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McBass -- Mike McGuirk

Discussion in 'Recordings [DB]' started by Damon Rondeau, Apr 25, 2004.

  1. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    ... otherwise known as Mike McGuirk.

    ED FEW-QUALMS introduced Mike to me thusly:

    "Mike won the ISB jazz competition 4 or 5 years ago, was a student at North Texas State, moved to NYC not long after and generally is a wonderful player. He's got a few heavy credentials (John Abercrombie, Renee Rosnes), but is still doing the NYC bass player shuffle ie where is it and what does it pay."

    Treat yourself and give these tracks a listen. I especially liked the slow burn on the second track....

    Thanks for these contributions, Mike!
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Just listened to "If You Never Come To Me" (no, I'm not touching that straight line...). Go, Mike! Very nice groove, great solo.

    You know, this is one damn fine crew of doghousers we've got here at this site. Damon, I know the subject has been silent for awhile, but I'm all for public commentary if there's a way to set it up. Hell, for those who wanted to participate, we could even just have a thread here for each player. That way, the rest of us could learn something when people talk about the specific ways that (for example) Ed ****s something up. :D

    Seriously, I think this could be valuable, and I see a real learning opportunity. Anybody game? Anybody have other ideas?
  3. I just listened to "I You Ever Come.....To Me"
    Mike, that was just beautiful!!!!! I love the way this guy "Breathes" on his solo, not to mention his chops, intonation, time, sound, melodic sense....next time I run into you on the threads it'll be Mike SIR! :hyper:
  4. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Yeah, Mike is seriously f**ked up, right? Gotta love New York...
  5. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    I kinda liked my idea of making it sort of a "guest book", if that's doable. Click on the player and you get to make an entry. Or click on the tune to make an entry for a specific tune.

    Or you could make a locked sticky thread for each of the players here and get and post e-mails to the appropriate thread. That's a lot of work though.

    Threads can be a lot to wade through, what with the back and forth and everything.
  6. McBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    Thanks to all who checked out my tracks. I appreciate the encouraging comments. I feel lucky to be included with such talented bass players. Special thanks to Damon for doing all the work.
    I'm into receiving questions and comments, so I'd support any means to that end.
  7. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Just listened to Buck's County Blues and I'm really impressed.

    I love the sound and the group concept. I'm going to have to pick this one up. Although I have a lot of stuff on Steeplechase I have to admit I've never heard any of these guys.

    I really like your use of both space AND double time in your solo. I have a tendency to not mix up my rhythmic things very much.

    Very nice, Mike!!

  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Oh man, Mike, that was sweet...what's better than listening to your web buddies tearing it up on your computer? Really nice.

    Back to the 'shed for me....
  9. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    Jed Levy is doing a bunch of stuff around town, but I don't know what else he's on. Jeff Brillinger is on some late release Chet Baker stuff (mostly European recordings) and has been working with (I think?) Kenny Davern a lot lately. He's done a few of the Tuesday night sessions, nice guy, big ears.

    Very nice indeed!
  10. For anyone who still hasn't checked out this young McMonster, do yourself a McFavor and hop right to it. I have another CD he's on of Marc Copland's with Dave Liebman, on Hatology. The second cut is a bass tour-de-force.

    Mike, I have a question for you. I know you have a relatively low action. Yet there is still a very palpable "ping" aspect to your sound. To my way of thinking, you are achieving the best of both worlds - facility to play whatever you want without sacrificing the propulsive and authoritative element usually associated with an old school set-up and playing style. So my question is this: is there something in your set-up and/or R.H. technique that allows you to accomplish this feat? In my experience, if the action is too low, I can't dig in.

    Your solos represent what I aspire to - in that they transend the bass and are so well constructed that they would be great solos on any instrument. And they are not just different for the sake of being different. You have obviously absorbed the jazz tradition and incorporated many influences into your style, which is at the same time modern and evolving.

    If I had one complaint it would be that some of the notes in the lower register of your bass tend to pop out as being boomy and unfocused. Which I am guessing is inherent to the bass, or the recording. Still, a minor point.

