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Arco solos of Ray Brown

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by agoya, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. agoya


    Aug 30, 2012
    Are there some arco solos of Ray Brown with the Oscar Peterson Trio?
  2. msw


    Aug 21, 2003
    Not that I’m aware of. Ensemble parts, yes. I can’t remember RB ever playing an arco solo.
    Tom Lane likes this.
  3. kwd


    Jun 26, 2003
    silicon valley
    Search YouTube on Ray and If I Loved You, Gene Harris, Hamilton
  4. Jay Leonhart said in his "MusicMasterclass" video something along the lines of...'Ray Brown started to be a very good arco player once he reached his 60s.'

    As for myself, I'll be happy if I can ever make a bass sound anything remotely as musical as either of those two gentleman...in this lifetime or any other.
  5. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Never heard an arco solo from Ray Brown, but have heard some arco melodies.
    dhm likes this.
  6. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    I'm sorry, I know he was a great and all that, but his intonation sucks, and his technique with a bow is really very average
  7. dhm


    Apr 15, 2007
    I really considered letting this go... You're entitled to your opinion but I doubt you've accomplished as much as Mr. Brown. Congrats on the snark!
    MrLenny1 likes this.
  8. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    It's not snarky. He's out of tune. Tell me you can't hear that? I have not accomplished as much, and I never suggested I had. I know he's a great. I also know his arco technique isn't great and my intonation is better. It's not opinion whether someone is out of tune, or is this "alternative intonation"?
  9. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    I saw Ray play at the Blue Note many, many moons ago, and I remember he did a ballad arco. Wish I could remember what it was... I was just finishing high school then, so who knows how my ear was then compared to now, but I remember it sounding amazing. Could've been the novelty of seeing someone take a ballad arco, too.

    Wait.. I think I MiniDisc'd that show. Whoops.. probably shoulda kept that to myself. :whistle:
    Neil Pye likes this.
  10. dhm


    Apr 15, 2007
    I've heard people....even strictly classical musicians play out of tune before. He gets a beautiful sound and I dig his phrasing. My issue is with someone anomalously trying to call out one of the masters of the BASS and JAZZ. Saying his intonation "sucks" to me shows a lack of respect. That's my issue.
    DrayMiles, wathaet and Michael Karn like this.
  11. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    What has respect got to do with it? In my opinion, it's a pretty poor performance. I don't like his sound, and I think the phrasing is lazy and flabby.
    And objectively, his intonation is poor.
    I have huge respect for Mr Brown. To suggest that respecting someone means you can't EVER criticise them is just ridiculous. Listen again to that tune. It's poor. I'm not suggesting he's a bad bass player. I'm saying he's out of tune and not a great arco player. I don't care who you are, if you're out of tune, you're out of tune.
  12. Seanto


    Dec 29, 2005
    Lol, come on dude. I've even heard questionable things from Gary Karr on occasion. Ray Brown generally had great intonation. Your post screams "arrogant classical bass player."
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2018
  13. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    You know, Ray Brown was an amazing bassist. Seeing him live was transformative. His playing had such drive and direction that it was as if he were soloing all the time, and in fact he'd often play only one or two solos per set even when he was the leader. Sometimes he'd play a melody arco, and though he got better at it as he got older, it was kind of a tough listen. Acknowledging that is not blasphemy. No one's perfect. That's one of the great joys of choosing a life as a musician. There's always room to grow and stuff to learn even if you play as well as Ray Brown.
    matthewbrown, tonequixote and craigie like this.
  14. wathaet


    May 27, 2007
    Ray was one of my two jazzheroes growing up as a bassist, NHOP being the second. My third hero, and the only one of the three still alive is a classical player. The last three years I have had the privilege to work daily with with him and I have learned so many things from him. The thing that stands out is how he never puts anyone down. He always talks to me as an equal, even when I say dumb things, or when I have just played in a boneheaded way. I only met Ray a few times, but my impression was that he was very much the same way.
  15. lurk


    Dec 2, 2009
    Yes. One of the hallmarks of a true master is humility. Check out Ray's face at the end of the video posted a few back. He kind of looks away from the audience; no smile or acknowledgement of the applause; kind of a grimace actually. He knows he could've played it better. It was touching to see a master plunge into an area that he hadn't fully mastered. That vulnerability is part of what made him truly great. I agree with Jay that his bowing improved in his latter years, and I bet he would be sounding wonderful if he were still here.
    DaveAceofBass and dhm like this.
  16. jmlee

    jmlee Catgut? Not funny. Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    Halifax, Nova Scotia
    Years ago I heard Ray Brown’s trio with Benny Green and Jeff Hamilton live in a small room (Top of the Senator in Toronto). I was maybe 10 feet from Ray who always was and remains my bass hero. He swung like crazy and the Trio was terrific. But you know what? His intonation was really iffy. That night I learned to relax about it (and that’s hard) and to focus on time and motion and structure in my lines. It’s not sacrilege to listen critically to the greats. My favourite recording of Pictures At An Exhibition is the piano version played live by Sviatoslav Richter. It’s a magnificent interpretation—and it’s got at least three real clunkers in it. So what.
  17. Don Kasper

    Don Kasper Supporting Member

    Thank You for this.
    Needed, and needs, to be said.
  18. DrayMiles


    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    It’s not that it’s problematic to criticize, but a little bit of thought of how my tone looks in print wouldn’t have been inappropriate. It just felt a Little self righteous is all. Point and opinion noted... ;)
    dhm, wathaet, jmlee and 1 other person like this.
  19. Neil Pye

    Neil Pye

    Apr 13, 2016
    Horsham, UK
    I agree, and if someone had put up a clip of Gary playing out of tune, I would say the same. Ray Brown is a great, but he's not good with a bow. What's arrogant about saying that? I will never be able to do the things he did, but that doesn't change the fact that he was out of tune and his arco sound isn't special. I'm sorry if you think that's arrogant, I could say your post screams "chip on his shoulder jazzer".....but that isn't a helpful thing to say. I'm done, keep Mr Brown on your pedestal.
  20. gerry grable

    gerry grable

    Nov 9, 2010
    Everyone one should lighten up. Let's don't get started on Ron Carter
    For years I've heard, "Gerry's intonation ain't much, but his time is bad."
    matthewbrown and Neil Pye like this.
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