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absolutely beautiful guitar work

olddude 18 Feb 10 - 11:38 AM
Murray MacLeod 18 Feb 10 - 02:40 PM
Will Fly 18 Feb 10 - 02:44 PM
olddude 18 Feb 10 - 02:47 PM
olddude 18 Feb 10 - 02:52 PM
GUEST 18 Feb 10 - 02:55 PM
olddude 18 Feb 10 - 02:57 PM
MGM·Lion 18 Feb 10 - 03:03 PM
Murray MacLeod 18 Feb 10 - 03:12 PM
michaelr 18 Feb 10 - 03:22 PM
Murray MacLeod 18 Feb 10 - 03:42 PM
JedMarum 18 Feb 10 - 03:46 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Feb 10 - 04:00 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 18 Feb 10 - 04:06 PM
GUEST,leeneia 18 Feb 10 - 05:22 PM
olddude 18 Feb 10 - 05:52 PM
olddude 18 Feb 10 - 06:08 PM
Don Firth 18 Feb 10 - 09:14 PM
Don Firth 18 Feb 10 - 09:16 PM
John Hardly 18 Feb 10 - 09:34 PM
John Hardly 18 Feb 10 - 09:40 PM
olddude 18 Feb 10 - 10:26 PM
olddude 18 Feb 10 - 10:36 PM
Beer 18 Feb 10 - 10:47 PM
KT 18 Feb 10 - 10:53 PM
KT 18 Feb 10 - 10:56 PM
Beer 18 Feb 10 - 11:03 PM
olddude 18 Feb 10 - 11:08 PM
KT 19 Feb 10 - 03:43 PM
Little Hawk 19 Feb 10 - 04:24 PM
gnu 19 Feb 10 - 04:35 PM
olddude 19 Feb 10 - 05:06 PM
Zany Mouse 19 Feb 10 - 05:07 PM
olddude 19 Feb 10 - 05:54 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 19 Feb 10 - 06:03 PM
Tim Leaning 19 Feb 10 - 06:12 PM
olddude 19 Feb 10 - 06:17 PM
GUEST,Betsy 19 Feb 10 - 07:37 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 19 Feb 10 - 08:04 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 19 Feb 10 - 08:07 PM
olddude 19 Feb 10 - 09:01 PM
John Hardly 19 Feb 10 - 09:04 PM
olddude 19 Feb 10 - 10:44 PM
PoppaGator 20 Feb 10 - 01:42 AM
Mooh 20 Feb 10 - 07:09 AM
autoharpbob 20 Feb 10 - 07:36 AM
olddude 20 Feb 10 - 08:58 AM
GUEST,HiLo 20 Feb 10 - 09:52 AM
olddude 20 Feb 10 - 11:05 AM
GUEST 20 Feb 10 - 11:32 AM
Murray MacLeod 20 Feb 10 - 12:12 PM
GUEST,Tom Bliss 20 Feb 10 - 12:34 PM
Ron Davies 20 Feb 10 - 12:52 PM
dick greenhaus 20 Feb 10 - 03:17 PM
olddude 20 Feb 10 - 03:45 PM
olddude 20 Feb 10 - 03:51 PM
Ron Davies 20 Feb 10 - 04:01 PM
Murray MacLeod 20 Feb 10 - 05:01 PM
olddude 20 Feb 10 - 05:14 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 20 Feb 10 - 06:58 PM
PoppaGator 20 Feb 10 - 10:02 PM
M.Ted 21 Feb 10 - 03:14 AM
olddude 21 Feb 10 - 10:20 AM
John Hardly 21 Feb 10 - 10:47 AM
olddude 24 Feb 10 - 02:38 PM
PoppaGator 24 Feb 10 - 03:10 PM
olddude 24 Feb 10 - 05:15 PM
GUEST 24 Feb 10 - 06:01 PM
GUEST,Rob Bourassa 24 Feb 10 - 06:18 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 24 Feb 10 - 08:30 PM
Murray MacLeod 25 Feb 10 - 08:25 AM
Will Fly 25 Feb 10 - 08:30 AM
GUEST,David Qualey 08 Mar 10 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,D Qualey 09 Mar 10 - 05:49 PM
Bill D 09 Mar 10 - 06:52 PM
olddude 09 Mar 10 - 09:31 PM
GUEST,D Qualey 10 Mar 10 - 05:23 AM
Tim Leaning 10 Mar 10 - 06:30 AM
olddude 10 Mar 10 - 07:01 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 10 Mar 10 - 07:11 AM
GUEST,Ed 10 Mar 10 - 07:31 AM
GUEST,jeff 10 Mar 10 - 11:15 AM
PoppaGator 10 Mar 10 - 02:14 PM
olddude 10 Mar 10 - 02:24 PM
GUEST,Tunesmith 10 Mar 10 - 03:43 PM
Murray MacLeod 10 Mar 10 - 04:10 PM
Piers Plowman 11 Mar 10 - 02:26 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 11 Mar 10 - 03:30 AM
GUEST,Mike Rogers 11 Mar 10 - 03:58 AM
Tim Leaning 11 Mar 10 - 04:21 AM
GUEST,Tunesmith 11 Mar 10 - 04:57 AM
Tim Leaning 11 Mar 10 - 05:34 AM
Lox 11 Mar 10 - 05:57 AM
Piers Plowman 11 Mar 10 - 06:25 AM
Piers Plowman 11 Mar 10 - 06:36 AM
Piers Plowman 11 Mar 10 - 06:52 AM
Tim Leaning 11 Mar 10 - 08:27 AM
Piers Plowman 11 Mar 10 - 10:13 AM
Murray MacLeod 11 Mar 10 - 10:30 AM
Piers Plowman 11 Mar 10 - 10:32 AM
Piers Plowman 11 Mar 10 - 10:37 AM
Piers Plowman 11 Mar 10 - 10:42 AM
GUEST,Phil B 11 Mar 10 - 01:35 PM
Pistachio 11 Mar 10 - 06:09 PM
Tim Leaning 11 Mar 10 - 07:41 PM
Piers Plowman 12 Mar 10 - 02:42 AM
Acme 12 Mar 10 - 07:13 PM
GUEST,Hello again... 21 Mar 10 - 01:16 AM
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Subject: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 11:38 AM

Holy Cow, Holy Cow
is this beautiful

Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - J.S.Bach


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 02:40 PM

to be honest, olddude, it doesn't do anything for me, and this Bach composition is one of my all time favourite pieces.

I just have an aversion to the ethereal aura which seems to emanate from all Windham Hill productions, it ain't my cup of tea.

