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2016.10.20

●私的ブルースマン列伝 第2回 芸達者な小生意気〜ピー・ウィー・クレイトン篇〜●

「私的ブルースマン列伝」第2回、旧館からの移行分をお送りします。今読み返してみると、文中にも何箇所か引用している、小出斉氏の『ブルース・ギター バトル・オブ・ザ・マスターズ』(ミュージック・マガジン社刊)の記事の影響が強いなあ、ていうかそもそもその受け売り?という気がしないではないですが、まあ、これも若書き(だから若くないって)ということでお許し願いたい所存です。



これは私の勝手な想像(というか妄想?)なのだが、ピー・ウィー・クレイトンというブルースマンは、人によって極端に評価が分かれるような気がする。即ち、好きな人は大好き、嫌いな人は大嫌い、という具合に。
もちろんこんな文章を書いている私は当然「大好き派」の一人な訳だが、そんな私でもピー・ウィー・クレイトンに対して「何となく生意気そう」という感想を抱くことがある。もちろん実際に会ったことがある訳ではないので、完全な妄想なのだが。

ピー・ウィー・クレイトン、本名コニー・カーティス・クレイトン。1914年テキサス州ロックデイル生まれ、1985年LAで死去。ブルースマンとしての活動は1940年代に始まり、Modern,Imperial,Vee Jeyなど多くのレーベルに優れた録音を残した。1983年には来日もしている。
彼のブルースの特徴は、まず何といってもテキサスブルース特有の攻撃的でワイルドなギターだ。ぎゅわんぎゅわん、という擬音語が似合うような金属的で脳天を刺激する音色がまず耳につく。しかし、それだけが特徴ではない。
彼がギターを始めたのは30歳以降とかなり遅かったようだが、なんとあのT−ボーン・ウォーカー直々にギターを習ったというから凄い。ワイルドさに耳を奪われがちだが、よく聴くと彼のギターには、確かに優雅でスムースという面も強く出ていて、そのあたりはまさしくT−ボーン直伝という感じがする(もっともそれが悪いほうへ行くと、しょせんT−ボーンの亜流に過ぎない、というネガティヴな評価にもなりかねないが)。そして、ワイルドで攻撃的、とは言っても、どこか足場はきっちり固めているというか、脱線はしない、という印象がある。
その辺は同じテキサスのワイルドギタリストでもアルバート・コリンズあたりとは違うところだ。世代的にはモダンブルースに入るピー・ウィーであるが、感覚的に言えば片足はモダンブルースの世界に、もう片足はより古いシティブルースの世界に置いているような気がする。だからと言って、彼がモダンブルースギタリストとして劣っている、という訳では決してないのだが…。

とにかくギターに関しては、ハードでワイルドなギターソロから、小粋なインストまで、幅広くこなした彼であるが、歌に関しては、下手ではないものの、決して上手いとは言えない。それでも自分の力量をちゃんと心得ていて、味わいのある小唄をもっぱら歌っていた。ギターで見せるワイルドさとは裏腹に、歌を歌うと軽妙で洒脱な印象が強くなるから不思議である。
小出斉氏の言葉を借りれば『激しいギター爆発ものと、小唄系ブルース、これがピー・ウィーの味なのだ。』(『ブルース・ギター バトル・オブ・ザ・マスターズ』(ミュージック・マガジン社刊)より)なのである。
とにかく、ギターにしろ歌にしろ、達者で隙がないという感じがする。おそらく器用な人だったのだろう。

冒頭で書いた、嫌いな人は嫌い、という点も、そのあたりの器用さが裏目に出ているような気がする(いやだから妄想なのだが)。
もっとも「小生意気さ」が完全な妄想ではないことを裏付ける?エピソードが2,3あることはある(全部受け売りだが)。

インタビューでの「おれがT−ボーンから教わったという噂だが、それは嘘。(中略)ギターの腕は俺の方が上。やつは3本の指でしか弾けないが、俺は4本の指で弾けるのだ」云々の発言。

1983年の来日時、インタビュアーに質問の隙も与えず小一時間しゃべり倒し事件。

(二つとも前掲の『ブルース・ギター バトル・オブ・ザ・マスターズ』より)


もっとも、仮にもブルースマンというかアーティストであれば、ある程度我が強く、自己主張も強くて当然だし、二つ目のエピソードなんかはむしろ人の良いオジサン、という風にも取れなくはない。やはり全ては私の妄想なのかもしれない。
しかし、「小生意気」という部分が妄想だったとしても、「芸達者」という部分は妄想ではない。これはれっきとした真実である。

◆お勧めCD
『The Modern Legacy Vol.1』(Ace Records CDCHD 632)
彼の全盛期である1940年代後半にModernレーベルに残した録音の第1集である。とにかくこれを聴かなくては話にならない。1曲目「Texas Hop」の跳ねまくるギターにノックアウトされること請け合い。もちろん代表曲「Blues After Hours」を始めとする名曲てんこもりの23曲。


『The Modern Legacy, Vol.2: Blues Guitar Magic』(Ace Records CDCHD 767)
続くModern録音集第2集。テイク違いなども含む25曲。この2枚で、Modern録音はほぼ網羅されている。


『Complete Aladdin & Imperial Recordings』(Capitol Records 7243 8 36292 2 0)
Modern録音に次いで重要な、AladdinおよびImperialレーベルへの録音全曲集。
※残念ながら現在廃盤で手に入れにくいようです。


『Early Hour Blues』(Blind Pig Records BPCD 5052)
晩年の2枚のアルバムから編集されたCD。さすがに往年のギラギラするようなワイルドさはないが、それでもギターの音色には艶があり聴いていて飽きない。


第2回 了          


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« ●私的ブルースマン列伝 第1回 燃え尽きるほどヒート〜ルーサー・アリソン篇〜● | Main | ●音楽四方山話 第16回 そして3人が残った● »

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