Electric bass in Jazz/Standards

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Christian Houmann, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. Hi Guys,

    Do you where I can find some good records of frettet bass in jazz?
    I know guys like Jaco and Steve Swallow but it's rare that you heard a bass in jazz that's not fretless or acoustic!

  2. tkozal

    tkozal Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    New York City
    Bob Cranshaw with Sonny Rollins. Sonny had him play an electric, as he said he heard the bass better, and he keys his improvs off the bass.

    There used to be more players, but creeping "Wyntonism" has made many think a DB is the only legit way. SCREW HIM.

    I ran into this big time when I played in Pittsburgh, and I did a party gig with some of the Pitt Jazz guys who were studying with Nathan Davis.
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Very few - as usually as soon as there is an electric bass, it's classed as "fusion" or "Jazz Rock" etc.

    DB is the sound of straight-ahead Jazz!

    But I would recommend the British Jazz BG player : Laurence Cottle!
  4. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    You could look for recordings by Monk Montgomery, Wes's brother and perhaps the very first jazz bassist to switch to a Fender Precision. You'll find him on recordings by the Mastersounds and the Montgomery Brothers.
    Also, check out Tyrone Brown on Pat Martino's "Live" (from the early '70s) ... I believe it's available as an import. On that recording, Brown has a very fat, slightly distorted sound, and he swings like crazy. Ironically, when I saw him play a gig with Max Roach a few years ago, he was playing an upright and his tone was very thin and "electric"-- I thought his Fender tone was nicer!
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I've got records by the Montgomery brothers - but Monk plays DB!! ;)
  6. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    From the allmusic.com biography of Monk Montgomery, written by Scott Yanow:
    "The oldest of the three Montgomery brothers, Monk Montgomery has the distinction of being the first significant jazz electric bassist, starting on the instrument in 1953."
  7. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    From The New Grove Dictionary of Jazz, c1988:
    "He began to play double bass at the age of 30, but changed to electric bass guitar in order to make an international tour with Lionel Hampton's big band (1951-3), and became the first jazz musician to specialize and record on the instrument (1953). ... During the early 1960s he again played double bass, but returned to electric bass while with Cal Tjader (1966)."
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    None of that changes the fact that on the Montgomery Brothers records I own - he plays Double Bass!! ;)
  9. dougjwray


    Jul 20, 2005
    Owwww.... you win.... owwww... you can get off of me now... owwwww... ;)

    (Another possible response: "Mingus played bass? Hmmmm... I've got an album where all he does is play piano...":confused:)
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    We went through this before...right?

    There's this Kenny Burrell tribute to Duke double album I have w/ Monk Montgomery on electric bass.

    Also, anyone else besides me own the Monk Montgomery Electric Bass Method?
    It's all illustrations n this book(no pics)...Montgomery is playing a Jazz with a pick.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I was just trying to save "Hou" the frustation of buying a Montgomery Brothers record in the hope of hearing some straight ahead Jazz BG playing and finding that it's all DB...:(
  12. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Boston, MA
    Take a look into Steve Swallow.
  13. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

  14. basss

    basss Supporting Member

    Aug 27, 2001
    Anthony Jackson w/ Michel Petrucciani - not exactly straight ahead but I would definitely call it jazz. There's one recording they did w/Bob Brookmeyer that is pretty bopish.

    Lincoln Goines is another guy to check out.
  15. RHFusillo

    RHFusillo Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2000
    Phoenix, AZ
    I wish that Prestige would reissue the first Mastersounds record, Jazz Showcase Introducing the Mastersounds, on CD. It was recorded in 1957. Monk Montgomery plays a single coil Precision Bass on it, and it sounds lovely. The cover is one of the coolest ever: a photograph of the band in front of an enormous speaker and Monk is holdiing a new (then) P-bass.
  16. gallus


    Jan 10, 2006
    south jersey
    Chick Corea and return to forever the light as a feather album is awesome. its got stanley clarke playing but i dont think hes playing a fretless. either way its great.
  17. Mojo-Man

    Mojo-Man Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2003
  18. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    I know you mentioned Jaco but do you have the trio record with Brian Melvin and Jon Davis? It's called Standards Zone. Great record, beautiful playing from Jaco in a mostly straight ahead setting.
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yup - it's a great album - but Stanley is playing Double Bass on it!! :)
  20. I remember asking this about three years back. There are very few SLAB players in straightahead jazz due to the aforementioned musical conservatism. The sound of a double bass thumping out quarter notes was it as far as jazz bass went for a good 30 years (~1935-1965)--a span of time that most people would consider the "classic period" of jazz.

    Swallow and Cranshaw are the two most commonly cited straightahead players. To hear an excellent example of Swallow's straightahead chops, check out his album Always Pack Your Uniform On Top, which also features saxophone ninja Chris Potter and the far-too-infrequently-heard guitarist Mick Goodrick.

    Swallow had the bass chair in Gary Burton's influential 1970s group, which featured Goodrick and Pat Metheny on guitar. His immediate predecessor in the group, Abraham Laboriel, did a splendid job (IMO) on the first release by the Burton/Goodrick group, The New Quartet. Check that one out sometime, as well.

    One last straightahead BG recording of note is Freddie Hubbard's Red Clay, with Ron Carter on SLAB. The record is often classified as a fusion date because of the title track and the cover of John Lennon's "Cold Turkey," but the other tracks are very much in the mid-'60s Miles Davis mold.