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Needed: bassists to review Thelma Terry recordings

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by David Apolloni, Oct 1, 2004.

  1. David Apolloni

    David Apolloni

    Oct 1, 2004
    Some of you have listened to the recordings of Thelma Terry, 1920s female bassist whose six recordings are on the www.redhotjazz.com website. I am not a bassist myself, but would appreciate informed opinion on Thelma's playing, particularly in comparison with other players of the day. I am writing an article on Thelma's life, and would appreciate any help anyone can give me.

    David Apolloni
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I really can't help putting her incontext of the time, but I will characterize her playing as best I can:

    She had a nice, big, round sound. Her feel was bouyant and smooth. In those recordings she employs slap techniques quite a bit. Her intonation is very good and her note choice seems to be very easy -- like she probably played some piano and had done some arranging or something. The bass on those recording is pretty prominent in the mix compared to what I've listened to of things from that era, but I would take that with a grain of salt.

    You might look up a guy named Mark Gridley and tell him that I sent you. He has a couple of books out, and his 'Jazz Styles' book is very well known as far as jazz history goes. He might be able to offer you some valuable insight.
  3. David Apolloni

    David Apolloni

    Oct 1, 2004
    Thanks, Ray. Thelma was one of the first women bandleaders of an all male band. She sounds like she's directing from the bass at times. What do you think?

    This was Gene Krupa's first band, and he is playing drums on the first four records. Other famous players--Bud Jacobson, Johnny Mende, Floyd O'Brien, and Bob Zurke.

    Would you rate Thelma's playing as great, good, average--what?