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Ray Brown - thesis on his playing style...comments?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Mar 15, 2010.

  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I hear that a fellow TB member has made his thesis available online - it might be interesting for people to comment?

    Originally Posted by andy rice
    If anyone's interested, i did my master's thesis on Ray Brown and i've posted it on my website.


    It is a transcription and analysis project highlighting his bass playing style.

    22ish pages of analysis and about 20ish of transcriptions in PDF format.

    Feedback is welcome either in comment form or on here.


    Andy Rice
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I have had a brief look and there is some very interesting stuff - analysis, sound clips and transcriptions of lines and some nice lead sheets.

    I intend to read all of this and feel it is very generous of Andy to put all of this online to share with us! :)
  3. relacey


    Sep 18, 2004
    +1 Thanks Andy.
  4. HeddieMurphy


    Mar 1, 2010
    Can't wait to read this, thank you very much for posting. Where are you getting your masters from?
  5. Tandrew


    Jan 9, 2009
    Charlotte, NC
    Thank you very much for making this available and for all the effort you put into it.
    I look forward to reading it as well.


  6. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's

    This made my morning - Thanks to both of you!
  7. Pcocobass

    Pcocobass Supporting Member

    Jun 16, 2005
    New York
    Hey Andy,

    Thanks for posting this! It's really wonderful stuff. I am in the process of transcribing Ray's solo on How High the Moon so your transcription will come in handy to me. Looks like you really did your homework here.

    I did my master's thesis on Milt Hinton, similar to your analysis of Ray. I think it's a great idea to post it online and I will follow your lead with mine when I get the chance.

    Thanks again,
  8. drurb

    drurb Oracle, Ancient Order of Rass Hattur; Mem. #1, EPC

    Apr 17, 2004
    WOW! Thanks to both of you!
  9. pbass888


    Jul 8, 2009
    wonderful. I just downloaded it... Im transcribing "this ones for blanton now" and this will be a good check after I finish. I love ray brown the consumate bassist and sideman as well as soloist. There is a great lesson set on youtube of him teaching students in europe.
    I think his best lines/compositions for walking are on soular energy with gene harris and love his soloing on night train.
    What I love the most is how even is walking lines swung hard without playing fast. so much feel /timing. Interestingly in 1948 he met and later married ella fitzgerald for a short time

    below is the npr link post at time of his death


    I would rank him on top of jazz bass lists just infront of jaco and Niels henning.
    BTW my sister teaches at u penn ANdy and I would love to meet next time im up there.
    Wish you all the best with your masters.
  10. MR PC

    MR PC Inactive

    Dec 1, 2007
    Nice try Bruce. Page 22.............:bawl:
  11. andy rice

    andy rice

    Jul 30, 2006
    Fort Wayne, IN
    what began as a mispost on my part has turned out to be a pleasant surprise.

    thanks so much for reposting my post.

    you guys rock.

    I got my master's from Uarts in Philly, but now i'm living outside or Richmond, VA and playing gigs in the outer banks, NC on the weekends.

    kind of letting the dust settle since i finished in December.

    Now, i need gigs and students.

    I really appreciate the support and comments. I can't wait for the flaming to begin! Haha.

  12. jaxlaw


    Oct 5, 2002
    Winter Garden
    Thank you so much what a wounderful resource
  13. MR PC

    MR PC Inactive

    Dec 1, 2007
    Yes, some good info on Ray gathered together in one spot!:)
  14. bottomzone

    bottomzone Supporting Member

    Oct 21, 2005
    Thank you so much for allowing us to have access to your thesis!!! In my opinion, you have given us a look into the mind of a bass legend and his amazing mastery of the instrument. While I am not an upright player, I love listening to those who are. Your thesis provides me with a way to listen to what Ray Brown, as well as other bass greats, are playing with a more discerning ear. Thanks again!!!

    A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste! :cool:
  15. fred pratt

    fred pratt

    Jun 20, 2004
    New York City
    Speaking of How High the Moon, I listened to that recording today after reading that Herb Ellis had died. (There was a nice picture in the paper of Ray, Oscar Peterson, and Herb at a reunion of the Trio in 1996.)

    Who is making that big thud on the downbeat? You can hear Herb playing muted rhythm strokes, but there's also something that sounds like Oscar stomping his foot on or near a microphone stand.

    I dig the thesis.
  16. This is related to the previous (now closed) thread about Ray's beat and rushing.

    I was hanging with drummer Chuck Redd and he shared a story about getting to play with Ray Brown and Monty Alexander. Chuck was younger then (in his late 20's) and said "Wow this is great im playin with Ray Brown i'm gonna follow his beat and swing like a MF." So during sound check he's following Ray, playing right on top with him and as the tune goes on its starts pushing a little bit and then some more until its totally apparent to everyone that they're really rushing now, so they stop. Monty tells him "Don't worry about Ray just play like you normally play". So they count off the same tune again and this time Chuck just puts the time where he feels it instead of trying to follow Ray and now, like magic, there's this depth and spread to the beat that wasn't there before with Ray playing on top and Chuck playing just behind that but still moving together. Then Monty shouts out while they're playing. "Yeah Chuck, F- him, just play!"

    Just wanted to share this. A little food for though.
  17. Salty


    Oct 24, 2005
    New York, NY
    Most likely Oscar's foot, yes.
  18. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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