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Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Ed Fuqua, Jun 19, 2019.
He just posted this on Facebook, Red Mitchell playing Arco on GOD BLESS THE CHILD...
This is incredible! Now I get what Red Mitchell said about him chasing the Gene Ammons sound with the bow.
Very nice! Say hi to uncle Paul for me....I've been off of facebook for a couple of years now. Don't miss it for the most part, but every now and then...Good to hear from the old fart, and if you reach out, thank him for sharing all of the great Red music and love over all the years. You guys have both helped me out more than you will ever know.
Because of PW, I bought "Presenting Red Mitchell" and it now gets regular play at my house. My wife actually listens to it more than me, and that's saying something. This also reminds me that I need more Red. Off to shop!
This record also has a great arco solo on “Bye Bye Blackbird”.
Gut strings? Or is he doing that with Spiros
Most likely Spiros. I have heard that the bow he was using got stolen and he couldn't find another one he liked, so he stopped playing arco entirely. Hopefully PW will set me straight if this isn't accurate.
Yeah he's either using Spiros or some sort of steel string since this is after he transitioned to 5ths tuning.
Cats of Any Color: Jazz, Black and White — Joel Quarrington
Red mentions it in this interview that's up on Joel Quarrington's website.
Thanks. I wonder what rosin he used (hah!). Such a raw sound, but ease in the soft dynamics, pretty righteous as far as I'm concerned.
As for PW, does he just not hang out around here anymore or what? I joined after the bulk of his stuff but he's omnipresent in the archives. Love watching him play in the videos hes posted.
It sounds like he might be using a bit more rosin than your average classical player would use. I’ve been noticing recently in my arco explorations that when I bow in a jazz/folk music setting that using a bit more rosin than usual helps out sound wise stylistically speaking and articulation wise. When it comes to classical, new music, and free improv I only put rosin if my bow really needs it.
I attended a clinic with Red after he had switched to Spiros in fifths. He told the story of his bow being stolen and said the main reasons he no longer bowed was that he thought it a mistake for a jazz player who does 90% of his playing pizz to change to the bow when it's his turn in the spotlight, and he felt that rosin in his strings acted as a subtle mute, robbing some brilliance. He also said that he considered himself to play an electric/acoustic instrument, like a jazz guitarist.
A dear mentor of mine has one of Red Mitchell's former bows. They were good friends in Stockholm. I heard a lot of stories about Red, but hadn't heard that one. Not to say it's inaccurate, but I hadn't heard that.
I've had that LP for years!! You can get it as low as $4:
Red Mitchell / Guido Manusardi - Red Mitchell Meets Guido Manusardi
There is later LP that is quite a bit more:
Guido Manusardi, Red Mitchell, Mario Lago (2) - My Foolish Things
A pair of nice quartet albums:
Guido Manusardi Quartet - Romanian Impressions
Guido Manusardi Quartet - Givin's Livin'
The last duo is, I think the only one that made it to CD:
Guido Manusardi, Red Mitchell - Together Again
Also, yes, those are Sprios for sure! Great sound. I've heard the bow story enough to think it is probably true.
I'm voting "gut."
Red Mitchell in 4ths with gut strings and no amp.
Red Mitchell in 5ths with steel strings (Spiros) and maybe an amp (don’t know if he recorded with it in this period).
I don’t know of any recordings of Red Mitchell bowing guts when he was in 4ths, but when he adopted 5ths he most definitely went to steel strings. He mentioned in an interview that the owner of Thomastik-Infeld in the 60s was interested in making a 5ths tuning set for him and eventually came up with what is now called the Spirocore Red Mitchell set.
There is a wonderful Ben Webster record "At the Renaissance" from the earlier 1960's with Mitchell and he takes at least one bowed solo on a ballad. If I remember correctly, he is playing guts tuned in fourths. I can verify tonight. It is a really nice record with Jimmy Rowles and Jim Hall. Drummer escapes me (Frank Butler, maybe?). Standards with lots of space for everyone to stretch out.
Thank you! That solo you mentioned and from what I've listened to of the album is glorious. Mitchell takes an arco solo on Stardust and it definitely sounds like he's in 4ths, but he's either using a bass with an extension, a 5 stringer, or just has a low C string on his bass because he lays down on some glorious low notes on Stardust.
Haha, I didn't think to check youtube and... of course, it's there. The groove is really nice and laid back on this one. I will dig through some records tonight and see if I can find other early arco examples. If I'm successful, I will then check youtube to see if available.
Red Mitchell Spiro strings are awesome.
I’m using RM low C and G (solo f# tuned up). Paul Unger turned me on to them.
They are super easy to bow and I only add rosin about every 8 hours (over 2 or 3 days). Nice definition to the note. For pizz they have a growl, not as growly as Spiro starks or Dominants but still good. For D high A I use Belcanto. All arco only.
By the way, via email I’ve talked with Diane Mitchell, Red’s wife. She is wonderful and has made his original compositions available free online.