I loved Leo Kottke's version in Open G, recorded way back when, but my current favourite, by a guitarist, who to be frank, has more talent in his little finger than David Qualey has in his whole body, is this, the best version of "Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring" you will ever hear


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Will Fly
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 02:44 PM

Rob's guitar work is stunning, and he's an incredibly versatile player as well. Started playing jazz and pop standards with older, seasoned musicians when he was very young. Also a great correspondent and valued contributor to the AG Discussion Forum.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 02:47 PM

Murray
I will check out your link, I love this song, wish I could play it. Maybe I will sit down and try to pick it out

Dan


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 02:52 PM

Murray
WOW ,,, you are right WOW can Rob play ... that is the best I have ever heard ... WOW thank you


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 02:55 PM

I love David Qualey! David's arrangement of this tune was the inspiration for George Winston's much loved piano recording. And as far as the Leo Kottke comparison goes, I would say that David has written far more interesting guitar music than Leo's bluesy ramblings!Listen to David's tune Santa Cruz and tell me that Leo has the talent to compose something as great as that!

Santa Cruz -David Qualey


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 02:57 PM

Anyone else got any other versions they want to share, what a beautiful guitar piece huh ...


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 03:03 PM

I consider them both exquisite in quite different ways ~ Mr Qualey struck me at first as perhaps trying a bit too hard for purity ~ perhaps a touch of what the late John Betjeman summed up as Ghastly·Good·Taste ~ but won me over with its absolute perfection eventually. The Rob Bourassa, in far more exuberant style, was also one of most delightful things I have ever listened to.

Let us just be grateful the world has room for them both.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 03:12 PM

@unnamed GUEST, I just checked out David Qualey's "Santa Cruz" and it's very pleasant, but I would suggest that Leo Kottke has any number of compositions which could stand right up there with it.

I don't want to knock David Qualey, he is a very competent guitarist, but imo he does lack that touch of je ne sais quoi which separates the greats (of whom Rob Bourassa is one) from the just very good.

And is it my imagination or does David Qualey's arrangement of JESU JOMD kick of with the opening passage from "Cavatina" (Theme fom the Deer Hunter) ?


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: michaelr
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 03:22 PM

My band arranged it as a slip jig -- it's the second tune in "The Thingama Jigs".


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 03:42 PM

olddude, I know you like a bit of ragtime, so here is an incredible version of The Entertainer (I don't think Rob Bourassa looks at the fretboard once throughout the piece) and an equally phenomenal version of Maple Leaf Rag, by Takashi Hamada. It doesn't get any better than this, ragtime -wise IMHO


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: JedMarum
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 03:46 PM

WOW - Olddude you are right on! This is beautiful!

Thanks for posting the link ....

such elegant, smooth and lovely playing and simply beautiful piece.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 04:00 PM

Murray, as it happens, David Qualey's recording was not a Windham Hill effort. He recorded the album for a German label, and Windham Hill were so impressed that they decided to release in the States on their label.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 04:06 PM

Here's a link to Rob's version.

Rob's Joy!


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 05:22 PM

Thanks, it's beautiful. Funny thing - I liked it better when I slid my chair six feet from my computer. At the keyboard, I was too close to the speakers, and I 'heard too much.'

Six feet away, it mellowed.

Thanks for posting.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 05:52 PM

Murray
the ragtime was incredible, I am now a huge fan .... wow

I agree with you guys, both of these fine musicians are so far above me that I could only hope to do a tenths, so beautiful the guitar work ... amazing


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 06:08 PM

Rick foster doing Jesu
Jesu Rick Foster


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 09:14 PM

Nice, but the guy who can really play it is HERE.

I've actually heard him play it better than in this video, however. He tends to get a bit heavy-handed here.

Then?I listened to Rick Foster (olddude's post) and remembered that Parkening says that Foster is who he got the arrangement from!!

I've heard Parkening do it live in concert, I have his all Bach CD, and I bought a folio of Bach pieces that he plays. Absolute killers to play, but he makes them sound like a walk through the park.

I tried the arrangement of Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring (Foster's) in the folio and found out what "difficult" really means!

But Parkening has an easier arrangement in his manual, The Christopher Parkening Guitar Method - Volume 1: The Art and Technique of the Classical Guitar Book/CD Pack. It's a whole lot easier than the one in the Bach folio, but it still sounds darned good. Even though it's a supplementary piece in a "beginner's" manual, it still takes a bit of work to wrap your fingers around it.

Well worth it, though!

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Don Firth
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 09:16 PM

By the way, have you heard Pete Seeger play this on the 5-string banjo? It's in his "Goofing-Off Suite."

Don Firth


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 09:34 PM

When I saw the opening post and went to the link, the very first thing that crossed my mind is..."These guys ought to see my friend, Rob's take on this"

...and then I saw the link in the very next post.

Rob is an amazing guitar player. And humble as the day is long. He's been a professional musician since his pre-teen years -- starting out playing banjo professionally. Later, he taught himself on guitar with the same analytical method by which he'd taught himself banjo.

I went to his first workshop up at Elderly Instruments. He started out the workshop by simply taking requests -- any song. The participants started by requesting jazz standards, but Rob said, "You know, as long as I've been playing professionally, I probably have a arrangement for all these -- I'd be expected to be able to play them. Ask me for songs you don't think I'd have played before"

And so, warming to the game, we started asking for kid's songs, hard rock songs, novelty songs. If Rob knew the melody, he could play it -- completely harmonized too. He be mid song and ask someone to call out a key. He'd change immediately to that key. He would change styles -- chet, travis, freddie green, he'd play anything any way.

He's the most phenomenally versatile instrumentalist I've ever known.

Perhaps the most amazing demonstration he gave was that he has the ability to pick out notes as fast as he can "scat" them. Meaning, there is no delay between the speed of his thought and the ability to find that note on the fretboard. I've never seen anything like it in my life. I've seen guitarists who will scat and play at the same time -- but always pre-arranged.

And, again, you'll never meet a more humble man than Rob Bourassa.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: John Hardly
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 09:40 PM

review


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 10:26 PM

well you folks certainly pointed me to some amazing artists. My gosh I like this song on a guitar in the hands of a master ... terrific stuff folk ... just terrific


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 10:36 PM

I love the classical guitar sound,
only for laughs I post this, my pathetic attempt at playing a classical guitar , about as complicated at this old dude can do LOL

good grief
california dreamin


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Beer
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 10:47 PM

Yes it is good but I certainly have heard better. However, a great find Dan and the thing that impressed me more than the guitar playing was the sound of the guitar. Now that is one fine instrument.
Beer (adrien)


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: KT
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 10:53 PM

They're all wonderful, but this is the one that really amazes me!!


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: KT
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 10:56 PM

Hey! How'd I mess that up? Anyway, You've gotta see this one! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiNFB213t5k


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Beer
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 11:03 PM

Wow!! kt.
That was very good. But can he sing????
Just kidding.
Adrien


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 18 Feb 10 - 11:08 PM

How wonderful is that KT
OH MY GOD , the guitar is bigger than he is and how he can play
that is PRICELESS !!


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: KT
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 03:43 PM

Yeah, Adrien and olddude. He is something, isn't he? He must be several lifetimes old!!!!!


