Failing (Tom Johnson) - good recordings?

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by FurDjango, May 11, 2008.

  1. Hi there,

    I'm looking for a good recording of Tom Johnson's "Failing: A Very Difficult Piece For String Bass".

    There's a forum thread on this but it doesn't mention any classic recordings

    A Google search shows some Youtube videos and a link to but with low quality recordings.

    Has anyone come across good/great recorded performances of this that we can buy?

    I recall seeing a TV program with Esperanza Spalding doing this piece or a piece with a similar concept. I have been unable to dig any info up on this. I saw this during my pre-bass days (new to the instrument) and didn't think to find out more about it then. Can anyone shed light on this as well?

    Thanks in advance,

  2. Justin K-ski

    Justin K-ski Supporting Member

    May 13, 2005
  3. It is on Bertram Turetzky's folkways LP. It can be found with a little effort. I like Jason Heath's version, you can download it on his site
    His great mid-west accent does a a lot for the piece and of course his playing is great.
  4. Theres a Gary Karr Youtube one I'm pretty sure, Jeff Bradetich and Jason Heath too.
  5. Ed Barker has a great recording.
  6. Thanks to everyone for replying.

    I am intrigued by this piece and want to hear more performances of it.

    I have seen the available Youtube videos with Gary Karr. Jason Heath and jcobalis. Great performances but low quality video recordings obviously, so was looking for something better to listen to.

    The Edwin Barker and Bertram Turetzky recordings sound interesting, will check them out.

    Damon, I did not find any recordings on Jason Heath's blog that I could download, may be looking in the wrong places. Can you please clarify what recording he has that's downloadable on this piece, is it just the Youtube video he has posted up?

    Thanks again to everyone for the help.

  7. J.R.


    Sep 4, 2008
    Hello to everyone from Barcelona, Spain.

    I have just asked Ed Barker's version, as it has been unavailable for a long time, but I already had the first one recorded in Cd, Robert Black's one, in BANG ON A CAN LIVE 1, quite good.

    It is impossible (almost forbidden, I dare say) to have a good studio recording, as it is a piece obviously to be played live.

    Great joke (?) that of Jason Heath: the link on his blog failed to lead to Failing, but to Rossini.

    Best regards,
  8. J.R.


    Sep 4, 2008
    By the way, ¿could anyone help me with the text of "Failing", because there is a sentence which I cannot understand clearly?

    It is when the player says "I have practised the piece quite a bit, and that's a fact .... simply ......... the text"

    Thank you very much in advance!!

  9. J.R.


    Sep 4, 2008
    "As just as simply a line in the text", obviously.

    For those interested in Tom Johnson's recordings (in all senses), here you have a specific thread in a Spanish forum, which includes 11 versions (5 official) of Failing:

    ¡Happy New Hear-ings!
  10. Johnny L

    Johnny L

    Feb 14, 2002
    New Jersey
    +1 for the Ed Barker recording