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James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
#3037364 04/07/20 09:17 PM
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James Poyser shared what can be construed as the keyboardist's version of the Imagine celebrity video, on every steroid available.

In his words:

Quote
Amazing Grace

There are very few songs that provide such comfort to so many in difficult times. It really doesn’t matter who you are…age, beliefs, ethnicity, orientation...
Amazing Grace meets us where we are.
I asked 12 of my friends, 12 of the finest musicians on the planet,
to help transcend together through all 12 keys...each playing in a new key, a new voice, a new color
and then transposing up a 1/2 step to lift up the next player, as we all should do: lift up the next person we meet.
May there be Amazing Grace moving through our lives at all times 🙏🏾🙏🏾

IGTV video

I'll let you discover who the other 11 players are. Considering his circles, there's a good chance your favourite living jazz/pop/gospel keyboardist is part of it.

Another nice moment to get us through this.


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037385 04/07/20 11:57 PM
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I watched, waiting to see who was going to get stuck with F# & B. The respective players nailed it. Lots to transcribe in there.


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037400 04/08/20 12:48 AM
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just watched, thanks for posting, Eric. thu


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037440 04/08/20 05:31 AM
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Hey thanks for that! I was hoping hoping hoping that someone would play it straight... NOPE! I guess that wasn't going to happen, but that's OK, it was great and it's exceedingly clear that keyboard players are essential!


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037443 04/08/20 05:46 AM
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Hiromi won! laugh

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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037458 04/08/20 11:45 AM
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Some of those players show boat licks, problem with that in most cases is that you lose the essence of the song. Just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should. Two or three of them in the video get it.


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037461 04/08/20 12:07 PM
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Cool video! Cory Henry’s performance spoke to me the most.

Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
waygetter #3037466 04/08/20 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by waygetter
I was hoping hoping hoping that someone would play it straight... NOPE!

Can't you do that yourself at home?

edit: This is not meant to be a jab at ya. It's a genuine question. I just sat down and played it straight in a few keys. Looking forward to get more harmonic inspiration when I listen back to the people in the video.

Last edited by Morizzle; 04/08/20 01:18 PM.

It's not a clone, it's a Suzuki.
Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
Outkaster #3037467 04/08/20 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Outkaster
Some of those players show boat licks, problem with that in most cases is that you lose the essence of the song. Just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should. Two or three of them in the video get it.
And that's why you have a record contract and these guys don't.


It's not a clone, it's a Suzuki.
Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037487 04/08/20 02:08 PM
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That was a lot of fun! Some heavy-hitters pretty early on there. Love the "tag, you're it" style of the video, with each player setting up the next player's key.


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
Al Quinn #3037505 04/08/20 02:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Al Quinn
Cool video! Cory Henry’s performance spoke to me the most.

Agreed, Al. I would bet, given his background, that he has played that song more times than all of the other contributers put together.


A reason why I collect old keyboards is that I feel partly responsible for doing it, responsible for preserving history and being a custodian for these things
Plus, old gear has a story. I like that.
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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037566 04/08/20 06:10 PM
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This was fantastic thank you for sharing. I loved each and every take. It is humbling to see the humble setting of some of these guys. I always picture these giants to have something like Gerald Clayton's set up. Not so.


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
Outkaster #3037568 04/08/20 06:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Outkaster
Some of those players show boat licks, problem with that in most cases is that you lose the essence of the song. Just because you can do something doesn't always mean you should. Two or three of them in the video get it.

You can feel how you want to feel about it but I disagree pretty strongly with this take. This video isn't about them backing up a singer at some half time show, it is about interpreting a song through the lens of who they are as players. None of it was showboaty to me. There were 12 masterful voices, and I'm sure they ALL feel humble in the company of most of the other players on this video.


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My latest album: Funky organ, huge horn section
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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037573 04/08/20 06:26 PM
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Very much respect you, Outkaster, and always have. On this one, I came away with the same sense as Bobby. I loved that each injected themselves into their interpretation - which is kinda what this was about - while not calling undue attention to flash w/o substance, in my opinion.

Without crossing the religion line on this forum, I am very very much acquainted with the origins of this song, and John Newton's original lyrics and versions. This tune means a great great deal to me. And I personally felt they did a fine job for the sake of the tune. Just my 0.02.


