Jazz 101

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by count_funkula, Apr 14, 2002.

  1. I know similiar threads have been posted before but I didn't find what I was looking for with the search.

    I need advice on some good first jazz albums. I'm really interested in small groups with an electric bass. I want to be able to really hear every instrument clearly and study what is happening in the music.

    I have a lot of "acid jazz" and fusion type stuff. I want something more traditional feeling but with an electric bass.

    I know this probably isn't very specific but if you can, help me out.
  2. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Nothing wrong with wanting to hear BG on the albums, but you do do yourself a disservice by not checking out 3 particular gems:

    Miles Davis Kind of Blue
    John Coltrane Blue Trane
    Duke Ellington Money Jungle
  3. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Sonny Rollins-
    both old & new recordings-
    Very good mix of different elements of jazz-
    straight-ahead, funk, latin, etc.
    I'm referring to the different quartet/quintet albums, especially (per your request) w/ Bob Cranshaw on Fender.
    The mix on these is good; you can hear the elements of what you're trying to hear, Bob is a totally clean, well-thought out Fender player-
    great emphasis on musicality & phrasing- not undue
    focus on shredding/slapping/being a top gun.
    I like it like dat
    Try "Global Warming" "This is what I Do"
    for newer releases;
    and "Next Album" & "Sonny Rollins + 3"
    for older releases
    Rollins/Cranshaw have been a "team" for a long time- great empathy, plus
    there is no one finer playing jazz today than Sonny
    Rollins, one of the few remaining "OG" 's!
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    I like to add the Dave Holland 5-tet as one of the finer working outfits playing Jazz today.
    ...also, the William Parker 4-tet.
    Hmmmm...both are led by bassists. ;)

    Other "OG"s("Old Guys"?) still gettin' it-
    Andrew Hill...Dusk was released a couple years back(with the same sorta 6-tet as his CLASSIC Point Of Departure album).
    Sam Rivers...check him out on Jason Moran's most recent, Black Stars.

    As far as a 'Traditional feel' with an electric bass...I'm kinda drawing a blank(except for Bob Cranshaw).
    In previous threads/discussions here, I recall a real shortage of electric players doing a "traditional"/acoustic-style gig.
    That reason alone makes Jaco a rarity...for a qausi-"traditional" tune by Weather Report w/ Jaco: "Rockin' In Rhythm" from Night Passages. It's a fast swing tune(Ellington wrote it)...

    Then there's Randy Tico, another bassist from the late '70s/early '80s. Tico was the only electric player in a Big Band called Matrix(though there may have been a Fender Rhodes in there). Good luck in finding their albums...

    Joel DiBartolo has played electric bass in 'traditional' settings(mostly Big Bands, I think).

    I have a Kenny Burrell album with Monk Montgomery...again, if I recall, that's some 'traditional' stuff with Monk on Fender bass.

    Bruce Gertz is another cat that SOMETIMES plays electric in "traditional" settings.
  5. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Come to think of it this should be a thread-
    "Fender players in the role of voicing the instrument to a traditional upright bass role"
    I have a proprietary interest, 'cause I've been doing this (walking/pedal/etc) for many years, always being cognizant of the sound, feel, tone, & timbre. Not to suggest that I would be "the one"
    to listen to (although I'm pretty good!:D )-P.S.
    I also slap,smack, pop, & groove!

    It's a tough one- I can think of for instance a player named Ray Neopolitan who worked with Don Ellis, & possibly Joe Pass- whom I saw; using a Fender player.
    There's also the great John Patittucci, but his six-string Fender work is mostly fusion.
    Anthony Jackson, don't know if he's done much w/standards.
    I've seen Ms. Carole Kaye play standards-she's awesome, don't know if there is much on record.

    Best bet would be to listen to the bassist on any number of jazz "standards" that you dig; then work on applying the sound to the Fender- works for me!!

    (BTW- Jim K- Sam Rivers- "Configuration" -zow!
    Dave Holland w/ Michael Brecker in"Tales from the Hudson" - yipes!