    I'm also appreciative of your knowledge on the other DB forums. When you become McFamous, don't forget all of your little friends here at TB. McBass......I'm lovin' it!
  11. My first response earlier, when I heard you first on the Sampler was to compliment you on the "breathing" aspect of your solos.
    I would like to second T's question......above. Thanks and keep it up!
  12. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Been spending some time with "Buck's County Blues" this week, and I have to say, it's really impressive. I love the way the bass plays the unison line in the beginning, the way the melody seems completely relaxed and unlabored, just like breathing - that's something I - like Q-Bal - also aspire to. When I try to play stuff like that, you can always hear my technique huffing and puffing. Beautiful work.

    The swing feel on the accompanying makes me tap my feet and gets my neck moving sideways involuntarily...always a good sign. I'm hard pressed to find much to critique here, but if I get nitpicky, I 'd add to what Mr. Baldwin stated:

    I don't think the lower register sounds boomy (maybe I like a dark sound more than Tom?), and I like the "ping" sound in the upper and middle registers...but I'd like to hear more body to the tone in the upper register to balance the string/fingerboard noise. The guys in the group (and your sound engineer) did a nice job of getting out of your way during the solo (and damn your solo was tasty...wish I could pull off those triplets half as cleanly!), but I could easily see your upper register stuff getting buried if you were surrounded by lesser accompanists. The "ping" is right there, but the body of the high notes dies away so quickly that unless your line keeps moving, it sounds like you are resting at times when your line seems like it's trying to sustain.

    Keep in mind, all of this is from a relative DB newbie who uses heavy steel strings and hears a modern sound in his head...AND whose submissions to the sampler this time around were basically recorded live with a nasty direct line which doesn't let any "ping" into the recording. :meh:

    But I'm torn even critiqueing the minor things stated above, because your cuts definitely have that "bouncy swang thang" that I hear on so many records. I hope to get closer to that "bounce" over time, and would welcome any suggestions about how to practice working on the nuance of getting more of that "bounce" into the feel. I've really enjoyed listening to your stuff, and hope you'll continue to share your time, thoughts, and music here at TB, SIR! (I'm with Paul on this one)
  13. McBass


    Mar 31, 2004
    Brooklyn, NY
    Sorry I haven't replied in a while. I was out of the country for a couple of weeks.

    Tom, Paul and Chris,
    About action and "ping", I'm not sure if I have a definitive answer for you. T-Bal, If I remember correctly, we met in Baltimore when I was playing with Renee and that day I had extremely low action. I was experimenting with my set up. While I probably do have a comparatively low action set up, I try not to let it get so low that I cant really grab the string with the side of my finger. I play with thin, light guage steel strings which I feel have a response more like gut strings with better sustain. I used to use the orch. Thomastiks, but they had too much tension and sustain and I couldn't get a good sound with the bow. I think too much sustain is the enemy of a good quarter note feel. I try to mimic the sound of a good, dry ride symbol which is a clear attack and a decay that gets the note out of the way of the next attack. A lot of what I play is an attempt to match sounds with the charater and sound of the ride symbol I'm playing with. I think that if I'm able to achieve any of that, it's through paying attention to left hand articulation and trying to control the sustain of each quarter note. Playing with good drummers helps.

    As for the low register boominess and lack of focus, I don't think I can blame the bass. It's either me or the way it was recorded. That session was a live to 2 track one with no direct, so whatever the engineer and I were able to accomplish during the take was written in stone. I could've been moving around or I could've just been in the wrong spot.

    I think I know what you mean about the upper register and more body. I've been wondering if I can achieve more of the tone and less of the string noise by micing the bass from a greater distance. I also wonder if there is a way to dress my fingerboard that would reduce the string noise without sacrificing playability. Sometimes when I'm trying to play what I'm hearing, I don't end up with the best fingering choice for tone, but I try not to work that stuff out too much. I prefer to keep my technical approach flexible to serve whatever I'm trying to execute.

    Thanks for the questions
  14. musicman5string

    musicman5string Banned

    Jan 17, 2006
    I know this is an old thread but I just checked out Mike's playing on the sampler....NICE!! Really great stuff, especially his solo on "Bucks County Blues". Nice sound too.
  15. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    I have a great cd by the Dave Liebman - Marc Copeland Quartet called "Lunar" that he plays on. He has a great sound with a huge low growl and he plays beautifully.