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Are Electric Jazz Bassists Welcome?

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Jerry Callo, Jun 5, 2011.

  1. Jerry Callo

    Jerry Callo Banned

    May 23, 2011
  2. Welcome Jerry, nicely done, hope you have a thick skin some folks in these parts play rough with electric bassists.
  3. Jerry Callo

    Jerry Callo Banned

    May 23, 2011
    Thanks. Being rough on electric guys is understandable. The URB is a bear of an instrument and was "the" sound of jazz for years. Today there's so few opportunities to play, having another instrument as competition is not going to be welcomed. Especially since playing "basic" bass on an electric is admittedly easier. But that all goes out the window once it gets into serious playing.

    I play upright as well but admit the electric is my voice.

    From an artistic perspective I don't understand instrument or musical preference snobbery. There's good and bad everywhere.
  4. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    What?! I play DB most nights of the year... two gigs today alone. That's true of a lot of guys on in these forums. I don't see electric bassists, or even other acoustic bassists, as competition in any way.

    I've got no problem with bass guitars, though, I double on them, mostly on recordings. I'm in my fourth decade of playing the slab.

    Nice job on your project, Jerry.
  5. Jerry Callo

    Jerry Callo Banned

    May 23, 2011
    If you're working that much, that's great. In NY, there seems to be less opportunities to play -- at least for any decent money. Maybe in some places being a top DB player is an advantage in that its more specialized.

    Yeah, maybe it's not so much competition, but a lot of DB guys see the electric as a toy -- which, in a way...it is. lol But it comes down to what you do with that toy.

    Honestly, to me, there aren't a lot of DB players who play the electric in a way that utilizes the inherent qualities to its best advantage -- Stanley being the exception. Even Patitucci, as great as he is, doesn't "get" the electric to me. It's just amazing DB chops transferred to the electric. That's not what it's about.

    Then again, I can tell a transplanted electric player playing the DB in a minute. I'm one of them. : )
  6. 251


    Oct 6, 2006
    Metro Boston MA
    Confused. You record under the name Nelson Montana? That is very nice work.

    The linked review says the personnel are;
    Nelson Montana: bass, drums, keyboard, guitar, vocals; Alexander Norris: trumpet and flugelhorn (1, 2, 3, 5-7, 9); David Jensen: tenor saxophone (1, 3, 6-9); Mitchell Endick: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone and flute (3, 5, 7); Mark Berman: piano (1, 4-6, 9).
  7. Jerry Callo

    Jerry Callo Banned

    May 23, 2011


    Yep, I'm Nelson. Jerry Callo is sort of an inside joke -- to fans of the movie "My Cousin Vinny." : )
  8. GrowlerBox


    Feb 10, 2010
    Nude Zealand
    A man of many parts! Nice work. I guess I can see where the reviewer is coming from when he talks about the mix, but it's nice to hear the bass up front in an ensemble like this. Very cool, man.
  9. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
  10. Jerry Callo

    Jerry Callo Banned

    May 23, 2011
    Nice. Hey, I never said he wasn't skilled. But that clip is a perfect example of what I mean. Those notes could be played on a piano or a guitar or anything. It'd have the same impact. But it's not utilizing what is inherent to the electric bass. (Part playing, counterpoint, feel, power, varying tones, color, etc).

    Again, no disrespect to John. I'll kill to have half his technique. But his sense of groove and his voice leading leaves me cold.
  11. Marc Piane

    Marc Piane

    Jun 14, 2004
    YouTube - ‪Bender - Oh no you didn't‬‏

    YouTube - ‪Vinnie Colaiuta John Patitucci w/ Chick Corea‬‏

    I'm not sure what you're hearing (or not hearing) but I think that John is one of the baddest muthers out there on both basses. He is the perfect example of a great doubler IMO.

    And walking bass on the porkchop gives me hives. There, I said it. Call me a snob.

    That said I did a rehearsal today for a string of jobs with a chick singer that is doing a Joni Mitchell kind of thing. She wanted me to double. Cool. Never walked a single line but did all the baby making grooves on the porkchop.

    Welcome to TBDB!!!
  12. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I think walking bass lines never sound "right" on BG either. People have pointed to countless examples on recordings etc - but I still haven't heard anything that sounds as right for Jazz walking bass. It always sounds to me like the bassist is pushing it or trying too hard - whereas the best DB players always sound relaxed and natural in walking lines?
  13. I think if more BG jazz players, instead of just turning their tone knob down, used flatwound strings and some kind of string dampening mute, AND recorded their parts via cabinet miking with minimal compression, there would be a lot more BG recordings with walking bass lines that would sound more "right."
    Groove Doctor likes this.
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    My feeling is that he plays Funky/Latin material or solo pieces on BG and then keeps DB for Jazz and where he needs a walking bass line.

    I love his walking bass lines on Kurt Elling's album "The Gate". It's great to hear a track like Joe Jackson's "Steppin' Out" - which originally had a BG ostinato bass line - with a JP Walking Bass line on DB.

    It's just sounds so right and the tune is transformed! :)
  15. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    A lot of guys play both these days. I certainly do, although I "retired" from the big bass for a decade. Uh, uh looks like the OP was banned-wie gehts?
  16. TripleDouble

    TripleDouble Guest

    Aug 5, 2008
    +1 to both Mr. Lindfield's and Lunarpollens points about why BG sounds weird. I've been working on this very problem as of late since I'm an electric player and have really been digging into some standards, and the best solution I've come up with is to play with a combination or right hand thumb with palm muting, and then switch to left hand damping for solos and quicker 2 or 3 finger plucked passages. Playing with a much lighter touch, the tone gets better and it's easy to keep up with tempos above 200. Flatwounds sure helped with tone fit in, but I just really dislike them for most of my other bass tone needs, so I'll live with rounds. And yeah, rolling the tone back and sitting back a bit on the beat were clutch moves. It doesnt sound like DB, but it sounds like an appropriately coaxed electric bass.
  17. I play both. I prefer to use the upright for jazz, but I have a monthly gig where the musicians' space is just too small for it to be comfortable. I played this gig last night as it happens.

    I use a 1978 fretless P bass with flatwounds and the tone knob rolled off about 75%. People really dig the sound, although of course it's not the same sound as an upright.

    It's an interesting point about walking. I do a fair amount of it on the fretless, but last night I felt like doing less and it worked out. You don't have to walk all the time.
  18. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    The linked video in the original post was pretty much an ad for the album, so maybe it was seen as such by the mods?
  19. Roy Vogt

    Roy Vogt

    Sep 20, 2000
    Endorsing Artist: Kiesel, Carvin, Accuracy, Hotwire, Conklin Basses, DNA, Eden
    Perhaps it was "sock-puppeting". I noticed he was here under another moniker that was banned earlier. C'est la vie......
    Not too bad playing, the idea of the "commercial" was a little odd but more power to anybody trying to jump out there and be creative.
  20. PocketGroove82


    Oct 18, 2006
    click his youtube link for a laugh

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