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Recent / current 'proper' jazz on EB?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by project_c, Dec 22, 2018.


  1. project_c

    project_c

    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    There are so many great electric bass players involved in jazz today, but it is virtually impossible to find any actual jazz recordings (outside of poorly recorded YouTube videos) by them. I'm talking about straight-ahead jazz, not jazz/funk, not vaguely jazzy neo-soul / J-Dilla / hip-hop inspired stuff, not Thundercat, not Janek Gwizdala etc, just the straight ahead jazz that's out there today.

    I'm talking about people like Felix Pastorius, Tom Kennedy, Russ Rodgers, Rufus Philpot, Dave Buda, Hadrian Feraud etc etc - these are all incredible jazz musicians, with very little actual recorded material, especially just straight ahead jazz, even though they are all absolutely amazing at playing that stuff. When you do find a recording, it's often a novelty 'bass' record or a mixture of styles to show off chops. Yet when you hear these guys on YouTube, they're playing jazz standards and just absolutely killing it.

    There are a few great labels out there that still release new jazz, but without exception the bass is always an upright. So what's going on with this? Is nobody interested in garden-variety jazz played by these guys? Or are they reluctant to release anything because 'it's not proper jazz unless it's on an upright'? Or maybe they feel like they have nothing new to add to the genre, and they just use that stuff as jam material at trade shows? Or have I just not looked hard enough for recordings? I don't know but I'm interested in opinions.

    (The upright vs. electric debate has been done to death, so let's not focus too much on that).
     
  2. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Baron Browne with Steve Smith:
     
  3. project_c

    project_c

    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Very nice but it’s just another live recording. I look at his actual releases and it’s jazz/funk/rock and god knows what else. The odd jazz tune thrown in here and there but mostly no straight ahead jazz.

    Not questioning his musicianship in any way, he is clearly amazing, just wondering why we only hear the jazz stuff live and never on records and releases, unless it’s been funkified / hip-hop-ified. When I hear those ‘updated’ standards it makes me cringe. (Just my opinion).

    I love funk, I love hip-hop, but I don’t like those genres jammed into every modern jazz record just for the sake of keeping it ‘current’, it’s becoming much more of a cliche than just playing the straight ahead stuff.
     
  4. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    The Jazz Legacy material is more straight ahead than Vital Information, check out the recordings not the youtube stuff.
     
  5. project_c

    project_c

    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Thanks, there's 2 LP's on Spotify, they're both frantic but the bass playing is nice. They have an oddly big-band / fusion-ish feel to them. Baron Browne's fretless solos are crazy.
     
  6. twinjet

    twinjet GE90-equipped Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Sep 23, 2008
    49
    Plenty of excellent jazz here.
    Let's talk about jazz.

    Check out TrioKait. Truly incredible group.
     
  7. project_c

    project_c

    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Very nice, and some beautiful music for sure, but most of what I’m hearing on that album is not what I would call straight ahead jazz. And they’re also doing the ‘urban beats’ thing. What is it with current jazz musicians and these pop / j-dilla style beats? Does nothing for me except make me want to listen to some actual 90s hip hop, where these kinds of beats were sampled and actually sounded good. Just my personal opinion, but the wannabe ‘urban’ thing drives me up the wall.
     
  8. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    Um...because nobody buys jazz records. And hasn't for decades.
     
  9. project_c

    project_c

    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    Nobody buys any records. And hasn’t for decades. What’s your point?
     
  10. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    That back when folks did buy records, the number of folks who bought jazz records was an infinitesimally small subset.
     
  11. project_c

    project_c

    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    True, but I’m talking about today. Record sales mean nothing now. Almost nobody releases music to generate record sales these days in any genre, so I don’t think lack of sales is a good enough reason.
     
  12. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    But if you track the industry over the years you can infer a fairly obvious trend in listener preference: Jazz is a niche market, period.
    The fact that the music industry has evolved from having round spinning physical media as the centerpiece of one's commercial presence to now being an adjunct -- a token or souvenir if you will -- to live performances only further motivates small budget acts to skip the expense of recording and printing (non-live) albums. Jazz, as the aforementioned niche market, follows suit.
     
  13. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    what do we do when we don't get what we want?

    a few folks have posted responses to your query/interest --- none of them suit you. :) maybe you're looking in the wrong place. good luck! :thumbsup:
     
  14. project_c

    project_c

    May 8, 2008
    London, UK
    They've posted some nice music but were missing the point of what I was asking about, Santa. I'm asking about current straight-ahead jazz electric bass recordings, and I'm asking that in the Recordings section of Talkbass. It feels like about the best place to be asking about these things. I'd welcome suggestions for where else to ask though, if you have any! It's a legitimate question.

    My question still stands - why are so many people playing this stuff, while almost none of it exists in a recorded format beyond videos shot on phones on YouTube? You can go to jams and hear people killing it, even here I can go to a random pub in South London on a sunday evening and hear virtuoso musicians burning through this stuff, but if I want to listen to a proper studio recording in my car on the way home, forget it, it doesn't exist. I just think there's a disconnect there.

    Maybe I should start a record label.
     
  15. JRA

    JRA my words = opinion Supporting Member

    :laugh:

    :D you've already concluded that they don't exist. you've already ascertained why.

    :D you've already concluded that they don't exist. you've already ascertained why.


    :thumbsup:
    let me know if you do!

    i've played fretless EB on several jazz albums (in the 90's). but you want your favorite cats to record albums/tunes for you! :laugh:

    hope you're having a merry one, project_c ! :thumbsup:
     
    project_c likes this.

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