‘Africa’ cover with a bosendorfer and a looper – musicplayer forums

I for one reserve the right to voice my opinion on art, particularly in a realm of life-long pursuit. I appreciate the initial post and watched the video multiple times. A dissertation on all of the reasons I find the performance bothersome would not align with my opinion that art can elicit emotions and opinions that can’t be explained by logic. Were I to write a graduate paper on the performance, I could certainly fill page upon page of support for my disdain. That would not change the fact that I summarily hate what he has done musically. I don’t believe that all performances add to the cultural valuation of pianists. In fact, I can think of few performances that better suit my point. I don’t believe view counts are a marker of art valuation.


As to posting my own material for evaluation, I haven’t here. I, like the rest here have spent a lifetime producing musical art for others while facing immediate connection or lack thereof. Should my life situation change to the extent that I can post material on this forum, I will certainly do so. Until then, I assert personal agency regardless of some notion of first and second class forum members. I will occasionally post on the forum, perhaps for the better and perhaps not.

I for one reserve the right to voice my opinion on art, particularly in a realm of life-long pursuit. I appreciate the initial post and watched the video multiple times. A dissertation on all of the reasons I find the performance bothersome would not align with my opinion that art can elicit emotions and opinions that can’t be explained by logic. Were I to write a graduate paper on the performance, I could certainly fill page upon page of support for my disdain. That would not change the fact that I summarily hate what he has done musically. I don’t believe that all performances add to the cultural valuation of pianists. In fact, I can think of few performances that better suit my point. I don’t believe view counts are a marker of art valuation.quote]

It’s not art, it’s entertainment. The guy has had the nouse to get hold of a looper pedal and try to beat a current generation of six-stringers at their own game. I don’t care for his piano playing. Neither do I care for Hiromi’s playing, but I can admire her talent enough to see that the comparison is entirely misguided. Peter Bence may be bemused at the comparison too. If Bence’s videos promote piano playing to the next generation who am I to mock?

I always laugh at the thought that 50 years in the future kids are going to find all these photos of bushy-bearded men in flannel shirts and think, "Man, guys were much tougher then." Like the photos we see of the wild wild west. Little do they know those guys are coming from a chest and pube waxing on their way to a craft cheese-pairing with grapefruit beers and aioli-drizzled avocado toast with locally sourced truffles.

As for the OP, I was entertained for about 25 seconds and then thought "haven’t we seen this schtick before, with drummers leaving their kits to roam the room playing audience member tables, plates and glasses, and guitarists turning their guitars into bongos?". It’s just the latest twist, plus looper. His playing is fine, but as someone pointed out, a bit antiseptic in the feel department. Even without the histrionics he’s not someone who I would seek out to listen to.

As for Africa, I never really get tired of hearing the original, but would prefer to hear ‘Rosanna’ ever single time. Or even ‘Pamela’. I’ve never been bowled over by the Africa solo. To me it’s always sounded like a cheap knock-off of Tony Bank’s solo in ‘Follow You, Follow Me’, which is heaven to my ears creatively, sonically, and musically.

By the way, look at the lyrics for "The Weight." Do they may much sense? It’s a guy wandering through a town, maybe, who knows . . . Taken very literally, in a concrete way, the lyrics don’t make a lot of sense. But as expressions of feeling, of a complex sense of place and emotion, the lyrics make a lot of sense to me as poetry. It’s why the song is a classic.

‘We had two or three tunes, or pieces of tunes, and ‘The Weight’ was one I would work on. Robbie had that bit about going down to Nazareth – Pennsylvania, where the Martin guitar factory is at. The song was full of our favorite characters. ‘Luke’ was Jimmy Ray Paulman. ‘Young Anna Lee’ was Anna Lee Williams from Turkey Scratch. ‘Crazy Chester’ was a guy we all knew from Fayetteville who came into town on Saturdays wearing a full set of cap guns on his hips and kinda walked around town to help keep the peace, if you follow me. He was like Hopalong Cassidy, and he was a friend of the Hawks. Ronnie would always check with Crazy Chester to make sure there wasn’t any trouble around town. And Chester would reassure him that everything was peaceable and not to worry, because he was on the case. Two big cap guns, he wore, plus a toupee! There were also ‘Carmen and the Devil’, ‘Miss Moses’ and ‘Fanny,’ a name that just seemed to fit the picture. (I believe she looked a lot like Caladonia.) We recorded the song maybe four times. We weren’t really sure it was going to be on the album, but people really liked it. Rick, Richard, and I would switch the verses around among us, and we all sang the chorus: Put the load right on me!"

The comparison to Liberace is ridiculous. Musically for obvious reasons but showmanship wise as well. Liberace put a lot of flamboyance into his playing but most of it still treat the instrument with respect, this guy is almost beating up his piano. Could you imagine the reaction if a guitarist started going over his fret strings with a knife in the middle of song, why is slamming your piano case any different?

FWIW, plenty of guys use knives on their strings, including the man widely credited with originating the Delta Blues, Henry Sloan. We (the general public) have a music called "the Blues" because the composer W.C. Handy watched a man playing guitar in a train station. The man was using a knife as a slide. Handy then went off and formalized some of what he’d heard, including assigning scale tones to those "slid" pitches. (He also formalized the 12-bar and AAB structure, contrary to the common misconception that these elements had come from the original practitioners themselves.)

As for beating up the piano, well, plenty of players play or composers write for the "inside" of the piano or the percussive possibilities of the outside, given the incredibly efficient natural amplification of the instrument. That’s been pretty commonplace for at least the last 100 years. But as others point out, playing the inside will destroy the felts or put finger oil on the strings, so this guy had some cojones doing it to that particular piano.