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  • Michael Paschall wrote on May 14, 2009 report

    Well done review. Too Much Over explaining the Brian Blade scenario. No need to justify him or his playing. However the Tour CD LIVE was from 2008 in Europe (end of 2008).
    Now I will OVER explain BBlades!
    Brian Blade was good but the way John and Chick play is centered around a driven beat--Period! Blade was incredible but the open ended patterns he plays were NOT the fit! (My opinion!)
    Senior C.S. was fantastic but a samba needs that groove. (On the CD Industrial Zen it is NOT a samba but yet still a driven groove). The tune was Not driven with Brain and he needed to drive the tune.
    As for Blues/Bruise, Brian in NO WAY complimented the tune. (On the 5 PB Live CD the recording of that song is a seminal recording by ALL players. A complete performance on that tune!) I DO agree with your assesment that Chick's tunes were Brains best compliment.
    Kenny Garrett has been a premier stud player for at least a decade and Philly's own C. Mcbride is beyond versatile! Just read his list of artists who demand his playing! (On the 5 PB LIVE CD He and Vinny put a change in the middle of Raju that is for the ages!)
    All solos were great but as you say the "fusion" heads needed to explore other expectaions. Chick and John sharing any stage together -at ANY AGE- was so wondeful and I was thrilled.

    I appreciate your insight and I hope you respect my opinon also.
    Mike in Philadelphia PA

  • John Kelman wrote on May 14, 2009 report

    Thanks for writing, and for sharing your thoughts. Of course I respect them, but I can't agree with your assessment about Brian, because - at least in Montreal - he did groove, but in a looser fashion than Vinnie.

    I corrected the touring part, identifying them as touring since the fall of 2008, and thanks for the catch - the beauty of the web is we can fix mistakes easily!

    As for explaining the diff of Brian, well, I felt - since others have been reviewing FPB shows - that talking about the difference changing one member can make was worth exploring.

    John and Chick do play around defined rhythms - well, some of the time anyway - but they seemed to work just great with Brian. Perhaps Montreal was a better gelling show than Philly, hard to say. But to me, I felt no lack of groove. And as a fusion head myself, btw (!) I want to be clear that was not a put-down. But folks who seem to favor fusion over other styles do seem, without wanting to generalize (but I suppose I'm doing it anyway) to be more disposed towards firm pulse and strong groove.

    Don't know if you've heard any of Brian Blade's Fellowship CDs, but he absolutely can groove, just in a very different from Vinnie.

    But I'll say this: while I think Brian fits just fine in FPB, I'd say he'd do less so in Jeff Beck's group, who I'll be seeing in Montreal this summer.

    But with FPB he was as much a force of nature as anyone (and everyone) else in the group.


  • Michael Paschall wrote on May 18, 2009 report

    Very nice discussion.
    Fellowship Cd/s since thw 90's and saw him (Blades) with wayne shorter in North Sea,Montreax,Umbria and NYC and I LOVE his playing. Not a fit with 5PB.
    Groove is making me sound like a "Fusion" head but clearly my dissapointment (As stated on -one word-)is NOT about Vinny and his power. You were great at pointing out Vinny getting respect for his "other" styles of playing and it seems true.
    When Chick Corea played with many AMAZING drummers for so many consecutive groups he lead, I was shocked at Jeff Ballard as a choice. Then I met and listened to and RE listed to Jeff Ballard with Chick and-- I got it!
    When some recordings of B Blades with 5 PB become available (good audio recordings that is. . .) then I will be able to open my ears better.
    That LIVE CD of 5 PB is so incredible and I wish I never heard it prior to the three shows I saw last month.
    ALSO. . .
    If you will see Jeff Beck at the Montreal festival in JULY then please PUT ON YOUR SEATBELT ! ! !
    I look forward to your review of that show! I saw two of the J. Beck shows in 2009 and Vinny is in full "FUSION" mode. (BUT...Let's not go there again!)
    With much respect, Mike

  • John Kelman wrote on May 27, 2009 report

    Hey Michael,
    Just to be clear, fusion head is not meant as a derogatory term, otherwise I'd be slamming myself. However, I can't agree with you if you don't think Blade doesn't groove. He does, but it's not quite as direct as guys like Vinny (and that's no disrespect to Vinny, either).

    The reality is they're both great, but very different, drummers. Personally, for FPB, I do think I'm more partial to the greater expansiveness of Blade. On the other hand, I can't imagine anyone better than Vinny for Beck...and I will absolutely be seeing Beck in Montreal, so watch out for my coverage of that show as part of my daily reports.

    Been nice chatting with you, and the respect is mutual. You clearly know your shit, and if we don't entirely agree? Well, that's exactly why AAJ has the ability to allow readers to comment. Personally it's always fun to discuss things with others with whom I may not entirely agree, but who clearly have their own valid and well-informed viewpoints.

    Viva la difference! :-)

  • Rictor pino-ino wrote on June 02, 2009 report

    Personally, they're talented at playing, but not at writing music.

  • Barbara Snoogerdoodle wrote on June 04, 2009 report


  • John Kelman wrote on June 04, 2009 report

    Rictor: hard to believe you're saying that the guy who wrote tunes like "Spain," "Humpty Dumpty" and "Crystal Silence" (Corea) and the guy who wrote "Meeting of the Spirits," "Follow Your Heart" and "Belo Horizonte" (McLaughlin) are talented at playing but not at writing music. Not sure why you say that, please elaborate.

    Barbara: when you mean killed it, I am assuming (hoping) you mean killed in the positive way. If not, as with Rictor, please elaborate on why.


  • Rictor pino-ino wrote on June 14, 2009 report

    John, I think a good tune has an introduction, to sell you the song, then a solo with mild accompaniment, the main melody, a solo, a variation on the melody, a final solo, and a variation on the melody to make a conclusion. the song should tell a story, but a story where the moral is interperated, unlike most songs with a story. The story is whatever the listener thinks it is. All solos should be improvised by the emotion of the musician(and the accompaniment follows the soloist's mood). I felt they didn't have that.

  • John Kelman wrote on June 15, 2009 report

    Thanks Rictor - you are, of course, entitled to your opinion and I can't say I totally disagree. However, what I'd suggest is this: just because you don't hear a story doesn't mean there isn't one. What may be a story to one is not one to another, so it's fair enough if it didn't work for you, but I do think that, imo, there were plenty of good tales being told that evening.

    viva la difference, no?