  6. PollyBass

    PollyBass ******

    Jun 25, 2001
    Shreveport, LA
    Jazz? what is this "Jazz"? is it some sort of "super music" that bass players that are good play? jazz.....hmmmmm, better go get one of those "6 strings" i keep hearing about..... No really, good jazz, i dont know about jazz, but i know that jaco's and vic's (Wooten) Solo cd's kick some major bootie. DANG VIC CAN KEEP A GROOVE. Marcus kicks to.
  7. When I used the term "traditional" I didn't mean it has to be upright type bass lines. I don't know anything about jazz so traditional to me just means the non-fusion, non-funk type stuff. It probably means a whole something else to everyone else.

    I hate trying to get into a new style of music. It can get really expensive while you search for what you like.
  8. LarryJ

    LarryJ banned

    Dec 12, 1999
    Encino, CA (LA)
    Count-don't get bogged down in terminology!
    It's all fun! Not an ordeal!
    If "jazz" (& I wouldn't think of going into a definiton!) isn't fusion or funk like you seem to know/play, then it's usually the "standards"
    32-bar A-A-B-A type songs, or blues, or minor blues, or latin-bossa/samba/ etc. It's just a word.
    If you listen to anything by any # of artists like
    Miles (that's opening a can of worms!) or Coltrane,
    or Duke Ellington tunes, or Cole Porter, Gershwin-
    they're all melodic pieces that can be colored or improvised on, in our cases, with the bass-Be it Fender or upright- same concept.
    You can turn "Old McDonald" into jazz, and "jazz" versions have been done of Beatles & Grateful Dead!
    So go to Border's Books- Look in the jazz section-
    read the liner/cover notes-look at the instrumentation, etc. If it strikes your interest, cool;
    listen to it, & if you get a clinker, oh well. Not that likely.
    Man have FUN playing the BASS- learning,practicing, etc. sure they are work-but it's about making music, whatever type you wanna check out, OK! Good!;)
    BTW- the players so eloquently mentioned below,
    Victor Wooten, Marcus Miller, Jaco Pastorious,
    all play or played their own versions of jazz-
    along with a lot of others, including YOU & ME!!!

    BTW:Doesn't have to be expensive- Listen to the radio or over the 'net- or hang & play with your
    fellow musicians!!
  9. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    You can't really omit albums with double-bass on them... because they're so darn JAZZY! Just learn the licks on electric, no worries mate. My personal faves (learn the melodies, not just the bass parts) are: John Coltrane-"Giant Steps"
    Miles Davis-"Kind Of Blue"
    Thelonius Monk-"The Essential T.M."
    Dave Brubeck-"Time Out"
    O.K. one electric one-Weather Report-"Heavy Weather"
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I got a pretty good "straight ahead" Jazz album with electric bass the other day - Horace Silver's : "In Pursuit of the 27th Man".

    This has - of course - Bob Cranshaw, on electric bass in two small groups formats - you can hear the bass and everything else very clearly on the CD - it also has the Brecker Brothers : Mike and Randy in straight ahead mode !!

    This is a 2002 Blue Note re-release so should be in the shops now!
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Actually, I can appreciate the point, as on a lot of classic Jazz albums, it is very difficult to hear the Double Bass, which is more a feel if anything and it's often impossible to determine the exact pitch of the note at certain points.
  12. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    try Paul Motian's "Electric Bebop Band" discs. Steve Swallow playing very traditionally, and very well.
  13. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    Check out this link:


    There are a couple of albums that I would recommend to anyone interested in learning about jazz:

    Miles Davis - 'Kind of Blue'
    Miles Davis - 'In A Silent Way' (The 'Complete...' box set is great, but you could wait for the new single CD out later this year.)
    John Coltane - 'My Favourite Things'
    Art Blakey & The Jazz Messengers - 'Moanin'

    Count Funkula, you said you had a lot of "fusion stuff". Have you heard Return To Forever's 'Light As A Feather'? It's the first lineup, and is definitely more "jazz" than say, 'Romantic Warrior'. Stanley Clarke does some amazing things on the acoustic bass, that would be difficult to do on electric bass!
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