hammering genious
February 2, 2006 4:56 PM   Subscribe

I'm not really a fan of this style of guitar playing but THIS was good. It takes a minute before he starts to nail it. It's worth the wait. (embedded video-possibly slow download-worked for me)
posted by snsranch (58 comments total)

 
tried but i saw nothing. farked?
posted by Frasermoo at 4:59 PM on February 2, 2006


I got the video. I've seen him before, once live in Atlanta. That was 15 years or so ago, though. In this video, it looks like he's playing in a mall or something. Is this video really old?
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:03 PM on February 2, 2006


15years ago? He looked like a teenager to me. What is it called when he plays on the fret so much, is that something?
posted by Falconetti at 5:05 PM on February 2, 2006


Stanley Jordan. One of the greats and a man who deserves far more credit for his dual-line tapping innovations on the guitar. You should check this guy out when he plays TWO guitars. But this is a fantastic sampler for those who didn't listen to jazz guitar in the early 80s.
posted by ed at 5:07 PM on February 2, 2006


More info about Jordan.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:08 PM on February 2, 2006


This link seems to work better.
posted by interrobang at 5:09 PM on February 2, 2006


I second that, ed. Heard Jordan in the 80's and fell for jazz, of all kinds, like a led balloon. His work was so innovative at the time. He truly is one of the greats.
posted by johnj at 5:10 PM on February 2, 2006


holy crap. fantastic post. The crowd wasn't very into it, though, which confirms the mall hypothesis.
posted by ulotrichous at 5:12 PM on February 2, 2006


[I updated the link to point to google video, the original location of it instead of the page playing the google video covered in ads.]
posted by mathowie at 5:12 PM on February 2, 2006


Stanley Jordan is technically brilliant, but there's a reason he isn't more widely known--bit of a (musical) wanker.
posted by bardic at 5:13 PM on February 2, 2006


That's THE Stanley Jordan? It's been so long I didn't even who I was watching. It looks like some kid playing in a church. All I knew was that it was good!

Thanks interrobang.
posted by snsranch at 5:16 PM on February 2, 2006


good work interrobang. f*cking excellent work actually. worthy.
posted by Frasermoo at 5:18 PM on February 2, 2006


(And I always get him confused with Stanley Clarke.)
posted by bardic at 5:19 PM on February 2, 2006


Thanks mathowie.
posted by snsranch at 5:21 PM on February 2, 2006


Youtube has a couple more videos, including another rendition of Eleanor Rigby with some unfortunate wardrobe choices.
posted by smackfu at 5:26 PM on February 2, 2006


Sure he can play guitar, but his work in Blind Date is what really puts him in the pantheon.
posted by Heminator at 5:26 PM on February 2, 2006


Jeez, that was great! Thanks.
posted by 327.ca at 5:34 PM on February 2, 2006


That's gotta be old, the guy is 47 years old and looks like a kid there.

But holy shit, he lives less that 4 hours away from me!
I'm gonna have to take a weekend trip to Sedona soon.
posted by papakwanz at 5:40 PM on February 2, 2006


And you wanna talk about "unfortunate" fashion sense, smackfu? Check out the bass player in this. Nice haircut, flock of seagulls.
posted by papakwanz at 5:42 PM on February 2, 2006


Looks to me like he might be playing at a school assembly rather than a mall?
posted by TunnelArmr at 5:52 PM on February 2, 2006


I had guitar lessons as a kid, and I've dabbled since then, but this guy plays better with one hand then I could ever hope two with three.
posted by squarehead at 5:59 PM on February 2, 2006


My dad was Stanley Jordan's pediatric dentist.
posted by intermod at 6:02 PM on February 2, 2006


"hope two with three"

Funniest typo ever.
posted by Suparnova at 6:09 PM on February 2, 2006


I saw him play live a couple years ago in a very nice auditorium. Some friends convinced me to go - I had never heard of him since this isn't exactly my cup of tea. But he was impressive and very, very intense. But mostly I amused by how weird he was. First, someone's cell phone rings and Jordan stops to glare at the nervous crowd for about a minute. Long enough that I suspected that he may leave. And second, about half way through the show he grabs the water bottle that had been sitting next to his stool and proceeds to chug the entire bottle in one go. A few people in the crowd chuckled about half way through but then it was just awkwardly silent as he finished the rest of the bottle.
posted by mullacc at 6:13 PM on February 2, 2006


