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Author: Subject: ABB as gateway to wider perspective

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  posted on 4/22/2006 at 08:36 PM
Just curious -- how many people out there first got turned onto jazz through listening to a live ABB song, such as Dreams or Whippin Post? I think the first clue I had was listening to songs like those featuring guest sax players, etc.
Which is one more reason ABB is IMO one of the greatest influences on contemporary music today. They were (and still are) instrumental in genre-bending and fusion styles making it into the mainstream (or at least expanding the counter-culture) and turning a lot of good ol southern boys and girls (and a few nice yankees too) onto more than just David Allen Coe, Bocephus, Lynyrd Skynyrd and MTB. Those guys are great but ABB took fans of a lot of those artists higher than they might have ever gone had they never heard of ABB -- especially the old country tunes like Melissa, Blue Sky, etc. which made fans of a lot of people who never would have listened to IMOER or Dreams etc otherwise.
After seeing Oteil and the Peacemakers last night, I sure am glad I broadened my horizons. There's no doubt to me that listening to ABB was the first step for me in listening to bands as diverse as Bela Fleck and the Flecktones, Karl Denson, ARU, John Coltrane, Robert Johnson, Grateful Dead, Branford Marsalis, Robert Randolph, dTb, Ry Cooter, Buddy Guy, etc.
Here's to ABB creating open minds everywhere...

 

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  posted on 4/22/2006 at 08:46 PM
That's a great way to discover jazz. I discovered a lot of stuff like that, what I call backas$ward. Mostly literature. I read most of the classics I've read in my life in one class about T. S. Eliot's The Wasteland.

But, in music, I started out classical, then jazz, then rock.

 

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  posted on 4/22/2006 at 11:44 PM
I like what you wrote, bensjammin, but for me, I kinda got into everything all at once as a kid in the 60s and 70s... My Dad was much older so he was turnin me on to Louis Armstrong Hot 5s and 7s and Fats Waller -- old New Orleans Dixieland jazz. And my Mom listened to classical and to a lot of folk (Pete Seeger, Josh White, Arlo and Woody, etc.), as well as the Beatles.

Plus when I was little I found this radio station in NYC that still exists, WBLS. Now they play a lot of hip hop but in the early 70s WBLS stood for Warmth, Beauty, Love & Soul (!!!) They played great R&B and that's where I fell in love with Otis and Aretha, Etta and Marvin and Gladys Knight and the Temptations and James Brown and the O'Jays and the Staple Singers and everything... I would put that on going to sleep at night, under the covers on the transistor...

But the person who really is responsible for opening up my ears is my older brother Mike, who left me his record collection when he split NYC for the West Coast in 1971. I was 8, and suddenly he left me Bob Dylan Bringin' It All Back Home and the Stones Let It Bleed and Frank Zappa's Freak Out, and Credence's first 2 albums, and the Incredible String Band, and early Pink Floyd (the Piper At The Gates of Dawn and Saucerful of Secrets)... AND John Coltrane (2 records: A Love Supreme and some cool hard bop record with him and Kenny Burrell on gtr)... and some Muddy Waters and Howlin' Wolf.... and MIles Davis ... and the Who.... and Disreali Gears. Dude, I WAS the kid in "Almost Famous" in that scene when his sister leaves him the suitacase full of records under his bed!!!

All of which is why I love the ABB and think it's crazy when folks dis them for doing covers or having special guests -- I feel like they bring all that good music out with them in everything they do, and I am so grateful to have them in the world!

 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 01:10 AM
Being a bit on the younger side, The Mule did it for me. Some of their early, Woody-era, stuff made me dig into alot of jazz, blues, and 70s rock stuff that I would have otherwise never heard. THANK GOD for these amazing bands(ABB, MULE, DTB, etc.) for turning on the next generation

 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 02:08 AM
Great posts, guys! Funny how so many people on this site have been fortunate to have some very cool musical experiences and then discover the ABB, which in turn is a launching pad into whole new other musical worlds. Yep, the ABB offer this multi-color musical pallete. We get to choose how we want to continue to blend the colors.

