Vol.7 The change of the concept of Jazz [10.Feb.2019]
As many of you know, the origin of Jazz is cry of the soul for freedom and the human homing instinct by African people who were brought to America.The first time Jazz came out in the U.S., it was not accepted for a while. However, after it became popular in Europe, American people started to accept it too because they realized it generates a lots of money. In fact, the way of their thoughts led The U.S. rich country from 1960’s.
After the Second World War, all things had been rapidly growing including music and instruments and they became the big factor.The appearance of electric instruments and new electric fields boosted Jazz music and divided it into several genres. In that period, the guitar became common instrument which was proven by the history. I was born in 1947 and raised as listening to Jazz and C&W music in Yokohama. I passed over the golden age of music which is 70s and 80s as working for musical instruments with fun. From the late 80s, music, instruments and the manufacture have changed by mammonism.
What is now called “Jazz” is fundamentally different as Jazz guitars have been also changed. I designed the musical instruments, audio equipment and signal devices in the foundation for original sound. However, those concepts have been also changed. After 90s, the time entered into digital era which made all electric instruments sound the same. Composing also lost originality. Music itself has been differently shaped as unlearning the long human history.
Human has expressed culture and tradition by language and instruments. However, the current audio equipment and musical instruments which have no dignity and spirits are surrounding the world now.I don’t deny the transition, but I just wonder how people in the future live with music.Above-mentioned, usage of Jazz guitar should be different since Jazz itself has changed. However, young people can imagine and create by understanding classic music if they return to 3 elements of music, rhythm, melody, and harmony.
I feel that my last job is to create real instruments or audio equipment when young people really need them.That’s the reason I’m still standing with junk body. I think the guitar is not completed yet. It has been only 100 years since it came out and the current shape has just adjusted since 50 years ago. In my opinion, the new 21st century guitar must come out in the future. To design genuine guitars, you should understand the golden ratio and the way of making sound which have been investigated so much time. I suppose things can’t go well without the knowledge of the construction and structure.
My American friend who is a Jazz producer remorsefully mentioned, “American Jazz is dead 200 years ago” And I can’t still get it out of my mind. Without being blinded by money or greed, human must be able to get involve in music world. That’s what I have thought while living in my music life. Especially these days, I try to create guitars and audio equipment which you can trust, make the original sound to share great music with audiences. I would like to mention that as an old man who knows how much music gave impacts in the age from 1960s to 1980s.
D’Angelico Guitars Traditional
As I mentioned in the previous article, the quality of D’Angelico guitars might have been lower if compared with guitars which were built by historical instrument studios regarding the technology and materials. However, D’Angelico guitars match Jazz music since they have been loved by American Jazz musicians.
Good musical instruments can be made by just expensive or great materials, you have to be knowledge of the woods, processing, design, fraction and many other things to build genuine guitars. For example, F hole is not just the design, its shape and location is extremely important. The shape of headstock and angle is also heavy factor. The character of guitars can be changed by the neck shape and body design as well. Of course, the materials of glue and coating affect not only the sound but also durability and dignity.
In 1989, Jerry Barberine asked me to reproduce D’Angelico guitars. Then I modified, re-designed, and changed more than 50 places to improve the perfection.On the other hand, D’Angelico guitars had important and basic issues at that time.
Regarding the perfection, there was a huge difference between D’Angelico guitars and Gibson, Epiphone, Martin and others which are made by luthiers of German or Irish descent. However, D’Angelico guitar has Italian character which captivated many Jazz musicians. Then, I left the spirit and the character of John D’Angelico in D’Angelico guitars as adopting German technologies.
Today, there are so many copies of D’Angelico guitar existing in the world. But if you observe them carefully, you can see that their design, finishing, electric parts are not fully copied. To clarify the difference between our genuine D’Angelico guitars and the others, we decided to call ours D’Angelico Guitars Traditional.
Lately, even historical guitar manufactories are not able to produce guitars with passion and spirit because of the developments of capitalism and investment funds which have led manufacturing only money-making products.We manufacture products for people who really love guitars. Because guitars which are handled carefully, they will answer and enhance you with beautiful sounds.