FromWichita wrote: ↑Thu Jul 29, 2021 12:42 pmI think I saw/heard Merle Saunders say "Jerry liked to play things sweet." I had an instant recognition of what he was getting at.On your first point, I think John Mayer intended the same observation with his words below.
"Talking about music is like dancing about architecture."
On your second point - the Zappa quote - this is an area where I think FZ, who, third only to the Dead and Tuna I've been more live shows than any other band, got it wrong. Sure, I know what he intended to mean. But, ultimately, one absolutely can communicate concerning a genre or sense through a different genre or a different sense. Think about it - we all do it every day.
"To best understand what makes Garcia’s guitar playing so unique, it helps to start with what it sidesteps: though it drew from blues and R&B, his guitar approach left a few traditional elements out of the equation, he didn’t play from that wellworn feral, sexual place that traditional blues music traded in, nor did he really touch the sinister aspects that were born into the idiom. Garcia didn’t sing about wanting to rock a young woman all night long, and any of his deals with the devil existed metaphorically as mere setbacks. (What’s 20 bucks, anyway?) These changes affect the fundamental color palette of the storytelling. I’m not sure the sun ever rises in Chicago blues music, but in the musical storytelling of Garcia and the Grateful Dead, it shines so bright it hurts.
On a more technical note, he played most often in a major blues scale, which added to this mix of innocence, and even joy. Minor blues notes lend themselves to the exquisiteness of pain, while major blues scales kind of explore the relief from it. Garcia played to relieve people of pain. That melodic innocence must have something to do with bringing so many people to their “happy place.” He wasn’t pulling notes from an anguished place within, he was catching them with a butterfly net as they went flitting by overhead. On a tactile level, he held the guitar with grace. It wasn’t a weapon, it was a vehicle. He took it easy. He may have played fast, but he was thinking slow. And that makes us listen with a smile."
John Mayer (forward to Secret Space Of Dreams by Jay Blakesberg, foreward titled, "The Past, in Present Tense")