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Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Karl shott, Apr 29, 2002.
has anyone here tried to play his music on the bass? (besides donna lee)
I love to play "salt peanuts."
when you refer to "his music" do you mean his melodies?
i have been able to successfully play conformation. i recommend anyone to try it because it is a really good work out for your fingers. i can also do it using a unusual slap technic that i have discovered. i ain't no vic wooten but i try and i have alot of fun doing it. c-ya
Outside of playing transcribed pieces by Bach,
playing Bird's heads on the bass is about the best work-out I can think of- It covers the whole spectrum of the fingerboard, and makes me humble
Something my wife constantly reminds me I need
to be!! )
Anyway besides "Donna Lee" which every man-Jaco
wants to play, I like "Scrapple from the Apple"
Couple others, not Bird's, but same concept-
"Freedom Jazz Dance"
Melody reminds me that sometimes I wanna tell slappers (& this soitanly includes me!)
"Hey - Hello!-- Melody- get the picture??"
There is the Bird Ominbook transcribed for bass...is it still available?
Needless to say, it is a workout attempting to play the heads. The solos? Fugghedaboutit.
I imagine somwhere, living in a cave, is a bassist who never leaves the place, & does nothing but play Bird solos note for note.
The day that I hear that, I think that I will put my bass away never to play again! (just kidding)
Or how about 'Trane on the bass-
Actually, just for an excercise I worked out some of "Cousin Mary", but of course, when he puts the pedal down- Ok that's enough, back to some nice walking bass!
I wish you cats could hear Mike Holstein, a bassist around here who regularly opens shows with Donna Lee (on upright) at like 300 bpm. He and the sax player in the group usually double the melody and it sounds KILLER. Needless to say, after the first time I heard that I went home and practiced! <lol>
I've played a few Parker tunes at Jazz worskhops, along with hundreds of others. I get suspicious when I hear him mentioned in conjunction with electric bass and tend to think "why" ?
Why not Coltrane, Miles, Freddie Hubbard, Chick Corea, Joe Henderson, Horace Silver etc etc They and many others all wrote great Jazz heads and most of the Parker ones that are well known are pretty much "bog standard" 32-bar bebop chord sequences. I can think of far more interesting chord sequences to play and more beautiful tunes - Charlie Haden has written some very beautiful ballads.
As I say, I'm not saying its the case here, but I just get suspicious that somebody want to impress us or get us to think that they know all about Jazz with a few flashy Jaco or Parker "licks"?
It's almost become a cliche now....
This is an interesting development, insofar as it may get into the role of the bass-Fender or upright-
Bird of course was among the most seminal of players in jazz- big subject; many others, but he most def made a BIG statement, some may think the biggest.
Although IMO it had been done b4, particularly on
upright, Jaco had people going "***?" when his debut recording opened w/ "Donna Lee", solo w/congas!
This was seminal in that it inspired a lot of players to emulate being able to play the Fender in a
totally out-front role, instead of a "supportive"
position- Even if that supportive role was a masterpiece of style/chops/& rhythm like Jamerson, "Duck" Dunn, Willie Weeks, etc.
Total foundation playing, but still background-
So, the pendulum swings for the bass taking a lead role, all for the better of us all w/ so many phenomenal players showing their stuff-Good news!
As to playing Bird as "impressive jazz lick knowledge"
I don't know if it's short shrifting anyone-Bird WAS
(& still is) Bird-
For that matter, we can all try Monk, Mingus,
Sonny Rollins heads, etc.
And there is also the "supportive" more rhythmically
based role of the instrument- not a horn, not a guitar, but its own damn self- The awesome bass undertone timekeeper with elements of rhythm,
harmony, melody, & percussion.
Whew!....I'm going to play "Barbie" with my daughter now!!!
Well of course we know all this and it's just history now - but you tend to find lots of "Jaco Clones" or "Jaco wannabees" about, who just copy everything he did without really understanding why and what he was doing, exactly.
So the point about Bird and Jaco was that they were doing something new, developed from what had gone before - a lot of Jazz history is like that. You have to keep developing!
