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Pasqua, Holdsworth, and the red one...


Mizu

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I just came back from a real treat - Alan Pasqua with Allan Holdsworth, Jimmy Haslip, and Chad Wackerman at the Iridium in NYC. This was billed as a tribute event to Tony Williams and boy did the 70s fusion vibe come across.

 

Pasqua was playing a Nord Stage, and at one point he played solo acoustic piano. I've read some negative comments about the quality of the Nord's AP sounds, but I have to say that in context it sounded very good. Then again, he probably would have sounded great on my MKS-20... My takeaway: If the musical ability is there, the last finesse in the sound becomes irrelevant.

 

Anyway, if any of you is in New York and wants to see them, they are playing two more sets tomorrow (January 30th). Highly recommended.

"You'll never be as good as you could have been, but you can always be better than you are." - MoKen
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I saw Holdsworth / Pasqua's "Tony Williams Lifetime" tribute at Yoshi's Oakland (I guess that was a few years ago). Holdworth could have been a bit louder in the mix but again, he struck me as one of the most lyrical players (on any instrument) I've ever heard.

 

Have to concur - all our obsessing with the nth degree of a patch is very much lost to 95% of our audiences. The 5% of other musicians are already so busy dissecting and critiquing our performance that we'll never please them anyway. But the other 95%, more than anything else, want to see us take a risk and put our heart and neck on the line, and make that leap to say something meaningful...whether we land successfully or not. No one wants to see us phone it in and just play it safe; there's enough mediocrity out there that most everyone's drowning in it. Just one man's opinion.

..
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Pasqua is a beautiful mix of theory and passion. He and Holdsworth have a great connection and intentionality.

 

Totally concur on the sound design aspect. Any color takes on another color depending on what colors are juxtaposed to it and what kind of light is shed on it. Ditto for timbre.

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I wasn't so lucky to see this lineup live, but I got the live DVD at Yoshi... and frankly, I think that Alan Pasqua choice of sounds on the Nord Stage, especially the distorted EPs and gritty organs, didn't blend very well with Holdsworth's guitar timbre. I would have preferred to have Steve Hunt back.

 

 

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Saw these cats at the baked potato last year.

 

I agree with Carlo about the EP's. But, the solo piano piece he played was excellent. And the Nord Stage piano sounded great under his fingers.

 

aL

Gear: Yamaha MODX8, Mojo 61, NS2 73, C. Bechstein baby grand.

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It's funny how tastes differ. I have to admit I am biased and a bit idealistic ...

 

I thought that Pasqua was a good representation of a "third way" for keyboardists. Not playing the analog/acoustics of yore, not programming digital synths to emulate the old, but attempting form an organic partnership with his Nord to eke out it's personality, based on the algorithms it has. I realize that's a little idealistic. It's true that upper structures take a beating with the distortion, at times.

 

Maybe I am guilty of hearing the progress I hope to hear.

 

Jerry

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I'm a big fan of Pasqua's and think he gets overlooked. I really like how he mangles the Rhodes sound. He plays a beautiful solo piano intro on the Nord from the Yoshi's DVD from a couple of years back. My disappointment came from the sound of the Korg CX-3, really thin and anemic.
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I first got to know Pasqua in his acoustic trio with Peter Erskine and Dave Carpenter - their live CD is a favorite, you can literally hear how much attention everyone pays to the others' playing. But he has a Rhodes-heavy CD out (The Antisocial Club) that has some of the soundscaping from this tour, and that took me a lot longer to digest, so I understand where Carlo is coming from. Seeing it live, though, I really appreciated how he played with the Nord Rhodes sounds - not just in terms of notes, but how he constantly worked the FX into the performance. Like Tusker said - use the board as an instrument in its own right. No organ at this gig, though, just the Nord.
"You'll never be as good as you could have been, but you can always be better than you are." - MoKen
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I have to confess to being unaware of Mr. Pasqua's jazz pedigree and his standing within that community.

