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Author Topic: Aeijtzsche's Annual Assortment of potentially unsolvable BB mysteries.  (Read 23081 times)
Ebb and Flow
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« Reply #200 on: August 11, 2011, 05:04:06 PM »

I have a couple of questions about the "Hang On To Your Ego" session that don't relate to the guitars.  Nerd ramblings follow:

Are there clarinets in the horn section?  The various liner notes consistently list saxophones, Brian refers to them as "horns" during the parts of the session we're privy to, and most of the musicians listed on the AFM sheet were typically sax players.  Seems like a mountain of evidence that they're saxes...but I still hear at least one clarinet with maybe a few saxes playing under that.  Badman's questionable research oddly puts Jay Migliori on "woodwind" (though he also seems to be under the impression that there were two separate tracking sessions for "Ego").

Whatever the exact instrumentation, it sounds close to the lineup Brian used on IJWMFTT a few days later, where saxophones are also listed consistently in the liners.  I can definitely hear saxes in that session so maybe I'm just unlearned in what sounds different ranges of saxophones are capable of.

Also, am I wrong in assuming Hal is moved to tambourine for the later takes?  Conventional drums seem to be absent after the first take.  I assume Wechter is on the tympani, even though the liners for the sessions box put him on the tambourine.

Having most of the session tape unavailable makes the process of identifying "who played what" a headache, and also leaves us in the dark on how Brian changed the arrangement between take 3 and take 12.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 05:16:03 PM by Ebb and Flow » Logged
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« Reply #201 on: August 11, 2011, 08:33:19 PM »

Awesome questions! Definitely worth checking out.

One point to maybe clarify: Any professional sax player would "double" on clarinet as a general rule, and many also doubled proficiently on flute. Whether Eb or Bb clarinet, or maybe both, they'd have them on hand and would have to be proficient on the instrument. Most...I use that term cautiously...most big band sax players at least in that era would have to use clarinet at some point during a show, it was just how it was done. Blame Glen Miller. Grin  So a session guy like Migliori or whoever else would definitely have a clarinet. And not unreasonable to assume Brian had one or more of the saxes try out a clarinet for a different tonality during the session(s).

There are only 4 saxophones in regular use for popular music, from high to low in range: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone. With clarinets there are Bb, Eb, and the beautifully deep bass clarinet. Others are specialties, but all fall under the category of woodwinds. Same with flutes.

I may be wrong and have to listen again, but I thought I heard a bass clarinet on some of Brian's other tracks, can anyone confirm?
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« Reply #202 on: August 11, 2011, 08:36:24 PM »

I wanted to clarify that "You Still Believe In Me" intro stuff I posted from the previous page...I was wrong, I think they were using a paperclip to pluck the strings of that piano, hopefully someone can clear that up...I don't know why I thought it was a dog toy unless someone made a joke on the session. Sorry about the mistake!
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Ebb and Flow
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« Reply #203 on: August 11, 2011, 09:35:12 PM »


One point to maybe clarify: Any professional sax player would "double" on clarinet as a general rule, and many also doubled proficiently on flute. Whether Eb or Bb clarinet, or maybe both, they'd have them on hand and would have to be proficient on the instrument. Most...I use that term cautiously...most big band sax players at least in that era would have to use clarinet at some point during a show, it was just how it was done. Blame Glen Miller. Grin  So a session guy like Migliori or whoever else would definitely have a clarinet. And not unreasonable to assume Brian had one or more of the saxes try out a clarinet for a different tonality during the session(s).

Yes, most of the session sax players were proficient on other reed instruments and flutes, which is why it's hard to 100% lock down what instruments they could be playing.  Though I do think the fact that Brian refers to them as "horns" makes me think that they could all be saxophones.  Would he call a clarinet or a flute a horn?

Quote
There are only 4 saxophones in regular use for popular music, from high to low in range: soprano, alto, tenor, and baritone. With clarinets there are Bb, Eb, and the beautifully deep bass clarinet. Others are specialties, but all fall under the category of woodwinds. Same with flutes.

I know saxes/clarinets/flutes are all in the family of woodwind instruments, but it seems odd Badman would put a bunch of the guys on "saxophone" and then single Migliori out on "woodwind" in the same listing.  But then again, there are so many other things wrong with his research that it's a pretty minor caveat.
Quote
I may be wrong and have to listen again, but I thought I heard a bass clarinet on some of Brian's other tracks, can anyone confirm?

