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Patitucci - with Corea last night

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Mike Flynn, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. Just a quick review and a few thoughts of JP's performance last night with the Corea Elekrtic band - overall JP played a flawless gig, even when he was sight reading some of the new material's heads, with his music on the floor, very impressive. He played half a dozen stunning solos, and yes, Got A Match was absolutely blinding, with the whole band, Gambale in particular, going nuts.

    My criticisms however are to do with the sound. As a bassist I'm always worried that even if I have a good on-stage sound - that what the audience is hearing isn't as nice. Basically when JP soloed, he obviously had a different EQ and a smidhge of reverb added - making his Yamaha sound more like a classical guitar than a bass. Like I say his playing was brilliant when it came to the chops, but for me JP doesn't always play the nicest bass lines on electric, I think his double bass playing is better overall, and he defintely plays nicer bass lines on the upright. This wasn't helped by the sound of bass peaking and dipping, with very little definition on the quieter passages, and too much booming bottom end - overall not very tight sounding, which was a shame because he did play a brilliant set.

    Now this is where I get a little controversial, I have heard (without naming names) from a well known guitar maker that some of the cats that endorse Yamaha et al get paid for this privelege, I have no proof of this and I certainly won't argue with anyone who says otherwise, either way it doesn't bother me. However, having seen/heard Weckl play with Tom Kennedy recently where TK was playing his gorgeous Fodera 5 string through an SWR rig, I have to say the Kennedy had a beautifully rich and even tone compared with JP. Why JP uses the Yamaha gear is entirely up to him, but IMO I think he would get a better sound from a different bass, I'd love to hear him on a Fodera, or even a Conklin!

    For the record though I still rate Patitucci as one of THE greatest bassists around, the recent stuff he's done with Wayne Shorter has been nothing short of top class and I still find his virtuosity on 6 string breathtaking - I just think he should play a different bass. But that's just my opinion.
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    He used to play a Ken Smith with the original electric band in photos I've seen..?

    I think the problem is more generic though - small Jazz groups just don't suit large venues, for me - where the audience sound is up to a sound man.

    So - Jazz is all about listening to what the others are playing an responding - so it is going to be about your onstage sound primarily.

    So - that's why I like going to see Jazz groups at small venues like Brighton Jazz club - where you sit right by the band and hear what they hear - like the gig we attended with Laurence Cottle.

    Big concert halls like the South Bank, Barbican,Albert Hall are designed to be filled with sound by a large symphony orchestra - 120+ musicians. So, I like to go to see symphony orchestras (just booked some Proms tickets with Berlin Phil!) at large concert halls and Jazz groups at small intimate venues!! :)
  3. they had a big light show and back-projections too and when they came on and started blasting away (this is the new 'Scientology' endorsing album 'To The Stars' BTW) I thought I was at a Steve Vai gig! I agree about big stages and all that but I saw Wayne and Herbie - woth Holland and Blade - two weeks back and their sound was great - i seriously think JP would sound loads better on a different bass - but on principle I prefer smaller venues over big ones for jazz. I know JP used a Ken Smith years ago and I sort of preferred his sound on that - but even so I still think he might be locked into some long term sponsroship thing with Yamaha that is obviously beneficial for both parties - again that's just my opimion and not based on any actaul facts - jeez I really must do some work now!


  4. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I think this is something that JimK an I have had discussions about in the past - i.e. - why 'fusion' never really worked live!! ;)

    So - I think there is something perfect about your typical acoustic Jazz quarter/quintet that just "works" as a sound - so soundmen won't muck about with that and will just amplify what's on stage - good acoustic onstage sound = good sound to audience - presuming the technology is up to it? Which it is now - but wasn't in the 60s/70s...:meh:

    However - if you start using electric instruments, they have associations with "RAWK" and soundmen think they know what to do with this :)eek:!!)

    So - they start doing things like - amplifying the bass drum, boosting certain frequencies and compltley buggering up the sound!! ;)
  5. DaveBeny


    Mar 22, 2000
    London, UK
    I did look into getting tickets for the Corea shows at the last minute, but of course they were sold out. I would have preferred to see the first concert, with Corea's new Touchstone group playing in the first half, with the 'Akoustic' trio of Corea, Pattituci and Weckl in the second half. The show got some decent reviews in the papers. It'll be interesting to see some reviews of the Elektric band in comparison.

    Two reviews:


  6. Thanks Dave - the acoustic night sounded much nicer from the reviews! I was cheeky Munki (that's why I have this moniker) and I did a little MD of the first set last night - I haven't checked it out yet - but I think that'll be interesting - there was a couple of tunes where Gambale switched to steel string acoustic and the dynamics were a lot sweeter.

