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Early uses of extended range basses on recordings.

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Blazer, Apr 16, 2010.

  1. Blazer


    Nov 27, 2003
    The Netherlands
    Rogue luthier employed at Knooren Handcrafted bass guitars
    I guess we all know that Anthony Jackson being instrumental in the devellopment of the extended range basses and that he also used his Carl Thompson six string "Contrabass" on several recordings but eventually abandoning the instrument since the tight string spacing made it difficult to play.

    He picked the idea up again in the eighties when Ken Smith made him a bass with proper wise string spacing, inventing the extended range basses as we now know them today.

    But let's talk about those early recordings of the extended range basses and of people tuning down.

    I'll start with Anthony Jackson using his Thompson contrabass on "What would I do, if I could feel?" from the soundtrack of "The Wiz" 1977, probably the earliest use of a low B string on a purposely built extended range bass.
  2. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    IIRC, Jimmy Johnson was using Alembic 5-strings in 1976...I am drawing a blank on something specific, though.
    Tommy Kennedy was another low-B Fusion guy...that was a little later, though (w/ Bill Connors in the mid-late '80s).

    I do recall being somewhat baffled by Scott Edwards' bass figure on Tavares' "Don't Take Away The Music" (1976)...there was a note in there lower than my open "E". It never occurred to me to de-tune...then again, maybe the tune was recorded in "E" & slowed down to "Eb"? Anyway, we did the tune in "E"...it just never sounded right.
    ...and Bud Cockrell's P-bass outro on Pablo Cruise's "Whatcha Gonna Do"? Something's goin' on there.

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