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#2956239 - 11/03/18 04:01 PM West Side Story
guitar_gazza Offline
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Registered: 10/28/18
Posts: 5
I have been asked to play a production of West Side Story early next year. Has anyone played this show and if so what type of electric guitar did you use?
The show was originally performed on Broadway in 1957 so not sure what type of sound the orchestrator (Leonard Bernstein) had in mind. Could be a jazz guitar/archtop or Strats were around as well at this time.
Cheers

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#2956249 - 11/03/18 06:10 PM Re: West Side Story [Re: guitar_gazza]
Dannyalcatraz Offline
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All of those were available, plus more.
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#2956289 - 11/04/18 04:44 AM Re: West Side Story [Re: Dannyalcatraz]
whitefang Offline
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"Original cast" recordings are available in many mediums, in both Broadway and movie versions.

I've seen the movie version several times but honestly, don't recall much(if any) electric, or ANY guitar being used. You may have to ask the production's music director his preference.
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#2956311 - 11/04/18 07:18 AM Re: West Side Story [Re: whitefang]
Larryz Offline
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Welcome aboard Guitar Gazza! I have no idea as I don't recall the guitar parts in West Side Story. But, I would think whatever guitar you have access to should work and I would go for the clean settings on the amp. Good luck with the project and keep us posted on how the show and your performance went after you play it! cool
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#2956374 - 11/04/18 05:00 PM Re: West Side Story [Re: Larryz]
guitar_gazza Offline
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Registered: 10/28/18
Posts: 5
Thanks for your reply.

Yes you are right, whatever guitar I end up using I will definitely be using clean settings on the amp.

Cheers

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#2956375 - 11/04/18 05:04 PM Re: West Side Story [Re: whitefang]
guitar_gazza Offline
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Registered: 10/28/18
Posts: 5
Yes I have listened to cast recordings and I lean towards an archtop.

Interestingly since I put this post up I found a video of a recording session for West Side Story actually conducted by Leonard Bernstein and there is a fairly short shot of the guitar player and he is playing what looks like a Gibson ES-350 similar to what Barney Kessel used to play. So I think I now have my answer.

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#2956376 - 11/04/18 05:08 PM Re: West Side Story [Re: guitar_gazza]
picker Offline
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My guess would be if anybody in fact played guitar on that used an archtop jazz box of some sort. But it's possible that there wasn't one for the stage production or LP. Guitars hadn't gotten as de rigueur as they became, and with Bernstein involved, it could have been a fairly standard orchestra, and they mostly didn't have guitars.
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#2956512 - 11/05/18 12:46 PM Re: West Side Story [Re: picker]
d Offline
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What sort of production is this ?
Rehearsals ?

I'd say that there are 3 potential factors.
-"Authenticity", which really is minor, IMO.
-Convenience, both yer's & the producer/director's/audio engineer's.
-What the director wants to hear.
That last is the most important &, I'd guess, yer best bet is to take yer most versatile instrument & gear & be ready to adapt to whatever the dir. or engineer want from you.
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#2956527 - 11/05/18 01:47 PM Re: West Side Story [Re: d]
guitar_gazza Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/18
Posts: 5
Thanks for your reply.

This is a full professional production with what I believe is the full original Broadway orchestration.
It will probably make more sense when I get to see the part.

Since I put this thread up I have found a video of a recording session for West Side Story with Leonard Bernstein conducting and the guitar player is using what looks like a Gibson ES-350 similar to what Barney Kessel used to play so I think I can take it that that is what Bernstein had in mind.


Edited by guitar_gazza (11/05/18 01:49 PM)

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#2956528 - 11/05/18 01:52 PM Re: West Side Story [Re: picker]
guitar_gazza Offline
Member

Registered: 10/28/18
Posts: 5
Thanks, I was wondering about whether there was a guitar in the original production but as I have just put in another reply, I found a video on youtube of a recording session of West Side Story with Leonard Bernstein conducting and there is a guitar. The guitar appears to be a Gibson ES-350 similar to the one Barney Kessel played so I think that is my answer right there.

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#2956562 - 11/05/18 05:18 PM Re: West Side Story [Re: guitar_gazza]
d Offline
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Registered: 03/20/01
Posts: 7043
Loc: no longer lexington, Kenfunky,...
Here's my fave version of a tune from the show


Not correct ? facepalm idk grin
How 'bout this ?
The ambient intro is cool enough but y'really gotta love them tangy 2nds in the harmonies !


Here's another version that illustrates some of the score.


More focused, here's a lovely gtr version of another tune
I particularly like the quasi-reggae feel that drifts in occaisionally.
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#2956617 - 11/06/18 04:33 AM Re: West Side Story [Re: d]
whitefang Offline
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Loc: Lincoln Park, MI, UNITED STATE...
Can't yet post the clip, but here's a link to one you didn't(or ever will) hear on Broadway or in the movie... wink

https://youtu.be/G-THhwh5mNI

Whitefang
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