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Little Hawk
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 04:24 PM

Rob Bourassa's rendition of "Jesu" is just gorgeous! Wow! Man, I would love to be able to play like that.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: gnu
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 04:35 PM

Sungha just blows me away.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 05:06 PM

Rob has 15 fingers I swear, I never heard anything like that before. Breathtaking is the only word for it ... and so clean I mean it is perfect ... amazing talent ... speechless


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Zany Mouse
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 05:07 PM

I honestly wouldn't have recognised this at the beginning. The first GLIMPSE of what it is only hit me at the first line of the normally sung bit. He seems very talented but it's an awful arrangement of a beautiful piece.

Rhiannon


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 05:54 PM

Well after listening to Robs version I have to say Robs is far better.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 06:03 PM

I don't usually contribute to threads like this as you generally just get people with strong opinions either way expressing strong views.

But actually the reactions to Qualey's, as opposed to Bourassa's and Foster's, version may be rather illuminating.

For some people, myself included, Bach's genius is expressed in the counterpoint between the treble and bass melodies. For us this is where the whole beauty of the piece lies, and any version which omitted one or the other must by definition be lacking.

Bourassa and Foster both maintain the relationship in their versions, and so the only real question is whether the performance expresses the necessary flow. This is actually technically impossible on the guitar because some notes are inevitably damped because fingers have to be moved before the required duration is reached - so maybe there's a case for saying don't bother to try. But most of us can forgive a few small hiccoughs because the showmanship of achieving 90% of both melodies throughout, while also handling the changes in temo on a six string guitar is simply staggering.

Qualey, by contrast, maintains the upper melody but does not attempt the lower. I rather like his change in time signature and emphasis, and the open tunings are pretty, but for me the piece doesn't hold water. All the tension is gone, and the musicality is regularly subverted because there are no 'throughs' - no bridges to hold the work up.

Now the interesting bit:

Some love the Qualey version, some hate it. It may be some of the haters do so because they just plain don't like to hear a familiar piece 'done wrong,' but I'm curious to know if there's another reason.

Tot Taylor, of the 80s pop group Advertising, wrote a marvellous book about the difference between left and right handed music.

The theory goes that right hands - or more accurately, left-hemisphere-dominents - are logical and linear, and therefore tuned to tunes. They find their stimulation in melody construction, decoration and variation. Right handed music often has a simple, frequently well-used, chord structure, and all the interest is focused on the melody. So examples would be most folk dance tunes, most blues and all 12 bars, a majority of country songs and their pop cousins, reggae, rap, and most trance and electronica etc. Most tune players are very left hemisphere - and they don't much mind what chords you put in as long as you don't buck up their feet (and you can spoonerise that if you like).

Right hemis, on the other hand (so to speak), are lateral, conceptual thinkers. They are tuned to harmonic structure, and drawn to inventive progressions and rich chords such as augmented fourths and major sevenths. Very left-handed music will often have a very simple melody, with all the interest coming from the shifting shapes of the lower lines (that's a simplification because it can work the other way up too).

And Dyslexics, like me, are tuned to both and so constantly confused and difficult, but very rewarding to know and love.

Now. Could it be that those who like Qualey's version are very left hemisphere dominant? (That doesn't necessarily mean right-handed by the way, it's more complicated than that). Are they so delighted by his variation and ornamentation they barely notice the 'bass-line butchery.' While those who prefer Bach's original and the Bourassa and Foster versions are more right-hemi?

Or by contrast, is this whole theory a just load of old Tot Taylor Tosh?

Tom

PS Vis Lennon vs McCartney's writing styles, Gershwin, Berstein, Hendrix... the list goes on, and so does the beat.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 06:12 PM

Well I love this thread.
I do however find that I follow the links hear the playing then get lost in You tube for hours.
Julian Bream,still sounds good even if the old recordings are a bit ropey.
still keep em coming chaps.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 06:17 PM

Tom
I like his version when I first heard it and still do because to me he was putting himself into the work as opposed to play exactly as written. It was his arrangement and felt like a part of himself was given to it to make it entirely his own. I liked the gentle treatment and feeling expressed.

After I heard Rob, his version is technically superior to my ear, It was performed as written yet had the artist emotions coming though in the playing . To my ear Rob is a superior guitarist hands down, but I don't really compare them for Qualey was doing more of an interpretation of a work that he was attempting to make his own. Both quite beautiful in their own regard- to my ear anyway.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Betsy
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 07:37 PM

Old Dude - pleasant listening - Julian Bream is more accurate - but this guy puts his soul into it - nothing to get wound up about .
Enjoy !

Betsy


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 08:04 PM

For me Bourassa is ahead of Qualey by a length, and Parkening has the best transcription. All largely because of the couonterpoint factor explained by Tom Bliss.

But there is at least one mudcatter who could give them all a run for their money. Justa Picker, who's exsquisite playing first came to my attention when he was here under another name many years ago, was posting again quite recently, so someone might persuade him to give it a go and post the result where we can see and hear it?


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 08:07 PM

exsquisite? Oh dear. Well it's late in the UK....


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 09:01 PM

Peter
is there any recordings online my friend. There are so many catters that are just world class musicians. I do wish they would post on this thread ... such beautiful music


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: John Hardly
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 09:04 PM

Justa Picker is quite a player. I haven't heard from him since he dropped that forum he started.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 19 Feb 10 - 10:44 PM

hey check out this version of moonlight sonata
moonlight sonata


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: PoppaGator
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 01:42 AM

I read through much of this thread before I was able to play and hear the various clips. Now that I've been able to listen, I have to state my very strong preference for the Rob Bourassa performance as opposed to the Qualey arrangement.

In fact, I flat out dislike what Qualey did to a wonderful and familiar classic. Maybe this is my shortcoming, a failure of imagination to fully appreciate someone's creativity. But, rightly or wrongly, I feel that the deliberate effort to "improve upon" Bach by chopping the rhythm to pieces snd completely eliminating the counterpoint is downright narcissistic.

I think that the "counterproposed" performances by Rob and several others all demonstrate that a musician can be personally expressive and can create a moving performance without resorting to gratuitous and idiosyncratic gimmicry.

