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Essential Jazz Recordings

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by liran, Oct 27, 2003.

  1. liran


    Dec 18, 2000
    San Antonio, Texas
    I just began playing Acoustic bass ( have been playing electric for 3 years) and was wondering what are the essential Cd's to get for jazz with acoustic in it? Also any other Cd's essential for people learning Acoustic? Thank you so much!
  2. Hello James,
    What Jazz Bass recordings?..whoo...thats a big question. Theres a bunch to say the least. Everyone has their Fav Jazz Bass player and recording. You`ll find a load of info in this forum and the Bassist forum. My Fav along with many more here is Ray Brown but that is just one of many. As far as learning Jazz I myself have learned alot from and continue to do so from the Jamey Aebersold Books. They are a great way to help you "hear" chords. They are many to choose from, I would suggest reading suggestions on the site as to where to start. http://www.jajazz.com/ Good Luck and again you will learn alot from reading the Newbie links at the top of each forum.

  3. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Hey James: it's Double Bass. (forget electric vs acoustic)

    So far, the best thing I've seen for a historical perspective on DB in jazz is a book by John Goldsby (link here) with lotsa references to recordings such as those you're looking for. In the same vein, Todd Coolman's "The Jazz Bass Tradition" might be good too, but I have not seen it (yet). How's the CD collection at your local public library ?
  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well - this is a very long list! I have the Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD - which has thousands of recordings.

    They do have some favourites though and they reckon the record that defined modern Jazz was :

    Miles Davis - Live at the Plugged Nickel

    Which is quiet extraordinary from the point of view of an approach to imrovisation.

    I would say - essential Jazz records - is going to include a lot of Miles Davis - with Ron Carter and Paul Chambers, who also played with John Coltrane and he's going to figure in any such list as well.

    It would also have to have quite a few Charles Mingus recordings. And you must have some Ray Brown - but he is on hundreds of essential Jazz albums!!

    I got a great recommendation from Jon - Pacman - which allowed you to compare two greats of the Double Bass side by side - with only Oscar Peterson and no drums to get in the way - Ray Brown and NHOP.

    But really - to chronicle essential Jazz recordings with DB - you need a book, several thousand pages long - not a brief few words here!! ;)
  5. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I'll second the reference to the Goldsby book. If you're looking for information on what's gone on in jazz bass from then till now -- especially if you're just learning -- it's as good as it gets.
  6. pedro


    Apr 5, 2000
    Madison, WI.
    [I got a great recommendation from Jon - Pacman - which allowed you to compare two greats of the Double Bass side by side - with only Oscar Peterson and no drums to get in the way - Ray Brown and NHOP

    What was the recommendation?
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    "Oscar Peterson and the bassists"
  8. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    You can learn a lot of DB playing from probably any album with any of these playing on it:

    Paul Chambers
    Ron Carter
    Scott Lafaro
    Ray Brown
    Oscar Pettiford
    Jimmy Blanton

    Those bassits are known for consistant ability to swing a band and you wont find many bad records they play on..

    good luck,
  9. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    All fine suggestions, but except for Ron Carter and NHOP they're no longer living. My list of "essentials" also includes:

    Dave Holland, Not For Nothing or Conference of the Birds on ECM

    Stanley Clarke, Chick Corea's Light as a Feather on Polydor

    Michael Moore, with Bill Charlap, Duos (1995) on Concord or with Bob Brookmeyer, Small Band a/k/a Live at Sandy's on Heritage Jazz

    Stafford James, Dexter Gordon's Homecoming on Columbia or Woody Shaw's Live Volume Two

    Scott Colley, Chris Potter's Grattitude

    Jazz lives, folks. Essential music is still in the air.
  10. Hey Bruce and Pac, I've got that Oscar Peterson Meets The Bassists album, and I would agree that it's a great album for a beginner (or anyone really). One aspect of this album that is very interesting, is that when Ray's pickup or amp craps out, he borrows Neils-Hennings bass for part of a song, BUT HE STILL SOUNDS LIKE RAY! Surely the best recorded example I've ever come across for the old "the sound is in your hands" argument.
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Oh yes - I really like going to see Jazz live - so my local Jazz club has great bands every Friday night and I am always amazed at how good the DB players are each week.