There's a bass clarinet on "God Only Knows" (Brian refers to it by name during the session) and Brad Elliot's liner notes put Douglas and Migliori on clarinets for "You Still Believe In Me", which I totally agree with after listening to that session.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2011, 10:36:17 PM by Ebb and Flow » Logged
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« Reply #204 on: August 12, 2011, 06:00:01 AM »


"Bridge Over Troubled Water"...Have you listened to that song recently? The last 2 minutes are the building of the arrangement, strings in both channels, harmonies and counterpoints, soaring string lines and countermelodies alongside Art's vocal, it is a stunning arrangement (opinion). The fact is Larry Knechtel won the Grammy for arranging that song, and they don't give that out to a piano player playing pretty chords under a vocal. The award is for the full arrangement, and Knecthel won it that year.


Hi Craig...this is the other Craig here...I totally agree with your point that the Wrecking Crew guys & gal were amazing musicians AND sometimes great songwriters/arrangers/producers in their own right, but just to set the record straight (pun intended) on "Bridge Over Troubled Water"...I recall that Paul Simon said (in a Rolling Stone interview, circa 1972, that was reprinted in a big coffee-table book of Rolling Stone interviews) that he put Larry's name down as arranger of "Bridge" b/c of his work transposing Simon's original guitar arrangement to piano (I think he also admitted that Larry threw in a chord or two along the way), but he stated that THAT was the extent of his arrangement work (in fact, in the RS interview Paul comes across as a little bitter that Larry won that grammy, essentially saying that perhaps he didn't really deserve it for what he actually did, and regretting that he even put his name down as arranger).  In the DVD interviews accompanying the recent 30-year anniversary reissue of the "Bridge" album, Art Garfunkel describes how he worked with Larry on the piano arrangement, then describes how it was HIS (Artie's) idea to make the ending of the song big and majestic (like a plane taking off from the runway).  As for the orchestral arrangement on that part of the song, that was the work of Ernie Freeman.  The implication from all this is that Larry's arrangement work on this song was in fact limited to the piano part.  AWESOME piano arrangement & performance, BTW.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2011, 06:02:27 AM by c-man » Logged
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« Reply #205 on: August 12, 2011, 08:16:02 AM »


"Bridge Over Troubled Water"...Have you listened to that song recently? The last 2 minutes are the building of the arrangement, strings in both channels, harmonies and counterpoints, soaring string lines and countermelodies alongside Art's vocal, it is a stunning arrangement (opinion). The fact is Larry Knechtel won the Grammy for arranging that song, and they don't give that out to a piano player playing pretty chords under a vocal. The award is for the full arrangement, and Knecthel won it that year.


Hi Craig...this is the other Craig here...I totally agree with your point that the Wrecking Crew guys & gal were amazing musicians AND sometimes great songwriters/arrangers/producers in their own right, but just to set the record straight (pun intended) on "Bridge Over Troubled Water"...I recall that Paul Simon said (in a Rolling Stone interview, circa 1972, that was reprinted in a big coffee-table book of Rolling Stone interviews) that he put Larry's name down as arranger of "Bridge" b/c of his work transposing Simon's original guitar arrangement to piano (I think he also admitted that Larry threw in a chord or two along the way), but he stated that THAT was the extent of his arrangement work (in fact, in the RS interview Paul comes across as a little bitter that Larry won that grammy, essentially saying that perhaps he didn't really deserve it for what he actually did, and regretting that he even put his name down as arranger).  In the DVD interviews accompanying the recent 30-year anniversary reissue of the "Bridge" album, Art Garfunkel describes how he worked with Larry on the piano arrangement, then describes how it was HIS (Artie's) idea to make the ending of the song big and majestic (like a plane taking off from the runway).  As for the orchestral arrangement on that part of the song, that was the work of Ernie Freeman.  The implication from all this is that Larry's arrangement work on this song was in fact limited to the piano part.  AWESOME piano arrangement & performance, BTW.


I love backstories such as that, and if that was the case with the song I stand corrected! I'm not surprised at those details, but it does certainly change the way I look at the song, which is a cool thing to get the full story.

