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Edgar Meyer! Program Questions?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Andrew Jones, Apr 30, 2001.

  1. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    I was lucky enough to attend a concert given by Edger Meyer and Amy Dorfman today in a small recital room in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum here in Boston.
    the program consisted of

    sonata in A minor Henry Eccles

    suite #1 for cello Bach

    Suite Hebraique Ernest Bloch

    Zigeunerweisen Pablo Sarasate

    and 4 more pieces written by Meyer

    Beside the Bach with which I am familiar does any one have any info on the other music I saw

    Like recordings that I may want to check out

    are these pieces intended for cello ? violin?

    any thoughts?

    Also this show had little if any advertising so keep a eye out maybe their coming to your town!

    This was absolutely mind blowing for me I've seen hundreds of jazz concerts. I've been lucky enough to see most of the greats that have still been around in the last 15 years.the articulation, vocal like sounds this guy can get out of his axe with the bow.Man!

    And he has the most natural subtle organic vibrato I've ever heard out of a bass player!

    is this guy the top of the game? is their a whole bunch of classical guys who can play like this guy?who else should I be listening to If I dug this so much!
  2. Edgar is amazing. I had the chance last year to see him with Yo-Yo Ma, and Mark O'Connor at the Concertbebouw in Amsterdam. What a night. As far as the pieces you are asking about, I am afraid I don't know that much about them.

    I certainly hope he gets around here soon.
  3. I've heard Edgar play live myself, and although he is a fantastic player, there's at least one guy who I think is at least equally gifted - Joel Quarington. Although I happen to like Joel's playing by a landslide over Meyer's.

    Both have a good deal of dexterity, granted, but I find Joel to be a much more musical and intensely passionate player. Also, I prefer his tone by quite a bit. For those of you who don't know, Joel is Principal Bass of the Toronto Symphony so he doesn't have time to devote himself fully to a solo carreer, so that's likely why he isn't as highly know worldwide (although he was a Pro Panelist with his own section here at Talk Bass until recently).

    Joel's website can be found at:

    There are sound samples and sheet music there also.

    As for recordings, I recommend his 'Virtuoso Reality' (CBC Records MVCD 1108). It has the Zigeunerweisen as well as the Eccles (with orchestral accompaniment). It also has a very good recording of the Bottesini Grand Duo Concertant (with Violin). His Bottesini disc on NAXOS is also very good.
  4. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The Eccles was originally written for cello. I think bassists these days play it as much as cellists do.

    Zigeurnerweisen was originally written for the violin. Sarasate was a contemporary of Paganini's, and probably comparable as far as technique is concerned.

    Don't know about the Bloch.

    As far as Edgar's concerned, he's probably the most visible virtuoso today. Unfortunately, public attention seems able to accomodate only one bass virtuoso at a time.
  5. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    I'll be the odd man out here; I don't like Meyer's flat, no-vibrato sound. Virtuoso, yes; but I know many people who disagree with his sound.
  6. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    Ed: Absolutely; I have Levinson's CD with his family playing. I'd rather hear him than Meyer.
    As Rob observed with Quarrington, it's not as if there were a huge market hungry for bass virtuosi. I believe the principals of various orchestras have talent beyond recognition. Case in point is John Feeney. Who? The principal of Orchestra of St. Luke's (NYC). He and his wife did the Bottesini Duo Concertante with my symphony last year. With rehearsals, I heard it three times, each one breathtaking; but who knows him?

    Truly, I intended to get to your gig Sunday, but I've been sick as a dog.
  7. Andrew Jones

    Andrew Jones Banned

    Feb 28, 2001
    Northampton Mass
    this is great!
    thanks guys
    I bought a Eugene Levison disc today its got his family on it sounds wonderful
    does he use solo tuning?
    Hey Ed would I have seen Steve johns on drums the other night at a sonny fortune show?with Cecil mcbee and gorge cables?the name sounded like that

    I was planning on getting the quarrington. he tunes in 5th's huh? same as red Mitchell?
    Any other suggestions? Does John Feeney have any recordings I could purchase?

    I've Never heard Gary Karr witch recordings should I check out

    Thanks again
  8. It's interesting, because I really like Edgar's sound over pretty much anything out there. I think I'm just tired of bel canto style playing with vibrato wider than the Three Tenors combined. And as much as I admire Quarrington's technique and respect what he's accomplished, I can't stand his sense of musicality. It's quite tragic; I own both of his CD's, love the music that's on them, but can only listen to it for brief periods because his sense of phrasing grates me something fierce even though I *want* to like him. In general I just hear a lot of bassists who seem to feel that they have to impress some sense of character on the music they're playing. Actually all instruments have players of this nature, but when it's something as rare as a bass virtuoso, it seems that much more frustrating. Quarrington is a big example of this. Take the first track: the 1st movement of the Eccles. His playing has big, wide, very romantic pulls and deep bow strokes even though it feels almost completely at odds with the very stately accompaniment behind him. So instead of just hearing the Eccles, we hear something closer to Quarrington using the Eccles to show how lush he can sound or to express some grand mood that he thinks the piece creates. It's wonderful sound and technique, but it doesn't fit the music. For those who like him, I apologize, again I have every respect for him, it's just his taste that I take issue with.

