Listening homework: Blues

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by hdiddy, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Hey guys,

    Just wondering if you can throw me some recommendations of recordings of Blues bassists that have a good feel to them. I just want to get that sound in my head of a good quarter note feel and walking-note choices. To me, blues seems to be the starting point and foundation to sooo much and I want to be more fluent with it.

    So far I've been listening to Ron Carter, Count Basie, and a little bit of Percy Heath (w/ Wes Montgomery) and Paul Chambers (off of Kind of Blue). And also Ray Brown of course. I want to get more into Buster Willams but don't know of which ones to get. Are there any cd's that stand out to you? Thanks.

  2. "Coltrane plays the blues" is great,
    Elvin, McCoy and Steve Davis on Bass. An Atlantic album,
    recorded oct. 24, 1960.
    There are a couple of cuts with only bass and drums.

    Kenny Burrell´s Blue Note album "Midnight Blue" is another straight ahead blues album, great bass work. I have that one, but it´s at home, so I don´t recall who´s on Bass.

  3. Lovebown


    Jan 6, 2001
    Oliver Nelson - Blues and the abstract truth.

    Quite a spectacular band:

    Nelson- ten sax.
    Eric Dolphy - flute, alt sax
    Freddie Hubbard - trp
    Bill Evans - p
    Paul Chambers - b
    Roy haynes - d

  4. Yeah, I was gonna mention that, too.
    But if we are talking about blues, actually
    there ain´t too many regular 12 bar blues cuts in that
    record, if I remember right.
    Stolen Moments is a nice c minor blues with a stretched
    theme, though. And Freddy Hubbard´s solo is great on that.
    It´s been a long time since I listened to that record.

  5. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Any "Blues in Jazz" list that omits Blue Seven off Sonny Rollins' Saxophone Colossus is not done yet!
  6. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
  7. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    It's Major Holley, Jr. I think that album is the one that got me into playing jazz. Good stuff.

    We didn't mention Ray Brown cuz I was already listening to him. But, I could use recommendations on specific albums. That would be nice. Same goes with all the other guys that mentioned. It wouldn't be bad to make sure I have all the basses covered. :D

    Thanks so far guys.
  8. Quote ( originally posted by RAY BROWN ):
    "How'd we get this far without mention of Ray Parker?!
    My dear, dear, comrades. You upset me."

    HIDADDY mentioned him in his first post, naturally.
    I always thought that "Ray" and "Brown" were the Christian names and "Of Course" was his last name.

    Willie Dixon, BTW is a great blues bassist, too.

  9. kip


    Sep 11, 2002
    Sausalito, Ca
    This may be elementary to many of you, but early recordings with T-Bone, B.B., Albert King and many others ususally have DB, are largely 12 bar, and form a good foundation. I find T-Bone especially cool as he plays alot in keys like A flat, D flat, and his use of diminished and augs make you think. As a transitional player going from fender bass to DB, practising with this stuff helps me with intonation. Besides, it still just plain moves me.
  10. Rather than thinking in terms of "blues players" i'd have to widen the scope to "time players" and for me they are: Ray Brown, Percy Heath, and some of that old Leroy Vinnegar stuff is wonderful......
    I know you want some direction as far as specific recordings go, but these guys have recorded SO MUCH and are so consistant, I wouldn't know where to start.
  11. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    Thanks Paul, I know that my question was could be a little vague since I looking for players that would be an example of having a great feel. Playing a blues is kinda secondary but I wanted something simple that I can listen to and analyze note choices and phrasing. Yes, the blues is a simple format that anyone can play but to be an artist at it takes alot more subtle gusto. I'll just have to pay more attention to Ray Brown & Percy Heath.

    As far as more typical blues players, their bass lines aren't as inspiring and tend to be more of a rhythmic nature. Definitely not looking for the bassline to Sweet Home Chicago, though it's a great song. I've listened to alot of that in the past, but nothing seems to stand out. And if they do, they're electric players like Johnny B. Gayden who played with Albert Collins and taht's a completely different game.

    I seem to lean toward guys that have played with Count Basie since I tend to gravitate that style of KC Blues for some reason, like Eddie Jones. Simple and elegant.
  12. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Slightly off-topic:

    After his tenure with The Count, Eddie Jones moved to Hartford, CT and worked for one of the big insurance companies. Moving from the high point to the high salary, I guess.