I understand that Qualey was trying to create a "flowing" sound and an outlet for his feelings, and if he had been performing a completely original piece, or a work completely unfamiliar to me, he might have elicited a more positive response on my part. But once he got through his tacked-on introduction and began his reinterpretation of the Bach theme, I found it impossible NOT to regard it as butchery.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Mooh
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 07:09 AM

I only know Rob Bourassa through some discussions elsewhere on the net, and his stunning YouTube videos. His candid and well-considered views and insights are born out of a complete and sympathetic understanding of music. But the proof is in the pudding. He plays with a certain ease and freedom that virtually transcends the instrument. I find myself forgetting about the guitar and only hearing the music.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: autoharpbob
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 07:36 AM

Agree totally with PoppaGator. Technically Qualey was fine, but as a piece of music I enjoyed all three of the others I listened to more.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 08:58 AM

No question about it Rob is hands down the master. Poppagator brings up a wonderful point. Qualey would have done better to do a completely original piece instead of trying to adapt a great classic. that is a very good point indeed and i had not thought of that. well put, gives me something to think about


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,HiLo
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 09:52 AM

They all play the guitar well but few seem to play Bach well,


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 11:05 AM

HiLo
do you have any other links? that would be awesome if you do. Love to hear Bach being played by fine guitarists


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 11:32 AM

I drifted off into YouTubeLand and found both a nyckelharpa and Bach:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zs3aUCM8BX8&feature=related


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 12:12 PM

might not be everybody's cup of lapsang souchong, but these guys sure know how to give a fresh twist to Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring

I can just imagine old J S nodding his head in approval ...


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Tom Bliss
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 12:34 PM

But why is David St Hubbins on bass instead of Derek Smalls?

"They all play the guitar well but few seem to play Bach well,"

That's because 'Jesu' wasn't written for the guitar. Guitars have the right notes, but in all the wrong places.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 12:52 PM

Obviously "de gustibus..."   And this may be beautiful guitar work. But in my opinion, it's not good music.

I'm with PoppaGator.   It seems nothing short of sacrilege to chop up the rhythm--and seemingly attempt to "jazz up" the piece. Not to put a too fine a point on it, I found it unlistenable.

I am a rock-hard-core classical fan. I play it and sing it--all the time. And I don't want it watered down to Windham Hills aural wallpaper.

My view is: if you don't do it straight, try Barry Manilow instead.   His creations won't suffer.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 03:17 PM

Tangentially, does anyone knowm of a "cowboy-style" song to this tune? Heard it from Oscar Brand some 60 years ago, and have been trying bto find it ever sincem (Orcar says he doesn't remember it). It ends up" ...and I'll mmeet you tonight at the old Bach Corral"


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 03:45 PM

Well Ron, Barry Manilow played on a classical guitar at the hands of a master would sound sweet also ... to each their own ... but that takes nothing away from those who do enjoy it or the work of the others on this thread ...   

And that nickelharpa thing is pretty cool to my ears ... I like it, don't know what the hell it is but I like it


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 03:51 PM

There must be a hundred songs done by big bands and other groups that are regarded as pop but are actually modified versions of the classics, so Qualey is nothing out of the usual in that regard


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Ron Davies
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 04:01 PM

As I said, it is a matter of taste. It's just not my taste. And I do feel--strongly--that the arrangement changes a wonderfully intricate little piece to elevator music. I especially miss Bach's counterpoint here.   Julian Bream, Segovia, Christopher Parkening, and a huge host of other guitarists and lutenists have done this piece and done it justice.   This arrangement does not.

There's a line I've read on Mudcat at some point which goes:

Q:    "What do you get if you play a Windham Hill record backwards?"

A:    " A Windham Hill record"

Seems to fit here.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 05:01 PM

From: GUEST,Tom Bliss - PM
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 12:34 PM

But why is David St Hubbins on bass instead of Derek Smalls?


ROFLMAO

it's definitely Nigel on lead guitar however, with the amp turned up to 11 unless I am much mistaken


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 05:14 PM

Only thing I can say and I wish the hell I could play as "bad" as Qualey
I would take it in a heart beat. I think most others would also ... I know a lot of guitarist, I know few that can do that, even if this song isn't appealing to others. That ok cause it is just a matter of taste, but few I know including myself can do that on a guitar. There are some like Rob that are far better but as a guitar player, I wish I could do anything that he does or Rob for that matter


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 06:58 PM

olddude, if you send me an email address via PM I'll gladly send you one of Justa Picker's tracks, and maybe also one he put together with the late lamented Rick Fielding among others. I'm sure he would not mind, but the deal is that you have to come back to this thread and say what you think.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: PoppaGator
Date: 20 Feb 10 - 10:02 PM

John Hardley's post of 18 Feb 10 - 09:34 PM (above) is one of the most compelling pieces of writing about music I've ever encountered. Anyone who skipped past it ought to scroll up and check it out.

This is not so much on praise of John's prose style; it's his subject matter, the story he tells. The Rob Borassa performance he describes is simply incredible, beyond anything I had ever even imagined. Simply digesting the description of that day's event was more rewarding and more amazing to me than actually listening to any of music/video links.

The virtuosity required to pull off the musical feats described in those few short paragraphs is simply above and beyond anything I'v e ever heard, or heard of, and well beyond what's required of a classical-music "virtuoso," who only has to read and practice, and eventually perform, written music. The improvisational skills Mr Borassa is apparently able to call upon go far beyond anything taught in the conservatories.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: M.Ted
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 03:14 AM

No one mentioned the fact that David Qualey's piece was fattened considerably with production effects-so much so that it is the "Beautiful Music" ambience, and not the music itself that stands out. Some people like that, some people need a little more substance. I'll leave it at that.

As far as the piece goes, the more I think about what Tom Bliss says, the more sense it makes. Even the best versions really are just novelty pieces, because the instrument just doesn't have the capacity to render all the parts, and I find myself clutching my chair and hoping for the best in the shaky spots. If Bach had actually written something for the guitar, it would have worked a lot better.

Also, and I am not naming names, but one of the performers didn't seem to be in tune--and that is rather distracting.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 10:20 AM

Ted, probably me LOL, tuning is optional for this old guy LOL


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: John Hardly
Date: 21 Feb 10 - 10:47 AM

Poppa,

Bourassa stories could fill a good-sized volume.

One day he got a call to provide back-up accompaniment for a touring musician. It was for a large charity event in Detroit, and Rob carefully didn't say who he was working for, nor the other acts that became part of this story -- he didn't tell the story in order to put the other musicians down in any way. No, the point of the telling was in encouraging the workshop participants that learning the instrument this new way would be actually teaching us to play virtually anything.

Anyway, Rob played the set with this famous touring musician and then returned to the green room where a few more of the acts were waiting for their turn on stage.

At that point, a few of the other musicians congratulated Rob on a great set and then asked him how long he'd been with this act. When Rob said, "Well, I got called yesterday afternoon and we went over the material last night to familiarize me with it"

"?", was the look. "You're shitting me?!"

They, of course, found it hard to believe, given the level of the performance, that Rob hadn't been performing with this guy for some time now.

Well, now these guys were intrigued. They wanted to know how he did this. As one of them happened to be holding a guitar, Rob asked them to play a simple melody (Mary had a little lamb). The guy got a weird look on his face, but tried to play the melody. He couldn't. At least not without a few stumbles.

At that point, Rob gave the guy a shortened version of that workshop demo -- playing anything the guy could name. If it was a song that Rob was familiar with, he could play it. And they could play anything and Rob could play along in real time.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 02:38 PM

I received an email from Peter with a soundclick by "justa picker"
My goodness what an amazing talent. I wish I could post it for everyone but it is not mine to post. Thanks Peter, great stuff, it is called "bluebell" wow !


