Mike Overly's 12 Tone Music News

The Latest Guitar and Bass News from around the World Wide Web . . .
May 16, 2019
In This Issue

FEATURED ARTICLE  
 
 

Sadly, and this is for real, Kenny needs our help! https://www.gofundme.com/support-kenny-burrell

Burrell's office has the cluttered, chaotic, where'd-that-CD-get-to look of a profoundly busy man.

Papers and files compete with stacks of CDs and assorted periodicals in his small, corner workspace, the brain center for the Jazz Studies program he has been running for the past decade at UCLA.

"I am swamped," he said with his characteristic wry grin. "Not only am I directing the program, but I'm responsible for all the instruction. And if the program fails or succeeds or is mediocre or good, it's my responsibility."

That would be more than enough of a challenge to keep most people busy. But for Burrell, who will turn 76 on July 31, it's only part of the game.

Still active as one of the jazz world's high-visibility guitarists, his latest album, Birthday Bash: Live at Yoshi's, is his 99th recording as a leader, appropriately issued on Blue Note, the source of his first LP, Introducing Kenny Burrell, in 1956. Number 100, the chronicle of a Burrell 75th birthday tribute performance at UCLA's Royce Hall will be released later this year.

Add to that the fundamental demands that are associated with simply being Kenny Burrell, the famous jazz musician, the recording artist, the college professor, the founder of one of the country's major university jazz programs, and the word "swamped" sounds like a reasonable enough description.

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We appreciate that some guitarists like to modify their stock guitars to make them more to their liking or playing style. After all, that's one of the many traits that made Eddie Van Halen such a unique and significant force in the world of guitar. But some people should put down the soldering gun and hacksaw and stick to brushing up their chops instead. Here are some favorites, with perhaps the best being the acoustic with a whammy bar and Page/Hendrix switch. 
IN THE BASSMENT
 
Pete builds his basses in batches, still picking each piece of wood by hand, especially necks. "It's the heart of the instrument," he says. He often preps for several new builds at once, a benefit of working in the temperate climes of Southern California. "Things don't move around that much here. That's one less headache." "I work in almost like a circle," he continues. "My shop is tiny, it's really small." This forces Pete to work economically. Each part of the process is carefully planned and executed.
PRODUCT SPOTLIGHT

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WATCH THIS
 
Cocktail drum kit and a Danelectro Guitarlin 31 fret! is there any doubt that this man belongs in the Rock Hall? Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show. March 21, 1959.  
LEARN HERE 
World's First Shredder, Niccolo Paganini

Here's what Yngwie has to say: Paganini's compositions also influenced me deeply-especially his 24 Caprices Op.1. I remember learning the Fifth Caprice in A minor-I'd practice it incessantly until I got it wired. It not only really helped me with my technique (particularly arpeggios), but opened my ears to harmony and melody.
GREAT GEAR
 
The Guitarlin was built to cover the typical guitar register plus the higher mandolin range, and the instrument's deep double cutaways provided complete access to its unprecedented 31 frets. The extended rosewood fretboard began with an aluminum nut, and the "Coke bottle" headstock was decorated with the vertical Danelectro logo. The headstock, neck, and body were all finished in a fetching cream-to-copper sunburst. It didn't sell very well and only about 200 were made between 1958 and 1968.
ARTIST AWARENESS
 
Few bands have a sound as instantly recognizable as Talking Heads. The combination of David Byrne's vocal tone, Brian Eno's production methods and, my personal favorite, Tina Weymouth's bass parts, make for records that have withstood the test of time. Leaders of the New Wave pop movement of the late 1970s and 1980s, the band took advantage of recently developed synth sounds, punchy bass lines, and clearly defined rhythmic parts. As the low-end anchor and co-founder of Talking Heads and Tom Tom Club, Weymouth is a Bass Player To Know.  

Order Guitar EncycloMedia or Bass EncycloMedia 
through May 23, 2019  to receive FREE SHIPPING!
Available only from the 12tonemusic.com online store.
No coupon code needed. Domestic orders only. Money back guarantee.
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