Surprise! American rock pianist performs well with Polysynth CS-80!
The last installment was a special feature on TOTO using the Yamaha Polysynth CS-80. This time around, Bill Payne, the keyboardist of Little Feat, is the topic. Little Feat is a favorite among American rock bands. It may be better to say that guitarist Lowell George was a member. The sticky swelling rhythm can only be produced by Little Feat. Keisuke Kuwata of the Southern All Stars is a big fan, and you can listen to the song "Itoshi no Feet" that imitates Little Feat on the Southern's first album. Bill is an ideal pianist if he plays American rock, and he is good at honky-tonk piano that sprinkles grooves here and there. Why do such pianists use synthesizers and polysynths? A single piano is not enough, I thought. Until I heard Little Feat's live "Waiting For Columbus"... But before he was a pianist, he was a keyboardist who could get a bird's eye view of the sound from an arranger's point of view. If you listen to the use of the CS-80 on his live album Waiting for Columbus, you can see him as a musician who has a total grasp of music.
■ Recommended Album: Dixie Chicken (1973)
Dixie Chicken is one of the greatest albums among Little Feat's masterpieces. The title song "Dixie Chicken" is an excellent work that features Bill Payne. In addition, there are other good songs such as "Fat Man in the Bathtub".
Recommended Song: "Dixie Chicken"
"Dixie Chicken" is another name for Southern Women. In the lyrics, he met a Southern Belle at the hotel (BELLE is a beautiful slang)♪ ~ If you’ll be my Dixie chicken (lover's slang), I’ll be your Tennessee Lamb on the banks of the river (Dixieland jazz echoes, Bourbon Street in New Orleans is along the Mississippi). This man has a love for Southern Belle, but he breaks up with her. A year later, when the hotel bartender served him a drink, the bartender sang the same song Southern Bell sang, and the people around him sang the same "Dixie Chicken"... He thought only he knew the song. Everyone knew the song... That made him realize that he was a clown. It is a masterpiece by Lowell George. It opens with a powerful honky-tonk piano, the essence of Bill Payne, and Lowell George's bottleneck guitar roars.
■ Recommended album: Stampede (1975)
A masterpiece from the Doobie Brothers, forerunners of West Coast Rock. Bill is playing a powerful piano on this album. This album would not have been possible without Bill's piano playing. His dynamics and grooves are the highlights of the album. It may be interesting to listen to Waiting for Columbus in comparison with this album.
Sweet Maxine ("Sweet Maxine")
Starts with Bill Payne's powerful piano intro. It is a priceless orthodox American rock tune. You can almost feel your hips start to sway just by listening to it.
Recommended Song: " Take Me in Your Arms (Rock Me a Little While))"
This song is also a rocking number. Bill's piano drives the Doobie's performance.
■ Recommended Album: Waiting for Columbus (1979)
This album is a live album by Little Feat. I doubted my ears when I heard this live for the first time. Bill Payne's CS-80 Polysynth fit splendidly into the songs. The Doobie Brothers, with vocalist Tom Johnston, is an orthodox American rock band, so it's unlikely that they would use a lot of synthesizers. Little Feat is no different, straight American rock doesn't need polysynth ... is what I thought. However, in this live album, you can hear a new American rock that fuses the American rock band with the polysynth. The concept of the Polysynth as a must-have item only for progressive rock was blown away when I heard this live. And the natural sound of polysynths in American rock... Bill was amazing as a synthesizer user so far.
Recommended: "Fat Man in the Bathtub"
This song is an example of an American rock synth arrangement. The CS-80 solo, a polysynth in the middle part, is what I always listen for. The synthesizer solo overturned the concept of single notes with this album. He played a nice solo with a sawtooth wave that synth user would like the most.
Suggested song: "All That You Dream"
This song also uses the CS-80 sawtooth wave, with a horn-like sound with subtle resonance and a powerful solo in the latter half. Traditional instruments such as guitars and pianos are the center of American rock, and I just take off my hat to Bill's sense of blending polysynth into the music without any sense of “discomfort”.
Musicians, albums, recommended songs, keyboards used this time
- Artist: Little Feat
- Album: "Dixie Chicken" and "Waiting for Columbus"
- Titles: "Dixie Chicken" and "All Your Dream"
- Instruments used: Yamaha CS-80, CP-80, Hammond B-3, etc.