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037577 04/08/20 06:38 PM
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It's also worth pointing out that JP specifically said to each bring a different voice or colour, so yeah, they can't all just play it straight up either. Like Tim and Bobby, I felt it represented the identity of each player well. Cory has chops but loves to break it down. His performance also touched me. Glasper is, well, Glasper. Same for Hiromi, and so on. They each brought their own flavour.

I got pretty emotional the first time and have watched it a few times since.

Oh, and let's not forget the man Travis Sayles who probably has played the song as many times as Cory, and maybe even more. smile Please do check him out if anyone is unfamiliar.


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037578 04/08/20 06:39 PM
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Sorry some of the essence was lot on a couple of them for me that's all. Yes there was a ton of heavy hitters on that clip. To each their own.


"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037739 04/09/20 05:00 AM
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Of course we like to critique styles and chops and takes, but the essence of this song certainly is apropos for what’s going on right now. I grew up with the Judy Collins version, during a time of terrible discord and division. No matter who plays it or how they play it, the song has tremendous healing power.


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3037791 04/09/20 02:19 PM
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Never heard of Travis Sayles. I was up to midnight last night listening to his stuff. Holy crap; another example of life isn't fair! What a monster. Again, thanks to this forum for enlightening me.

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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
samuelblupowitz #3038130 04/10/20 05:30 PM
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Originally Posted by samuelblupowitz
That was a lot of fun! Some heavy-hitters pretty early on there. Love the "tag, you're it" style of the video, with each player setting up the next player's key.

This may confirm that I am tone deaf, so just to clarify, you're saying each person played in a different key?

Edit: I just reread the original note... yeah, all 12 keys. I am tone deaf

Last edited by Brilliant; 04/10/20 05:37 PM.
Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
waygetter #3038131 04/10/20 05:32 PM
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Originally Posted by waygetter
Hey thanks for that! I was hoping hoping hoping that someone would play it straight... NOPE! I guess that wasn't going to happen, but that's OK, it was great and it's exceedingly clear that keyboard players are essential!

Trying to learn the lingo here, by straight up, do you mean just playing basic triads?

Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3038149 04/10/20 06:54 PM
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That was awesome. Inspiring.

Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
ManInTheBox #3038173 04/10/20 08:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Brilliant
Originally Posted by waygetter
Hey thanks for that! I was hoping hoping hoping that someone would play it straight... NOPE! I guess that wasn't going to happen, but that's OK, it was great and it's exceedingly clear that keyboard players are essential!

Trying to learn the lingo here, by straight up, do you mean just playing basic triads?
Hey Brilliant, by "playing it straight", what I was getting at is that many versions of the song are very simple, tinged with gospel, and LOADED with passion in a very stripped down manner.


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3038175 04/10/20 09:11 PM
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Inspiring and impressive. It was like that old strongman test at the circus where you pick up a sledgehammer and pound a device that shoots a weight up a scale, at the top of which is a bell. Each one of these players rang the bell forcefully and stylishly. And—irony alert—to use a term that should resonate around here, not one of them, given the assignment, is a transposeur.


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
waygetter #3038214 04/11/20 01:25 AM
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Originally Posted by waygetter
Hey Brilliant, by "playing it straight", what I was getting at is that many versions of the song are very simple, tinged with gospel, and LOADED with passion in a very stripped down manner.

For that I think you want Bobby Floyd. Even though I've never heard him play this.

Last edited by pinkfloydcramer; 04/11/20 01:28 AM.
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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
pinkfloydcramer #3038224 04/11/20 02:10 AM
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Not to derail the great and very cool compilation that Eric posted, but I think this is what I had in my head when I was hoping for a stripped down take amongst the world class jazzy takes


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Re: James Poyser and friends - Amazing Grace
MAJUSCULE #3038300 04/11/20 04:50 PM
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Thanks Eric for sharing this amazing video...and a very interesting discussion. I just tried playing “amazing grace” in all 12 keys. It’s interesting, obviously in some keys you can let loose, start throwing in subs, licks, etc, and in other keys, just laying it down with some soul and sticking to the melody is a challenge. I now have an “amazing grace etude” to throw into my practice routine!

Mind blowing performances in this clip, and truly inspiring hearing/seeing these incredible players just eat up the tough keys for breakfast!

Last edited by Mike Boguski; 04/11/20 04:53 PM. Reason: ipad thumbs...
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