solos mailbag (slight return)
Rowan Wilson says what about:
"guitar solos that aren't solos, that 'deconstruct' (over-used, forgive) the solo? Prime pleasure in that category is Rapeman's cover of ZZ Top's Just Got Paid – superb riff and then a big space is set aside for the cock solo and Albini does his thang – superb. Then there would be the guitarist from Slab! on the Descension album.
"And what about the guitar solo that crosses the boundary been riff and solo – I'm thinking of John Lee Hooker, Son House, Joy Division.
"Oh – but have been hearing lots of rockabilly recently – and have just discovered early Johnny Burnette: check the mad guitar noise on Honey Hush and Train Kept a Rollin."
"RE. the origins of the guitar solo ... Charlie Christian (who played with Benny Goodman) is often said to be the first guitar soloist, but however huge his influence, listening to him now it feels like he was interested in the guitar as extra instrument in the jazz group, rather than the guitar as lead instrument in itself. Whereas someone like Charley Patton was more interested in the guitar being the standout sound (no mean feat when you're playing with Howlin Wolf).
"Maybe these are the yin and yang of guitar playing - the head music of the jazz virtuosos VS the carnal, gutbucket licks of the blues players. Fast fwd to the late 60s and, as you say, jazz and Indian classical music are the influences on players like McGuinn, Garcia, Cipollina, Butterfield (also worthy of note that Miles Davis's guitarist around Bitches BRew era was a white guy from Yorkshire!) - but at the same time, there is a reaction against this from people like the Stooges, Black Sabbath and the mighty Blue Cheer --see here for Leigh Stephens's total guitar wipeout...
"Jimmy Page (unfairly unmentioned in these lists I think) meanwhile combines both of these tendencies with the finger-picking folk style of people like John Fahey, Bert Jansch, Davy Grahame, Leo Kottke. All those young kids listening to Zep in the 70s then grow up and form bands like Slayer, where all of these styles are given some good old-fashioned hardcore punk treatment ... maybe?
we-e-e-e-ll Rob, there's no "unfairly", it's just faves innit, nobody's trying to be comprehensive, it's what stuck in your memory and heart, and with Page, solo-wise as opposed to riff-wise (where he's the Master), there's nearly nowt -- but now i think of it, howzabout this glowing slide-y beauty (at 1.44) from what might actually be my favorite Zeptune?