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Impressions of ISB

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by arnoldschnitzer, Jun 8, 2003.


  1. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Just returned last night from ISB in Richmond. Wow! Met lots of great people, heard lots of AMAZING bass playing, and sold a few fiddles to boot. The din in the central hall, with 30-40 basses playing at a time, was a bit overwhelming and dizzying at times. What kept me sane was boothing next to Dr. Mike Pecanic, who is one heck of a sick puppy, and a guy I'd hang with anytime. I even bought one of his compensated tailpieces, which are gorgeous. Also spent lots of time with luthier buds and partook in a maker's competition that was interesting, though flawed. The gold medal winner was (deservedly) Dan Hachez, whose basses now fetch about 35 grand! Dan is a super craftsman and a heck of a gentleman. The New Standards were a big hit (sorry, more self-promotion), but we went down with a bunch of them set-up for jazz, and discovered an audience that was about 90% classical. Our mix was all wrong, but we still did OK. You guys need to see Bollbach's lion scroll up close to believe the detail work! Of course you all are aware I taught him everything he knows...(NOT!) And, oh my goodness, Edgar Meyer and Mike Marshall (mandolin VIRTUOSO!) were amazing amazing amazing amazing...did I mention that I liked their set? Anyway, saw a bunch of Talkbassers there and look forward to reading their impressions. Hope you guys who met me weren't too put off by my missing teeth and body odor...
     
  2. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    I'd never been before and didn't know what to expect -- and I was overwhelmed. Every single day I was in gear at the convention from about 9am to 9pm, and now I need a week to recover.

    But it was amazingly cool in so many different ways that I'd encourage any bassist to go, especially those who haven't been before. You don't need to be a great or even good player (God knows I'm not) -- you just need to be interested in bass playing.

    I went to about ten lectures or masterclasses, about six recitals, and four evening concerts.

    Of the classes, the two I most enjoyed were Brad Opland's presentation on "The Chicago Double Bass Sound" (really a discussion of how you perfect ensemble section orchestra playing) and Jeff Bradetich's lecture/demonstration on the first Bach Cello Suite. Though that piece is beyond my current ability, I learned a lot about how to approach and think about new pieces, and got some great tips that will help me.

    Of the performances, the ones I most enjoyed were the jazz trio led by Rufus Reid and the solo recital by Daxun Zhang, who is going to bury all other solo bassists before he's done if he continues to improve.

    And the vendor displays were like Candyland for every bassist there...
     
  3. Would you mind explaining more about the makers comnpetition and how it was flawed? Were there Silver and Bronze awards too? Did Jeff and Nick manage to stay out of Jail?
     
  4. Was there announcement made concerning when and where the next convention will be held?
     
  5. Pete G

    Pete G

    Dec 31, 2001
    Northern Virginia
    It will be on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in the summer of 2005.

    I'm not sure I've heard specific dates mentioned, but you might find them if you nose around the ISB web site:

    http://www.isbworldoffice.com/index.html
     
  6. mpm

    mpm

    May 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    The ISB was an amazing experience! Great players, great people. Of particular note was the luthier presence. One can get a feel for the basic person through their posts but meeting them is really telling. Nick, Jeff, and Arnold are undoubtedly the nice people I've met in a long time. We are soooo lucky to have their input on this forum. I had the chance to hang with these guys and see their work. They are consumate craftsmen and (believe it or not) gentlemen. And yes, they too are sick puppies.
     
  7. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    That does it, I'm goin' next year. Kalamazoo here I come.
     
  8. Monte

    Monte

    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I wasn't there so I can't comment directly, and Arnold probably doesn't want to for fear of being accused of sour grapes, but you might could say some of the judges have a slight conflict of interest in the competition.

    Monte
     
  9. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Arnold asked me to post this pic. This is for those who thought that the convention wasn't worth their while.
     
  10. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Daddy likey! :D who 'dat?
     
  11. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    Me likey too! She was playing a graphite bass. They come in several colors, and are surprisingly loud. No one seems to remember what she sounded like...
     
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    ...hmmmm....wonder why that is.....;)
     
  13. kip

    kip

    Sep 11, 2002
    Sausalito, Ca
    Reply to Marcus.

    Unless it's a typo, you might want to delay booking that flight to Kalamazoo just yet. Pete G. says "2005".

    Out of curiosity, do you ever get Island fever? Or is it just so beautiful on Maui that you don't want to leave?
     
  14. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Maui
    Whoa...thanks, Kip. I can just see myself standing in some empty hall next year at WMU, going "what the f***??"...