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: PoppaGator
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 03:10 PM

I've been hanging around this site, on and off, for quite a few years now ~ but even when I was a newbie, Justa Picker already seemed to be a "former" Mudcat regular who only popped in for the occasional visit.

Once, a couple of years ago, in a discussion of the actual authorship of "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," Justa posted an audio clip of his studio-produced multi-instrumental rendition of this song, featuring an obviously female vocal.

I was temporarily confused, wondering if I had been mistaken all along by assuming that Justa Picker was male. I was soon set straight; Justa, apparently, does not do vocals himself. But what a player!

I wondered then, and stil wonder, if the real name behind the psueodonym might be that of a familiar public figure, a well-known musician. Maybe, maybe not. I have no trouble believing that any number of hugely talented players can remain totally anonymous to the public at large; some may simply never have had any interest in pursuing fame and fortune, and other may have tried and ultimately failed for no really good reason. Life isn't fair, after all...


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 05:15 PM

Pappa Gator
justa picker, was is, a catter you are right ... absolutely wonderful picker, I wish I had permission to post it ...

amazing


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 06:01 PM

I'm looking for a midi for Big Strong Man ( Sylvest )...would you know where I could get one
    Thanks
          Kevin      m7nea@aol.com


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Rob Bourassa
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 06:18 PM

My friend Will Fly brought this post to my attention.

I would like to thank you all for the kind comments. To show my appreciation, I will be producing a free video tutorial for Jesu, on my Youtube page. It will cover the piece, note for note, in slow motion, isolating each part so they are easy to learn.

I will post the link when I finish, some time next week.

Thanks again folks, and God Bless,

Rob Bourassa


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 24 Feb 10 - 08:30 PM

Hi olddude. Glad the track reached you, and I am not at all surprised at your reaction!

PoppaGator, I have an MP3 of Justa Picker's "Don't think twice" and discussed it with him at the time. The vocalist, who was a friend of his, was not quite on top form on that occasion, but the instrumental work was, as usual, wonderful. But I don't think all the instruments were played by Justa Picker. I know that the late Rick Fielding, who was a hugely respected member of this forum, collaborated on some of the tracks Justa Picker put down at that time. But I can't remember if this track was one of them.

If anyone is interested to hear Justa Picker's work, it might be worth sending him a PM in the hope that he might post a track or two or allow me to do so.(He was last posting here in January.) I don't want to seem precious about this, but having at one time put his music online, he then specifically moved it out of reach of the Mudcat community, with only one or two exceptions. However it is quite possible that he will by now have put out a commercial CD.

On the question of whether he is well known, there was a time when he posted here under his own name. It is the same name as a highly regarded guitar tekkie who has worked with some really topline professionals, but they are not, I think, the same person.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 08:25 AM

Welcome to Mudcat, Rob, and well done Will for contacting Rob.

I am sure we will all be awaiting your video tutorial with great anticipation.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Will Fly
Date: 25 Feb 10 - 08:30 AM

Rob - generous as ever!


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,David Qualey
Date: 08 Mar 10 - 02:24 PM

I just happened to stumble upon this "Jesu, Joy" discussion here on your guitar site and I would conclude that Mr. MacLeod has a tremendous lack of universal guitar knowledge as well as of my playing and compositions in particular. I've had many concerts together with Mr. Kottke over the years and I enjoyed his good groove and his humour, and respect him as a nice fellow and a gentleman. What is obviously very stupid of Mr. MacLeod is to compare my compositions with those of Mr. Kottke. My music is written for classical guitarists and has also become part of the modern day classical guitar literature. Mr. Kottke's music is a folk-blues cross with lots of heavy bass and good groove, which I can enjoy. Even he wouldn't compare our compositions in any way. And as far as "Jesu, Joy" goes, this is not an arrangement but rather a simple fantasy on a part of JSB's choral. My career with Windham Hill was very short because the music I write did not fit into their New Age genre.
So let's not compare oranges and bananas Mr. MacLeod. Maybe you should ask Leo why after after playing 15 concerts with me in 1981 as the "headliner" he said he'd never play "after" me again. And when we played the double bill in Milwaukee in 1986 for the American Fingerstyle Festival, he asked the organiser to let him play first, which he did. The reason is Mr. MacLeod I have a far greater span of styles and types of playing than Mr. Kottke.   And if you Mr. MacLeod had ever attended a solo concert of mine and listened to this variety of music and styles you might have left off your comment about the "more talent in his little finger..." It was very stupid thing to say and stupid things catch up to people one day or another.
Enjoy playing the instrument and try filtering your words with wisdom rather than ignorance and arrogance. Have a nice day. Sincerely, David Qualey


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,D Qualey
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 05:49 PM

BTW, I did this little fantasy using part of JSB's melody before Cavatina was ever made popular with the film The Deer Hunter in 1978. My piece was done in 1976. So maybe he stole it from me?? Hahahaaa
You folks really seem to waste a lot of time talking about nothing of importance but I guess that is what forums are all about.
BTW, if I'd have wanted to make an "arrangement" of JSB's piece I wouldn't have done it like this. This little improv was thrown together one afternoon before a concert. I'd bought an octave guitar in a music store during the day and wanted to play something in my concert using the instrument. I sat in my hotel room and began fiddling with the parts of the theme and that was that. Sometimes the simplest things can have the biggest effect on a listener who is not interested in the brass tacks of whether something is correct, pure, or intellectually tantalizing. They just enjoy it for what it is, a piece of music.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Bill D
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 06:52 PM

It IS a good idea to remember that musicians one discusses may just be able to use a computer too, and occasionally have an opinion on the discussion...

There is some very nice guitar work on all those links.

And it is not TOO difficult to discover who Justa Picker is. (and yeah, he picks pretty good! I remember those days when he played with Rick and some stuff was posted)


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 09 Mar 10 - 09:31 PM

Mr. Qualey
I posted the link to your version because I thought it was beautiful and so do many others. It is important to understand that music tastes are as different as snowflakes. I write songs, some people like them, some people love them, some people hate them .. but one cannot think it is personal at all ... it is just a matter of taste.   I posted the link because I thought it was beautiful still do ... but some of the others are not bad folks if they don't agree ... if we all liked the same music what a boring life it will be right ...

Keep making beautiful music ... I look forward to more youtube posts.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,D Qualey
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 05:23 AM

Thanks olddude. I don't take the "musical" criticisms personally and agree each to his own. What I did object to was the "little finger" comment, which I found over the top in good taste.
Whether this is of any interest to the forum readers... my musical interest is not to play the guitar at tremendous speeds with an unbelievable amount of notes. It never was and never will be. Considering I really discovered the guitar and its beauty through a recording of Debussy's "Claire de Lune" played by Presti & Lagoya, should pretty much tell you where I'm at and what it is I'm interested in doing with the guitar and my compositions. It's all about beauty. Let others break the speed limits, that's fine with me. I always respect the results of lots of practice in any area.
Thanks also for your response, and also Bill D. Variety is the spice of life...


