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Highly recommended DVD

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Tbeers, Mar 31, 2005.


  1. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I just got a DVD with Oscar Peterson, Ray Brown, and NHOP live at Montreux '77. It sells on Amazon for just over $10 (an unbelievable deal). I can't stop watching it, it's just the most amazing thing ever!

    Anyway, I know most of you already own this, but if anyone out there doesn't have this video, go to Amazon and buy it right now haha.

    One of the main things I gained from watching it is a tremendous new respect for NHOP. For a couple years now I've dismissed his playing because of his "electric" sound, but after watching a video of him I realize how amazing he is. Ray Brown is better at a solid walking line, but nobody can play as fast as NHOP.
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    And, Gyawd knows, that's the important thing.
     
  3. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    Well, if'n yer trying to get home early or make a 2nd gig...
     
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    You heard about the drummer was so despondent at dragging everything that he threw himself behind a truck....
     
  5. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Playing fast isn't the most important thing. But NHOP plays faster than anything, has impeccable intonation, and moves around the thumb positions with incredible facility. If I could achieve anything I wanted as a bassist, I would want the solid foundation of Ray Brown, the sensitivity of Charlie Haden, and NHOP's technique. (And to be honest, had he lived longer, I suspect LaFaro would have been something like that!)

    There's something to be learned from every one of these famous players!
     
  6. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    When do you think you'll hear a bassist that will teach you that substance is more important than style?
     
  7. msw

    msw

    Aug 21, 2003
    Massachusetts
    As described in his profile, Tbeers is 17. I think that his reaction to the two-bass Pablo record (DVD) is spot-on for someone of his age and expierence level. I had the same reaction and that was at age 24!
    As time has gone on, I have gradually tired of NHOP's sound,lack of space in his solsos, and his less than musical phrasing in most cases. I have never stopped being humbled by his technique or the amount of work he has put in on the instrument. I also think the earlier examples of his playing (before all of the triplets, dbl. x, and ultra electric sound) still sound great. His place in bass history is assured, but the scene has changed and with it a lot of the criteria for current state-of-the-art greatness.
    That is probobly one of the great things about the bass in jazz; it's non-stop evolution.
     
  8. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I think lots of bassists like to defraud themselves into thinking that their "substance" makes up for a lack of technique. Can you play in the upper register with the kind of intonation and precision that NHOP achieves? I doubt it. Neither can I.. even LaFaro seemed to be "throwing darts blindfolded" sometimes when he got up past the first thumb position (past a high C).

    My praise of Orsted Pederson's playing has nothing to do with my being 17 years old. It has a lot to do with looking at a bassist whom I had once dismissed (please READ my first post before you criticize me, read it carefully) and finding something about his playing that I admire.

    (Obviously someone thought he was a good player. He performed behind Milt Jackson, Louis Bellson, Clark Terry, Dizzy Gillespie, Oscar Peterson, the list goes on and on....)
     
  9. Confucius

    Confucius

    Dec 27, 2004
    New York
    I heard that NHOP could also hold his breathe for twice as long as most bass players. Can you do that?
     
  10. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    So the answer is "never" because they're all frauds?
     
  11. msw

    msw

    Aug 21, 2003
    Massachusetts
    Tbeers;
    I must clarify. I meant no criticism in my response to your post. None. In fact, I was attempting to do just the opposite. My intent was to validate your opinion and to give mine.
    Substance and artistry can't be faked as I am sure you know. My point bassically is that the more a musician developes (the passage of time is necessary as it is the only way one gains expierence ) the less sheer velocity is as spellbinding and musical taste and content become important elements in the overall equation. This may or may not apply to NHOP.....that is a matter of opinoin..
    If you are not familiar with the great Canadian bassist, Don Thompson, I urge you to check him out. He plays very fast and accurately in the high-high register with,in my opinoin, some really great and musically deep lines.
    On the other end of the spectrum we have great bassists like Wilbur Ware or Charlie Haden whom I'm sure you would agree were/are not substituting content for technique.
     
