"If I don't believe in solipsism, who will?" - Al Batt

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hillbilly Jazz

Vassar Clements died in 2005. He could really play the fiddle, particularly bluegrass and what he dubbed 'hillbilly jazz', improvised string music based on bluegrass, what bluegrass should have became. IMHO. On the first piece off an LP he was probably at his strongest. His health was failing on the live bluesy jam and his energy was slipping, but it's still pretty good stuff.

"Hey old man, put down your fiddle and bow, strap on this electric mandolin and show us some soul."


reverend dick said...

Wet blanket alert!

Hillbilly jazz is western swing. Bob Wills is still the King.

Bluegrass is bluegrass and newgrass is wack. I see that Sam Bush etc. (Bela Fleck? shudder) are technically gifted players, but they got no lonesome in their soul. They are to bluegrass what BB King is to the blues- hackneyed and tired with smoothed over electrics in place of hunger and pain.

Ralph Stanley is a old timer I can get behind.

Gunnar Berg said...

I do not dispute that Western Swing is great music and that Bob Wills is still the King, as the song says. I like it. I have a stack of LPs to prove it. Until you just threw down your cockamamie claim I have NEVER heard Western Swing referred to as 'Hillbilly Jazz'. A quick Google confirms that nobody else in the cyber world has either. Incidently, one of the qualities of jazz is improvisation, which the above Tubes exhibit. And Bob Wills would NEVER have allowed in his band.

reverend dick said...

LOL. Semantics.You know good and well western swing has got that syncopation.
I shudder at the mention of Bela Fleck not because he sounds like he is a vampire, but because he is the perfect example of the worst kind of "jazz"- noodly bughouse music. Miles Davis with rhythm and melody vs Miles Davis with a sonically expressed self indulgent drug habit.