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 06:30 AM

Mr Qualey I was introduced to your music via this thread and although you found some of the comments unfortunate I gotta say I have enjoyed the little of your music I have been able to hear so thanks mate.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 07:01 AM

Mr. Qualey
Listening to your music, I only wish I could capture the beauty of the guitar a tenth as well.   There is something about the sound of the classical guitar in the hands of a master that for me no other instrument really moves me as much. I love the music, please post more.

Dan


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 07:11 AM

He does the melody line with pregnant pause, holding the note till the last instant before going to the next.

Now, I think that sounds good.

However, as all good Bach, it is the infinite glory of the cadences that make it Bach, and so as good as this is, I don't find Bach in it.

I do find an interesting take on a tune that has always, in any and every style, made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.

I agree with Douglas adams when he said the only way to appreciate the infinity of space is to listen to Bach. or Carl Sagan when asked why he didn't add music to the store in the Voyager spacecraft. "I would have added some Bach, but that would have been showing off..."

Interestingly, Einstein reckoned Mozart showed us infinity, but for me, the cadences of Bach make you realise infinity means never ends.....

Clock the version by Angel Romero (get a preview on iTunes) to hear another excellent classical guitar interpretation.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Ed
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 07:31 AM

Steamin' Willie,

You've got your quotes wrong. Douglas Adams said:

"Beethoven tells you what it's like to be Beethoven and Mozart tells you what it's like to be human. Bach tells you what it's like to be the universe."
which is quite a different thing from being infinite.

Carl Sagan never said that about Bach, indeed Bach is the most represented artist on the Voyager Golden Record


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,jeff
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 11:15 AM

While they're both really well done I'll give my considered opinion. Not fond of capoed arrangements because it give the player a shorter scale for difficult reaches than if he'd played the song w/o one. Easy out, as they say. The other was so 'affected' as to render the melody, virtually indecipherable. Too much self-indulgent latitude for my taste. It's like what most singers do to the US national anthem. The song DOES have a melody, y'know. As does this Bach piece.

Prefer the 2nd version mentioned as the melody is clear and the moving counterpoint basslines are far more interesting. Just wish it would have been done w/o a capo.

Both are brilliant players, though and I'd gladly pay good money to see either of them in a concert setting.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: PoppaGator
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 02:14 PM

It has never occurred to me to consider the realtive ease/difficulty of playing a piece of music when deciding whether or not I enjoyed it.

I understand that use of a capo can be considered "cheating," and is generally verboten in the realm of classical music. However, in other genres played on the guitar ~ most notably, flamenco, performed on an instrument very similar to the standard classical guitar ~ use of the capo is expected, even encouraged.

The capo just makes the guitar into a slightly different instrument, one with a higher pitch and a shorter fretboard.

My value judgements about the performances under consideration here have all concerned my enjoyment of the music and had nothing to do with my estimation of any player's technical skill. All of the musicians showcased here, after all, have been extremely skilful. The extent to which those estimable skills were put to effective use in the service of musicality is something else entirely. I have my opinions, just as each of you has yours, and those options will vary not only from one performer to another, but among different efforts by the same player.

The fact that I recognize that So-and-so is a more skillful and more versatile guitar player than I'll ever hope to be does NOT mean that I'm going to like everything he plays, nor does it disqualify me from having a valid opinion about his musical choices.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: olddude
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 02:24 PM

I agree with popagator, if it sound great to my ear , that is what is important. Ron Bankley bought a classical guitar for 10 bucks, someone put steel strings on it and ruined it. He used it as a slide guitar.   The sound he can make out of it as a slide rivals anything I heard by anyone on a real slide ... capo ... me I can't live without one ... love the things


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 03:43 PM

It's funny how many folkies are raving about counterpoint as it doesn't pop up much in folk music and when it does it can definitely sound put of place. For example, listen to guitarist Duck Baker's take on Celtic tunes. His use of counterpoint doesn't work for me. Of course, O'Carolan was a contemporary of Bach's and included counterpoint in his arrangments. Should a melody like "Jesu, Joy of..." always contain Baroque counterpoint? Probably not.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 04:10 PM

David, I have re-read my post and I would like to apologize for my comment which was crass, rude and totally uncalled for. I was unfamiliar with any of your work prior to watching the video of JJOMD and whatever my feelings about your arrangement might have been, there was no justification for what I said.

I am not the greatest fan of the Windham Hill school of (IMHO) self-indulgent guitar noodling, and I must admit that when I clicked on Dan's link and saw immediately that your arrangement had been recorded on a Windham Hill CD, that was it for me.

However, I have to say that if Leo Kottke was as impressed with your work as you say, then I have sadly mis-judged your abilities, and I look forward one day to being able to hear you play in person, when I have no doubt that my previously expressed opinion will undergo a swift 180 degree turn.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 02:26 AM

Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: PoppaGator - PM
Date: 10 Mar 10 - 02:14 PM

'I understand that use of a capo can be considered "cheating," and is generally verboten in the realm of classical music.'

With all due respect, I don't think this is true. Okay, it's Renaissance music rather than Classical in the strict sense (which you probably didn't mean, anyway), but in Karl Scheit's edition of solo pieces by John Dowland arranged for guitar, he recommends playing them with a capo on the third fret to try to emulate the sound of a lute. I've got an arrangement for guitar of some of Brahms' songs where the capo is required for at least one. One could probably find more examples.

"However, in other genres played on the guitar ~ most notably, flamenco, performed on an instrument very similar to the standard classical guitar ~ use of the capo is expected, even encouraged.

The capo just makes the guitar into a slightly different instrument, one with a higher pitch and a shorter fretboard."

For what it's worth, in my opinion, there is nothing whatsoever wrong with using a capo (or not using one, for that matter) for any genre of music, any more than there's anything wrong with using drop D, Renaissance tuning, or any other tuning. Retuning strings upwards is somewhat risky, unless they don't have too much tension. Using a capo comes to much the same thing.

Capos are very useful for playing in flat keys, where it's nice to have open strings that suit the key. The trade-off is the loss of the notes behind the capo. "Classical" music for guitar tends to use sharp keys and I got a bit bored with constantly playing in the same keys.

I also think it's legitimate to use a capo as a crutch, if one needs to. I think it's better to do that than play every song in the same key.

