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Small Jazz Group lineups?

Discussion in 'Music [DB]' started by Bruce Lindfield, Mar 1, 2001.

  1. Piano, Bass, Drums

    14 vote(s)
  2. Tenor or Alto Sax, Piano, Bass Drums

    3 vote(s)
  3. Trumpet, Piano, Bass, Drums

    2 vote(s)
  4. Sax, Trumpet, Piano,Bass, Drums

    7 vote(s)
  5. Two Saxes, Trumpet, Bass, Drums

    1 vote(s)
  6. Trombone, Sax or Trumpet, Piano, Bass, Drums

    3 vote(s)
  7. Sax or Trumpet, Guitar, Bass, Drums

    1 vote(s)
  8. Vibes, Piano,Bass, Drums

    2 vote(s)
  9. Guitar, Piano, Bass Drums

    5 vote(s)
  10. Other options - state in a post below.

    7 vote(s)
  1. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    So far, nobody over here has taken advantage of the new features available - like polls!

    So how about this for the Jazz cats! ;) I go along and see small Jazz groups every week and am constantly changing my mind about what the ideal small group line-up would be to play in or listen to. Like one week I think my favourite sound is quintet with trumpet, tenor,piano, bass and drums - then I hear a sublime piano trio and next week am impressed by a quintet with no chordal instrument and the freedom this gives the soloists and the challenge for the bassist!
  2. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I'll go with trio every time, whether it be piano- bass- drums or sax-bass-guitar or whatever. There is something about the intimacy of the trio setting which seems to lend itself to open channels of communication. Quartet can be fun as well if the fourth player is really involved in what the whole group is doing (and not just in his own solos).
  3. Rockinjc


    Dec 17, 1999
  4. For listenning, if it sounds good, I like it. For playing, if the cats can play, I like 'em. Though, generally, I think it's a little extra fun when there's no "chord" type of instrument like guitar
    or piano, two "chord" instruments and forget it.

    I had a group once with tenor sax and viola, that's a nice combination. Clarinets are really nice too. I'm lucky enough to be working with a quartet now whose horn play not only plays sax and flute, but clarinet also. That's a great sound, especially when the guitar plays a single note counterpoint.
  5. My favorite setting would have to be the trio of Kenny Barron, Ben Riley, and me. The only problem is, they don't know who the f--k I am.

    In duos and trios, there's more of a sense of equal partners. With a horn, it's more a sense of soloist and rhythm section.

    Unamplified, I like guitar (also unamplified), bass and drums. I used to do this; guitarist had a 1937 Gibson L5.

    Amplified, it can be either guitar or piano.

    I'm more concerned with similar harmonic outlook than any particular instrumentation.

    Also love bona fide Latin with congas, timbales.
  6. The equal partners thing is what I like about painoless/guitarless groups. It can be very open and conversational. (Mingus Presents Mingus is probably one of my favorites)

    I probably haven't mentioned I started a job with a Salsa band last month. The bandleader says he has latin arrangements of a bunch of straight ahead stuff he wants to book a group to do on the side. It should be pretty cool, the salsa thing sure has been interesting!
  7. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    I take it you already own and love Barron's "Green Chimneys" (one of my top 5 trio albums)? If not, let me know...I transcribed 3 or 4 of the pno solos off of that one. Kenny is a master. Harry Pickens, one of the guys I play with regularly and a great musical mentor of mine, studied with Kenny back in NY many years ago. He reports that Kenny is as beautiful a human being as he is a player, which is saying something. Rufus also talks about how easy he is to play with - because he can do it all, he can adjust almost effortlessly to the musical personalities of the people he's playing with. After hearing all of that, I hope to meet him someday before all is said and done... but if not, I'll still be happy with all of those great recordings.
  8. jazzbo


    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    I think the comment about two chordal instruments was right on with how I feel. I voted for piano, bass, and drums. That's a great sound.
  9. Hey, I saw that trio when I was in Germany! But Don you looked a lot more like Ray Drummond than in your other picture...;) I agree with Chris Fitz, I'll take the trio Every time. In addition to the intimate setting, it allows for more freedom to stretch out and experiment.
  10. They say that between me and Ray Drummond, there's all the difference of night and day.....
  11. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well on Friday I caught another variation - Chris Laurence (bassist who plays with Andy Sheppard and John Surman and also "depped" recently with the Lincoln Jazz Orchestra over here) was leading his own quartet at my local Jazz club.

