Author Topic: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James  (Read 1324 times)

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Offline Dusan

Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« on: March 19, 2024, 10:06:27 AM »
Hi to all,

I am looking for Style for Etta James song "At last"

Thank you

Edit: Topic title modified by overover
« Last Edit: March 19, 2024, 06:32:41 PM by overover »
Dušan


If you want to fly,you must first walk....
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Looking for Style
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2024, 11:53:54 AM »
Now I'm curious what will come up..  :) ::)
I say that, because I couldn't find a single video on Youtube, where this song played on keyboard would be even close to original -mostly there are some poor jazzy interpretations.

I think it's very difficult to make a style for this song. Main rhythm (piano, bass, drums) is quite simple and easy to make.. but that doesn't really define this song. What makes this song special, is string accompaniment and singing.

Such string accompaniment (which has it's own melody) would probably require many bars per variation, made in many variations -which can actually turn a style into a backing track. To avoid that (to make style easier to use), some simplification would be needed for strings.
But is doable, I think... now, where do I find a singer?  :)

Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline DrakeM

Re: Looking for Style
« Reply #2 on: March 19, 2024, 12:29:50 PM »
Yamaha's playlist had the style called "40sBigBand" which was to be used for "At Last". It can be found in the Jazz&Swing section of the PSR-S750. Use intro 2 and Main A.

That was the last time the style was included as a preset style on the keyboard.

Drake
« Last Edit: March 19, 2024, 01:20:39 PM by DrakeM »
 
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Offline Dusan

Re: Looking for Style
« Reply #3 on: March 19, 2024, 01:07:45 PM »
Now I'm curious what will come up..  :) ::)
I say that, because I couldn't find a single video on Youtube, where this song played on keyboard would be even close to original -mostly there are some poor jazzy interpretations.

I think it's very difficult to make a style for this song. Main rhythm (piano, bass, drums) is quite simple and easy to make.. but that doesn't really define this song. What makes this song special, is string accompaniment and singing.

Such string accompaniment (which has it's own melody) would probably require many bars per variation, made in many variations -which can actually turn a style into a backing track. To avoid that (to make style easier to use), some simplification would be needed for strings.
But is doable, I think... now, where do I find a singer?  :)

Bogdan

Yes you are absolutly right.The vocal and strings make this song like they are.For me the best version make Maja Keuc who you know wery whell from Slovenian Talent show.That video you cant fined on You tube and I dont know a real rason for that.That song has many face's and be performing in 1000 versions the feu you can see in atachet link...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=owFtyKA1Nm4
Whay I looking for that style? Cos I cant fined them in any Yamaha kayboard and on the end I would like to test my singing option...
Yes I am old but I am not dead then I can maked on my way....
Dušan


If you want to fly,you must first walk....
 

Offline DrakeM

Re: Looking for Style
« Reply #4 on: March 19, 2024, 01:28:50 PM »
Here is a link to the 40sBigBand style from the S750 keyboard

https://app.box.com/s/aanh719vjcyh39p0m4b5o67gjtm99iab

Drake

Offline Dusan

Re: Looking for Style
« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2024, 01:37:17 PM »
Thank you DrakeM...
Dušan


If you want to fly,you must first walk....
 

Offline mikf

Re: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2024, 11:14:08 PM »
I personally never think it necessary to accurately copy an iconic recording like Etta James. It’s a great song which sounds good with just a nice vocal and accompaniment. Several styles would achieve that. But if exact cover is what you want, then for a complex arrangement like this, you would be best to make a midi that you play and sing along with. Then it can be as exact as you want to make it.
Mike
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2024, 10:35:07 AM »
I personally never think it necessary to accurately copy an iconic recording like Etta James. It’s a great song which sounds good with just a nice vocal and accompaniment. Several styles would achieve that.
...
What do we think of when someone says "next song is At Last"? Exactly: Etta's song. Everything that deviates too much, is in best case accepted as "is not bad.. is ok, but..." -even if performed by good artist.
But I'm aware that I'm not some keyboard virtuoso and so, if I decide to play my "special" version of At Last, then that's just calling for disaster. Being at that, I'm sure everyone among us knows where his playing limits are.

The only thing that can save my version, is a good, close enough style -which simply must have the same arrangement as original. The only challenge for style creator is, how to simplify strings section. Is it doable? Of course it is -it always is.

