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Re: (TV) 2 cents on Rap/dissing Richard.
Since I'm the one who mentioned Hell in the same breath as Billie Holiday
and Eric Dolphy, let me say that I was referring to his adventurous spirit
and his sensuality, not to his chops (which ain't none too shabby, by the
by, see what Bob Quine has to say about Richard's bass playing). To put any
rock guy or girl up against these jazz greats in the sense of musical
knowledge is a stretch, I'd agree, and that's not what I was getting at. But
when Eric Dolphy played "My Favorite Things" in Coltrane's classic quintet
on a tape I have from a 60's Swedish TV show, he plays in the wrong key,
intentionally, and it's challenging to the listener. He's in the music, but
he's pushing it. It's confrontational. Billie Holiday sings with a
sensuality and a palpable sense of death that few jazz singers ever have.
Robert Johnson has that quality to me as well. To me, Richard Hell's work
sometimes reaches a similar intensity. The fact is Richard Hell has made
rock and roll music that has vitality, with superb musicians in that
tradition. I'd rather play with a bass player like Hell than some Berkeley
School of Music, chops-loving player, but it's all a matter of sensibility.
It's the spirit and the sensuality in Richard Hell that I was speaking of,
not his formal qualities. If one were to use that kind of criteria for rock
and roll players, who wouldn't fall short?
>From: Eric Gregory <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>To: "'email@example.com'" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: RE: (TV) 2 cents on Rap/dissing Richard.
>Date: Mon, Jan 10, 2000, 11:11 AM
> jpg wrote:
> That's fine. But to put him in the company of Eric Dolphy or Billie Holiday
> preposterous. The guy has not mastered his instrument and has never
> me as anything but a poseur. I hung around the lower East side scene and my
> impressions all come not from second hand info. but from being there.
> Now if Hell is a genius , prophet, etc. in your book or life that's fine.
> he ain't no virtuoso and it's a stinking disservice to people such as
> Dolphy ,
> Holiday ,'Trane, etc.
> If my candid comments are bothersome so be it. All I'm trying to do is gain
> clear perspective.
> i don't think anyone's claiming hell to be a "virtuoso" in the sense yr
> but listen again to his bass playing....NOBODY & i mean NOBODY plays the
> bass like he does.
> he did what he did with soul & chutzpah & was a serious inspiration to
> non-musicians everywhere.
> Eric S. Gregory
> IVR Assistant
> (503) 321-8503
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