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Bass Extremes Solo Bass Competition Finalists Announced

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Jay Terrien, Sep 28, 2005.

  1. Bass Extremes Solo Bass Competition Finalists:


    Top 4 Finalists:

    1.)Robert Riegler, Vienna, Austria

    2.) Boris Kozlov, New York, NY
    Mingus Dynasty (plays Mingus' own bass on several recordings)

    3.) Jose “Zuzo” Moussawer, Sao Paulo, Brazil

    4.) Jeff Schmidt, San Rafael, CA

    Honorable Mention:

    Brian Mulholland, Denton, TX

    Janek Gwizdala, New York, NY

    Brad Russell, Westland, MI

    George Elliott, Pittsburgh, PA

    Marco Antonio Navarro, San Jose, Costa Rica
  2. Jay

    I have just listened to some of the MP3's. Fantastic.

    Thanks for posting this.


  3. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Great stuff!

    Jeff Schmidt is TB'er... maybe a couple of the other's are too.
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Boris Kozlov is, among many other gigs, bassist for the Mingus Big Band.
  5. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    really? that's pretty hip.
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
  7. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    I find it amazing that Janek Gwizdala only got an honerable mention. :eek: Damn........guess I'll have to check out the other players!
  8. I've been listening to Jeff Schmidt's stuff for the last 30 minutes. Really great playing!

    The other players are great, too, but Jeff's stuff just reaches out to me.
  9. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    Thanks for creating a posting for this.

    I've just gotten back home but had to share a few thoughts before they evaporate.

    [​IMG] Opening Jam.

    First - the entire experience was totally one of welcoming, support and encouragement. Not one time did I feel coldness, ego or pretentiousness among ANYONE involved in this project. ANYONE. I couldn't believe it - it was so amazing!

    From the incredible staff of people at Coastal Carolina University who were the main contacts and event planners, to the judges, the sponsors, the audience and yes - even the other contestants. Everyone was absolutely incredibly friendly and genuine. Real people. My wife and I wondered if we'd have felt the same general level of ease and comfort if this event were held in NYC or LA. We will forever associate Myrtle Beach as a place of simply great human beings.

    [​IMG]Anthony Jackson

    The contestants were also great people. Humble but confident, we all got along wonderfully and became friends. The morning after the concert I had breakfast with both Zuzo and Robert Riegler and had a wonderful time! We all saw each other as brothers in music first, competitors for cash & prizes second. It was great to hang out and chat with these guys about their experiences and life as musicians in their home countries. Being a white guy from northern California - I was the only one there without any kind of accent!


    Boris Koslov is a guy you can hang out and tell jokes with. He simply enjoys life and seems to roll along with ever comes up with a smile. Obviously road ready - he's a monster player on electric - even though upright is his main instrument. His depth of understanding and application of advanced harmony totally reveals he's a serious jazz "cat". His chops are outrageous!


    Zuzo Moussawer is totally unassuming in person, humble and modest and just plain great to be around. But the second he puts on his bass he changes into a master that demands your attention. Zuzo is first and foremost an innovator. He performed techniques not a single one of us - judges included - had ever seen before. The most impressive was a routine where Zuzo slapped the E string with his right hand thumb on the upper fret board, plucking the G string with his right hand pinky, while simultaneously tapping chords with his right hand index, middle and ring fingers. :eek: Oh yeah - he's also tapping with his left hand at the same time. Victor Wooten summed it up best when he said "I've met people who were ambidextrous - but Zuzo - your RIGHT HAND is ambidextrous!" No joke.

    I had to go on after him and if there's anything more intimidating than that - I've never experienced it. Zuzo is a crowd pleaser.

    Robert Riegler - the only bummer of the whole event was Robert got stuck in airport hell trying to get to the concert. He ended up missing the contest and arrived as the last notes on the final jam were ringing out. So he had to take 4th place. Our disappointment in not getting to hear Robert play was erased when Victor and Steve set Robert up at the after concert VIP reception to display the pieces he's worked so hard to perform.

    I'm very sorry I don't have a picture of Robert. I was so interested in hearing him play I had to just watch and listen.

    Robert's command of the bass is astounding. He used every single area of the fret board with great precision and mastery. Robert's playing exudes his extensive music knowledge. If you wanted to figure out what Robert was doing - you had to start at the back of the most advanced music theory books. He's a complete negation of the old axiom that those that can't do, teach. He teaches professionally and he can do it all on the bass. The stuff he was pulling off on the bass is simply amazing.


    Then there's me. In all honesty - up till this concert I was a weekend warrior with a day job.

    If this was a competition about the deepest understanding and application of music theory - I would not have been a finalist. If this was a competition about who could lock best with a drummer - I would not have been a finalist. If this was a competition about the most innovative techniques or fastest chops - I would not have been a finalist.


    All I tried to do was make music on the bass that I would want to listen to - not as a bassist - but as human. As many of you know - that's not easy. Based on comments from the judges that‘s what the contest was really about. It was a Solo Bass contest rather than a Bass Solo contest.

    After the concert an audience member pointed something out that had not occurred to me. Of all the contestants - I played the slowest and used the least amount of notes. I don't know what that says ultimately - but perhaps if anyone reading this thought they had no business entering the contest because they couldn't double thump 32nd notes across all strings - they should re-consider for next year.

