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I'm scared....

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Monte, Apr 30, 2004.


  1. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    So please be gentle. Nah, just kidding; living in BFE, Oklahoma, it is good to get perspective from people makin' it.

    Please only comment on the Bob Norris Trio stuff, as the other stuff is pretty old and I've already gotten some great comments from it in the past from Ed, Chris, etc.

    Monte
     
  2. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I only listened to STELLA and BOB'S BLUES so far. The blues is nice and swinging, very Gene Harris. Bass is getting a great sound.

    It sounds like you are getting a little more relaxed, a little more in the moment with the ensemble. More playing with the guys and less playing to an agenda

    Vis a vis the arco thang, you're a braver man than I. What kind of thing are you working on for arco improv?
     
  3. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Thanks very much. You were very perceptive when you made that comment during our first exchange about me playing with the band in my head rather than the band on the stand. I had come through playing with some younger cats (2 from North Texas) who were doing some freer stuff, and going from that to playing all bebop was something I just wasn't getting. Listening, studying with the trumpet player, and starting to enjoy what I was doing rather than the juvenile approach of worrying whether my peers thought it was hip helped get me over playing to an agenda. I've discovered that when you try to play hip, you usually aren't, so I'm trying hard to stay within what I can do. Also, listening to cats like Rodney Whitaker find something to say whether playing a Louis Armstrong tune with Fraud-salis or playing more modern stuff with people like Orrin Evans and Clarence Penn opened my eyes.

    Not so brave, and I still cringe a little when I hear it. I was pushed into doing this by Bob. :)

    Arco improv......let's just say I have enough work on my plate with pizz improv that it is on the back burner for now. Trying to play a halfway coherent line while worrying about my bowings is something I just don't have the chops for yet.

    Thanks a bunch for your comments.

    Monte
     
  4. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Monte - which group is playing on the "A Train" cut? I was listening to it in the car today and had a few comments, but the Sampler site doesn't mention which group it is, and I know you were only looking for comments on the Bob Norris stuff.
     
  5. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    A Train, Bob's Blues. and Stella are the tracks from Bob Norris. A Train happens to be my least favorite....
    :D

    Monte
     
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Then naturally, it had to be the first one on the CD that Sam so graciously provided this poor internet-challenged participant. Anyway, don't sweat it: in the next week or so, I'll be adding some new trio stuff, and some of it is a sonic representation of Johnson treadmarks. Trust me on that one. :D

    About A Train:

    I think the feel is good, and the swing has a nice bounce to it. As a steel string player, I always find the gut tendency to be felt before the pitch becomes apparent a bit disconcerting, but that's a minor taste thing...the feel is solid on this one. The sound is nice and round, and the bounce is very even throughout.

    The intonation is good for the most part (and again, the tracks that I'll be submitting are full of "intonation regrets" on my part), and there are a couple of places where the intonation gets a little shaky in similar situations, so I thought I'd mention them. On the tonic chord, your root, third and fifth chord tones are always in tune, but the 7th and 9th surrounding the root at the octave tend to come out flat, whereas the same notes (B and D on the G string) seem to come out in tune when they are parts of other chords. In my own playing, when this kind of thing happens, I usually find that any intonation issue can be traced back to the way I'm hearing the passage in question - I find that if I practice hearing things in more detail, the execution takes care of itself. In my case, the problem is that I sometimes tend to hear some notes as "less important" than others either by virtue of their "passing-tone-ness", their metric place in the line, or both. When I listen to recordings of performances after the fact, these notes are usually the ones that I find to be out of tune, and I make a mental note to hear each note more clearly even while I may be thinking of a broader gesture at the same time, kind of like dialing in the focus knob on an old TV set. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's the only way I know how to describe it.

    Your bass sounds HUGE. I don't know if the prounounced fundamental is all bass or part proximity of the mic, but it's great to hear an acoustic sound that doesn't have any direct signal in it. Sometime (god knows when) I'll need to spend some time with gut strings on my backup bass to find out more about the way they respond. What is your action set like? High? Medium? Whatever the setting, that's a good healthy sound! If only my thick-topped monster could put out that much sound, I'd play a lot more gigs unamplified.

    Hope none of this comes off the wrong way, and if it does, stay tuned for your upcoming chance to participate in the TB Sampler version of "Paybacks are Hell". :D
     
  7. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    Actually, I'm not exactly using gut. I'm using Velvet 180's, which are a little higher tension than gut, and have a synthetic core. They do have a pretty close approximation in sound and feel to gut.

    I would imagine the gut tendency you are hearing on the recording is much more a product of the room and the mic'ing technique than the strings. We recorded this in a small hall usually used for string orchestras, piano recitals, etc. Low ceilings, wood stage, and a very live room sound. My preference would be to do this with some isolation in a more controlled environment to get a more out front (but not direct) bass sound. However, it isn't too often that you get a chance to record playing a wonderful $175k Bosendorfer Imperial Grand. Given the choice between isolation with a keyboard piano (or lousy piano) and this, it was an easy choice. The sound you are describing is very similar to what you would hear from me in a completely acoustic trio setting sitting out from the stage.

    Intonation? What's that? :rolleyes:

    Very perceptive comments, and you are right on the money. I really want to put more improv arco work in to start fixing some of this. Just doing the melody on the scrapped cut of Stella really opened my eyes to some work I need to do. 99% of the time when I'm out of tune, I'm flat.

    A little of both. It is very nice to hear. I've probably spent too much time working on my sound at the expense of other things (particularly velocity), but it is the one thing I do I'm really happy with.

    This Solano bass is just simply awesome. It just keeps getting better. I don't play a lot in thumb position, but I'm starting to more as the upper end keeps gaining a real cello like quality to the tone. It is taking some getting used to, especially the size, but I've never played a bass that projected as well. It doesn't seem that loud when you are playing, but when you get away from it the sound is huge.

    With gut, people who sat in would always tell me that my action was high, but it never seemed that high to me. Using the Velvet 180's, I've come down to more of a medium height that is a compromise. I haven't measured it, but I would guess the G string is around 6-7mm at the octave. People sitting in haven't complained anymore. I could go lower, but it seems harder to dig in. I gain some velocity, but (especially improvising) I don't hear that fast yet and I tend to BS too much when it is that easy. Thanks again for the compliment on the sound.

    It is hard to do too many gigs unamped around here as the clubs here are huge, but it already has bailed me out to have that as an option. I was playing at a black fraternity party/ BBQ at a park near Univ. of Oklahoma. They were supposed to have provided a PA system, which they didn't. Even worse, they forgot to tell the parks dept. to turn on the electric. Playing outdoors with no sound support was going to be scary. However, it worked just fine and it was neat to watch people walking in the park start hearing the music from a couple of football fields away start bopping with the music.

    Abosolutely none of it. It was all very constructive and gave me some solid things to work on, which is the whole point of this project. It's like getting private lessons with some objective ears.

    I look forward to hearing some more of your playing soon.

    Monte