The important thing about music is the way it sounds, not how technically skilled the player is. I have a reasonable amount of technical skill --- that's nice for me, but not really for anyone else. The only thing that's nice for other people is if I play something they enjoy listening to. Whether I use a capo or not is irrelevant. Just my two cents.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 03:30 AM

Surely, the main use of the capo is when a guitar is accompanying a singer. This is the case in flamenco. Interestingly, the most famous guitar instrumental to have emerged form the UK folk scene has got to be Angie, and Davy Graham chose to play that with his capo on the third fret.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Mike Rogers
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 03:58 AM

I used to believe that the use of a capo was frowned on. I spent years trying to force my fretting fingers into impossible positions.
Then I saw that not only did Davy Graham capo at 3rd for Anji but so did Bert Jansch when playing the same piece. In fact the tune doesn't sound 'right' played in any other way.
When I saw Albert Lee and Clapton using capos on electric guitars I was both amazed and delighted.
With better guitars and better capos around these days the old intonation problems of yesteryear have disappeared. These days I'm 'proud to capo'.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:21 AM

Bit of thread drift here but as a novice guitaree,I am find a lot of the instruction Books do tend to say that we should practice a piece until we can play it with equal expertise in any key.
Now If I am a strumming in my very basic way that is fine,but when I is a finger pickin' not so.
There fore I tend to larn it in whatever key it comes to me. Then capo up so that I may sing or join in with others.
I don't normally want to learn the bloomin things more than once and the notes are all in different places and the hammering on and off etc just seems a bit awkward.
I know I am lucky in the amount of free time I can find for all this but it still seems a waste of life.
Am I evel or will it just come to me eventually?


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Tunesmith
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:57 AM

The practice "in every key" idea would be useful in jazz but not in folk. Talking about fingerpicking, Ralph McTell's The Streets of London was recorded in the key of D major, but Ralph actually used chord shapes from the key of C major and then placed the capo at the second fret. Ralph did this because the C major family of chords enabled him to use his "pattern playing" style to greater effect.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:34 AM

Oh wow that is weird I was twiddling at streets yesterday and I knew it shouldn't be in c. Wondered how it could feel right but sound wrong.
So I don't need a cap in the shape of a crucifix.? Lol
Cheers


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Lox
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 05:57 AM

Rob is OK, but he needs to spend some ime working on his sound.

Left hand and arrangement great, but tone very scratchy.

On this point, both Qualey and the kid beat him hands down.

I don't like either of the other two classical versions, played veryu heavily.

Qualey has an awesome tone and it isn't his guitar, it is his right hand which has a very confident and clear but delicate touch, so he doesn't stomp all over a tune that is meant to be light and subtle.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:25 AM

Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Tim Leaning - PM
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 04:21 AM

"Bit of thread drift here but as a novice guitaree,I am find a lot of the instruction Books do tend to say that we should practice a piece until we can play it with equal expertise in any key."

This sounds completely unrealistic to me and (just my personal opinion) I also think it would be 1. very boring and 2. a waste of time.

"Now If I am a strumming in my very basic way that is fine,but when I is a finger pickin' not so."

When finger-picking, it makes sense to use the open strings. It also makes sense to use harmonies that aren't too complex and not to change chords too often. Using more complex chord changes seems to result in a different effect.

"There fore I tend to larn it in whatever key it comes to me. Then capo up so that I may sing or join in with others."

Sounds like a reasonable approach to me.

"I don't normally want to learn the bloomin things more than once and the notes are all in different places and the hammering on and off etc just seems a bit awkward."

Actually, if one learns to play by ear, it eventually becomes easier to play things in any key. It also helps to understand the harmonies, i.e., to be able to think in terms of chord relationships (tonic, dominant, sub-dominant, etc.) instead of just the chord names in a given key. I suggest trying this with simple tunes. I never really specifically practiced this; it eventually just started to come to me.

"I know I am lucky in the amount of free time I can find for all this but it still seems a waste of life.
Am I evel or will it just come to me eventually?"

Music and practicing aren't wastes of time.

If you keep practicing, lots of things will come to you. I strongly recommend trying to play melodies by ear. Don't worry about mistakes, if you play a wrong note, just try to find the right one. Don't worry about chords. Don't worry about the names of the notes or what key you're in. You will eventually get better at this.

I believe the ability to play a melody by ear on one's instrument is the one single most important musical skill. I don't mean that one should practice this _only_; there are lots of other good things to practice, but I recommend doing it often. (If you don't like it, practice something else. It's not the One True Way, just something that has helped me.)

Transposition can be learned. It takes a bit of practice, but it's not that hard. I have to do it for the trumpet all the time. For what it's worth, I never do it just for practice, but only when I actually want to play something in a different key. On the other hand, I'm not a session or orchestral musician, a choir director or a professional accompanist, so I don't _have_ to be able to do this.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:36 AM

The ability to transpose is also very useful for reading music written using the bass, tenor or alto clef. This is actually a bit easier than "raw" transposition, since one only has to think about the letter names of the notes and not the key signatures. It's a bit hard to explain, but should be clear if one tries it.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:52 AM

I really have to go get some lunch, but I will just add that what's needed for transposition is a good knowledge of all the intervals.
As I've mentioned on other threads, I've been giving music lessons to the children of a good friend of mine (8-, 6- and 4-years-old) and
I've made some flashcards for them. (They haven't been using them, but I hope they will start again.)

The have questions like this on them: What is the fifth of C?
Answer: G is the fifth of C.

I'd like to get them started on the variants, e.g.,

What is the raised 4th of Db?

The raised fourth of Db is G.

Ideally, the answers should come like a shot. With me, a lot of them do, but for some I still need to pause to think. Constant repetition is the key.

I'm good at sixths and minor thirds because I always think what the relative major or minor could be when I look at the key signature of a song I want to play.

These things are definitely worth practicing.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 08:27 AM

Cheers Piers. I will try to take some of those points to me little white van with me.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 10:13 AM

Just a couple of thoughts about keys on the guitar:

Except for the issue of open strings and easy-to-finger chords, there's not much difference in difficulty between playing in different keys on the guitar. (Sometimes a piece might have a range that's not suited to the guitar in a given key.) I think for most people, the difficulty is in reading music with more than a couple of sharps or flats. This can be overcome fairly easily with a bit of practice.

One problem is that a lot of guitar music is in "easy" keys and otherwise mostly in "sharp" keys, so one has to do a bit of extra work to be able to practice this. I've found that a lot of songs in songbooks for voice and piano are also in easy keys, though often in flat keys without many flats. If one really wants to practice keys with lots of sharps or flats, it may be necessary to play from music for piano and adapt it for the guitar. I do this fairly often.

This is for anyone who doesn't already know these rules:

1 flat is F maj. or D min.
1 sharp is G maj. or E min.

For any key signature with more than one flat, the major key is the second-to-last flat, i.e., for two flats, the key is Bb maj. (or G min.) and the two flats are Bb and Eb. For three flats, the flats are Bb, Eb and Ab and the key is Eb maj. (or C min.), etc.

For any key signature with more than one sharp, the maj. key is a half-step above the last sharp. For example, for two sharps, the sharps are F# and C# and the key is D maj. (or B min.). And so on.