    In fact - I encourage EVERYONE who has ANY desire to make the bass a legitimate solo instrument to enter the contest next year. Don’t' think about the level of the competition. Yes, there are more amazing players out there than any of us realize. Yes, it's challenging and stressful at times. Most won't win or place. But even had I not been asked to perform - I had already grown tremendously just going through the process of getting an entry together by the deadline. The past 4 months have been the single most explosive period of musical development in my life. I would not trade the experience for anything.

    1 more thought about the 5 honorable mentions. It was very clearly expressed to us that throughout the judging process ALL 5 of those amazing players were in the top 4 on the judges lists - that all our names kept jumping around and moving in and out of the top 4. On any given day someone on the top of 1 judge's list could've been 7th on another judge's list and on and on. As John Patitucci expressed -" this is music - not football" - how do you judge that which is so subjective?

    I guess I had more to say than I originally intended with this post - so I'll wrap it up. If you have any questions about contest, the concert or even just bass playing - I'll be around here to share any thoughts I have.


    My deepest thanks to concert judges Anthony Jackson, Will Lee, Gregg Bissonette, Jonathan Herrera, Victor Wooten & Steve Bailey. And Coastal Carolina staff Katherine Sarvis, Sandy & Paul Smith!

    ps - I will be posting mp3s of the performance arrangements of all three tunes I did very soon. I'll be back with links.

    Thanks for your indulgence!

  10. Jeff

    Thanks for sharing. It sounds like an amazing event that was undertaken by everyone in the "right spirit".

    Congratulations and regards

  11. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    Hi Jeff. Thanks so much for the great report and contratulations on a life changing experience. Your thoughts that you've shared here have echoed what has been my experience repeatedly, that the accomplished players that I've met have almost all been very humble, although confident, and most importantly kind and giving people.

    Jeff, please check out Daniele Camarda if you havn't already. I really think he's right up your ally, especially his solo album. The links are in my signature below.

    Be well.
    Andy Dow.
  12. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    Um, it seems as though Jeff was much too humble and left out the fact that he WON THE COMPETITION! :bassist: Big congrats Jeff!

    It's very important for all of us, myself included, to remember that music is never about how many notes you player or how much theory you know (this is something I get stuck battling with within myself). Music is about what you have to say through your particular instrument. Even more so, it's if you're able to allow the music to come through you. We are simply vehicles for the music to flow through. If we can get out of our heads than the music happens on it's own. The most beautiful musicians that I've heard can move me with one note and not all of them are the deepest theory buffs. We should all continue to want to learn but we need to use what we have in the moment for the greater good. It sounds as if Jeff is finding this out. I hope this allows him to be able to play his music full time now if he chooses to do so.
  13. Papersen

    Papersen Supporting Member

    Mar 22, 2002
    Congratulations Jeff.
    I´m listening to your stuff right now and find it very amusing.

    I´m curious: Did you feel intimidated by those "monster judges" that were listening to you ?
  14. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA
    Thanks. Those are goofy studio experiments from years ago.

    I didn't feel intimidated by the judges personally, but the process of BEING judged was certainly something to contend with mentally.

    I suspect if I were trying to do Victor's thing - or Steve's thing on bass etc... I would be really intimidated playing in front of them. Thankfully I was comfortable enough with what I do on the bass that I really felt like a musician among musicians with mutual respect and admiration for each others unique form of expression.
  15. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA

    yes! great points - thanks! I prepared as extensively as I could leading up to the concert but at the moment of performance - my mind went silent and the music flowed without much effort or thought. I made mistakes - and I expected some. But not a single mistake distracted me - or changed my mood or my space. I moved through them and only caught the occasional comment from my mind like "oh . . . that's too bad that I missed that". But there was no mental heaviness to the matter. I credit meditation for this.
  16. Hi Jeff,
    just registered today as a member and found your success story. Keeps me really up, 'cos i have a similar bass "history" as you have. Picked up the bass as my only instrument at the age of 13, stopped playing at 20 (sold everything i had) and 13 yrs later, i couldn't stand not playing anymore. so i'm back in bassbizz since almost 5 yrs. all self taught, there had just been no teachers around.
    my performance is of course not comparable to yours, i should try that 11 month teaching period, so i can get to your level... :bassist: (just kiddin..that'll be far beyond reach to me)

    so again, congrats to you and hope to hear more from your music

    and of course congrats to all participants, as robert riegler said, beeing in the finals is allready like beeing a winner

  17. Vorago

    Vorago (((o)))

    Jul 17, 2003
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Congrats dude! Sounds like an awesome experience.

    Are there videos available?
  18. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    This is something that more people should look into.

    A good starting point is Kenny Werner's book "Effortless Mastery". I feel that this book should be handed to every music student at every school as soon as they walk through the door.

    Seeing Kenny play brought it all together for me. He actually watches and listens to himself play. He doesn't seem to have anything to do with what's happening other than it's his fingers on the piano. Amazing stuff.
  19. jeff schmidt

    jeff schmidt no longer red carded, but my butt is still sore.

    Aug 27, 2004
    Novato, CA

  20. SCHMIDTY!!

    You got it!! Congrats on your award!! Now go and get a right-handed bass! :)