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Just got Ben Allison's new CD...

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by bassmanjones, Nov 26, 2004.

  1. bassmanjones


    Feb 23, 2002
    Boston, MA
    "Buzz' I'm listening to it right now. So far so good, very nice stuff - good arrangements and writing. I'm loving his tone, it's so full and round with just the right amount of boom to make the note blossom.

    *sigh* why can't us electric bass players write good jazz tunes? It seems like it always has to be either the slimiest smoothest most velvety jazz possible with two chords (any more and you can't blow over the changes) or the fastest slap n tap you can do.

    Anyway, very good CD, check it out.

    Anyone know what gear he uses - bass, pickup system, amp, etc.?
  2. Sonorous


    Oct 1, 2003
    Denton, TX
    I didn't even know there was a new CD.

    I went to his site and listened to some clips... I can't wait to get my hands on the real thing. Thanks for the heads up.

    I've seen some pictures, and while I don't know what kind of bass it is or amp... I know he just sets up a mic in front of his upright.
  3. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY

    I've wondered this for a long time. Electric players always seem to need their bass up front for everything. I'd love to hear more albums with electric players putting a great group together and making a great album. Electric is such an up front instrument. I think that we need to approach it differently.

    The only three people that I can think of that have made great records with the compositions coming first are Jaco, Steve Swallow and Matt Garrison.
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    This new Allison album is a little less 'frantic' than some of his previous ones; nevertheless, Allison is a happenin' player & composer. Check out his comments on the last page of the Dec Bass PLayer. Very straight comments, IMO.

    Agree that acoustic bassists seem to be better Jazz composers vs. their electric counterparts. Too many times, it's easy to pick out an electric bass-led project...I think Jaco, Patitucci, Willis, Victor Bailey, Oteil, & some Berlin transcend the stereotypes a bit.
  5. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN
    Allison is great, I think that it was your suggestion a while to check him out.

    You have heard Avishai Cohen? He is a great writer on acoustic. His cross composing with acoustic and electric, like he has done in his last couple of albums is really tasteful.

    Allison and Cohen are an example of the next wave of really creative bassists that lead and compose.
  6. emjazz

    emjazz Supporting Member

    Feb 23, 2003
    Bronx, NY
    I'm a big fan of Avishai. I met him while I was in Switzerland and we chatted a bit. His voice is so unique. I love his playing. I play with acoustic players on gigs sometimes and I eventually would like to do that with Avishai as well.
  7. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Yeah, I haven't bought anything by/with him in so long...I had almost forgotten about him.
    His debut solo disc, Adama is nice. Also, the Origin band material & Panamonk by Danilo Perez.
    There's a connection to Allison, too; one of Corea's recent trios has Cohen paired up with Jeff Ballard...who has played with Allison.
  8. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think there is a big difference in the way that Jazz musicians work - in a way, they are very "democratic"..?

    But anyway, having got to know a fair number of UK Jazz pros as tutors/teachers and going to gigs frequently...

    What happens is that the same groups of players will work together with each other and swap members etc. Often - who is "the leader" makes no real difference to how they play.

    So - "the leader", books the gig, chooses the tune, maybe call the time - but apart from that, nothing really changes from when somebody else may be the leader.

    So - one week, the trumpeter may be the leader, next week the pianist is leader - but they still play Jazz - some written heads, some solos, group interaction etc.

    So - next week the bassist is leader - chooses some tunes, gets charts if needed and counts off the time - but the gig is no different for the audience !

    Hey I've seen many Jazz gigs where the drummer is leader!! :eek: Even where the drummer wrote all the tunes - but it's still Jazz! ;)
  9. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Those are some of my favourite albums, too. Tony Williams, Joe Chambers, Bill Stewart, Billy Drummond, Steve Grover...& even Bruford.

    I thought a little more about it-
    ...IMO, it's 'composing' vs. 'writing(a groove with some changes)'. Being more comfortable with the piano also helps the 'composer' vs. writing on the bass. There are exceptions, of course.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Yeah - often BG'ers seem to be intent on writing a "showcase for their talents" rather than, just another nice tune to play! ;)

    I think there may be something in what you say about the piano - so if you study music formally, then it is a pre-requisite that you can "get around" the piano - even if you aren't a great pianist! Most DB players seem to have studied music at some time or other, whereas it seems most BGers are self-taught and have no familiarity with the piano.

    DB is accepted as main instrument on formal music courses and is accepted in Jazz - whereas BG players are not always welcomed on formal music courses and are not always welcome in straight-ahead Jazz....:meh:
  11. j-raj

    j-raj Bassist: Educator/Soloist/Performer Supporting Member

    Jan 14, 2003
    Indianapolis, IN

    Sorry Bruce and JimK for back tracking....

    Actually the last few albums from Avishai are pretty good... I can't remeber what the Corea trio with him and Jeff, but it definitely good... I boldly suggest getting Colours, Devotion and Lyla... Lyla actually has a few tunes on it that remind me of Brad Mehldau's Largo album...