 

I became a fan of his back in the late 80's with the L.A.-based rock band "Giant" (featuring the hugely talented Dann Huff on guitars/vocals, who is now a fixture in the Nashville music scene). It would seem that Mr. Pasqua has chosen to completely ignore that portion of his career on his website.

 

Okay, I'll go away now so the Jazz nuts don't get too offended by me dredging up this wart on Mr. Pasqua's musical past. ;):P

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Those Giant CDs were my trigger to go see him play in LA in '95 - what I thought would be an electric gig turned out to be the acoustic trio with Erskine and Carpenter (surprised, but pleasantly). He's got quite a background - started out of college with Tony Williams New Lifetime in the 70s, then turned to Pop/Rock and played with people like Eddie Money in the 80s. I think he's much too little known for his ability - check out his solo CDs "Milagro" and "Dedications".
"You'll never be as good as you could have been, but you can always be better than you are." - MoKen
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It's funny how tastes differ. I have to admit I am biased and a bit idealistic ...

 

I thought that Pasqua was a good representation of a "third way" for keyboardists. Not playing the analog/acoustics of yore, not programming digital synths to emulate the old, but attempting form an organic partnership with his Nord to eke out it's personality, based on the algorithms it has. I realize that's a little idealistic. It's true that upper structures take a beating with the distortion, at times.

 

Maybe I am guilty of hearing the progress I hope to hear.

 

Jerry

Agreed. :thu:

 

I appreciate the sounds Pasqua goes after with the Stage. Reminds me of those old jazz fusion records.

 

Great that he doesn't need the stomp boxes. It's in there like Prego. :cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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To clarify: I do appreciate Pasqua's timbral work on the Stage; I like that aggressive Rhodes per se. I just think that it doesn't blend well with Holdsworth's guitar sound. I understand that Alan Pasqua is an icon of is own, but maybe (just maybe), when you're playing with Allan Holdsworth, a keyboard player could make a step backwards from his own sound and trying to adapt to Allan's timbre. Steve Hunt did just that in some past Holdsworth albums, and the result was excellent IMHO.

Of course, all this stems from my huge respect for Holdsworth's playing. :)

 

 

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I didn't like Hunt's playing because his phrasing was too much like Holdsworth's. Pasqua's sound, at least during the New Tony Williams Lifetime era (which also included Holdsworth) and the Atavachron album, contrasted nicely enough to me.

 

Dave Stewart was my favorite of the keyboardists who played with Holdsworth.

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  • 6 months later...
It's funny how tastes differ. I have to admit I am biased and a bit idealistic ...

 

I thought that Pasqua was a good representation of a "third way" for keyboardists. Not playing the analog/acoustics of yore, not programming digital synths to emulate the old, but attempting form an organic partnership with his Nord to eke out it's personality, based on the algorithms it has. I realize that's a little idealistic. It's true that upper structures take a beating with the distortion, at times.

 

Maybe I am guilty of hearing the progress I hope to hear.

 

Jerry

 

This somewhat relates to the other thread I started late last night...

 

I've known Alan's playing for many years hearing him in mostly Acoustic Jazz formats around town here. Knowing his strong affinity for ( like mine) the AP, this approach that Tusker mentions here has me questioning my own ideas of how a DP or keyboard can or should function live.

 

I think I have to get past this concept of trying to make something "Acoustic" when it's not.............

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I've known Alan's playing for many years hearing him in mostly Acoustic Jazz formats around town here. Knowing his strong affinity for ( like mine) the AP, this approach that Tusker mentions here has me questioning my own ideas of how a DP or keyboard can or should function live.

 

I think I have to get past this concept of trying to make something "Acoustic" when it's not.............

Knowing cats like Pasqua have embraced it, I was hoping my thread regarding the great digital compromise would encourage acoustic pianists to think outside the box. ;):cool:

PD

 

"The greatest thing you'll ever learn, is just to love and be loved in return."--E. Ahbez "Nature Boy"

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