But you get these bass players who idolise everything Jaco did and just aim to reproduce this and think this must make them a "good bass player"; whereas if you place a chord chart in front of them, from any other Jazz great - say Lee Konitz or Joe Lovano they just give you a blank look and ask what they're supposed to do with that?
I mean if you were actually going to play in a Jazz group, then you need to spend far more time on improvising supportive grooving or swinging basslines and if you just blow through tunes "a la" Bird or Jaco, then I don't think you would get asked back again!
Diz wrote Salt Peanuts.
Yo Bruce, G'day, Mate!
Oh, sorry-that's Australian!
Cheerio- Good to hear some words & views re: jazz
from across the Atlantic!
I think we're in agreement!
As a personal style or "voice" on the Fender, I have always been more of a "fundamentalist" preferring to lay down a solid, meaningful bass groove, at least I'd like to think it was that! When it happens, I can actually feel myself as the lynchpin of the ensemble, so for me it's about the ultimate high!
In addition, I have long been playing the Fender
in the role of and voiced like an upright, often
"swimming upstream" against such an undertaking,
even by other musicians who should know better!
Anyway, the point of letting you know all that is to say, in other words: After Jaco's debut album, and even to this day, I often hear players emulating
either "Donna Lee" or "Come Over"- nothing wrong with that, but I feel we agree insofar as the option of moving on, or certainly exploring elsewhere,
Now, I don't wanna 'cause consternation w/ anyone
by stating this- but even after hearing the amazing,
incredible genius of Jaco (& I saw him live about 10-feet away, in his prime, w/ Weather Report) I
HONESTLY thought, at that time:
"This guy is amazing-but- let's not forget about what Cecil McBee is doing as well"
Hope that makes some kind of sense- If not, that's what playing "Barbie Dream House" w/ my 6-year old
for 3 hours will do!!
I have the bass clef omnibook, and it's one of the best things I have to practice with. The sight-reading practice is great because of all the accidentals and just weird-ass note choices. The fingering practice is great because it's outside what I usually do on a bass. This book, more than anything else, really got me comfortable with the 6-11 frets and what the notes are.
I don't really think in term of licks, but I know certain sounds or fingerings are getting into my head.
Then there's the theory of practicing things that are difficult in order to get better. This stuff is certainly difficult. I don't know how much you can practice beautiful. Once you can do difficult, and if you understand beautiful, it should happen. Simply practicing beautiful without knowing difficult will probably lead to triteness -- because beautiful is difficult
I haven't really practiced it in an analytical way, but you could also do that, and then come out of it with "oh, you can play THIS note here and get that effect. wow"
I recorded me playing Ornithology a few months ago. http://briefcase.yahoo.com/stickybit in the folder fretlessfoo. There's some tiny mistakes, and it's still about 10% too slow.
How 'bout the solo on "Transition"?
Would someone please TAB that out for yours truly?
...and since you mentioned Monk, I'll second it; Monk has some very cool heads.
What's a "bog standard"?
...and Miles wrote "Donna Lee".
What's yer point?
i think that it is important to learn technically challenging melodies because it improves your understanding of what that musician, whether it be bird, jaco, or your next door neighbor, is doing. this is one of the best ways to develop your own technic. But we must not forget the role that we play in a band. 99% of the time, playing bird's melodies will not get you the gig anyway!
"Transition" on the Bass- Boggles the mind!
When Coltrane goes off I would go into my
Jimmy Garrison mode toot-sweet!
As far as the whole point of the thread, I think that maybe the essence is, that by having the
facilities to play Bird, Trane, et al,
it could /should enhance the role of the bass, even at its most fundamental supportive role.
To paraphrase Nathan East,(I think)- It's a real sign of maturity to play more by playing less-
sometimes one note at the right time & right place
makes better sense than hundreds!
Man, the first thing my bass teacher had me buy was the "All Bird" Abersold.
Playing Parker tunes on bass is a good work out man, you get all over the place on the fretboard.
Huh?! That's a Jaco tune. Everybody knows that!