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  • thanks!

    bill

    port chester ny usa

    Jean luc, thank you for answering my question about which drummers played in your bands over the years. Very interesting! I hope you play the NYC area later this year.
    Jul 2, 2009 12:05pm
  • RTF and drummers list

    Jean Luc

    Francesco: Actually Return To Forever asked me to join them in 1976, a year after I had started my own band, just before releasing 'Imaginary Voyage'. It was a tough decision as I was very tempted to accept, but I chose to continue with my band and 'Imaginary Voyage' was a big success. and Bill: drummers who played in my bands were (starting in 1975 in California): Ndugu Leon Chancler - Norman Fearrington (great 'Philly' groove) - Mark Craney - Steve Smith - Casey Scheuerell - Rayford Griffin. Then from Europe since the 90s: African drummers Brice Wassy and David Fall - then Thierry Arpino and Damien Schmitt.
    Jul 2, 2009 11:34am
  • drummers?

    bill

    port chester ny usa

    I'm curious to know how many drummers were honored to be a part of Jean luc's band over the years? And what their names are. thanks!
    Jul 1, 2009 4:45pm
  • Very helpful response

    Francesco C

    I always meant to ask you what gave you that sound on tchokola and now I know what got you that sound. Your predicament with the detuned g string needing calculation before you play on it reminded me violin is a lot less open to experimentation with alternate tunings because of the tension of the strings, you can only tune up or down about a minor third max. With guitar the strings are a bit more open to this, (for example the nashville tuning tunes two strings a whole octave up). I had not even thought about the resonances that would affect other strings, that is a good point. Obviously its more effecient to maintain the intervallic distance of all the strings, in fifths for violinists who have learned classically. You know you gave me an idea to experiment on a some inexpensive violin, use the strings you would use for your violectra, the octave violin strings combined with normal violin strings, of course you'd have to be careful with the tension, and adjust the grooves in the nut, plus the violin would have to be amplified, but it brings up some interesting possibilities. I will be sure to come to your gig at the hollywood bowl and bring a bunch of people with me, I remember hearing a video of you jamming with Return to Forever on youtube, and I wondered why you hadn't played with them before on an album or something, your sound fit right in to duel of the jester of the tyrant.
    Jun 29, 2009 5:44pm
  • Always there's a party when I can't be around

    JJ the Ponty Fan

    I wish that the Chick Corea gig had happened on some time I was in Caliornia! Dang it, three living Jazz (4? Don't know much about Lenny White) legends on stage together nearby my place of employment and I can't be around! Sigh....Well at least there's hope for some U.S. gigs in Novemember.
    Jun 27, 2009 12:05pm
  • alternate tuning

    Jean Luc

    Francesco, I started experimenting with different violin tunings when I was with the Mahavishnu Orchestra in 1974, most of the time I was lowering the low string by 1 to 2 steps to get deeper notes that fitted the key of a specific piece, it also made the other strings resonate with different harmonics and made it sound more exotic, more archaic than with the traditional Western tuning. I stopped doing it when I got my first 5-string violin with a low C in 1979 (for the album A Taste For Passion) because it gave me the wider range that I was looking for, and once I got used to that 5th string it became less of a handicap than having to rethink my fingerings each time I would detune. If I remember correctly the only time I detuned my regular 4-string violin since then was in one piece of the album of West African music 'Tchokola', in the title track I lowered my 3rd string (D) to a C to get that special sound again. So in my experience, detuning works only with certain styles of music, or only on certain pieces as opposed to an entire album.
    Jun 27, 2009 11:54am
  • While on the topic of fiddlers...

    Francesco C

    Recently I listened to a great solo album by pat metheny, where he plays solo baritone guitar with no overdubs or any accompaniment, and I read in the liner notes he was using an alternative tuning for it called a nashville tuning, and the effect it created in the playing was really amazing. (Listening to solo playing always gives you a very thoughtful state of mind, because in solo playing people usually are playing more for themselves than other people, you are forced to listen very closely to be pulled into their thoughts) The lower tuning of the guitar with the 3rd and 4th strings tuned higher made a great abbyss of a sound to fall into. After all of this I realized that I had never played with alternative tunings on violin, so I looked for some. I found a lot of techniques online and alternative tunings that fiddlers use from different parts of the world, old time and bluegrass fiddlers have a lot of tunings, sometimes making the string less tense to drone, and various other tricks. I even discovered a technique gypsy fiddlers use, they put the a string in the same groove on the nut and bridge as the e string and tune it an octave lower to play both at the same time! But since I play jazz and not these styles of music, I have to be a bit inventive if I want to use these techniques, and I thought of all the jazz derived/fusion violinists at the moment, you are the one of the violinists that has experimented with the widest array of styles, so you're as good as any if looking for a precedent. So I am wondering, have you ever played with any of these alternative tunings and what was your experience? By the way recently I have been experimenting with sequencers and synthesizers, and I appreciate your solo albums even more now, it is difficult for me to play over so much ostinato, it gets too repetitive, (especially with no drum fills! I appreciate drummers more after these experiments too!) but you managed it very well, you either took advantage of that repeating to make your violin a knife or a kaleidoscope. You magnified the solo concept too, those albums are very introspective. When you play an unaccompanied solo with one instrument its one thing, but when you create your own little world with these sequencers and play at the same time with effects & or overdubs, it becomes even more introspective. The track called "Nostalgia" is really intense emotionally.
    Jun 26, 2009 6:44pm
  • New Country with Bela

    Jean Luc

    Hi John D I see your question about New Country, no I did not want to play that song during our trio tour with Bela Fleck because the banjo would have made it sound too country, when my initial concept for that piece was a fusion of R&B and country. Bela knew that song though, we talked about it, it was very popular in Nashville, I jammed with country fiddlers who knew it, it was fun. Bela can play any style he wants, and I thought it would be more interesting to hear him in more progressive styles where banjo is totally unusual.
    Jun 21, 2009 10:32am
  • video clips

    ken

    Albany Georgia

    Sure would like to see some more video clips on JLP's website.
    Jun 20, 2009 2:50pm
  • Trio! with Bela Fleck

    John D

    Huntersville NC USA

    Bonjour Michael, When Jean Luc was doing the Trio! tour with Bela Fleck, was Jean Luc's "New Country" part of the group's repertoire? I was thinking that banjo would sound terrific on New Country...the studio version's guitar work occasionally sounded like banjo or mandolin, at least to my ears. Merci!
    Jun 20, 2009 2:38pm