it will go and still not disappear altogether.

    It's an incredibly delicate balance (dammit).

    This way the pedal's tube gives me the fatness and warmth I need, but with hardly any of the nasty jangly overtones that those dense jazz guitar chords can generate when you play them through distortion (tube OR solid state).

    The Ibanez pedal with the tube in it runs over $200 retail, but if you've already invested a grand and a half in a Twin, what's another few bucks?

    Gotta have killer tone, otherwise it doesn't matter how good you play ...

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  13. #13
    guitarist
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  14. #14
    Registered User UprightGuitarist's Avatar
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    Wow, I really like Mike Stern. Have never heard of him particularly. How big of a catalogue does he have?
    Why don't they make upright guitars...

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