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Non-bass Influences

Discussion in 'Music Theory [DB]' started by Joel Wanek, Jan 19, 2006.


  1. Joel Wanek

    Joel Wanek

    Dec 1, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    Greetings,

    I'd be curious to hear about what has influenced peoples'
    bass playing or philosophy besides other bassists. In
    other words, what else has influenced your musical approach
    besides listening and learning from other bassists?
     
  2. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    For me, mostly trumpet players. Maybe because if bass is the hardest instrument for me to transcribe because of it's recording qualities and place in the mix, trumpet is easiest. Maybe becauase I just like trumpet players.

    I think I've said before that I think Brownie was the perfect jazz musician. I think the Kenny Dorham was a great arranger and he's definitely influenced me in that regard. I love Kenny Barron and Benny Goldon's composing styles. And I hear solos in a way clearly influenced by Dexter Gordon.

    If only those influences were more evident in my playing (sigh)
     
  3. Joel Wanek

    Joel Wanek

    Dec 1, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    thanks for the quick reply, but i'd love to hear what exactly it is about kenny dorham's arranging and barron's & goldon's composing style, etc. that has influenced you.
     
  4. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    ooohh... I'll say it for a bunch of other TBers: Jim Hall.

    Personally, I like Jim Hall's taste for beautiful, groovy licks that aren't saying "look at my chops". I like his earlier stuff with Art Farmer the most. Something about the simplicity of his playing is just beautiful.

    And then comes my personal favs...

    Monk who I like for his unique and unabashed way of doing things.

    And Wayne Krantz (guitar). I bought his Improviser's OS book and am working out some of that stuff. Any of you guys seen this thing? Anyways, Wayne is pretty out there and very much an Iconoclast. Very much the opposite of the [URL="http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=224283]"What Sound Are You Going For?"[/URL] thread. Very original and innovative in his approach to improvising. I wouldn't say it's jazz per se, but it's another realm of improvised music. Check out his website for sound samples.
     
  5. BassChuck

    BassChuck

    Nov 15, 2005
    Cincinnati
    +1 on Jim Hall, he needs far more credit for his musicianship.

    I really love to listen to what vocalist do to the melody... not necessarily as solos, but just for inflections. Billy Holiday was a master at taking a simple line and making so much of it by slightly emphizing one note. Her use of intonation as an expressive tool is nothing short of amazing.

    There are other great examples, but in short... a good vocalist will always take me to school.
     
  6. I get a lot of inspiration from horn players in general, but now when HEYBODIDDLE mentioned him, I admire Art Farmer. For example, his fluegelhorn solo on "I remember Clifford"...

    R2
     
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Piano players in general, in part because I used to be one, and in part because I love the trio format. The two I've learned the most from are Kenny Barron (for his wonderful "Bach-like" sense of lines that outline harmony while still swinging like a mother****er), and Fred Hersch, for his ultra lyrical over-the-barline approach and the whole "implied time" nature of so many of his trio recordings. Fred also amazes me with his ability to take a little chunk of material from the melody and build a whole damn solo out of it.
     
  8. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    I tend to look towards piano players. Chick Corea in particular. I admire Oscar Peterson, but I don't feel as though I take anything from his playing and use it for myself. Also Brad Mehldau, I don't take much from him but I admire what he does. I would say the three pianists off the top of my head that I try to draw from are Chick Corea, Cyrus Chestnut, and Makoto Ozone. Come to think of it, I need to include Gary Burton although he plays vibes. The recordings with Corea and Ozone that inspire me are duo recordings with Burton. There's some amazing stuff with them. I think that a pianist who can play the bass register of the instrument with clarity and facility and inventiveness... it's just incredible to listen to.

    I am uninspired by most saxophone and trombone soloists in jazz. The only sax player that I can never stop listening to is Sonny Rollins. He and Joel Frahm are the only ones who ever really did it for me. Trumpet soloists I find to be much more to my taste, especially in Latin jazz. What an incredible sound. There's a New York player named Tony Kadleck (sp?) that played with my high school band a couple times, and it was absolutely ridiculous.

    I guess in summary it's really the core of bass, piano and drums that means the most to me. If I had to choose a wind instrument it would be tenor saxophone or trumpet. Alto sax would be almost out of the question, and only a couple trombone players mean much to me (Robin Eubanks, JJ Johnson).

    edit: I need to put a word in for Fred Hersch. Not for his playing, but for the fact that he is one of the cruelest and most condescending musicians I have ever seen. He did a master class at Princeton two months ago and embarassed everyone there with his conduct.
     
