Sabtu, 07 Juni 2008

Early Influencers & Pioneers


In the 60's the revolutionary guitarist .. Jimi Hendrix dug the path and laid the solid foundations for the rock guitarists in the 70's to pathe that the modern rock guitarist play along today. He made the biggest impact and change to rock guitaring in the history of modern music. In the 50's and early 60's Jimi started on the road gigging with the likes of the Isley Brothers, Little Richard and King Curtis, recording with each of those acts, but was unable to adapt to the discipline their performances required. Soon after he let loose with his own bands, his own music which made the whole world 'kiss the sky'.

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Pioneer rock and speed guitarist, Graham Barnes aka Alvin Lee from Nottingham, England, began playing guitar at the age of 13, originally influenced by his parent's collection of jazz and blues records, it was the rock and roll of guitarists like Chuck Berry and Scotty Moore who provided his inspiration to form his band Ivan Jay and the Jaymen by the age 15. After local gigs and success in Hamburg, Germany the band moved to London and changed their name to Ten Years After. TYA had success with Europen and US tours, releasing ten albums. Alvin was very experimental and brave guitarist, enjoying new techniques. By 1973 Alvin felt held back by the band's style, so with US gospel singer Mylon LeFevre and a host of rock talents like George Harrison, Steve Winwood, Ron Wood and Mick Fleetwood, he recorded and released On the Road to Freedom, a highly acclaimed album that was at the forefront of country rock. A year later, Alvin formed Alvin Lee & Company to play a show at the Rainbow in London and released it as a double live album, In Flight, a very energetic mix of rhythm and blues and rock. He finished out the 1970s with his power trio 'Ten Years Later'. Alvin has gone on to record 20 albums, his most recent, Saguitar, released Sept 2007.
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Rock and speed pioneer guitarist Jeff Beck from Wallington, Greater London started as a guitar sessionist and played in his band Trident before joining The Yardbirds. They had most of thier hits the 18 months Jeff was in the band. 1967 sees him recording the one-off song "Beck's Bolero" with Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Nicky Hopkins, and Keith Moon, after which he formed a new band, The Jeff Beck Group, which also featured Rod Stewart, Ron Wood, Nicky and Micky Waller. The group produced two albums, Truth in 1968 and Beck-Ola in June, 1969. Both albums are highly acclaimed, and considered by many critics to have inspired the heavy metal genre. In 1973 while in US he recorded 2 albums with his power trio Beck, Bogert & Appice. He has gone on to play with countless artists as well as a huge solo career recording 15 solo albums. Jeff does not use a pick/plectrum but relies on his fingernails and thumbnail for his attack. He produces a wide variety of sounds by using his fingers and the vibrato bar on his signature Fender Stratocaster, although he frequently uses a wah-wah pedal both live and in the studio. He has been a huge influence and still is to guitar players and the music industry throughout long career.
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John Mclaughlin
Guitar virtuoso John McLaughlin from Doncaster, Yorkshire is regarded by many as one of the most influential and technically gifted guitarists of all time, having over his long career mastered a remarkable range of styles and genres, including jazz, Indian classical music, fusion, and Flamenco. Initially inspired by blues and swing players he started on guitar when he was 11 and worked Tony Oxley and John Surman before moving to America in 1969. He played with Jimi Hendrix, Carlos Santana, Miles Davis and reputation as a session player grew, resulting in recordings as a sideman with Miroslav Vitous, Larry Coryell, Wayne Shorter, Carla Bley, The Rolling Stones and others. In 1970 he formed The Mahavishnu Orchestra which included violinist Jerry Goodman (later Jean-Luc Ponty), keyboardist Jan Hammer (later Gayle Moran and Stu Goldberg), bassist Rick Laird (later Ralphe Armstrong), and drummer Billy Cobham (later Narada Michael Walden). The band performed a technically virtuosic and complex style of music that fused eclectic jazz and rock with eastern and Indian influences. He has gone on to play and record dozens of albums with many greats of different genre as well as a busy solo career and continues writing, recording and touring.
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Virtuoso Allan Holdsworth from Bradford, Yorkshire is one of a handful who pioneered the fusion of rock and jazz music with speed in the early 70's. His influences include Django Reinhardt, Jimmy Rainey, Charlie Christian, Joe Pass , Eric Clapton, and John Coltrane. Allen pioneered several techniques including using an eight-voice modulated delay to create a chorusing effect that, combined with unusual closed voiced chords, create a very piano-like sound from an ordinary electric guitar. He uses a legato phrasing technique with light picking that causes a distorted guitar amplifier to produce a reedy, clarinet-like tone. A third innovative technique is using a volume pedal to "swell" chords into a long delay/reverb effect, generating the impression of an orchestral string section. These three techniques were used by Allen to create the aural illusion of classical instruments, years before the invention of guitar synthesizers, and have been adopted by increasing numbers of guitarists such as Frank Gambale, Eddie Van Halen, Scott Henderson, Bill Connors, Steve Vai, Alex Lifeson and David Sylvian to mention a few. Allen has been a band member with Soft Works, Bruford, Gongzilla, U.K., Tempest, Soft Machine, Level 42 and Gong. He has played on 54 collaboration albums and to date recorded 18 solo albums. Sadly his work has been neglected by the media and the public as a whole, where as fellow musicians have held him in high esteem for over 35 years.
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Ulrich Roth aka Uli Jon Roth
Neo-classical guitar pioneer Ulrich Jon Roth born in Düsseldorf, Germany formed his first serious band, Dawn Road, while in his mid teens. At 19, in 1973 he was asked to finished a tour off with the up and coming Scorpians, later that year, this led to a new line-up for Scorpians of 4 former Sporpians and 2 members of Dawn Road, with Uli as lead guitarist. Although he recorded 5 albums with them, establishing them as a top band, Uli's soul, his writings, composing and guitaring, were heavily influenced by Hendrix and tendings toward blending this with the classical, a very different direction to Scorpian. In 1978 he formed his own band "Electric Sun" to pursue and showcase his hendrix-classical pioneering. Elecrtic Sun released 3 albums which opened the door and influenced all the neo-classical guitarists which followed, including Yngwie Malmsteen who later popularised neo-classical more with the media. Uli invented his own unique instrument the 6-octave Sky guitar to further his 'ever' evolving creations and techniques. Uli went solo in the late 80's and has since written 4 symphonies, 2 concertos, numerous songs, released 3 albums, done many world tours, guested with too many artists to mention, inducted into the Walk of Fame by Europe's only Rock & Pop Museum, which is situated in Gronau, Germany, and is currently working on a new full-length studio album "Under A Dark Sky", which is to be released next year, also for 2008 he has another World Tour planned.
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Al Di Meola
To many, virtuoso Al Di Meola is one of the most important pioneers of shred guitar, his 70's work opened up a new era of rock and influenced guitarists such as Yngwie Malmsteen, John Petrucci, Jason Becker, Chris Impellitteri and many, many others. After attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Al joined the bands Chick Corea and Return to Forever before embarking on his solo career in 1976. His first solo album Land of the Midnight Sun, is noted for his technical mastery and extremely fast speed guitaring, complex guitar solos and compositions. He gradually introduced his love for latin and flamenco into his music. Al went on to explore a variety of styles, but is now most noted for his Latin-influenced jazz fusion works. He is a four time winner as Best Jazz Guitarist in Guitar Player Magazine's Reader Poll. In addition to a prolific solo career of 25 albums, tours and world appearances , he has engaged in successful collaborations with bassist Stanley Clarke, synthesizer player Jan Hammer, violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, and guitarists John McLaughlin and Paco de Lucía and guested on countless tracks.

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