Peteman, I'm amazed that you had all those "classic" music experiences at age 8! And then to actually get into them at that age. You've been blessed many times over. I just feel so lucky to come of age at a time when the Beatles, Motown, Aretha, Stones, Dylan, Hendrix, Clapton, ABB and multiple other individual artists and bands were erupting. It led to the much later discovery of another circle of impressive jazz performers, such as Coltrane, Davis, Rollins, Shorter, Blakey, and Tyner many of whom were doing some of their best work during the very same time period. Also would like to mention the great jazz organist, Jimmy Smith, who had a major influence on Gregg.

 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 06:02 AM
I got introduced to the ABB in the 6th grade by Mark Steward, older brother of my friend Todd. Mark is a guitar player and loved the Allmans. His room was covered with posters & pictures he had cut out of RollingStone, Creem, etc. all of the band. Todd & I got to be just as crazy about the band as Mark. We'd listen to Fillmore East on an 8 track tape! Hanging around Mark & his friends reallt exposed Todd & I to a lot of great music.

Todd is a drummer, and one day he showed up at my house with the Miles Davis album "Four and More", saying "You gotta hear this drummer!" I think his drum teacher must have introduced him to the album in order to hear Tony Williams. I loved the whole album right away & have loved jazz ever since. So, I thank the Steward brothers, the Allman Brothers, and Tony Williams for inspiring my interest in jazz and in good music in general.


 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 07:09 AM
Well, my family was very much into gospel/bluegrass -- both sets of my parents come from Appalachia -- so pickin and grinnin was a part of growing up. I never heard bluegrass without a gospel tinge to it until I went to festival in Ky and got turned onto The Seldom Scene (I think) doing a cover of Clapton's "After Midnight". My dad was also into old Eddie ALbert, Johnny Cash, etc. so I listened to a lot of old country and bluegrass standards at home...dad could also play a mean "piano roll blues" but he called it boogie-woogie.
As far as contemporary music, I was a product of 70's pop culture -- my older bro listened to Zep, Santana (another good crossover influence into jazz), and all the usuals --Skynyrd, etc. Bro played (and still does some) folk/country/rock guitar and harp -- Dylan, Willie and Waylon and LOTS of David Allen Coe. The local bikers loved him.
It was listening to Charlie Daniels, I think,that got me listeing to ABB -- the line about Dickie Betts pickin on his Red Guitar -- I was very much into rebel flags, moonshine and all things southern, so ABB seemed like a band I had to listen to. Little did I know how much my musical perspective was about to cjange...along with my entire perspective on life.

 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 10:50 AM
This is a really cool thread! I love hearing people's musical origin stories!

dzobo, believe it or not, one of the albums my bro left behind that I inherited was Jimmy Smith's Organ Grnider Swing... Have to admit I didn't drop the needle on that till I was MUCH older.

This thread's gotten me thinking, too, about how did a New York City boy like me get so into country and country rock. Part of it was the times, the 70s radio was full of country influenced rock and singer-songwriter music (if only it still was, maybe my band could get arrested!!! lol)... But it was spending summers with my grandma down near Roanoke VA, we'd see bluegrass groups at the county fair, and I'd listen to country radio, Johnny Cash, Merle, Loretta, George Jones, all that early 70s country). Then back north I would be more into southern music than my friends, without really knowing why or what the diffference was.

My very first rock show was Lynyrd Skynyrd w/ RVZ and the Outlaws in 1976 ... AT THE BEACON! With a big ol' bag o' Acapulco gold!!!

LOL!

 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 02:06 PM
The abb is what got me into jazz, with out the rock/jazz jams like whipping post, i would have had nothing to bridge me over to more stright forward jazz like miles and coltrane. Also the DTB did allot for me in terms of jazz. I thought, this guy is so advanced and he loves jazz, there has to be something cool about it.

 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 02:43 PM
MUSIC __ THE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE

 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 03:02 PM
Ya know, it doesn't really matter what style of music you listen to, as long as it speaks to you. It's gotta give me that feeling - get "all up in my body", using Miles Davis's term. It has to give me "chicken skin". It has to be "the s**t", as Marshall Chess would say. For me, it's gotta have some connection to the blues and have a strong element of improvisation. It can be blues, jazz, rock and roll, music from India, Mali, the Bahamas, Cape Verde, Madagascar, etc. And, for me it all started with the ABB. Hearing Statesboro Blues for the first time was my first experience with that feeling, and I've been chasing it ever since.
 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 04:42 PM
mmertens, I couldn't agree more. I've never been one to like a musician based solely on thier technical ability. It's gotta have some soul, something that makes you feel it as well as hear it.