    I subbed a bunch of club-dates for him when I was a newbie. I could never understand how come Eddie could play those gigs with no amp and sound eight times bigger than I did through my B-15.

    He was elegant. He was a friggin' locomotive of a bass-player, in the best sense of the words.
  13. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    If you haven't checked out any Larry Taylor, you should. There is a great Hollywood Fats re-issue, on the Aim label, that has Larry Taylor laying down some great lines/time/feel.

    Also check out some Bill Stuve: he can be found on Rod Piazza recordings (unfortunately). These are west coast blues guys, of course. But there is quite a bit of "information" in their playing.

    Have you checked out any Ransom Knowling? Very powerful deep Chicago bass playing. I'd rather listen to him than Ron Carter any day of the week, if blues bass is what we are talking about.

    I should probably put on my bulletproof vest now...
  14. frankosaurus


    Feb 27, 2002
    San Jose
    A great CD to check out for some Ron Carter walking blues lines is Sam Rivers' Fuchsia Swing Song on Blue Note (or the Mosaic Sam Rivers set).

    This album has 4 versions of Upstairs Blues Downstairs, which is a blues in F. It's great to hear Ron's bass part evolve over the 4 takes... Plus in two of the takes, Ron's solo is completely walking, so it's really easy to hear what he's playing.

  15. Interesting suggestions from Nick re: the West Coast jump scene.
    Another suggestion would be Butch Warren on the Monk live recordings from Tokyo. Very well recorded and on the blues, some interesting note choices.

    Also, Sam Jones on 'Five By Monk by Five.' Great loping tempo on "Straight No Chaser." Compare it to the Monk/Mulligan version with the peerless Wilbur Ware.

    Dig Wilbur.
  16. The greatest contemporary blues bass player is Willie Kent. He has a boatload of Handy awards (the blues Grammy) for being the best bass player in the blues. He wins this award every year and will probably win another one in a week. Willie fronts his own band and has 13 CDs available. My favorite at the moment is "Too Hurt to Cry." Check out anything by Willie some great traditional blues.
  17. Another slightly off topic...When I was in Jr. High School, I had my very first date. We went to A Basie, Joe Williams, Lester Young, Sarah Vaughn concert. Looking back, the chick
    I took probably thought I was a real nerd.
    After the concert, I said " Scuse me, I gotta go get Eddie Jones' autograph. Not Sarah, Basie, Joe or Pres but Eddie.....
    I bet she couldn't wait to tell her friends about that one!!
    She had no idea who these people were anyway.
  18. nicklloyd

    nicklloyd Supporting Member/Luthier

    Jan 27, 2002
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Thanks for the Willie Kent tip. Never heard of him!

    I could care less about the Handy awards though. ;) There's too much bullsh*t with those blues societies. Don't get me started....
  19. A problem we've always had here on TB is ya gotcher Jazz bass players NONE of which you'd call a blues bass player. Then, ya gotcher low down blues 'Nawlins style who do nothin' but the blues...which arn't necessarily 12 bar blues.....Some people don't even know what the hell the blues are! I know some people who think anything slow is the blues.
    I'm with Nnick..I've never heard of Willie Kent either or the Handy Awards.....I've been playing 12 bar blues for around 46 years and haven't heard of most of the guys you youngsters mention. Again a case of apples and oranges!!!
    To be brutally truthful some of the real oldsters you guys talk about need help.....and i'm not talking about Jimmy Blanton, Walter Page, Pops Foster and all the pre-eminent Jazzers.
  20. junglebike

    junglebike Supporting Member

    Feb 14, 2003
    San Diego, CA
    Guys... nobody mentioned Willie Dixon in a thread about blues bass players???

    He's not a jazz player at all, but he's recorded with everybody! He played on tons of the Chess blues tracks.

    My favorite blues album of all time: Howlin' Wolf, "Moanin' in the moonlight" features Mr Dixon. He's not a jazz player by any stretch, but he's just about the perfect blues bassist.

    oh, and Ray Brown was the perfect bassist. Period.