  9. soholounge

    soholounge

    Aug 11, 2004
    Colorado
    John Coltrane for me, because of his "angular" and "vertical" approach.

    my natural inclination on bass is lyrical and linear... so, Trane is challenging, and also, his melodies are just fun to transcribe. (and difficult... needless to say)
     
  10. NJL

    NJL

    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    Trumpet players (my main axe).
     
  11. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    That's very odd, as I've had the chance to hang with him for a minute on several occasions and found him to be gracious, sincere, and with a goodly sense of humor. I hope his health hasn't taken a turn for the worse. :(
     
  12. Tbeers

    Tbeers

    Mar 27, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    It was actually my suspicion at the time that his health might not be so great. I am open to the idea that he is having a rough time. Suppose I should have noted that, in fairness.
     
  13. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Dude, props to Curtis Fuller. That's one lyrical hard bop musician, who just happens to play the 'bone. I've transcribed some of his stuff on bass. I actually don't "get" JJ as much as Curtis. My ears.
     
  14. Sorry if this is long, I couldn't help myself.

    I listen to tons of guitarists like:
    Bill Frisell, Allan Holdsworth, Regi Wooten, Ben Monder, Wayne Krantz, Nguyen Le, Adam Rogers, Marc Ribot, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Brad Shepik, Tal Farlow, Danny Gatton, Jim Hall, Bireli Lagrene, Julian Lage, Nels Cline, Fred Frith, Ernest Ranglin, David Torn, Buddy Emmons (steel guitar), Tony Rice, Clarence White and Sonny Sharrock.

    I get lots of influence from keyboardists as well, like:
    Keith Jarrett, Lennie Tristano, Joe Zawinul, Jan Hammer, Ahmad Jamal, Jackie Mittoo, Michel Camilo, Michel Petrucciani, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Paul Bley, Earl Hines, Hank Jones, Hermann Zoebel, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Taylor Eigsti, and mallet percussionists like Lionel Hampton, Gary Burton, Dave Friedman, Dave Samuels, Bobby Hutcherson and Mike Maneri.

    +1 for Joel Frahm! He's become a good friend. More people like Fela, Rahsaan, Bob Belden, Branford, Dolphy, Anthony Braxton, Ornette Coleman, Mark Turner, George Garzone, Joe Henderson, Sam Rivers, Greg Osby.

    Tom Waits, Henry Threadgill, Buckethead, Andy Milne, Andrew Hill, Gary Bartz, Jenny Sheinmann, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Albert Ayler, Horace Andy, Alton Ellis and everyone at Studio One, Jamaica.

    Of course, I get lots of stuff from drummers like Jack DeJohnette, Sly Dunbar, Billy Martin, Peter Erskine, Tony Allen, Jim Black, Bob Moses, Brian Blade, Bill Bruford, Paul Motian, Al Foster, Jeff Ballard, Matt Sarin, Matt Wilson and Buddy Rich.

    I can't rule out all the great classical composers and musicians that have come and gone through the ages.

    I also get lots of ideas from other 'acoustic' folks like Jacob do Bandolim, Bill Monroe, Bela Fleck, Frank Wakefield, Radim Zenkl, Simon Mayor, Jerry Douglas, Chris Thile, Mike Marshall, Don Stiernberg, Jethro Burns, Sam Bush, Grisman, Ronnie McCoury, Jesse McReynolds, Bobby Osbourne, Ricky Skaggs, Buck White, Vassar Clements and Doc Watson.
     
  15. soholounge

    soholounge

    Aug 11, 2004
    Colorado
    no offense to anyone intended...
    but i am genuinely curious.

    i've seen a lot of these threads before about "influences"

    and i'm wondering, is it possible to be "influenced" by dozens of musicians?

    sure, we listen to and love a lot of musicians/styles/etc.
    but to have out playing styles be "influenced" by a certain musician in a tangible way?

    i'm just wondering how many musicians i've been influenced by, and although i can name dozens that i admire and listen to, i feel like i've only been influenced by a handful... people i've known (teachers, mentors), or musicians i've transcribed extensively.

    am i splitting hairs?

    what exactly was the influence? how did the influence manifest in your own personal playing style?
     
  16. soholounge

    soholounge

    Aug 11, 2004
    Colorado
    hey, does Joel Frahm still play at Redeemer church?

    i think i was at Manhattan school of music when he was there... i used to see him at Auggies every week... if i'm not mistaken
     
  17. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Yes, but it's a good point. Without rereading my post, I'm sure that listed influences that I dont' play like. I said that Kenny Barren and Benny Goldson are compositional influences of mine, but I really haven't yet seen evidence of that in things I've composed. It's just the well that I go to for inspiration.