Jordan chose such a tough guitar gimmick to master that it never seemed like he quite pulled it all together. Sure, it is mind-blowing to SEE him in action, but listen to it without the video. Clams all over the place, brittle tone...I have always been ambivalent about him, but I DO always want to check out how far he has progressed. So thanks.
posted by O Blitiri at 6:17 PM on February 2, 2006


I understand he tunes in fourths straight across, no third from the G to the B string.
posted by sourwookie at 6:39 PM on February 2, 2006


I had a Stanlye Jordan album where he hit all three guitars so Stairway to Heaven, with one guitar. Awesome!
posted by Balisong at 6:41 PM on February 2, 2006


my friend in the music buisiness (who could play any instrument better than you) once said,

(well, you get the picture..)
posted by Balisong at 6:48 PM on February 2, 2006


After reading comments and watching it again, it seems to me that he would be much more famous had he not mixed styles so much. Nail a flamenco song, then classical, jazz etc. I see why he could annoy critics with that fusion stuff. Personally mixing jazz with flamenco etc. is like oil and water. But he's still awesome. I would take lessons from him anyday!
posted by snsranch at 6:49 PM on February 2, 2006


It would also help if he could compose.
posted by bardic at 7:19 PM on February 2, 2006


Any reservations I made have had about Stanley Jordan were all put to rest after I saw him live. His tone was great, he was totally musical, and even though I was listening and waiting for mistakes that I thought were coming he played flawlessly. The video shot in the school cafeteria or wherever doesn't begin do to him justice.
posted by mexican at 7:26 PM on February 2, 2006


That was really great.

I also really like the work Jimi M'baye does with Youssou N'dour. He makes his guitar sound like a Kora and other traditional instruments.
posted by mike3k at 7:32 PM on February 2, 2006


highly technical wankery. Beautiful in parts, but the lack of coherency makes me cringe.
posted by pmbuko at 7:34 PM on February 2, 2006


Also pretty cool: While My Ukulele Gently Weeps.
posted by maxreax at 7:47 PM on February 2, 2006


Reminds me of Victor Wooten on the bass.
posted by LordSludge at 8:13 PM on February 2, 2006


I'm surprised that nobody else has pointed out that the audio and the video have nothing to do with one another. It's DEFINITELY Stanley Jordan playing the music that you hear, and it MAY be Stanley Jordan in the video - although it does seem like an odd place for him to be playing, and it doesn't look very recent. That said, there is NO WAY that what we are hearing is what the guy in that video is playing.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 8:20 PM on February 2, 2006


fingers_of_fire, I think maybe you just need to use a different browser or a better internet connection or something. Or try pausing it until it's fully loaded, then hit play. I often have trouble with Google Video clips too, but once you get this in sync, it's really in sync.

If the guy on the video is not the same guy on the audio, then this truly is the weirdest hoax of all time.

Speaking of unconventional guitar wizardry, whatever happened to Jeff Healey?
posted by staggernation at 9:11 PM on February 2, 2006


I have to disagree. He nails it immediately.

And what are you talking about, fingers of fire?
posted by scarabic at 9:24 PM on February 2, 2006


highly technical wankery

Maybe watching it gives this impression, but just listen to it and it's lovely.
posted by scarabic at 9:26 PM on February 2, 2006


pssst...Charlie Hunter. Pass it on.
posted by edverb at 9:31 PM on February 2, 2006


edverb, what does that have to do with shooting an unarmed man?
posted by pmbuko at 10:02 PM on February 2, 2006


Victor Wooten owns this man.
posted by pmbuko at 10:04 PM on February 2, 2006


highly technical wankery.

Guitar pyrotechnics being compared to masturbation? Never heard that before, thanks!

Stanley Jordan was never my cup of tea either, but why put someone down just because they can play the fuck out of their instrument.

I feel the same way about people Vai, Buckethead et. al; there are some songs (or passages in their songs) where they sound sublime, but then they go off on a tangent I don't like. But the beautiful bits are worth the price of their CD's, at least to me. At least they're playing what they want and not emulating the latest trend.