    The Suite Hebraique was written for cello. It's usually played in seperate pieces, I'm surprised that Meyer decided to do them all. I'm also surprised that more editions of it don't exist for bass - it's wonderfully suited for the instrument.
  9. I realize that this is a late addition to this thread, but has anyone checked out any of Jeff Bradetich's playing? He is a truly amazing player who also happens to be one of the top bass teachers in the world today.

    To think that I arrived at North Texas the same year he did and ended up with a finance degree! At least I'm gigging a lot....
  10. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    DANNY HATHAIR You've just been Fuqua'd

    Braditich is unbelievable. I drove down last year when Gary Karr was at TCU and saw some of his masterclass. I'll have to come see you play; I live in OKC and go down to Ft. Worth to visit in-laws occasionally. Ever play at Sambuca's? I played at the Addison one awhile back.

  11. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Also, in terms of his students, I know Max Dimoff, principal of Cleveland is one of his students.

  12. I don't really know how to compare Meyer to other players. For me the appeal isn't just about his technique or sound. It's really about his musical ideas.
    He like Mingus and Pastorious writes incredible music. As far as his sound goes, if you don't like to "dry non vibrato" sound, listen to him play Bottesini or the cello suites.

    Although I love the spacegrass stuff. Been a fan of Meyer's since about 87' (unfolding and duo's with Bela Fleck)

    He along with guys like o'Conner and Tony Rice are in the forefront of what I'd call American music. (rural influenced as opposed to urban influenced jazz)
    Sort of jazz from the heartland.

  13. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    It springs from Dave Grisman, in my mind. Quintet '80 has DG, Rice, Darol Anger . . . burning players, and burning playing.

    I think there's at least two reasons that many Jazz fans ignore this music:

    a) Grisman wisely reckoned that "jazz with bluegrass instrumentation" was and is a marketing cesspool. He goes out of his way not to use the dreaded J-word.

    b) No cymbals and no long-tones, ever. Bluegrass instrumentation, with the exception of fiddles, is all about percussive attack and none about sustain. These sonic characteristics can be a turn-off to Jazz fans raised on the long and deep sounds of Coleman Hawkins, Miles Davis, Bill Evans etc.

    I don't listen to Grisman often anymore -- I'm aiming for tenor sax, not tenor banjo. But there's not doubt Grisman pursues his own muse. What more to say?
  14. Yep, I was remiss in forgetting about Grisman.
    I wouldn't want to try to fit "space-grass" or "dawg" music into the category of Jazz since I think it comes from a very different place emotionally.
    I do think though that this type of music has a claim to part of the category of american music. This, dispite the fact that most of it's proponents would say it's just a mix of many different styles.
    This is true but the result is a sound as american as any jazz form.

    I also think it's extremely cool to have a music so rhythmic without percussion (per se)

    Time is certainly not a magazine... delivered in Appalachia. (sorry, couldn't resist)

    The fiddle does it's part with sticcato stabs and rigid driving lines. Even when it's sitting on the groove, it doesn't seem to "use" the groove the same way a horn does.

    Just like preference of location I guess. It's cool to check out the city grooves but it's sometimes cool to hang in the country as well.

  15. bassbaterie


    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    Looking for a reference recording of the Cello Suites, and actually planning to get "Uncle Janos" (Starker), but also wanting to have the Yo-Yo Ma, I listened to the sound clips of Meyer's version on Amazon.com, and spontaneously started leaking around the eyes. Ordered the CD.

    That's the sound of my Inner Bach! (kind of like finding your Spiritual 'Fro...)

    (which is kind of like your aura, but fluffier)

  16. I have the Meyer cd...you will leak more when you hear it.

    Hey, what happens if I use mouse on my Spiritual 'Fro?
  17. Many non-bass players ive talked to like Edgar's Bach better than the Suites played on cello! That's a serious endorsement of his talent.
  18. Anon2962


    Aug 4, 2004
    Have you heard his new duo cd (and bonus dvd) with Bela Feck,
    'Music for Two'? Some of the pieces, in particular the Canon (which is in 15/8) are some of the most amazingly unusual yet beutiful pieces I've heard. Shockingly good musicality. They really are masters of rhythm. The DVD is cool too, showing them working on the canon, and shows how they practice. really good value... check out his website, www.edgarmeyer.com for clips ets.
  19. bassa

    bassa Guest

    Jun 16, 2005
    Take away the 16th notes & what have you got? He's good natured, his live performances rare fun, but I have never ever heard the man shape a single note.
  20. Anon2962


    Aug 4, 2004
    come on now! i don't like everything about the way that edgar meyer plays in some pieces, but he's far from the mechanical player you describe! just listen to his cello suites or his bottesini concerto!

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