    I sort of agree with you on the "fusion not really working" tip there Bruce - but you know I'm an electric player first and foremost and I can only really play 'jazz' this way - so I am biased and I have to say that when the sound is good and the players are on song it does work - but as there are so many variables you have to agree that every gig, even acoustic ones, are hit and miss - a lot of factors have to combine for it to work well for any band on any gig.
  7. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - I agree that there are lots of variables at big venues with a lot of amplification and I have heard gigs like that, that sounded great - like Joe Zawinul - I saw him with Victor Bailey and the bass sound was awesome - I could have listened to that all day!! :)

    On the other hand, I disagree about the acoustic gigs - so I have been going to Brighton Jazz club regularly for 6 or 7 years - and off and on before that! But at virtually every acoustic Jazz gig (99.9% at least) where I have sat close to the stage, the sound has been perfect.
  8. OK - last comment on this - I'm sure we could argue whether the sound is better here or there - I think Brighton Jazz club has great acoustics as it goes - so both the band and crowd are spoilt there, it's just alovely club. However for the sake of arguement I have been to small venues, like the excellent Crypt in Camberwell (yes carrots!), and I have heard various bands there - electric and acoustic - and unfortunately the acoustic bassists suffer from bad sound - which is sad when it was Larry Bartley - who's a monster on upright! Anyway - I still say you can never tell - I saw Da Lata at Glastonbury and the sound out front was awesome - spoke to the band backstage afterwards and the lead guy Chris said the onstage sound was terrible - so there you go!
  9. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Interesting you should mention him - as in all the Jazz gigs I have been to, he is the only bassist I've seen, not using any kind of pickup on his DB...Tim at Brighton JC said that he insists on playing purely acoustically or through a mic...:meh:
  10. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
  11. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    Patitucci's tone definitely got brighter when he went from the Smith to the Yamaha, but seeing as the TRBJP is largely Patitucci's design, I don't think that's Yamaha's fault. If he wanted more body to his tone, he could have chosen a wood combo other than maple and ash.
  12. ill be at the la gig in september. i cant wait. last time i saw them they had jimmy early on bass and it just wasnt the same.
  13. zombywoof5050


    Dec 20, 2001
    What LA gig? How did you find out about it? Chick's website's tour date list doesn't have any USA shows listed.
    I haven't seen them since the old days (pre EB2).
  14. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    ...and a Sadowsky 4-string for Funk.

    I sorta recall that conversation about Fusion.
    Played in large arenas with Rock-style volume, Fusion tends to sound like a wall of mish-mash...at least in the early daze. ;)
  15. theyre doing a stint at the catalina bar and grill in hollywood in september. check it out-
  16. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - I think the main thing is what I was saying about sound men, "tweaking" for a rock feel - like boosting bass drum etc.

    But what I was thinking about was improvising and going off into unplanned areas - so a rock group is used to a compressed sound and tend to play the same thing the same every time - so the sound man can get used to their sound and adjust accordingly knowing that what happened in the soundcheck, is more or less what will happen in the peformance.

    So, conversely - Jazz is about reacting to the other players - using dynamics for example, in solos. So - a soloist may well decide, unlike at soundcheck, on their first tune, to be intensely quiet and the band may well listen and decide to follow... soundman thinks - hmmm better boost everything, this is getting lost at the back. Next minute the soloist has raised the volume and everyone has gone with it and the audience is blasted with a distorted wall of sound - sounds fine on stage to the band - but the audience is not so impressed..

    --- an extreme example - but you get the idea!! ;)
  17. cassanova


    Sep 4, 2000
    Yeah, that makes perfect sense to me now. Thanks Bruce.
  18. Ed Fuqua

    Ed Fuqua

    Dec 13, 1999
    Chuck Sher publishes my book, WALKING BASSICS:The Fundamentals of Jazz Bass Playing.
    MAMA CASS - the other thing is that, for better or worse, most jazz musicians have been involved in producing acoustic music, more or less. The point where the sound comes from is basically where that person is. Not a box off to the side of the stage or a box in front of you on the floor. It can be a little disconcerting.

    Of course Chick has been playing like a rock band for what, 30 years now? So I'm sure it's moot for thses guys.

    But you go hear somebody like Roy Haynes' group, who do primarily smaller venues and put them on a stadium stage...you talk to some of these guys about big festivals and they say they can barely hear each other at all on stage. Drummer's 20 feet away from the piano, etc. It's like trying to have a conversation using megaphones...
  19. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Some good points there - as you say , probably doesn't apply to Corea,Patitucci etc., as they should be very experienced - but I still always prefer to go to Jazz gigs, where I can sit by the stage and hear the same acoustic sound the player are hearing. :)
  20. 6 string demon

    6 string demon

    Mar 23, 2003
    urb munki i was at the herbie hancock gig. blinding. they were all just burning that night. where were you sitting? i had front row seats :D

    i saw the wayne shorter quartet a while back with Patitucci on upright. hes technique is brilliant, a fine player, but i wish he would shut up sometimes. he never stopped noodling that night.