Speaking of unconventional guitar wizardry, whatever happened to Jeff Healey?

BB King was in awe of the guy, which says a lot. He's still out there making albums and touring, but he never really recovered from appearing in Roadhouse.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:11 PM on February 2, 2006


edverb, what does that have to do with shooting an unarmed man?

Well, see...I saw "Video of..." as the name of the tab and thought I was posting in the Jordan thread and...well, I guess I really dropped the dog on that one.

For my next trick, I plan to post an FPP about the warm fuzzy side of hemoclysm. Bad idea?

About Stanley Jordan though, I worked one of his shows at a small theater on Long Island. His pre-show warmup involved an exercise involving a device which called out runs/scales numbered 1-30, increasing in complexity. An automated female voice would say "twelve" and run some scale (MIDI probably) which he would then duplicate. Then the female voice would call out "fourteen" or some other number. I couldn't tell if the sequence was random or if the device was gauging his playing and moving him forward or backwards based on his accuracy.

Also, he had unique requests which were not in the rider, but we accomodated him anyway. (Good luck finding macrobiotic food for the guy. In Huntington, Long Island. On short notice. In the early 90s.)

Another strange thing...after someone had located macrobiotic food for Mr. Jordan, he requested a packet of soy sauce. We figured we'd run to the supermarket and pick up Kikkoman's or what have you. He refused that, asking instead for a standard Chinese take out packet of soy sauce. Turned out the soy sauce was not for consumption...he liked to practice with the packet wedged under the strings above the nut, for string dampening I'm guessing.

His show was kind of a novelty to me...very impressive techincally, but not profoundly moving IMHO. It was more memorable for all the weird shit he did beforehand.
posted by edverb at 10:24 PM on February 2, 2006


but why put someone down just because they can play the fuck out of their instrument.

Because the people without any good ideas or taste always seem to end up as the guitar gods?
posted by hototogisu at 10:42 PM on February 2, 2006


Interesting anecdote, edverb. Makes the "remove the brown M&M's" request seem very reasonable.

And I know VH did that in order to instantly find out whether all their demand had been met.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:45 PM on February 2, 2006


Because the people without any good ideas or taste always seem to end up as the guitar gods?

Blasphemer!

Seriously though, technical prowess and taste aren't mutually exclusive.
posted by Devils Slide at 10:47 PM on February 2, 2006


sorry for the mistaken post before. I'm viewing on a weird connection. Now if you'll excuse me, I think my humble pie is ready.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 10:54 PM on February 2, 2006


That clip of him on Letterman remins me of nothing so much as the music they pipe into the local strip mall.
posted by ubernostrum at 11:09 PM on February 2, 2006


Eddie Van Halen is an innovator in two-handed tapping, but this page says the technique was used by Paganini on the violin back in the 1700 - 1800's.

Charlie Hunter is a virtuoso, but his is a different approach; he's essentially playing traditional fingerstyle but on a very unique instrument. It's an 8-string guitar that uses two different types of pickups and two different amplifiers: one for bass and one for guitar. His guitar has three bass strings whose signals are sent to the bass amp and 5 guitar strings whose signals are sent to a guitar amp.

Charlie Hunter is two musicians in one, bassist and guitarist. Give him a drummer and you've got a trio. His videos will give you an idea of how bad he is. He is one of the contemporary masters of today, IMHO.

O Blitiri: Clams all over the place.

I'm not sure what you were listening to, but I was only listening to the video and was impressed at how clean his playing is. It's hard to imagine how much cleaner your picking must be to say that about his picking. There ain't no clams in that performance. It's frikkin immaculate.

fingers_of_fire: ...there is NO WAY that what we are hearing is what the guy in that video is playing.

I must beg to differ. I have no doubt that every note we hear is exactly what Stanley played in that live performance. What makes you think otherwise? The recording even sounds like it's in a mall. If you were going to overdub a performance, wouldn't you try to make it sound better than a mall recording? This is a home video and audio recording, nothing more nor less. It's all real, live and Stanley.

