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#479611 - 11/02/19 11:01 AM Does good playing equal good entertainment?
Mark79100 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 10/23/06
Posts: 1528
Loc: USA
I was studying her arpeggio's on this song but began thinking about something after I watched the video a few times.

Her playing is fine, she's very polished, admirable composure, a very talented pianist, but...I think her "interpretation" leaves a lot to be desired.



After a few views I began to notice it. The "squishing" of the first few melody notes set the tone. This is a great example of why you should learn the words of a song before learning the actual song. Her arpeggios in the release are perfectly executed, just a bit too mechanical.

Still, of all her reviews on the page, only one person...the last person in the list to remark....wrote: "Bad!, what a horrible version"

What did YOU think of her interpretation (NOT her playing)?

Almost forgot. I listen a lot to Eva Cassidy so I tend to use her as the benchmark for everyone else!

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#479616 - 11/02/19 02:22 PM Re: Does good playing equal good entertainment? [Re: Mark79100]
Bernie9 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/02
Posts: 4791
Loc: Port Charlotte,FL,USA
I agree that she is a very good pianist, but too busy putting in arps that are not needed.
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#479621 - 11/02/19 06:07 PM Re: Does good playing equal good entertainment? [Re: Bernie9]
Stephenm52 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 04/13/05
Posts: 4726
Loc: USA
Originally Posted By Bernie9
I agree that she is a very good pianist, but too busy putting in arps that are not needed.


Agreed she’s talented but too mechanical.

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#479624 - 11/02/19 06:53 PM Re: Does good playing equal good entertainment? [Re: Mark79100]
Bill Lewis Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 11/12/08
Posts: 1948
Loc: Bluffton/Hilton Head SC USA
She's over doing it in the beginnings. Save the embellisments for later.

BTW congradulations on choosing Eva as a model for phrasing. She was unbelievable
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#479629 - 11/02/19 07:14 PM Re: Does good playing equal good entertainment? [Re: Mark79100]
cgiles Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 5837
Loc: Roswell,GA/USA
You're right about one thing, Mark; the focus should definitely be on her interpretation and not her playing. If I had to grade on each, it would be playing - B, Interpretation - D-. Sadly, I agree with the last guy that posted. First, the song itself is 'fluff'. One good test of a (pop) song is whether any TOP jazz players will touch it. If little to none (as with this song), that means it was created from the ground up for the great unwashed - hence, the majority of posters who liked it. The song's chord structure lends itself to a lot of 'fluff' playing so there are probably lots of overblown interpretations of it out there. It's a great vehicle for showing off one's digital dexterity or technical virtuosity but not necessarily their 'feelings'.

I know this seems more like a critique of the song than of her performance, but with a song as popular as this one, it's hard not to point out it's role in this. JMO. BTW, I love these kinds of posts as they shine a light on how we evaluate, respond to, and ultimately how we PLAY music.

Forgot to mention 'til I read Bill's post above; Eva Cassidy was maybe one of the best ever at what she did---which is, touch the soul.

chas


Edited by cgiles (11/02/19 07:19 PM)
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#479649 - 11/02/19 09:34 PM Re: Does good playing equal good entertainment? [Re: Mark79100]
DonM Online   elvis
Senior Member

Registered: 06/25/99
Posts: 15955
Loc: Benton, LA, USA
Playing and entertaining are two different animals.
I know great players who can't find an audience.
I know average or below average players who stay busy, because they entertain.
My friend DickieT, although he plays great bass guitar and now even mandolin, really can't play a lick on the keyboard. He used one finger chords and turns all the style parts up loud, and only plays an occasional few notes with right hand. He also uses a lot of karaoke songs (which is the main reason he bought the Yamaha PSR SX900). Point is that he stays as busy as he wants and everybody loves to hear him. He is a good MC, but really an average singer. He could easily get a job as a bass player, for $50. a night! Instead he does that for fun, jamming on upright bass or mandolin with fellow Bluegrass guys. That is the country version of Jazz; lots of great players who don't make any money. smile
My good friend Gary Diamond, although he plays more keyboard than Dickie, will tell you he was successful because of his entertaining skills, including a fine voice, and attention to the business and promotion end of things.
I'm kind of in the middle, I can play a lot of songs and sing decent any more, but certainly not a piano player. I was a better guitar and trumpet player than piano. (Actually never played piano). I've been lucky enough to discover arrangers and have found a niche in which I've been successful to a small degree.
It all depends on what gives you satisfaction and makes you feel good. If that is entertaining people, great. If it is achieving high levels of expertise, great. Very few do both, and they are mostly doing a concert or on TV. Only one I know here is Captain Russ. Although, Uncle Dave is in the conversation as well. Other could well have been, but life choices, make being successful in music a second choice for most (smart) people. smile
Another rant over. I'm in a ranting mood today.
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#479651 - 11/02/19 09:45 PM Re: Does good playing equal good entertainment? [Re: Mark79100]
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 14575
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Ditto!
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#479655 - 11/04/19 09:58 AM Re: Does good playing equal good entertainment? [Re: travlin'easy]
Dnj Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/21/00
Posts: 40923

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#479658 - 11/04/19 10:25 AM Re: Does good playing equal good entertainment? [Re: Mark79100]
rikkisbears Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/22/02
Posts: 5294
Loc: NSW,Australia
Hi,
Put it this way, I wouldn’t dash out and buy it, or pay to download it from iTunes.
She seems very accomplished, but it is a strange interpretation of a nice simple ballad, trying to turn it into some sort of piano concerto ? for want of a better term.
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SX900, P121 Piano, Band in a Box 2019
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#479661 - 11/04/19 11:28 AM Re: Does good playing equal good entertainment? [Re: cgiles]
bruno123 Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 06/04/02
Posts: 4176
Loc: West Palm Beach, FL 33417
Her playing skills are good. Her interpretation, not very good.
Runs, fills, and arps are used to build the emotions of a song.

John C.

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