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Italian Guitar shaped bass in movie

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [DB]' started by Paul Warburton, Mar 27, 2005.


  1. Last night, on cable TV, they showed that movie New York, New York. There was a guy playing what looked like an old guitar shaped Italian bass. It had a C Horst type extension on it. The cat sounded real good, if a little over amped. Anyone know who this could be? Older black cat....
    Liza Minnelli and Robert De Niro. De Nero played a tenor player with Georgie Auld doing the playing. I didn't know Auld was still kickin'.
     
  2. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    That movie has gotta be 25 years old.
     
  3. I don't get out much, Damon.....no wonder Georgie Auld was still alive. Also explains the Horst mechanical extension! It was before fingered extensions were invented! :meh:
    Also explains why Liza was sober..... :eek:
     
  4. Some years ago, a guy showed me his bass which was guitar shaped. It was about the same size body as a 1/2 size bass, with a 41 1/2" scale, endpin etc. I think I remember the top being flat, or certainly less curved than a regular bass. He said it was made in Hungary, and was about 80 years old. I had a quick play on it, and it seemed to be OK.
     
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Hey, we was up at the same time! That first scene, where they're blowing over that "rhythm" thing with the ascending diminished pattern? That sounded like they used electric bass in the studio, when they were laying down the soundtrack...
     
  6. Maybe so.....did you notice his hands being outta sync? It was loud, but I thought his fingers were right on.
    Did you recognize that Cat?
    Maybe he's a professional bass in-sync-er?
     
  7. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    NYC
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yeah , the drummers looked like they were actually playing too. The horn holders and piano bangers appeared to be actors (in the small band scenes).
    I did read the names in the credits to see if I recognized any names, but no. All the bassists were credited (bass player in Harlem Club etc), I think the guy that played with the first big band was William Cuthbertson...
     
  8. JTGale

    JTGale

    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    According to IMDB, the only bass player credited for the movie was Wilfred R. Middlebrooks, who played bass at the Palm Club. Not sure if this is the guy you are looking for, but it is the only movie he was ever credited for.
     
  9. I remember Wilfred Middlebrooks name from records many years ago. Did he play with Ella at some time?
    Thanks for the info JT!
     
  10. JTGale

    JTGale

    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Looks like you are right, Paul. Middlebrooks played for Ella on the Verve label. Verve lists these albums as having him on them (all Ella): Ultimate Ella Fitzgerald; Jazz 'Round Midnight Again; Complete Ella In Berlin; Ella Returns To Berlin; Clap Hands, Here Comes Ella.

    With a little more digging, it looks like Joe Mondragon, Ray Brown and Keeter Betts also backed up Ella on bass. Interesting ...

    I am going to have to watch "New York, New York" again and look for Middlebrooks' bass. Thanks!
     
  11. JTGale

    JTGale

    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    OK, I posted too hastily. Looks like Wilfred Middlebrooks recorded with other cats besides Ella, including: Paul Smith and Annette Warren. I don't know the years. Maybe Paul can enlighten us?
     
  12. Now that I think of it......On one of my road trips, when I was with Cal Tjader, I remember seeing that bass being played in a club in L.A.. Now that I think, again, it was probably Wilfred!
    This was in about 1968-69.
     
  13. JTGale

    JTGale

    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Cool! Sure is a small world ... :D
     
  14. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    ...And speaking of Itailan Guitar-shaped basses, This Italian gentleman who just so happens to have joined our forum has just such a bass. I bet with some good-natured prodding he could be convinced to post a pic or two.