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Thread: Great Jazz musicians WITHOUT perfect pitch

  1. #1
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    Great Jazz musicians WITHOUT perfect pitch

    Is there somewhere I can find a list of jazz greats with and without perfect pitch? Just curious.....

  2. #2
    Sax, Clarinet, Flute
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    trumpet tpt1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by flat5 View Post
    Yanni does! I knew it!

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    Registered User Monco's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Is there somewhere I can find a list of jazz greats with and without perfect pitch? Just curious.....
    (if you didn't know this, but I'm sure you do): you don't need perfect pitch at all (neither for improv nor composition).

    However, I don't the answer. I know of some composers that had perfect pitch and some who didn't... it really doesn't matter either way.

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    Composer/Drummer Jay Norem's Avatar
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    I don't believe for a damn minute that Jimi Hendrix had perfect pitch.

    David Lucas Burge is total jive if you ask me. He's the kind of guy who shows up on those shopping channels.

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    Not on that list but should be-

    Melodious Thunk

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    no charlie parker, Thelonius Monk, John Coltrane, Wes Montgomery, G Benson, Django Reinhardt ???? This is not a complete list.... or is it true that Coltrane didn't have it? Read once that Parker didn't have it either, but that just cant be true, can it??

  8. #8
    Piano/Compose/Arrange engelbach's Avatar
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    Only a few people have perfect pitch. And for a musician it can be a hindrance, as transposing instruments sound different from their note names.

    Excellent relative pitch is what all the great improvisers have.
    Jerry Engelbach, piano/arrange/compose
    Engelbach Music
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    Compose /Arranger / Jazz Prod. Phil Kelly's Avatar
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    guys claiming "perfect pitch" can be a royal ass pain in a studio.

    They ALL tend to play out of tune with the others ( as a rule ) and then blame it on the piano tuner or the track if prerecorded.

    Developing excellent RELATIVE pitch however, is a huge plus. I taught myself to wrrite without a piano on a band bus ..with only a pitchpipe as a reference.
    Swing ..or I'll kill you ( Bill Potts )
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  10. #10
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    The list is, I'm afraid, BS.
    Jo, Stafford, for instance, said in an interview with Gene Lees that she did NOT have perfect pitch, though her relative pitch was very, very good. And if JS Bach had perfect pitch, even well-tempering would have been really annoying to him.

    Sure, some of the folks on that list are known to have it, but since the whole site is simply an avenue for that damn book, it should be taken with an entire day's supply of salt.
    Dave Martin
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    www.javajivestudio.com

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phil Kelly View Post
    guys claiming "perfect pitch" can be a royal ass pain in a studio.

    They ALL tend to play out of tune with the others ( as a rule ) and then blame it on the piano tuner or the track if prerecorded.

    Developing excellent RELATIVE pitch however, is a huge plus. I taught myself to wrrite without a piano on a band bus ..with only a pitchpipe as a reference.
    Some of 'em can be PITA's, but a few that I know who do have it (including the piano player I'm touring with right now), are great. One has been on tour with Elvis Constello for the last year, another is a touring gospel artist now, and a third creates shows for a cruise line and is often an MD for theatrical performances. Interestingly, all 4 are piano players - and three of the four are also world-class accordionists, and Joe Miskulin, the accordionist with Riders in the Sky, also perfect pitch. Maybe perfect pitch is a simply a defense mechanism for accordionists...
    Dave Martin
    Nashville, TN
    www.javajivestudio.com

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by princeplanet View Post
    Is there somewhere I can find a list of jazz greats with and without perfect pitch? Just curious.....
    Dick Hyman mentioned in this Dave Frank Masterclass that he doesn't have perfect pitch - and you can't really get any better than him..

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5rev_sDyeJQ

  13. #13
    Oppressed into submission jazzbluescat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by engelbach View Post
    Only a few people have perfect pitch. And for a musician it can be a hindrance, as transposing instruments sound different from their note names.

    Excellent relative pitch is what all the great improvisers have.
    That's what I've been told, makes sense, too. A trombone player w/pp once told me he has to keep pp at bay because it'll interfer with relative real stuff that is happening. Perfect pitch can get in the way of what's really happening.
    A lot of good arguments are ruined by some fool who knows what he's talking about.

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