    They had violin,guitar, bass and drums - almost like a string trio with drums ! Interesting sound as the violin sort of takes the role of sax player in a typical quartet, but is not so "strident" and can also be used for pizzicato "comping".

    In this particular group, there was another dichotomy as the guitarist and drummer have "rock" roots and the violinist and bass player have Classical leanings - so it was Jazz being pulled in different directions!
  12. Jon Stefaniak

    Jon Stefaniak Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2000
    Tokyo, Japan
    guitar bass drums ie. Abercrombie Dave Holland Jack DeJohnette......

    guitar violin bass drums keyboard al la Mahavishnu orchestra

    Bass Piano

    Bass drums vibes sax trombone al la Dave Holland Quintet
  13. JazznFunk


    Mar 26, 2000
    Asheville, NC
    Lakland Basses Artist
    My most favorite combo to listen to, and my ideal setup to PLAY in is the guitar/bass/drums trio format. Everyone has to be on their toes and there is a ton of room to play around with for both the guitar and bass in filling out the space. My first ever jam experience was in a trio like this, and since then almost every musical situation I've been in, at least 70% of the time, has been this setup. Without a doubt, I LOVE it. When I have the opportunity to put a band back together, that's what I'm aiming for. Although after hearing some of the Bill Evans Trio work, I could dig a piano/bass/drums setup as well. But overall, the trio format is the real deal as far as I'm concerned.
  14. dhosek


    May 25, 2000
    Los Angeles, CA
    Well, I'm in the midst of doing some writing for a trio of flute/piano/bass. (although it's a bit looser than that with some of the songs calling for the piano player to play electric piano or organ and some songs requiring the bass player to pick up a toy bass). I may get some of the first demo recordings down this month.

  15. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Like most here, I can get into any/all of the various combos-
    Lately(like the past 4-5 years?), I'm into two horns + drums & bass. Stuff like Dave K's Mingus Presents Mingus...also, Billy Drummond's Dubai. Dave Holland's latest group, even with the vibes comping like a 'Fender Roads', has that open feel of no chording instruments present.

    It's hard to beat, though, a 6-tet like the one found on Andrew Hill's Point Of Departure. ;)

    How 'bout the sax/drum duo thing?
    David Murray/Ali?
  16. I hate it.
    You asked.
  17. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I love it!
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    I still keep finding new combinations. Recently my local Jazz club had the Kenny Wheeler Trio. Kenny on Trumpet/flugel plus Stan Sulzmann on saxes and John Paricelli on guitar. John Paricelli, was doing a lot of looping with a boomerang phrase sampler.

    So at one point in the middle of an Ornette Coleman tune, he started stacking slow chords and got a weird orchestral sound, with the horns soloing freely over the top. One some more conventional tunes he would use an octidivider to sample a bassline and then loop chords over that so that when it came to his solo, he had something to play over. On other songs he just played "live" - sort of rhythm + bassline.

    The "open" transparent sound plus the attentive audience meant you could hear the sound of the horns much more clearly and I mentioned this to John Paricelli afterwards - he said that usually a lot of the audio spectrum is taken up by the cymbals - and you do really notice it when they're not there.
  19. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY

    There's a great example of that on Joe Henderson's "Lush Life" album, where he plays a duet in that format with Gregory Hutchinson on "A Train". I kind of like the sound in small doses - any more than that, and it starts getting on my nerves.
  20. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I think it's supposed to "get on one's nerves". ;)
    Henderson's Lush Life; I'm gonna dig through my stuff for that one(sounds familiar). RIP, Joe.
    I gotta admit, I liked the Shorter/Gadd 'duet' on Steely Dan's "Aja"; a Weather Report in-concert highlight(for me) was Shorter's 'duet' with Erskine.
    Anyway, I was blissfully unaware of entire records of mere sax & drums.
    Coltrane's Interstellar Space...I can listen to that in one sitting.
    Braxton/Roach? Right now, it's smaller doses/bites(but that's MY problem). One of their 'tunes' is called "Birth"...appropriately named piece(IMO).

    How 'bout bass & drums/percussion? ;)

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