Gregg Allman's voice, when he's "hittin the note" does that to me as much as Derek, Duane, Dickie, Jack or Warren's guitar licks. The first time I heard "Old Before My Time" it brought tears to my eyes. It was like Gregg was telling my life story better than I could. And backed up with that sad, sweet slide guitar -- it sends chills down my spine. Hard to play? No. Great music? -- the best, imo. Man, that's soul, pure and simple.

I hear some absolutely great guitarists from a technical perspective, but they don't do anything for me. I guess that's why Ive never been a big metal fan -- to my ears, some of it (like early ozzie or Metallica) is technically brilliant, but it just doesn't touch me where it counts.

Zeppelin I'll make an exception for -- Kashmir is one of the greatest songs of all time, imo. The whole Physical Graffiti album is still one of my faves. But then Zep was always about -- here we go again -- bending the genre between metal and country and blues. And damn good at it. In fact, I was listening to Zeppelin before I really started listening to ABB, maybe Zep's blues influence actually caused me to give ABB a closer listen.

Wow, It is all so inter-connected when I start to really try to pinpoint my first blues/jazz influences -- everything from Johnny Cash to Led Zeppelin to Bill Monroe to Bob Dylan had a place there. I guess ABB sort of tied it all together for me into something complete that I could feel, which in turn led me even further down the improv/jazz road...

And the road goes on and on...

 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 06:36 PM
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I remember just one day listening to Don't Keep Me Wonderin' or Statesboro Blues and all of a sudden I was really hearing Duane for the first time and it rocked me. I'd always liked the Allmans but generally associated them w/ the songs they played on Q104, Ramblin Man, Jessica, etc... Then I heard Duane (I mean, really HEARD him) and I was just in love. I totally forgot about Jimmy Page once I found Duane. The ABB definitely led me to new and different things, not only in what I listen to but what I play. They changed the way I thought about the blues -- I saw that blues wasn't limiting or constraining at all. In terms of what I listen to, the ABB didn't get me into jazz per se, but it did lead me to guys like King Curtis, for which I'm eternally grateful. Also, listening to Derek has led me to Indian music, which is like a whole different universe, one that I've hardly even scratched the surface of...

Cool posts everyone... This band can definitely broaden your musical horizons. For me, they're a real inspiration on many different levels. I should mention that more than anyone else, it was Jerry Garcia's guitar that really made me open my ears and begin to study the great improvisors in music. I stopped blindly learning Zeppelin songs and began working hard to get to that point where I have something to say w/ my guitar. I'm not there yet, and I might never get to where I want to be, but lord knows I'm working at it.

thanks brothers duane and jerry!

marc

For a while I thought jerry was overrated, I still think he is a bit overrated, but I think for the wrong reasons. People don't give him credit for meshing rock and jazz, like in dark star, and albums like blues for Allah, and wake of the flood. Some people just overlook it as "dead head hippie jams". But really, its just groovy jazz. Traditional players changing the way music was played forever.

The Brothers also got me into the dead, I was a huge fan of the abb and my friend said, hey you got to check out this show by the dead. It was a commercially released show from 69. I thought it sounded a little like sloppy abb. But I heard their spin on bluegrass blues and jazz all in their own sound and I was hooked.

 

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  posted on 4/23/2006 at 07:08 PM
I had always liked Jazz prior to getting into the Allmans. However, It has introduced me to the blues which I'm learning and liiing (not every thing, but alot)

[Edited on 4/24/2006 by liveillusion]

 

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  posted on 4/24/2006 at 09:28 AM
My story is similar. My Daddy raised me on real swing music, so it was the Jazz element (the guitar solos in Blue Sky in particular) that attracted me to the ABB. I had listened to a lot of 50's radio blues when I was very young, had gotten away from it. The Brothers rekindled my interest in Sonny Boy Williams, Blind Willie McTell, Muddy, etc.
 
