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Curtis Counce

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by mapleleaf4evr, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. I just picked up the re-issue on Gambit of the complete Curtis Counce quintet recordings. I have read some very complimentary things about Curtis' playing, but this was the first opportunity I have had to actually hear him. Strong soloist, but also very supportive, and the quintet sounds like a group, not just 5 guys blowing over changes. They have that real nice "west coast" laid back feel as well.
    Worth checking out, in my opinion.
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Apologies for replying to a 1 1/2 year old thread. Horror that I'm the first one!

    I just stumbled on a Curtis Counce Quintet session and after one listen searched TB to see what had been previously discussed about Mr. Counce. ALMOST NOTHING!

    I admit I didn't know he existed this morning, but I agree with what's written above. He sounds and feels great and this quintet is tight. I'll have to cop some of this and may look for the other session(s). Huge, round sound, great time feel, tasteful playing.

    Why is his recorded bass sound from 1956 so good when everyone else had so much trouble?
  3. Hey you two..
    I've been backing off my TBDB activities a bit because of a couple negative PM's I received a couple days ago...one alluding to my "selfcenterdness", the other to my "constant derailment of posts". Sorry for the derail.
    But due to Troy's resurrection of this thread I thought I'd give some feedback.
    This is one of my favorite bands. I've worked with Harold and Jack. The band came through Denver during this period, and I was fortunate to go to a piano work shop at a great jazz piano teachers house named Ted Alexander. Some of my closest buddies were students of Ted's. I was still in high school, just beginning my career on the bass. I would go to Ted's house once a month to play along with everybody at these "student sessions".
    Ted, hearing that the great Carl Perkins was in town..no, not the country Carl....the jazz pianist Carl...called the old Melody Lounge in the Five Point black district here in Denver where I would stand outside...not being old enough to get in ...to hear many of my hero's, called and invited Carl to the Sunday night session. Carl showed, with the entire band! Curtis had a bad blister on his plucker, so Carl got up to play with ME. I almost shat. Carl, as a boy, had polio and it affected how he played his left hand chords. He would angle his left arm parallel to the keyboard, with his left elbow pointed to his extreme left, so that you couldn't see the notes on the keyboard because of his arm. Uh, Oh.....since at the time, I had no theoretical knowledge, I would cop the bass notes, visually, from the pianist's left pinky finger. This was, of course before Bill Evans came along and eliminated the bass note from his chords and gave it to us to play. Carl, obviously ruined my whole night, but made me learn my changes.
    Well, I just derailed myself.
    Anyway...I can't agree that this was a west coast, laid back band. Harold Land was an East coast giant before he ever went out west. Check him out on Clifford Brown's/Max Roach's band. Also the Red Mitchel/Harold Land Quintet...a west coast band only in terms of location. The great drummer Frank Butler was a cooker in every sense of the word. Frank did a whole lot of great stuff including "For Real" with Harold, Hampton Hawes and some kid named Scott, who was studying with Red at the time. Frank was famous for his drum solos in which he used his bare hands and fingers all over the set. Listen to " A Fifth For Frank".
    Contemporary Records ALWAYS produced a great bass sound on their projects. Besides Curtis...Red, Leroy, Scott and many others.
    I never considered
    Curtis a great soloist, but he DID take care of business in the section.
    The Curtis Counce Quintet has a picture of Curtis, standing behind his Morelli bass, which pose, Charlie Haden copped on one of his records...same out of focus face, same in focus of the fingerboard and hands webbed together around the strings.
    "You Get More Bounce With Curtis Counce" has a beautiful, full bosomed lady with a lot of bounce.

    Sorry about all the selfcenterdness and derailments.
  4. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Paul, I feel personally that I need a connection to the music (records, live) to play what I want to play and part of that is having a connection to the history and to the players as best I can. I read liner notes and every time someone like you wants to wax nostolgic, I sit and listen or read...it's all part of steeping myself in the music that I want to make. I suppose everyone is entitled to feel how they feel about it, but they don't speak for me in this case.

    As for Mr. Counce, he walks through is solos a bit and doesn't have a real modern sound, but he absolutely takes care of business, both with what he plays and what he implies with the grace notes. There's a lot to learn from everybody. As for Harold Land, I was already a fan there. I personally think that Brownie is the finest jazz musician who has ever lived on any instrument. I'm also a fan "Harold in the Land of Jazz".

    Gotta agree, though, that this Curtis Counce Quintet plays really, really well together. Well arranged without being in the way of the music and very tight. Everyone is playing well. Now I have a more accurate picture in my head of what Carl Perkins looks like at the piano when I'm listening. Thanks for that!
  5. relacey


    Sep 18, 2004
    And for you emusic users, here's the start of the Curtis Counce on bass list.

