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Newport 2003 -- The Bassists

Discussion in 'Off Topic [DB]' started by Sam Sherry, Aug 11, 2003.

  1. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    I just got back from two days at the Newport Jazz Fest. What a battery-charge. A few bassists of note:

    Christian McBride with Pat Metheny's new trio: What can you say. Great band, great energy, Pat's great hits. McBride got, in my opinion, the best sound through the Large Venue sound-system all weekend because he appeared to be the only player using a clip-on mic. McB had great intonation, solid ideas, and seemed to really dig playing the gig. He played fretless EB for one tune -- man, how cool is it to play fretless with the guy whose tunes provided Jaco's first major platform?

    Lonnie Plaxico totally underutilized by Cassandra Wilson. This band did not seem happy with each other at that moment in time, either.

    Reid Anderson with The Bad Plus. My 12-year-old tenor-player son loves the record, so I saw all of their short main-stage set and a bit of their tent-set. They sounded just like the record, and I'm on record about that. Reid's intonation was great, and his creativity is always present. Reid does tend to look like the "Before" poster-kid for bass technique -- floppy left hand, hunching, rocking -- none of that matters; he's a great player. I bet his Curtis teachers Do Not Approve though.

    Michael Moore with Dave Brubeck. A fine band: Tasty, fiery, improvisitory, and glad to be there. Michael bowed a lot for solos. Perfect intonation and a year's worth of ideas. His sound was slightly unfocussed through the PA. Perhaps the house-provided Ampeg B-15 Solid-state had something to do with that.

    Doug Weiss with Liz Wright and sitting in/filling in with Terrance Blanchard. Nice player, good intonation. Perhaps hampered by gut strings? It certainly sounded like he was capable of even more than he was delivering, but I suppose some might characterize that as "tasteful restraint." He did a great job last-minute subbing with Blanchard, but that's a burnin' band and he was "tastefully restrained." In short, good player but I've heard some TB/DB posters do just as well.

    Stan Clarke Band. More later as time allows.
  2. I don't know how it is for them, but I find playing outdoors just awful. Nothing works.
  3. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Depends on the weather for me. I've had the same bad experiences with bad sound (everyone always hires rock soundmen who don't know how to do a double bass), but I've had nice sound at the last few by refusing to bring anything but a good mic. Outdoor stages are always big enough to position yourself at a good spot for using a mic, and a mic is harder for them to screw up.

    When I played at a fest in Topeka this summer, Henry Franklin commented that I was the only bassist who had a good sound, and he was tempted to go back to a mic. Everyone else had to play with a Realist and the provided amp and sounded like crap through the sound system.

  4. erikwhitton

    erikwhitton Guest

    Sep 20, 2002
    Portland, ME USA
    Hey Sam - I meant to mention the Bad Plus record yesterday. It's another on I've been enjoying. I love the tone he has on that record, out in front, warm, & articulate. Kinda wish I made it to Newport this year but I have been turned off by the line up the past few years. My mistake that I didn't even check this year - would have loved to see McB and Brecker. -Erik
  5. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Samuel, did you go to the Friday night show?
    I was curious who Peter Cinciotti's DB guy was, he was outstanding!

    kd lang was a bit limp. Her band and particulary DB guy was too...

    I didn't do Sat or Sunday as I live in the area, and hate the NPT traffic, but the Sunday lineup looked just awesome.


    That's too bad, I actually posted the lineup and link to the website on BG, and crosslinked to a post here as a 'public service' the week before.
    I was knocked out when I saw the lineup, Brubeck was there, [ corny, I know but Take 5 is my alltime fave jazz album ], and who nows how much longer he will be around.
  6. Sam Sherry

    Sam Sherry Inadvertent Microtonalist Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2001
    Portland, ME
    Euphonic Audio "Player"
    Sorry, Thor, I didn't see your post until now.

    No, I didn't make the Friday show. Neither Lang nor Cincotti are on my "gotta" list, and $$$ was a factor.

    I don't look down the snoot at Dave Brubeck. Mr. Brubeck, through sheer **** luck, happened to make eighty gazillion dollars with a record which was both highly musical and very exploratory in its day. He still swings joyfully, he still improvises, and he uses some of his time and money to support the jazz community. There's nothing but good to say about that, no matter where one's individual taste falls.

    Plus, any time I can see Michael Moore play is a happy time.
  7. Thor

    Thor Moderator Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    I thought about that for a while, and I must admit my personal taste falls far afield of that.

    As Valentine Michael Smith was purported to say,
    'I am only an egg'.*
    *Robert A. Heinlein

    And, having never seen him, nor any of the others, I wish I had.

    I will post the lineup of the next festival in time for youz [ that is the RI term] to get tickets.