All above is just my personal opinion!  :)
Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline mikf

Re: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2024, 02:04:08 PM »
Good cover musicians will include just enough of the ‘well known’ version to make it work, while not trying to exactly copy sounds, instruments or note fir note of the arrangement.
And in any case, when you play an instrumental version of a song which is principally known for its exquisite vocal, you are never going to get close to the original anyway, because you are missing the key part - the singer. So why try. Best to find a way to make it reminiscent but different.
When you have a good vocalist, and an arranger to accompany, and in Dusan’s case this is what he is doing, you have great options. You don’t have to play the melody, so you have the freedom to actually play riffs and fills live, behind the vocal. The style doesn’t have to be that complicated, because you can live play these parts.
BTW, I think most people are not that familiar with Etta’s amazing version of this song, because many may  never have heard it. Because of circumstances, more people, especially younger people, have probably been introduced to this song by Beyonce’s version. And if my memory serves me, she had no strings at all in her live version at Obama’s inauguration ball.
Mike

« Last Edit: March 20, 2024, 02:05:46 PM by mikf »
 

Offline Dusan

Re: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2024, 02:36:14 PM »
Mike, I am absolutly agre with your's word's.I newer want to coppy original performer,just want to give my approach to that song.
Is not nessesary to sound so american I try to make that song on Slovenian way.
You can see my video how I maked Luis Armstrong song What a wonderfol world...
It's diferent,with diferent arangement and it's sound so familiar...
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6kEuAOQ6alc
Dušan


If you want to fly,you must first walk....
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2024, 03:20:18 PM »
@Mike,
To avoid being misunderstood.. I don't say it should be exact copy, it should only be as close as possible. Or to put it differently, the goal should be "the best we can" -and even then, it will be far from original  :)
Btw. Beyonce sung that song in Cadillac Records movie (a movie every blues fan should see) with strings and she used the same (or very similar) backing at Obama's event. Who knows... maybe that's why exactly Beyonce's cover, besides her excellent singing, is remembered by younger people (many other At Last covers got forgotten).

As always, is just a discussion  :)
Bogdan
« Last Edit: March 20, 2024, 03:36:35 PM by BogdanH »
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube
 

Offline mikf

Re: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2024, 04:27:59 PM »
Yes, I’ve seen Cadillac Records a couple of times, great movie, and you are right, they completely imitated the original, strings and all. I went back and looked at Beyonces Obama version, and no strings are visible, but then  no orchestra at all is visible. But you are right, they did use a  fairly close arrangement with strings - or maybe synth.  And again Beyoncé made a pretty good job. But if you look on the net you can find a live, fairly recent, version by Etta on dancing with the stars, right towards the end of her very troubled life. She isn’t even fit enough to sing standing up, but boy could she still sing. The meat in her voice is very different from Beyoncé. So Impressive.
Mike
« Last Edit: March 20, 2024, 05:55:10 PM by mikf »
 

Offline EileenL

Re: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« Reply #12 on: March 20, 2024, 05:34:41 PM »
We still have 40's Swing Ballad on Genos and Genos2.
Eileen
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Offline mikf

Re: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« Reply #13 on: March 20, 2024, 07:41:00 PM »
Dusan, you are spot on, your version of Wonderful World is exactly what I meant. Nice vocal, and an accompaniment which complements without getting in the way or trying to exactly sound like the record. If people were listening to that live in a lounge they would be delighted, they know you’re not Louis Armstrong, or have London Philharmonic playing behind you. They just want to hear a nice singer singing a nice song.
Mike
 

Offline BogdanH

Re: Looking for Style for "At Last" by Etta James
« Reply #14 on: March 23, 2024, 03:50:29 PM »
hello Dusan,
Maybe you have found a style for At Last meanwhile, but in case you didn't... I was a bit bored today and so I made a very basic style for At Last, which I think could be useful for singing practicing... at least until you find something better.
Style has only one variation which I made in F-key (as original song), but can also be used in another key, I guess. Beside main rhythm I added a simple string, so it doesn't sound that empty.
You can download a short mp3 demo to get an impression how it sounds with a saxophone (which you will replace with singing) -so don't criticize my playing  ;D
Anyway, if you're interested, give me your eMail in PM and I will send you the style.

Bogdan
PSR-SX700 on K&M-18820 stand
Playing for myself on Youtube