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  posted on 4/24/2006 at 12:40 PM
Great stories from everybody. Thanks for the feedback, y'all.

 

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  posted on 4/24/2006 at 01:12 PM
If it wasn't for the ABB, Derek and the DTB, I highly doubt this past weekend would have found me at Iridium seeing Pat Martino, or dancing around with a flock of young Jewish men watching the Heavenly Jams Band.

 

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  posted on 4/24/2006 at 04:13 PM
I wouldn't have discovered jazz as early as I did if it weren't for listening to the Gratefull Dead, ABB, Phish, Santana, etc.

and I wouldn't have listened to those guys when I did if I didn't listen to the blues first...

Sweet thread!

 

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  posted on 4/24/2006 at 04:52 PM
This is a very good thread. For me, the Derek Trucks Band have been a gateway to widen my perspective of music. They have now got me listening to Jazz, Delta Blues, Indian classical music. They are truly an amazing band!!!

 

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  posted on 4/24/2006 at 06:08 PM
...sure wish I could have been at the Iridium seeing Pat Martino! Have you heard his new cd? Absolutely great!
 

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  posted on 4/24/2006 at 06:35 PM
For me it all really started when I got my car. Because the drive to and from school every day was at least 20 minutes, I realized that I needed some good CDs to listen to to make it more fun (I was really into country at the time - it was only about 2 years ago - and the country radio in Raleigh is too full of commercials and just repeats the same songs over and over and over). So I got 4 Tim McGraw Cds, and actually listened to them. OK, the guy doesn't write his own music or play an instrument, but some of those songs are still very good and very well-written. Well I got a little more country, always striving to find those artists that put some of themselves into their music. After watching a special on CMT about "Outlaw Country", I knew I had to get some Waylon Jennings. This guy didn't just make music, he lived it. I listened to my Waylon's Greatest Hits' CD for a month or so non-stop, and some of his songs (Honky-Tonk Heroes in particular) really seemed to have that raw, emotion-driven force that I wanted.

For Christmas that year I got a Lynyrd Skynyrd's greatest hits CD (Thyrty) because, with parents who grew up in the 60s/70s in NC, they liked Skynyrd and naturally I had heard lots of Skynyrd too. I had also been hearing a lot about this band called the Allman Brothers, both in the Thyrty liner notes (ABB is mentioned as Skynyrd's "musical mentors") and on CMT occasionally as influences on various other musicians. I know this sounds weird, but I felt like I needed to get some Allman Brothers Band albums. I bought Stand Back: The Anthology, and put disc 1 in my CD player on the way to school. It just so happened that that was the day (those of you in the Raleigh area should remember) last year that we had the 1/2 inch or so of ice, and trafiic was jammed for hours and hours. I just pulled into a parking lot and waited there for 3 or 4 hours after school, waiting for the trafiic to die down. That meant about three full plays of disc 1. After the first listen, I wasn't too impressed. After the second one, I had actually started to listen a little bit more to all of the tracks. After the third one, I was hooked.

That CD didn't leave my stereo for literally 3 months.

It is definitely through the ABB that I was turned onto everything else that I like. Grateful Dead, Derek and the Dominos, Eric Clapton, Cream, Gov't Mule, dTb...I can go on and on. I wouldn't have wanted any of that had I not first listened to the ABB. I'm just now starting to get into jazz (I only have some basic Coltrane stuff) but I like what I am hearing so far. It's amazing that the more I learn about the musical past, the more "hungry" I become to learn and listen to more. My CD collection has grown immensely since that day in January (with a lot of help coming from the kind traders on this board). The ABB is still far and away my favorite, but without them none of this would have happened in the first place.

 

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  posted on 4/24/2006 at 07:47 PM
Neat topic. At age 16,I went to see B.B.King because Duane and Dickey liked him so much. A lifechanging musical experience. I tried listening to Miles but I guess my young ears weren't quite ready for it. A couple years later I tried again with a different album(Kind Of Blue) and that was all she wrote. I can honestly say the ABB led me to at least 50% of what I really like.

