Permalink for Comment #1340416974 by AlbanyYEM

, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM @NigelTufnel said: [quote]@AlbanyYEM said: "If they went out there and played 25 min tweezers on a consistent basis they wouldn't be happy with the level of musicianship displayed, so they don't do that."

This is a ridiculous statement. You're implying that the push required to get to "that place" in a jam is somehow bad musicianship. I disagree. Length is not related to musicianship in the least. Take the Worcester '97 Jim, an hour long masterpiece with several movements, played so tightly and together that it sounds composed. It's one of the most brilliant jams ever played at a level of musicianship that is so mind-bogglingly rare that it makes my brain want to take a nap.

Every time they take those risks and succeed, they reach a new apex of musicianship. EVERY time. I fell in love with the band because of their ability to access unheard dimensions through jams, risk taking, and their unique musicianship (jamming, humor, teases, signals, etc.). If they played 25 minute Tweezers every couple of shows, it would signify their willingness to take the risk required to access their machine-like tightness. To speak conversationally at the subconscious level through playing. "That place". Can they do it in less than 25 minutes? Sure! But the length is telling of their comfort in the jam-space and their ability as musicians to make it work in the end.

Now, they can easily play a half hour jam where they don't connect at all, and they may walk away feeling like strangers in the musical dimension for a brief time. Or they could play a 3 minute Ghost that slides so smoothly in Makisupa Policeman that the segue washes over you like a blissful wave. The length doesn't matter entirely, but their willingness to risk-take does. Was the Ghost -> Makisupa a risk? Yes! Heck yes! And I applaud them for it - however, I am a fan who likes to hear them push the boundaries specifically in the jam segments of songs. That's why I follow them so closely. Nobody does it like them, nobody ever will. And I love every part of it.

Why don't they do it anymore (or on a consistent basis, at least)? Good question. I would love to know the answer. We all have our theories, but the band believing it to be a sign of poor musicianship is ludicrous.

I would like to add that I believe the band is at a new height of musicianship, especially so far on this tour. I love many of the jams that have been played. I can live with jams in the 12-16 minute range. But what's holding them back from deep exploration? Why do they get close and opt out to play Rift? That's the nature of my frustration: At this new height of theirs, the possibilities in the jamming realm are so infinite and GUARANTEED to be good, that I can't possibly understand why they refuse to go there. Baffling.[/quote

Let me be absolutely clear. I in no way meant to say that taking 25 mins to get to a breathtaking moment in a jam is bad musicianship. In fact, I would prefer that every single time they enter a jam it go on that long so the music has a chance to breathe before it transcends it's structure to find new patterns awash in enchantingly mystical melody. This is my FAVORITE jamming and is the ENTIRE reason I started listening to phish in high school back in the 90's.

I don't mean to get into some kind of pt style flame war here but you somehow took what I wrote and derived the literal opposite meaning from what I said. Perhaps it was muddled writing cuz I did write that when I woke up at like 6 am. My user name is Albany yem. Not happy bouncin sparkle heavy things bro phan. If you know your history then you know that for whatever reason some of the best music phish has maybe ever played happened in Albany in Yems. 1993 one of the most exploratory jams of all time. 1995. The most amazing jam they have ever played to my ears. Read Charlie dirksens review on the old shool and try not to salivate. 1999. The summary of everything that was good about this year without any of the fluff. All with amazing sizable jam segments.

No offense meant but you couldnt have misunderstood my post more. I meant that phish these days for whatever reason doesn't feel comfortable going for that. It is a tremendous source of angst for me as a fan. Yet, when a band truly feel ready to lock into that kind of thing the results won't be up to their personal standards and they will be unlikely to go for it again. It would feel forced. I just mean enjoy the ride till the build up to the comfort level of being able to do that confidently. Which we all hope to god will be sometime soon at a venue near you. is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

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