On preview, nevermind F of F.
posted by wsg at 1:17 AM on February 3, 2006


Yes, there is some wanking going on, but that is predominant among guitarists.
posted by wsg at 1:35 AM on February 3, 2006


highly technical wankery

There are those that also hate bebop and consider any form of it to be wankery. That doesn't really apply here. Stanley Jordan is an awesome, fluid and extremely tasteful guitarist. I bought one of his records when I was in high school in 1984 and still listen to it every now and again.

Taste, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I put someone like Kaki King in the, impressive but doesn't move me category. Stanley Jordan's playing is tasteeee.
posted by psmealey at 3:59 AM on February 3, 2006


Speaking of unconventional guitar wizardry, whatever happened to Jeff Healey?
-----------
BB King was in awe of the guy, which says a lot. He's still out there making albums and touring, but he never really recovered from appearing in Roadhouse.
-----------
Unlike most of us, at least he never had to see Roadhouse.
posted by captnkurt at 6:56 AM on February 3, 2006


Unlike most of us, at least he never had to see Roadhouse.

Hey, Roadhouse is the best film about bouncers starring Patrick Swayze and featuring a bit part by Jeff Healey made in 1989.

There are those that also hate bebop and consider any form of it to be wankery. That doesn't really apply here.

And it's never applied to the great J. Mascis despite his penchant for extended riffing. I think if you avoid hammer-ons, arpeggios, and playing too fast you can noodle as much as you want and avoid the dreaded hipster "guitar wanker" tag, but if your strumming hand ever touches the neck you're an instant fret jerker.
posted by Devils Slide at 8:17 AM on February 3, 2006


Speaking of unconventional guitar wizardry, whatever happened to Jeff Healey?

Jeff's doing great! He owns a club in Toronto, does jazz shows occasionally for CBC, produces albums by up-and-coming blues artists, had another recent brush with cancer, and is recording "old style" jazz playing trumpet! What a great musician!
posted by 327.ca at 8:19 AM on February 3, 2006


And captnkurt, I just noticed you've been a member since April 2001 and that was your first comment on MeFi. I'm honored :)
posted by Devils Slide at 8:22 AM on February 3, 2006


papakwanz:
And you wanna talk about "unfortunate" fashion sense, smackfu? Check out the bass player in this. Nice haircut, flock of seagulls.
Now, I gotta come to the man's defense.

I mean, one, it's the 80's. I was in garage bands through most of that era, and I remember it well. I can sum up the state of fashion for you in one word: mullet. So. Taken in context, the man is stylin'.

But, second, dude, that's Will Lee, quite possibly the most-recorded bassist in history. It's been seriously estimated that he plays on something like every other commercial recorded in New York, and just about every third album that uses a studio bassist. This is in addition to his own projects, and his work on Letterman's band.

As an aside, Letterman seems to me to have fallen off in terms of cultural influence in the past five or ten years, but for a long, long time there were two bands on late-night TV that could just flat-out tear it up: Doc Severinsen's Tonight Show Band (Carson-era Tonight Show), and Paul Shaffer's CBS Orchestra on Letterman.

He's arguably got a talent (and, through simple exposure, influence) to rival that of Jaco Pastorius, or James Jamerson, or Victor Wooten.

Sure, silly hair. But that shouldn't define him: that's like saying Miles Davis was a lightweight because of his, ah, innovative fashion choices.
posted by scrump at 11:38 AM on February 3, 2006


A Magician was doing his stage show in front of a big audience but saw he wasn't getting anywhere. After trying all the 'tricks', in desperation, he called a big, muscular man out of the audience.

"Sir, I'd like you to take this 20 pound sledge hammer and hit me as hard as you can right in the head."

The man refused.

The magician then said, "Sir, I am a professional. This is the Greatest Illusion. Besides, there are hundreds of witnesses, hit me as hard as you can right in the head with the hammer."

The man shrugged, did it, and the Magician went flying across the stage, hit the wall, and immediately fell into a coma. He was rushed to the hospital, and remained in the coma for years.

Ten years later, he came out of the coma, looked around, and said "Ta-DAAAHHH!!"

And captnkurt, I just noticed you've been a member since April 2001 and that was your first comment on MeFi. I'm honored :)

Ta-DAAAHHH!!
posted by captnkurt at 12:59 PM on February 3, 2006


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