Any recordings where Phil ever had an off night?

Re: Any recordings where Phil ever had an off night?

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:38 am

Grant wrote:so here's the thing about phil's playing, and it's just my opinion, but this is how i see it

phil's playing style lends itself to making mistakes and getting away with it. i'm not discounting his proficiency, but he can get away with making mistakes where other players never could.

it's mainly because he knows that it's not the note you play, it's the note you play after it. there are many many recordings of phil where i think "he really didn't mean to go to that note", but then he resolves it and moves right along. it's particularly on important beats - lets say the one for example - where the whole band hits the root and he hits something else and the moves to the one on say the one-and.

now i realise this is part of his style, and phil is anything but one of those bass players that sticks to the root (and i like that), but i do think he covers up a lot more than we realise



I agree and disagree with this assessment. You can't, for example, get away with playing the V chord where the IV chord is supposed to be, or the IV instead of the I, and make it sound smooth or purposeful. On the other hand, you do have to be constantly searching for ways to connect the chords together or ornament them in interesting ways - and sometimes the interesting connections that you reach for do fall on their face.

So to me, Phil mistakes are more of the "I tried something new and it didn't work" variety than the "oh crap, what are the chords" variety, if that makes sense.
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Re: Any recordings where Phil ever had an off night?

Postby zambiland » Thu Dec 15, 2011 11:15 am

Rusty the Scoob wrote:

I agree and disagree with this assessment. You can't, for example, get away with playing the V chord where the IV chord is supposed to be, or the IV instead of the I, and make it sound smooth or purposeful. On the other hand, you do have to be constantly searching for ways to connect the chords together or ornament them in interesting ways - and sometimes the interesting connections that you reach for do fall on their face.

So to me, Phil mistakes are more of the "I tried something new and it didn't work" variety than the "oh crap, what are the chords" variety, if that makes sense.


I agree with this assessment. His sense of harmony and time are strong enough that I think he hears beyond what the "right" chord is (you say it's Bm, I say it's D13!) and knows where the music is going. I've never heard him play with bad time. Weird, stiff time, sure, but not bad time.
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Re: Any recordings where Phil ever had an off night?

Postby ugly rumor » Thu Dec 15, 2011 2:31 pm

11-5-77, Eyes of the World. pure effing genius, and explains everything I have tried to convey in my assessment of Phil's playing. Sense of time ande place. If you don't understand this, you do NOT understand Phil.
Gone are the days we stopped to decide where we should go, we just ride...
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Re: Any recordings where Phil ever had an off night?

Postby Charley Phogg » Fri Dec 23, 2011 10:52 am

Phil's usually right on have any of you heard him play with his sons? I know they'll be playing with him on his next phil and friends gigs....
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Re: Any recordings where Phil ever had an off night?

Postby Charley Phogg » Fri Dec 23, 2011 11:00 am

FretWilkes wrote:
jeffm725 wrote:I was at some shows (spring 84 east coast comes to mind as one) where Phil actually sat down on the edge of the drum riser in total disinterest.


Hi Jeff,

I saw Phil do a similar thing at the Boston Garden in 83 or 84. There was OBVIOUS tension on the stage and Phil just stopped playing completely, walked back to his bass stack and stared into it with his hands by his side. :shock:

This did not go down well with me at all. Seeing the Grateful Dead self distruct in front of my eyes was not something I was remotely interested in and I swore off Dead shows until Sullivan Stadium in '87 with Jerry's "resurrection". Sullivan '87 was a great Dead set and got me back intersted in seeing the Dead live again. I'd just as soon forget the "ugly years".

Thank heaven for the rebirth in '87 although I found the Vince years rather forgetable. I saw them once in that configuration and my thoughts were: "the vibe has left the building".


Do you remember how hot it was at Sullivan Stadium in "87" ? The shrooms didn't help, but it was shot then got real dark and they jumped into cold rain and snow. they they finished the sun came back out..what a trip
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