    I guess the real answer goes back to whomever asked the question. What did he mean?

    The list of people who's influences have actually showed up in my playing is certainly smaller, but I keep listing those people because I have my eye on some things they do as a goal for myself.

    I will give some thought to the follow up question that was posed to me, by the way; "What is it about these guys that influences me?" I have some scheduled deep listenning time this weekend and I'll spin up some things that I haven't heard in a while and see if I can get in touch with what it is that grabs me.

    As futile as this discussion is, I still find it enjoyable and interesting.
     
  18. hdiddy

    hdiddy Official Forum Flunkee Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2004
    San Francisco, CA
    I think by musical approach he meant artists that directly affected your style. I'm sure we all love all kinds of musicians but there's only a handful that we have the time and energy trying to emulate/study to which has an actual impact on your playing.

    So yeah, in my initiate level of soloing... I'm trying to sound a little like Jim Hall. :)
     
  19. TroyK

    TroyK Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Allright. So, I've transcribed a little Dexter Gordon, a little Chet Baker, a little Grant Green and some Curtis Fuller. I don't think that I play like any of them, but I do think that things have crept into my playing. I've started trying to transcribe and internalize Clifford Brown's playing, especially the heads on Clifford Brown with Strings, which are mostly ballads and therefore approachable to me. I've also transcribed what I can from a few of his solos and analysed some of the printed transcriptions that I've found from him to see how he plays turnarounds and ii-V's. I really love his phrasing and articulation and that's what I'm trying to have seep into my playing. I'm not trying to solo like he does. It's too high of a goal for me right now. I don't think that too much of it has showed up in my improvising yet, but some day, I hope.

    I wrote a song once with what I thought was some of the haromonic concept of Jobim, which I really don't understand, but I was just trying to harmonize the way the he did. It doesn't sound anything like Jobim, but it's kind of a cool song. I'm looking for inspiration from Kenny Barron's compositions, like Voyage, that moves a figure up chromatically and then resolves naturally. It's very un-diatonic, which I dig and would like to grow toward. Plus the beats that he puts hits on and very cool to me. I like the way that Benny Goldson's tunes like Along Came Betty and Whisper Not have a feeling of compositional movement throughout. The heads-out don't necessarily mimic the head-in and the intensity and solo order seems to be part of the composition. Plus, beautiful, swinging melodies and especially bridges, which are always the hardest for me to write. Everything that I write comes out sounding like something I wrote, so I don't know if they are true influences, but it's where I look and what I analyze for inspiration and it helps my creative process. I do think about compositons in terms of not only lead sheets but, where to I want to put space and the juxtaposition of what each piece is playing. I think I get that from those influences, but who knows?

    Kenny Dorham's records seem very put together to me. I'll have to do some re-listenning to explain, but the session tells a story to me. There is some interplay between soloists, that I'm confident is too perfect to not have been pre-conceived a tad. Off the top of my head, the little riff that he, PC and the drummer play with through out Blue Spring Shuffle on Quiet Kenny. Records like Una Mas, Afro Cuban and Whistlestop do not sound like blowing sessions to me. They have theme and a cohearance that I don't feel the average jazz record does. I don't think he is a flawless trumpet player, but I connect with the way he (and his bands) present the material. When I have that type of influence on a group or a session, I aspire to contribute in a similar way and I think I do sometimes.

    Off the topic of non-bassists, but on the topic of "what's an influence", I came to the conclusion one day that I think my playing is most like Butch Warren. I love things that he plays on and have listenned to him a lot. I've transcribed him a little, but he (And I) are not really my favorite soloists. I'm not sure if the similarities are an accident or if just listenning influenced me. I'm trying not to solo like him now, although I still really dig him as an ensemble player. So, I look to other instrumentalists and other bassists. Mostly Ray Brown right now, but not exclusively.

    So, the people I listed are people I'm looking for inspiraton from, by listenning, analysing, transcribing, mimicing. The one that I think I play like, I haven't really done that way delibarately. Weird huh?

    That may be all I got. I'd love to hear similar heart pouring from some of the rest of you.
     
  20. soholounge

    soholounge

    Aug 11, 2004
    Colorado
    i can definitely relate to what you're saying here.

    and certainly, my list of musicians i love and want to be influenced by... or musicians i wouldn't mind sounding a little like... is LONG.