    I got one bad case of rock fever many years ago; it went away in a couple of weeks:cool: . I do get off to the Mainland, the other Hawaiian islands, Japan, or south to Tahiti regularly for gigs. I have an old plantation house here that I'm restoring; between that and plenty gigs, I stay busy.

    Maui is indeed beautiful. There are parts of it that I still haven't explored, even after 20 years here.
     
  15. kip

    kip

    Sep 11, 2002
    Sausalito, Ca
    I don't want to shift directions on this thread, and am anxious to read more input on this years convention, but I think the next one should be on Maui. Guess I'm getting mainland fever. Rough life, Marcus.
     
  16. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    I saw these two mooks last year at a Telluride workshop. Completely and utterly awesome.

    BTW: Where did you get that picture of me playing the red graphite bass? I would have done my hair or something if I'd known...
     
  17. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I've gotta tell some of my experience on this ISB deal. Actually, I'm having a hard time putting it into words because I had such a profoundly good time-it really was overwhelming. First of all, the contact with the other makers was trully historic for us all, This really has never happened before for bass makers. I delivered my bass at 5:45 Sunday[6 pm was the cutoff] I rushed into the room dizzy and slightly freaked out by the full day of traffic I had just endured. As I've got the cover half off I stopped and became aware of what I was surrounded by. A room full of basses-each one brand new and made by one person[at least I thought that then] representing their best effort. You just don't see that. There was a very powerful vibe in that room for me. And the quality! Only one or two of the instruments were ones that I might say- well I'm not crazy about that. They were virtually all incredible. Ultimately I didn't place, but I don't feel too bad about that cuz the competition was fierce. It sounds cliche but I felt honored just to be considered among them.
    The amount of basses at the convention was dizzying. As well as the people. It would be hard to attend such an event without deepening old relationships and making plenty of new ones.
    Scott Reed is a TB'er whom I got to meet face to face for the first time. I look forward to the next time-one of those who you know has a heart of gold. He can really play too!
    Mike Pecanic is another of the good ones. Truly fun to be around and his tailpieces rule! He had a collection of exotic woods for his tailpieces that had everyone drooling-especially me. I've got a wood jones that extends far past spruce and maple-everytime I saw his collection I became weak in the knees.
    Dave Cardon is another TB'er to show up. He was representing Discordia music. i'm always gateful to Dave for designing my website and helping me through some trying times with that.
    I also met Dave Neubert who is Admin Paulie's bass teacher. Didn't get to hang for long but he seemed interesting. He was the only otherguy sporting a TB t-shirt other than me.
    Oh yeah-Nick Lloyd. What a trip Nick is.If you thought he had personality in his posts you should meet him in person. We roomed together and there was never a dull moment. One anecdote I'll relate here. Nick hooked me up with the Cincinatti bass cellar guys- Andy Stetson, Chris Roberts, and Bill Lakeberg[who took a silver medal nand a certificate] All gereat guys and party animals. We were supposed to meet for drinks at the Embassy suites and then walk to a local barbecue joint. I showed up a little late with my bass in tow and joined them. The conversation turned to bass slapping technique and one of the guys asked Nick to show us how it is done. He took out my bass and proceeded to give a master class in slap. What made it unique is that we were in an atrium in the center of the hotel which was huge. His sound filled up the whole space and everything else stopped. The waitstaff and the patrons were all spell bound for the short time he played and gave him quite an ovation when he finished. I have to say my bass never sounded better. Now if I can just find a slap player willing to put down five figures on a bass.
    Other than Arnold, I didn't really meet any other TB people. That surprized me. Maybe next time. More later.
     
  18. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    I am sorely dissapointed in the amount of pics I got out of this event. I was too busy having fun. Oh well. I'll post a few.
    Heres Arnold, Bubba, Bliss and Robbie MacIntosh. Robbie is a fabulous luthier north of Albany and a major player in the Salt of the Earth Contingent.
     
  19. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Some killer players dueling on Arnold and Will's New Standards. I forget the names--Arnold?
     
  20. arnoldschnitzer

    arnoldschnitzer AES Fine Instruments

    Feb 16, 2002
    Brewster, NY, USA
    The guy on the right is Marco Panascia. Move over, Patitucci! I don't recall the other player's name, but he was also smokin...Marco laid a CD on me; this guy is a SERIOUS talent--chops, ideas, great solos and time playing, and a good writer/arranger to boot. Lives in Brooklyn, NY, but he's from that boot-shaped country.