On a personal note, somewhat related to this: I did study to be an "arranger", when that term still meant the guy who put the pencil to the score paper and handed out the parts to the musicians. Smiley Some of my teachers/professors were from the old school, and had worked with guys like Henry Mancini and the newer guys would have worked with the composers like Danny Elfman.

It blew my mind a bit when some of them said in a lot of famous cases, the person who got the credit and even awards as the "arranger" for a particular song or soundtrack would have sketched the outline of a melody or a cue then handed it off to either his staff or an orchestrator to finish it out with the elements - horns, strings, etc. - that we would assume was from the arranger himself. It reminded me of the old master painters who did a similar thing on their works: The staff painted the backgrounds and the little details and the famous artist himself did the main subject, like an assembly line.

That's not all the cases, of course, but it did take some of the luster away from the job of "arranger" if all those grand sounds may have come from a room full of staff writers rather than the big name on the credits. Would the award go to the guy who sketched a single line of melody, or the team of anonymous writers who developed it into what we hear? It sounds close to what happened on "Bridge Over Troubled Water" where the piece was finished up by another writer or writers.
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« Reply #206 on: August 12, 2011, 11:32:41 AM »

Very cool to know, Craig...I think the "arranger" credit on "Bridge Over Troubled Water" should probably go to Paul Simon, Art Garfunkel, Larry Knechtel, and Ernie Freeman.
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« Reply #207 on: August 12, 2011, 03:37:49 PM »

To Ebbandflow: I hear clarinets and harmonica on "...Ego". One of them could be a bass clarinet, but that lower register part jumps up to the higher register and it's behind the other part in the mix. There is a bit of a buzzy reed going on, too.
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« Reply #208 on: August 12, 2011, 03:54:53 PM »

I found this vid of a Barney Kessel Gibson that was owned and hand painted by April Lawton. I recommend muting the sound on this vid though. But check out that beautiful instrument.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8oXIpOQMaUI&feature=related
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« Reply #209 on: August 15, 2011, 09:50:02 AM »

This copy of a print ad can clarify one of the topics: This is what I believe to be the first ad for the "new" Danelectro six-string bass:



If the label was correct, this ad appeared in the Danelectro catalog for 1955, which would make sense because the bass itself was first available in 1956, or at least that is the year I've seen most often cited as the "first" Danelectro six-string bass to hit the stores.

The ad confirms that the original standard factory setup - the design of the instrument as well - was the six strings tuned an octave below. The history is *very* confusing, and in researching this and another topic I found message boards and forums where the discussions got pretty heated over the bass-versus-baritone question, concerning Danelectro and the Fender Bass VI, exactly what this thread touched on earlier.

In the decades since, the length and the scale of the necks has changed a bit from those original Danelectros in '56. It is impossible to tell when the first "baritone" models (A-to-A or B-to-B tuning) came from a factory (with the new scale necks), but the history of that setup seems to have come from the players themselves, where they would be tinkering with the guitar and putting heavy guitar strings on the instrument instead of the factory six-string bass strings. Who or when they did this or when it was first recorded...is anyone's guess. But it dates back to the 60's, according to some accounts.

Whatever or whoever originated and standardized that "baritone" setup, it is now the standard for factory setups of those guitars, and the original six-string setup has become the option. It is important to note again that this is *not* the modern 6-string bass, which is a totally different instrument with a much wider neck and different tuning on the extended strings. 
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« Reply #210 on: August 15, 2011, 12:19:15 PM »

I believe the scale on all of the originals are 30" (standard short-scale bass).  The reissues vary, as the string tension is more stable with an even shorter scale (28.5"?) for "bartione" (A-A or B-B) with the lighter strings. 
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« Reply #211 on: August 16, 2011, 10:57:55 AM »

Not to be outdone, Gibson also tried to market a 6-string bass/baritone model called the EB-6. I had heard about these but have never personally played one. They are quite rare - I think the SG model was limited to a run of 66 guitars.

Their first attempt was a semi-hollow 335 body with a bass bridge and other mods, from 1961. The second attempt was with the SG body style which had become Gibson's flagship solidbody model, and this was 1963-64. Neither was a success.

I mentioned it earlier but at this time Barney Kessel was one of Gibson's most visible endorsers, and Gibson would send him guitars and new designs on request or just to try out. It surprises me that no photos that I'm aware of show Barney with either of these baritones, yet Barney was playing the less-ornate Danelectro as early as 1957 in the studio.