So, for the flat keys, the order of major keys according to increasing number of flats is C (0 flats), F, Bb, Eb, Ab, Db, Gb, Cb

For sharp keys, the corresponding order is C, G, D, A, E, B, F#, C#

Thus, the order for the flat keys is the circle of fourths and the order for the sharp keys is the circle of fifths! That means you can use the circle of fourths or fifths to figure out which maj. keys have x number of sharps or flats! Amazing, isn't it?

But wait, there's more! The circle of fourths tells me what chords dominant chords (usually sevenths) resolve to. That is, C7 resolves to F (maj. or min.), F7 resolves to Bb (maj. or min.), etc.

The rule for relative majors and minors is that the relative minor is a sixth above the name of the key for the major (or a minor third below), e.g., A is a sixth above (or a minor third below) C and A min. is the relative minor of C maj. (The relative maj. is therefore a minor third above or a sixth below the name of the minor key.)

Whenever I play something in a key where I don't know these things automatically, I always say them over to myself in my mind first (or out loud), e.g., "Bb, Eb, Ab, Db --- Ab maj. or F min.". Then, if I don't know already, I look to see whether the piece is in the maj. or min. key. Some keys are so common that I don't have to think anymore.

At first, it may be difficult, but one gets faster with practice. Besides, it's not a contest.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 10:30 AM

.... "what is the raised 4th of Db ?" ...

I can't think of a better method of motivating a 4 year old to immerse him or herself in the magic of music ...


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 10:32 AM

Another way to think about maj. and min. is to take the same root, say, C. C min. has three flats more than C maj. because the third, the sixth and the seventh are lowered by a half-step. One less sharp is equal to one more flat, so it works for keys with sharps, two: G maj. has one sharp, so G min. will have two flats. The major key with two flats is Bb so G min. must have the same key signature as Bb maj. G is the sixth of Bb, so it must be true.

Music for Bb trumpet is notated a whole step higher than the actual pitch, so to play "normal" music on it, I have to transpose a step upwards. For example, if a song is in C, I have to transpose to D for it to sound at the proper pitch. D has two sharps more than C, so for any other key as well, transposing a whole step upwards will result in a key with two more sharps, or equivalently, two fewer flats. For example, if a song's in F (1 flat) I have to play in G (1 sharp).

This sort of thing is by no means the only approach to music, but it can be very interesting and helpful, especially for improvising and composing.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 10:37 AM

Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Murray MacLeod - PM
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 10:30 AM

'.... "what is the raised 4th of Db ?" ...

I can't think of a better method of motivating a 4 year old to immerse him or herself in the magic of music ...'

I haven't been working on intervals with the 4-year-old. The six-year-old got quite good at them. The 4- and 6-year-olds have been very interested in trying to play my trumpet the last couple of times and were both able to get sounds out of it. They also liked helping me clean it, especially taking it apart and putting it back together. I hope it lasts, but one doesn't always know how long they'll stay interested in a thing.

I've got the 8-year-old started playing a simple accompaniment on the piano from chord symbols and I think she was interested.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 10:42 AM

Also, the flashcards were a bit of sugar-coating to try to get them interested. I was moderately successful.

Here are links to the first set:

Flashcards 1

Flashcards 2

I made a few more, but I stupidly scanned them in sidewise and wasn't able to figure out how to fix the images.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Phil B
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 01:35 PM

Can I just point out a comment which is attributed to the late (And very great) Barney Kessel.
At a guitar worshop/seminar somewhere, some one commented from the floor rather disparagingly that he had used his thumb in a 'wrap-around' style.
He is reported to have replied,
"Frankly buddy, I'd use my nose if it helped!"

Can't verify the truth of that but I love to think that it's true.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Pistachio
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:09 PM

I wish I could understand a word of Piers' post! It is interesting to read but not(for me) to follow, but thanks. I may take a bit more time and get a friend to explain it differently for me.

Anyway, I saw this thread and, having watched and listened to

                   Ewan McLennan

last night I HAVE to mention him here. He was amazing, sensitive yet powerful interpretation, picking and playing, like I've never heard before. A young Scot, currently based in Leeds,he teaches guitar and is booked at Holmfirth and Saddleworth festivals (amongst others) this year. Look him up please, and pass on any comments here.

Hazel.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Tim Leaning
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 07:41 PM

He does sound good don't he?
Good who you get at Cottingham Live I reckon.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Piers Plowman
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 02:42 AM

Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Pistachio - PM
Date: 11 Mar 10 - 06:09 PM

"I wish I could understand a word of Piers' post! It is interesting to read but not(for me) to follow, but thanks. I may take a bit more time and get a friend to explain it differently for me."

If you have any questions, I'll be very glad to try to answer them and/or try to explain things in a different way.

It does take time to absorb this, but I think it's worth it. It's music theory for practical use (all good stuff, no rubbish).

Just at a guess, a few terms that might be confusing could be:

root: This just means the main note of a chord or scale. For example, in C maj., C is the root, in D min., D is the root, etc.

interval: The difference in steps between two notes. For example, a major third is two steps above the root, so E is the major third of C (C -> C#/Db (1/2 step) -> D (1 whole step) -> D#/Eb (1 1/2 steps) -> E (2 steps). All of the intervals have names, sometimes more than one.

Circle of fifths: A fifth is 3 1/2 steps above the root. If you take the fifth of a note (the root), then the fifth of that note, then the fifth of that one, you eventually "touch" all of the notes. For example, G is the fifth of C, D is the fifth of G, A is the fifth of D, so the circle of fifths, starting at C is this:

C - G - D - A - E - B - F# - C# - etc.

The circle of fourths can be found in the same way:

C - F - Bb - Eb - Ab - Db - etc.


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: Acme
Date: 12 Mar 10 - 07:13 PM

It'll take me a while to finish reading this (what with all of the links to listen to) but since I finished reading Don Firth's post and he didn't add a link to Seeger's Jesu, I'll stick one in here: Pete on banjo, 1963.

SRS


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Subject: RE: absolutely beautiful guitar work
From: GUEST,Hello again...
Date: 21 Mar 10 - 01:16 AM

It was brought to my attention that further conversation concerning different versions of Jesu were being discussed, and while I visited the page a couple of weeks ago, I should have noticed the comment about my little pinky. I hate to even mention it, but my silence might be construed as agreement, and I would like to make sure that no one thinks that I am in agreement to that statement.

Mr. Qualey is a fine musician, and I had actually commented on my appreciation of his playing in the same Youtube video mentioned in this post. I had done so months ago, before this thread had begun. I think he plays beautifully.

Murry MacCleod used hyperbole, as many writers in forums often do. He would never say such a thing if he were sitting in the same room with Mr. Qualey, I'm sure. I thought his admission of error and his apology were very sincere, and humble. Most would stick to their guns and become defensive, and this shows humility. I hope Mr. Qualey can find it in his heart to forgive him.

Rob Bourassa


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