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[Controversial] Why is there not any great US guitarists?

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  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    lol @Bones Political Science 101...South America stole our name, let's drop the big one, there'll be no one left to blame us

    I suppose it's odd seeing this particular nation (plus Canada) almost settling for second best when it comes to something, particularly music

    PS The best GJ who are a non GJ group to come from that side of the atlantic are The Hot Club of Cowtown, those guys could fill the Atellier Charonne and knock Angelo out of a gig anyday
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,407
    Great post, Bones, and red, it is an interesting question, your broader implication about a prevalent culture. Hate to say it, but it's my view America grew up late, fast, and furious...so much of my birth country is devoted to utility, a very stark worldview of economics, power, art. It affects everything, even our language - a thing to convey utility, and not a pleasure in itself. That we have no National Theatre, no equivalent institutions in other arts - whereas Europe is studded with these repositories they consider vital - speaks, I think, to what we are as a people, shaped by a particular history we probably can't escape.

    Not trying to be abstruse, sincerely...you're reading the words of one who since a kid has felt he was probably born in the wrong place. It's only taken 50+ years to finally address the matter. :shock:

    Anyway, there are a lot of folks who blow me away, and would easily fill the bill in any venue...but that's just my opinion as well.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    Great post, Bones, and red, it is an interesting question, your broader implication about a prevalent culture. Hate to say it, but it's my view America grew up late, fast, and furious...so much of my birth country is devoted to utility, a very stark worldview of economics, power, art. It affects everything, even our language - a thing to convey utility, and not a pleasure in itself. That we have no National Theatre, no equivalent institutions in other arts - whereas Europe is studded with these repositories they consider vital - speaks, I think, to what we are as a people, shaped by a particular history we probably can't escape.
    What a wonderfully constructed and informative paragraph

    Do you think maybe I have come to this (original) question from the wrong angle entirely, and indeed there there is a Diknu or an Oli or even an Adrien out there in e.g. Saginaw Michigan who does not have the means or the know-how to get his stuff on the table?
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    First off, red, at this point in their respective careers, Alfonso is a better player than Olli (and the others you mention that I have heard). I know, like, and admire both, but please...that one's not that close, at least yet.

    How many gypsy jazz players can say they've drawn a crowd of 10,000-12,000 as a headliner? Alfonso did that in 2010 at Millenium Park in Chicago. And he holds a regular gig at the Green Mill, one of the most prestigious jazz clubs in this country, or in the world, one which dates back to prohibition. And he is anything but a straight-ahead jazz player. I'm sure he can and does play straight-ahead jazz, but I have never heard him do it. So if the criteria is being able to get and hold a gig at a world-class club, he's already done it, and for many years running.

    Denis Chang is another. Certainly better than those you mention at this point. Denis gets overlooked because he is so generous at sitting behind others playing rhythm when needed. But crank him up, and he can hang with all but the most elite players in gypsy jazz.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • Michael BauerMichael Bauer Chicago, ILProdigy Selmers, Busatos and more…oh my!
    Posts: 1,002
    I failed to mention that he was also invited to play at Samois.
    I've never been a guitar player, but I've played one on stage.
  • BonesBones Moderator
    Posts: 2,923
    Hey Paul,

    Yes, on a broader level, arts (of any kind) are hardly even available in the schools here anymore.

    I'd better not get started on all the s#!t that's wrong on this side of the Atlantic.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,407
    Red, Michael and guys like him are the folks I was talking about - they just have this history in their bones. Certainly agree with Michael's view of Alfonso, Denis. Also agree that Denis is a pretty retiring guy - loaded with talent and skills, but not one to push the fact...all the while, being incredibly generous to this community by giving out so much of his expertise, gratis. I love Christine Tassan and her crew (though I guess because she's Parisian by birth, that one's out... :D ). So many others I can't remember by name, but by fond memory, at various happenings. It blows me away, some of these people, who play like this but it isn't their livelihood.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,407
    Bones wrote:
    Hey Paul,

    Yes, on a broader level, arts (of any kind) are hardly even available in the schools here anymore.

    I'd better not get started on all the s#!t that's wrong on this side of the Atlantic.

    Right there with you, buddy. Love a lot about this piece of earth, but also...well, wife is an EU citoyenne...so....at the risk of sounding ungrateful for the many blessings I've had, coming from this country, a late, better fit is this boy's hope.
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
  • redbluesredblues ✭✭
    Posts: 456
    Lads, Denis may be your buddy and all, and I respect that, but he is not in the category we speak of.


    Ponticelli is in a different category altogether, brilliant, I love the guy, I'm really only talking GJ here
  • PassacagliaPassacaglia Madison, WI✭✭✭✭
    Posts: 1,407
    redblues wrote:
    Lads, Denis may be your buddy and all, and I respect that, but he is not in the category we speak of.


    Ponticelli is in a different category altogether, brilliant, I love the guy, I'm really only talking GJ here

    Red, I don't know what your criteria are, as I said - but Denis is an incredible player.

    And this is where it breaks down - again, taste is a lousy means to talk of "better" or "worse."
    -Paul

    pas encore, j'erre toujours.
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