 

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  posted on 4/24/2006 at 09:09 PM
adwolfpack (or wolfy, ), that story is great. I love the simple fact that you were coming from one perspective but you had an open mind about music. If I had a nickel for everyone I've ever known -- including other so-called musicians -- who dismiss as "gay" anything that doesn't fall into their narrow, industry-driven concept of what they think they like -- well $hit I'd have a big stack of nickels!

What has always spoken to me the MOST about the ABB is that they have the most open ears -- and minds -- of any rock band I've ever heard. And then they have the talent to push that into reality. Which is why the direction they've taken in the last 4 years is so exciting to me; it cashes in all the promise of Duane and Berry and Gregg's original musical quest, the whole legacy of this band is now DEFINITELY about musical exploration. I would say alone among their peers, they're the one band that has come back from the midlife, phone-it-in, greatest-hits-show curse to become as vital as if they were just starting out.

And that's why cool people like you will always find them!

 

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  posted on 4/25/2006 at 07:21 AM
I gotta chime in and say I love these kinds of stories, too! I just said so a few days ago in response to a post where Haisija was remembering the first time he heard Duane, without knowing who that guitarist was, then years later finding out it was him!

In my case, I'd say I was pretty deep into rock and Chicago blues before I got into the Allman Brothers Band, which was in 1973 a few months before Brothers and Sisters. With that background, I was stunned when I heard the opening to "Done Somebody Wrong," and the rest of the song blew me away. Instant megafan!

I wasn't into any kind of jazz to speak of yet, so the Allman Brothers probably primed me a little for the Mahavishnu Orchestra a year later. My love of the Cream would have set me up for that quite a bit, too, though.

Between John McLaughlin interviews and, to a lesser degree, reading about the jazz influences on the Allman Brothers, however, I was curious--but passive--about learning more about John Coltrane in particular. This I set about doing somewhat gradually, like if I found a used Trane record in the used-record room at my favorite college record store a few years later. McLaughlin made me curious about Django and Indian music, too. From Trane, especially, though, I branched throughout the jazz world, both across the fusion and other ongoing scenes, plus back into the past.

I'll tell you what the biggest direct influence the Allman Brothers might have had on me: Getting me to like the funky soul of Atlantic R&B. Aretha was just okay to me when she was hitting with all those great singles when I was a kid, and Sam & Dave, I remember, just seemed too over the top all the time. I didn't know what to make of James Brown hardly at all.

But I had an ancient Wilson Pickett single and an album of soul-style covers by some session band (by winning a radio contest), and when I got into Duane's session work--bam! All of a sudden I got that kind of soul music in a big way. I never did get too much into Motown nor even the Al Green thing--pretty much just the hard funk associated with Atlantic, and mostly, again, because of Duane--and Tom Dowd and Jerry Wexler. That's some good music there.

Definitely because of the mid-'70s Allman Brothers influence, I got into the Southern side of country rock and just a little into bluegrass, but I never did let myself get swallowed up very wholeheartedly into those areas. To this day I love the opening of "Revival" but often skip the rest, if you know what I mean, so we can get on with "Don't Keep Me Wondering."

The Allman Brothers Band did nothing for my appreciation of the harmonies in classical music. Some of these pieces by Mozart, say, are just gorgeous. Rather, my Lutheran church background exposed me to a lot of Bach and his northern German influence (and my parents dabbled in other classical music and a little bit of show tunes), so I suppose it was that influence that helped me love the studio harmonies of Jimmy Page's guitar and, later, all the harmonies of Duane and Dickey.

I like how these things have been working out.

 

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  posted on 4/25/2006 at 08:03 AM
quote:
...sure wish I could have been at the Iridium seeing Pat Martino! Have you heard his new cd? Absolutely great!



I bought it after the show, how could I not, lol ? He autographed it for me which gave me the opportunity to chat with him for a few minutes. He's a very nice, warm and genuine man. We chatted about the Les Paul birthday show that he was part of, and I asked him if he knows who Derek is, he said "He's the one who plays with that slide thingee, lol...he's VERY good"

Here's an excellent article on the man.

http://www.allaboutjazz.com/php/article.php?id=21405

 

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