    BTW - I was going to PM this but I'd rather put my opinion out for all to see.

    Paul, while I haven't read everything you've posted, I've never perceived any degree of self-centeredness. You've generously and openly shared insight into your profession and the life (and hazards) of being a jazz musician. I appreciate this and I hope you continue. I'd offer insights into my profession except that it's not relevant to the bass and it's pretty boring. That's the way the world goes round!

    As far as the off-topic thing goes, you're no greater an "offender" than many, many others on this list. It's the nature of this medium. When you're hanging with your friends I bet the conversation doesn't stay on one topic for long. That's even more boring than my profession. Plus your OT posts often have little gems in them worth reading.
  6. Nathan Parker

    Nathan Parker

    Oct 10, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I think a good thread is like a conversation. It should breathe, be fluid and from time to time change direction. If people stuck explicitly to the topic that the OP presented, it would be less like a community discussion and more like a textbook. But hey, that's just my opinion.
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Next time you get a PM like that, just answer like this...

    "My apologies for my penchant for derailing threads. I'll address that issue in a moment.... but first, I'd like to share my Grandma's recipe for liver and onions". :D

    ****- if thread derailing on TB was illegal, I'd have been banned years ago. **** 'em.
  8. relacey


    Sep 18, 2004
    You mean this one?

  9. MR PC

    MR PC Inactive

    Dec 1, 2007
    A little T & A for distraction, eh?
  10. hello, new desktop background
  11. relacey


    Sep 18, 2004
    Gotta love these old album covers. They're probably why I got into jazz in the first place. :D The cover art and liner notes are an important part of the whole package. That's the biggest downside for me to digital downloads (none) and CDs (too small). At least emusic has started putting high resolution cover art on their some of their listings so you can download them separately.
  12. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    The other side of this hot white chick cover thing, is the artist had nothing whatsoever to do with it. I have the Amhad Jamal Trio LP with what looks to be Marie Schneider on it and I asked Mr. Jamal about it once when I had the opportunity to meet him. He's a very nice, peaceful man, but he said "Oh I have no idea, they used to just put whatever they wanted to on your album covers to sell records".

    Can you imagine something putting Paris Hilton on the cover of Serenade to a Soul Sister or Small Talk at 125th and Lenox?

    Of course, I have to admit the Curis Counce cover was one of the reasons I pulled the CD out of the used bin and took it to a listening station in the first place, which I'm glad that I did.
  13. Troy...That is indeed an ugly and very sick possibility.
    My respect.....
    Although, the chick on Curtis' side transcends any racial barriers.

    Janette, Molly, Atomic and any other lady bassists out there...please forgive my friends for being such pigs. :atoz:
  14. relacey


    Sep 18, 2004
    I meant no offense to anyone. If I did offend, please forgive me. These kind of covers always remind me of the 50s and 60s and were reflective of those times and attitudes. Some good, some bad. Thankfully, some of the bad ones are behind us and we still have some to overcome. At the risk of venturing into potential political taboos, be assured that I am fully supportive of equal rights for everyone.
  15. Hey relacey, man....You didn't offend ANYONE! I'm the only one around here who offends anyone...and when I do, I think everyone has no doubt where I'm going with it.
    Relax honey, take a big breath and enjoy....
    As far as racial **** goes, I know from nothing....I love white chicks, black chicks, yellowish chicks ( of which my beautiful ex-wife was a member ) redish chicks, and one of my favorites, albinoish chicks...however, in my older years, I've become more fond of older LADIES of any color.

    Still, there's something about the chick on Curtis' cover. I really know what it is, but even I won't go there.
  16. relacey


    Sep 18, 2004
    Thanks Paul, I wasn't too worried about offending you but you did remind me that our little cyberspace community is not all male. Plus nobody out there really knows what a great guy I am, good humored, kind to animals, humble and modest .. you get the point. :D I have friends of all races and genders and in person we can relax and celebrate our differences without worrying about offending. On-line is a lot tougher.
  17. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    The first thing I did when I got home with More Bounce With Counce, is show my wife the cover and say "check this out!". We're not easily offended people and it's a totally valid observation and I didn't mean to go racial, but at the same time I was enjoying the cover of the Curtis Counce record, I was remembering that conversation with Mr. Jamal. It is part of jazz history and I don't believe in revising it.
  18. You DUMMY, Troy...How many times do I hafta tell you NOT to do **** like this? :rollno:
  19. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Probably the stethoscope. Can't see her other hand, but I like to think that there's a latex glove involved.
  20. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Augusta GA
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Morning massage?
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    Primary TB Assistant

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