Albums where DB players play a prominent melodic role?

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Persona87, Dec 26, 2014.

  1. Persona87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I have about $20 in iTunes credit left over from Christmas that I'm looking to spend on albums where the bassist takes a major role in the music and steps out from the rhythm section. I just got Christian McBride's Parker's Mood album, which is a trio focusing on Charlie Parker tunes; I also bought McBride's Conversations album, which is filled with duets. I already had the cello suites performed by Edgar Meyer as well as Beyond Double Bass by Renau Garica-Fons. What are some other melodic bass albums that I might enjoy? It can be classical, folk, or jazz (though jazz is preferable).

  2. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    You're already aware of Scott LaFaro's playing with Bill Evans? At the Village Vanguard is a good starting point.
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  3. Persona87


    Dec 4, 2012
    DFW, Texas
    I've heard of Scott LeFaro but not actively listened to him. Oh, I should also mention that I have Paul Chambers' Bass on Top as well.
  4. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    LaFaro has been accused of destroying jazz, singlehandedly, because he was soloing while the soloist was soloing. An exaggeration, IMO, but his voice leading basslines are much busier than anything that was recorded before him. Maybe, since those recordings too. Still, if you're seeking melodic basslines, I can't think of a better example. Charlie Haden is also credited with pioneering melodic basslines, but LaFaro makes a counterpoint unlike anyone before or since, IMO.
  5. Carl Hillman

    Carl Hillman

    Jan 1, 2010
    Going back and reading Stanley "I write about it cause I can't do it" Crouch's take on Scotty ("The LaFaro approach also avoids swing") is always good for a belly laugh.
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  6. I would say LaFaro much more than Charlie Haden for "melodic," although I love Charlie Haden's playing. Probably heresy on this side of the board but for melodic there's also Jaco Pastorius. Sounds like you are already listening to Edgar Meyer. You might also enjoy Brian Bromberg's work on upright with Alan Broadbent on piano, and Red Mitchell's work with Jim Hall on guitar.
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
  7. Mgaisbacher

    Mgaisbacher Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2012
    Nashville, TN
    I would also get some of Edgar Meyers other albums such as Work in Progress, Uncommon Ritual (one of my all time favorite albums), Short Trip Home, Appalachian Waltz and Appalachian Journey (I think these are under Yo-Yo Ma's name) Also one of his students Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers bassist) has an album out with the trio Haas Kowert Tice. In the jazz realm Ray Brown, Dave Holland and as many others have already mentioned Scott Lafaro.
  8. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Columbia SC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I don't know the McBride rekkids, but from your mention of BASS ON TOP it sounds like you are looking for recordings where the bassist is playing not just melodically, but the actual melodies to songs. I'd recommend pretty much any of the recordings of Neal Miner, but in particular THE REAL NEAL. Also pretty much anything with Red Mitchell on it but, again in particular, two recordings that were made live at SWEET BASIL's, both duo reocords, one with Jim Hall and one with Warne Marsh.
    There are also recordings under the leadership of George Mraz, Ron McClure, Miroslav Vitous that feature front line bass; even if not on every tune.
    Sgroh87 likes this.
  9. DC Bass

    DC Bass Supporting Member

    Mar 28, 2010
    Laurel, Maryland, USA
    Terry Plumeri has an amazing recording called "Blue In Green", on which he plays the melodies of a great collection of standards. It's available on ITunes.

    Michael Moore is a great melodic player as well.

    Last edited: Dec 27, 2014
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  10. gerry grable

    gerry grable

    Nov 9, 2010

    Bowin' Singin' Slam, Slam Stewart; Bass Ball, Francois Rabbath w/drums;
    Double Bass, NHOP and Sam Jones (duets) w/ guitar.
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  11. Paul Warburton

    Paul Warburton In Memoriam

    Aug 17, 2003
    Denver, Co.
    To quote Jim Hall: "Red Mitchell played the most gorgeous melodic solos of anybody on any instrument, I think maybe he and Lester Young were in the same league. The fact that it was coming out of a string bass is mind boggling."
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  12. Jim Dombrowski

    Jim Dombrowski Supporting Member

    Jan 16, 2002
    Colorado Springs, CO
    Oscar Petitford
  13. gerry grable

    gerry grable

    Nov 9, 2010

    There are many melodic bassists, but I believe the original poster wanted albums where the featured bassist played the melodies of the tunes, not just melodically.
    Sgroh87 likes this.
  14. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    Dave Holland Emerald Tears, One's All

    Ron Carter Piccolo

    Slam Stewart and Major Holley Shut Yo Mouth
  15. One of the things that lead me to play free jazz/improvised music is that each musician/instrument always takes an equal role. And you actually get to play the entire bass and everything it is capable of. It ranges from very melodic - a lot of this area is documented by the ECM label to the extremes of what each instrument can do.
    Maybe check out some Barre Phillips albums as a good starting point for this music. This duo with Dave Holland is good:
    if you REALLY want to go for it, try this duo with Barry Guy:
  16. Sam Dingle

    Sam Dingle

    Aug 16, 2011
    Nashville TN
    Whims of chambers
  17. The Colours of Chloe by Eberhard Weber
  18. Just listened to that on his birthday! He has so much power in his melodies.
  19. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    Compost "Life Is Round" Jack Gregg, bass
    McCoy Tyner "Super Trios" Eddie Gomez, Ron Carter, bassists
    Lee Morgan "The Last Session" Jymie Merritt, bass
  20. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Avishai Cohen - "Gently Disturbed"
    Brian Bromberg - "Wood", "Wood II", and "It's About Time"