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Need inspiration for my blues playing

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Bonafide, Jun 23, 2003.

  1. Bonafide

    Bonafide Rodney Gene Junior Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Artist for: Nick Silver Pickups, Free The Tone Effects, Carr Amplifiers, PG Music BIAB, Ethos OD +
    Can someone please recommend me some Jazz albums with 'incredible' or 'unique' blues bass playing?
    I realize it will be subjective but I would appreciate any and all influence to help turbo charge my blues lines and solos.
    I'm not dry on ideas nor do I feel bored with my playing, I just feel there is more out there that I need to be absorbing.
    Any different 'tricks' stylistic approaches, etc.
    Even if the record is an 'obvious' one to you, please list it. Though ever growing, my Jazz collection is small and my knowledge of the many great bassists / musicians is limited.
    Much thanks to everyone.
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Not a CD, but I recommend Roscoe Beck's "Blues Foundations" instructional video. (It's for bass guitar, but the ideas are universally applicable.) He demonstrates several ways to spruce up and ornament standard blues progressions.
  3. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Miles' Kind of Blue -- you said, 'Don't overlook the obvious.'

    Coltrane Plays the Blues -- I'll second that!

    Wes Montgomery & Wynton Kelly Trio, Smokin' at the Half Note -- PC's last date, I'm told.

    Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus -- not necessarily 12-bar forms, but beautiful and "ridiculous, Danny!"

    Chick Corea's Now He Sings Now He Sobs -- A whole different blues that re-wrote the book on piano trios. Jaw-dropping stuff, and Miroslav Vitous is untouchable, too.
  4. Bonafide

    Bonafide Rodney Gene Junior Supporting Member

    Oct 15, 2002
    Artist for: Nick Silver Pickups, Free The Tone Effects, Carr Amplifiers, PG Music BIAB, Ethos OD +
    Thanks for replies, I sincerely appreciate them.
    Samuel, 'KIND OF BLUE' and 'SMOKIN AT THE HALFNOTE' are two records I have been spoon fed with and are always in regular rotation these days. I am a big PC fan.
    Jason,'Coltrane Plays the blues'I don't own though I have about 15 of his tunes on various records. I have wanted to pickup some Gary Peacock stuff but haven't had the inspirtion unti now, thanks.
    Mingus scares me a little, not quite ready to grok that perspective if you know what I mean. Perhaps a little above my head right now.
    Christopher, I am big RB fan from my electric playing. I know he does a lot of doubling on an EUB, ZETA I think. Does he use his EUB on that video?
    Thanks again.
    BTW- Samuel, is your current record have any 'blues' on it? I would really like to check it out either way. I would be interested in anyone playing from the forum really but I remember you saying once you were an aggressive 'rhythmic' player with
    the blues, would like to hear that.

  5. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Unfortunately, the Roscoe Beck video is all electric, but if you have decent technique, transferring the ideas to upright shouldn't be too difficult. The last part of the tape is where he cycles through a standard progression 24 times and does a different thing each time, eg root-fifth pedaling, Dixon-style lines, chromatic stuff.

    (He also demonstrates his two-handed organ thing, but that's probably not transferrable to DB.)
  6. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    Is this video still available?
  7. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Edited as promised.

    My record is just fine and I'm always happy when people like it. But IMHO spend your time and money on MINGUS PRESENTS MINGUS, which for me is the man's essential piece -- swinging, truthful, humorous, exploratory, deeply rooted. "And don't go ringing the cash register or clinkin' your drinks or nothin'."
  8. Damon Rondeau

    Damon Rondeau Journeyman Clam Artist Supporting Member

    Nov 19, 2002
    Winnipeg, baby
    Don't overlook all that classic Blue Note stuff from the 50's and 60's. I love that stuff for its feel, not necessarily its cleverness.

    "Blues Walk" -- Lou Donaldson
    "Moanin'" -- Art Blakey
    "The Sidewinder" -- Lee Morgan
    "Blue Train" -- John Coltrane
    "Back At The Chicken Shack" -- Jimmy Smith

    None of these tunes are straight ahead blues in the BB King sense, but they are all absolutely out of the blues tradition. It's a FEEL thing. The feel in these tunes reminds me of the cool feel you hear in Booker T & The MGs a few years later...
  9. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    As far as I know. I got mine from sheetmusicplus.com
  10. FunkySpoo

    FunkySpoo Supporting Member

    Feb 6, 2002
    nice cuts, totally cool.
    I would recommend Oliver Nelson´s
    "The blues and the abstract truth"
    That´s an album with an overall bluesy feeling too, even though all the tracks are not 12-bar blues tunes. The title "stolen moments" is a masterpiece of minor blues solos.

  12. Jeff Bollbach

    Jeff Bollbach Jeff Bollbach Luthier, Inc.

