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Wolf Marshall >> Vintage Guitar Magazine - FretPrints >>

Vintage Guitar Magazine Presents:

by Wolf Marshall

Subject: The Sultan of Jazz

This multifarious lick is truly eclectic. The phrase marries blues and rock mannerisms to a jazzy European Django-like feel and a vaguely Middle Eastern melody. Mark has always sought out the unusual in his music, revealed in his admiration for the eerie film scores of Morricone, and this is just such a case. Haunting and atmospheric, and in sharp contrast to the major tonalities of the previous two examples, this lick clearly sits in the minor mode and depicts the darker side of Mark's melodic persona. The opening bit in bars one and two contains clear allusions to the blues with string bends, a typical double stop, and a characteristic pentatonic/blues scale line in D minor. In bar three a Django-inspired flurry of 16th notes switches to a D Harmonic Minor scale for a gypsy flavor and to reflect the A7 chord's harmony. It is preceded by a raked arpeggio, a familiar Knopfler trademark. 
The phrase closes with another characteristic figure in bar four. This section exploits a plucked dyad (two-note chord) passage which changes with the background Bb major-Em7b5 progression. Turn up the gain on your amp to a slightly distorted overdrive sound, switch to a longer echo setting with more repeats, and dig in with your plucking fingers for a harder, biting feel.

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