These are nice guitars, visually, but there has to be a reason why they never caught on among players. The Danelectro was more often the "go-to" instrument, from what we can tell.



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« Reply #212 on: August 19, 2011, 02:08:50 AM »

This has probably been posted here long ago (nine pages is a lot to look through when there is work to be done). If not, it may add to the "WIBN" discourse:

http://www.larrylevinerecordingengineer.com/documents/151.html
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« Reply #213 on: August 19, 2011, 06:16:45 AM »

This has probably been posted here long ago (nine pages is a lot to look through when there is work to be done). If not, it may add to the "WIBN" discourse:

http://www.larrylevinerecordingengineer.com/documents/151.html

Well, I wrote that, and the article also has a permanent home here on smileysmile.net.  Glad it has proliferated around the net.
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« Reply #214 on: August 21, 2011, 09:21:02 AM »

To the bat-eared Boiled Egg, that's two guitars.  Playing this.



Now bend your auricles to Wouldn't It Be Nice (Take 7) on SOT, Vol 13.

At 2'25" you hear the guitarist practising the intro riff with the opening double stop (two As an octave apart) starting to sound out of tune - so (at 2'36") he switches to the open G (on which the lower A is played on the 14th fret) and the octave G on the third fret of the E-string (which plays the upper A in the intro on the 17th fret) to check the tuning - and right there, that's the unadulterated sound of the upper of the two guitars playing the intro.

As to what it is, erů well, sounds like a steel-strung electric six-string to me.  But I'll take soundings and beatings from all comers.
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« Reply #215 on: August 21, 2011, 09:34:19 AM »

And, to EbbAndFlow: I'd say that's a flute and two clarinets on 'Ego'.
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« Reply #216 on: September 01, 2011, 04:18:48 PM »

Is it possible that the intro guitars (at least one of them) is in slack key tuning (I saw this claim somewhere on the 'net awhile back).
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« Reply #217 on: September 01, 2011, 04:45:19 PM »

Is it possible that the intro guitars (at least one of them) is in slack key tuning (I saw this claim somewhere on the 'net awhile back).

I'd strongly bet against that. If one of the 12-strings were detuned, that would mean it would have to be played even higher up the neck, at a higher fret. Playing above the 12th on a 12-string electric is already challenging enough, and the intonation is unreliable to begin with, let alone dropping the strings into an open tuning.

It just wouldn't be practical for a 12-string in this particular case.

One song that is in drop tuning is the bass part on Sloop John B. It's dropped down 1/2 step. That surprised me as I transcribed it a few years ago.
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« Reply #218 on: September 01, 2011, 05:14:09 PM »

Is it possible that the intro guitars (at least one of them) is in slack key tuning (I saw this claim somewhere on the 'net awhile back).

I'd strongly bet against that. If one of the 12-strings were detuned, that would mean it would have to be played even higher up the neck, at a higher fret. Playing above the 12th on a 12-string electric is already challenging enough, and the intonation is unreliable to begin with, let alone dropping the strings into an open tuning.

It just wouldn't be practical for a 12-string in this particular case.

One song that is in drop tuning is the bass part on Sloop John B. It's dropped down 1/2 step. That surprised me as I transcribed it a few years ago.

Makes sense!
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« Reply #219 on: September 01, 2011, 05:17:38 PM »

Is it possible that the intro guitars (at least one of them) is in slack key tuning (I saw this claim somewhere on the 'net awhile back).

I'd strongly bet against that. If one of the 12-strings were detuned, that would mean it would have to be played even higher up the neck, at a higher fret. Playing above the 12th on a 12-string electric is already challenging enough, and the intonation is unreliable to begin with, let alone dropping the strings into an open tuning.

It just wouldn't be practical for a 12-string in this particular case.

One song that is in drop tuning is the bass part on Sloop John B. It's dropped down 1/2 step. That surprised me as I transcribed it a few years ago.

According to Carol she and Lyle only dropped the E string to E-flat and just played with the tritone interval to the A-string.

I also doubt it's slack tuning, if not for the above reasons, for the fact that the guitar tunes to E at one point, which is the same clue that leads me to believe it's not a mandocaster.  It still could be a short-scale instrument, which would make it sort of slack tuned in a sense.  Like if John Lennon's Rick was a 12-string and strung with slightly heavier strings than necessary...
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