    Dec 12, 2001
    freeport, ny
    Not an album, but I recommend checking out Lennie Tristano's cut "Requiem". To my knowledge it was recorded the night that Bird died.
  13. As a relative beginner as a bass player, I still find Ray Brown's walking blues lines as nearly the best if not the actual best blues bass acommpanying you can find. There are wonderful albums where he accompanies some of the world's best blues singers, such as Joe Williams, Ernestine Anderson, and even BB King for an entire album! You get his big, ringing out tone, the variety of attack, emphasis, volume, and time value of different notes, and his earthy, beautiful choice of notes that so wonderfully fits in with the groove of all the other musicians and the vocalist. Of course, there are transcriptions of some of his walking lines and blues-based solo's, such as the book of transcriptions by Todd Coolman that has his famous walkin lines to "Killer Joe" from Quincy Jones' popular album, Walkin in Space.

    However, for a fantastic, down home education in great blues feeling bass accompaniment, I love the following albums with Ray's blues walking on them:

    Milt Jackson, "Night Mist" and Milt's album, "That's the Way It Is" (check out the traditional blues, "Frankie and Johnny" and Ray's own blues tune, "Blues in the Basement")

    Ernestine Anderson, When the Sun Goes Down" (especially, the uptempo blues, "Goin' to Chicago Blues" and the slow blues, "In the evening when the sun goes down")

    Joe Williams, "Nothin But the Blues" (all cuts, especially, "Goin' to Chicago Blues", "In the Evening/Rocks in My Bed", and the great 32 bar blues, "Please Send Me Someone to Love").

    Much better than transcriptions for trying to learn and improve on improvising feelingful blues walking is to put on any of these albums and try to improvise walking lines along with the great blues groove and feeling of Ray and his timelessly inspired colleagues.
  14. Dig Wilbur Ware

    Dig Wilbur Ware

    Mar 7, 2003
    Dig Wilbur Ware ... the rhythms, the intervals!
  15. Don Higdon

    Don Higdon In Memoriam

    Dec 11, 1999
    Princeton Junction, NJ
    What I heard was that he got the news that Bird died, walked in and turned on the tape deck and started playing.
  16. jdub2


    Jul 30, 2003
    I second Money Jungle. It's primarily a showcase for Duke Ellington, but when Mingus breaks loose, it's phenomenal. I agree with the term "combative." It's mind-blowing. You have to play it loud, though, in order to hear Mingus. And Max Roach's drumming is first-rate.
  17. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    I'd say it's a showcase for the interaction between the three of them. Listen to how Mingus keeps pushing and challenging Ellington- his oft-stated idol- and how Duke responds. It's one of the most incredible examples of trio playing I've ever heard.
  18. Bill Morrison

    Bill Morrison

    Jul 31, 2004
    For some exemplary Wilbur Ware blues bass line choruses -- "Straight No Chaser" on the Monk/Gerry Mulligan album; several blues tunes on Johnny Griffin's "Way Out" and "JG" albums; "Specific Gravity" on Ernie Henry's "Seven Standards and a Blues." (Because Ware's solos sounded so rudimentary to many people -- so what, I love 'em anyway -- his ability to construct a fresh and inventive walking line is often overlooked. I've transcribed a lot of his lines and there are always little surprises.) Ironically, one of the albums that usually gets mentioned as among Ware's best -- Rollins's "Live at The Vanguard," includes some relatively ordinary blues lines (by Ware standards) under "Sonny Moon for Two." Nothing wrong, just nothing exceptional. His blues playing is more interesting elsewhere.

    Charlie Haden often gets overlooked as a walking blues bassist. If you can find it (I don't know if it's ever made it to CD), check out his work on "The College Concert of Henry 'Red' Allen and Pee Wee Russell." As with Ware, put aside whatever you may think of his solos and listen to the construction of the lines on "Blue Monk" and "Graduation Blues." For later work, try "Visa" on his Soul Note album "Silence" with Chet Baker, or "When Will the Blues Leave" on the Haden/Cherry/Blackwell "Montreal Tapes."
  19. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    There's a great album with Charlie Haden and James Cotton, but I can't remember the name. It's definitely worth getting.

    Mose Allison has two recent live albums out recorded at London's Pizza Express. They are the Mose Chronicles-Live in London vol 1 and 2.

    Vol 1 is trio with Roy Babbington and Mark Taylor and volume two has Jim Mullen on guitar. Mose likes his bassists to not play thirds and this is a good example of how Babbington plays the blues in this manner. I highly recommend both records.

    Another blues/jazz guy I love is Larry Taylor who has played a lot with Tom Waits lately. He recorded a bunch of records with Hollywood Fats that are hard to find but really great.
  20. Great recommendations Bill.

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