  12. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    I'll see your "important elements in the overall equation" and raise you "the *only* important elements etc." I've gotten as much of a (guilty) thrill from NHOP's playing as anyone, and I really respect his fabulous abilities as an accompanist (which is what we bassists are the majority of the time), but the razzle-dazzle by itself is hollow and lacks integrity. A musical statement, an artistic gesture, the creation of genuine communication: this is all that matters in the pursuit of an art form. (If one is pursuing something else, well then by all means do what you need to do--I'm sure Al Dimeola or Arturo Sandoval's booking agents are always looking for more acts.) We've heard it said before, but technique is merely a means to an end and not an end in itself. In spite of the fact that I've transcribed NHOP's solos (hey, I'd like to be able to play that way if it popped up in the moment as musically-desirable), none of them have had the artistic impact on me that those of other less-technically-pristine player's have.

    And if Scott LaFaro was throwing darts above high C--viva la dart throwing. (I've transcribed much of that, and yes, notes that fall outside of the Western equal-tempered twelve-notes-to-the-octave scale are to be found, but criticism of him is kind of like dissing Magellan for following a meandering course and losing half his crew to disease on the first ever round-the-world sea voyage.) There's an energy and an impetus and a sense of unbounded musical invention in his playing that are rare indeed in the playing of most instrumentalists.
     
  13. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk

    Apr 14, 2001
    Pennsylvania
    Call me a fraud, I haven't even received my DB yet.
    However, playing slab for 25 years or so...I can tell you, SPEED is only one element of TECHNIQUE.

    That's not just my opinion.

    I'd grant that superficially, speed is probably the most impressive attribute of technique...so long as you don't sacrifice accuracy, dynamics, groove, etc....

    But, in a playing situation, I'd rather groove.
    Maybe that will be my excuse on DB...but it's not an excuse I need on my bassgeetars.
     
  14. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    But wouldn't it be better to have pristine technique and play meaningful lines?

    As I said, I used to think that NHOP was all show and had very little behind it. Then I took lessons with a bassist named Kenny Davis, who himself studied with Ray Brown, Ron Carter, Dave Holland, and NHOP. He explained to me how he thinks he took something different from each of them.... Isn't that valid? I just feel as though some people here refuse to acknowledge the positive elements of the guy's playing. And not every bassist is a fraud, though I've met quite a few who mislabel their lack of technique as "soul."

    I guess my whole issue here comes from a deep-rooted belief that most jazz players would be three times as good if they invested in more classical training. Then at least when you play a messy note or something slightly out of tune, it's because you choose to, not because you put your fingers in the wrong place inadvertently.

    My initial recommendation for this DVD still stands -- even if you don't like NHOP's playing, the three Oscar Peterson solo tracks alone are worth the price.
     
  15. mandocaster

    mandocaster

    Dec 24, 2004
    Houston, TX
    Don't let 'em get you down, Tbeers.

    Why anyone would try to put someone down for enjoying NHOP is a mystery, though. I guess Gillespie and Peterson were chumps for letting him play along. I'm 48 and I think NHOP's playing is thrilling. So sue me.
     
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Interesting argument - so I'm inclined to the view that you can like both Ray Brown and NHOP and take different things from each ...

    Much the same way you can like John Coltrane for incredible technique and energy (although of course a lot more) and other Tenor players like maybe Oliver Nelson for their melodic approach?

    I meet a lot of Sax players who idolise certain players simply for their speed of thought and technique...

    As a listener and Jazz fan - I like players who can inject excitement at a live gig, by playing something that sounded impossible - I also like players who can make something melodic that was equally unexpected..:)
     
  17. I have to agree with Ed, in that his use of the word substance is the word that seems to be the focus of the musical bassist. I've certainly have heard Nils be musical, but I can't get past that electric sound. To me, if you can't get past someones sound, there's a real problem.
    I can't get past that sound.

    To make my point a bit more clear.....Bill Evans had ferocious chops, but when you hear him play, that's usually the last thing you think of....or at least that's the last thing I think of.
    IMHO, when I hear NHOP, the first thing I think of is I don't care for that sound. The second thing...man, he's got some chops!
    I must add that nobody is trying to get Tbeers down!!
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I have an idea of what you mean - but I think for the sake of the debate, it would be useful if you or Ed or anybody else, could define exactly what is meant by substance in this context?

    So , what is it, that one musician is doing that indicates "substance" and another, not?
     
  19. How about 'Less is more'?
    How about prefering four bars of Charlie Haden playing half notes as opposed to thirty two bars of NHOP playing with all the stops out?
    How about a Red Mitchell ballad.........