    Recordings are one thing and if somebody asks for the "Classics" then it is probably going to include some deceased artists - but I have a large number of CDs that I have bought 'at the gig' direct from the artists, as I loved the music so much!

    But there is no point in me listing those, as you won't be able to buy most of them and won't have heard of the names - except for a few, like maybe Dave Green and Chris Laurence?

    So tonight I have no doubt I will see some great original Jazz, played by a fairly young band :


    Tom Arthurs’ Centripede Fri 21st November • 8pm • £8/7

    Heard here in May in a striking debut performance, Tom is an accomplished young composer whose music is brimful of new ideas and influences. He studied with Dave Douglas and Joe Lovano, and worked with Kenny Wheeler, Norma Winstone and many others; he’s a member of the F-IRE collective which encourages new approaches to improvised music. His band all appear on the debut Centripede CD on Babel Records; Ingrid has appeared in Brighton alongside Monica Vasconcelos in Nois and As Meninas, and with her own quartet which has two CDs available from Candid. Jez has a CD due from his group Second Nature on FMR; Max has written film scores for Gas Attack and BAFTA-winner Last Resort. Tim is best known for Hungry Ants, with whom he’s recorded three albums; he’s also performed with Iain Ballamy, Perfect Houseplants, Julian Argüelles and Stan Sulzmann.

    Tom Arthurs
    trumpet & flugel

    Ingrid Laubrock

    Jez Franks guitar

    Max de Wardener
    double bass

    Tim Giles drums
  12. Wihtout a doubt, Miles Davis' Kind Of Blue
    is an essential jazz recording for everyone. You can learn a lot from other instruments playing styles as well.
    I also enjoy Ray Brown's Live at Starbucks CD. Ray is the definitive master of the jazz bass.
  13. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Well, I just got this record and I had to take it off the cd player after three tunes because I found it rather annoying. NHOP's doing a bunch o' funky licks with a very electric sound, indeed Ray's amp or speaker is saturating badly. There's a lot of hype in the air as everyone is trying to outplay the others. Ray is rushing, OP keeps tapping his foot to push up the tempo... It's spectacular and the public is obviously having a good time during that '77 Montreux Fest concert. But the musicians don't feel at ease and in retrospect this is not particularly great music. I do admire those three great masters, but not in this type of circus setting.


    Happy thanks giving y'all ! :)
  14. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    I cant even pretend to be qualified to answer this question really, but some of the albums I've picked up since I started listening to jazz that have really grabbed me, more for the music as a whole than just the bass, but, well, anyway...

    Miles Davis - Kind of Blue
    Miles Davis Quintet - Miles Smiles
    Charles Mingus - Ah Um
    Charles Mingus - Mingus Dynasty
    Oscar Peterson Trio - Night Train

    ...and I just bought Bill Evans Trio - Portrait In Jazz with Scott LeFaro on bass (on recommendation from Paul W on TB) and the bass is just mind blowing.

    Aebersold CDs are good - I have a couple myself... there's a lot to learn! :)
  15. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    oh yeah, I'll throw in another essential disc...

    John Coltrane - A love supreme

  16. metron

    metron Supporting Member

    Sep 12, 2003
    Bill Evans featuring Scott LaFaro on bass... Explorations and Sunday at the Village Vanguard.

    Another Coltrane essential is Impressions.
  17. bassopotumus


    Mar 17, 2004
    For an alternative to the classics and greats, I would recommend The Bad Plus's "Give". You will definitely boraden your musical horizons (wow :D ) by listening to these guys play.
  18. Essential to what???
  19. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Uh....any serious jazz collection?


  20. I think James' initial question had to do with essential listening that includes listening to the "acoustic bass"
    I would hardly include " A Love Supreme"
    I think your first list of "essential DB players" is pretty much right on....Then you stepped on your sanity by including A Love Supreme......What happened?
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

    Feb 26, 2021

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