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Swing Arco Players and Books

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Dave Irwin, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Looking for recommendations for transcriptions or players that plays really swinging arco. In other words, if there were no drummer the lines would still push the rhythm.

  2. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    Slam Stewart is the man! have you heard this?
  3. Here a lovely clip featuring Carlos Henriques on bass, (Bajo here on Talkbass).

    "You and Me", 2004.
  4. These are great but when I say swing I mean the swing groove is so present that dancers can keep on dancing and not miss a beat. I suspect this is going to be hard for a bass but it might have to sound a lot like swing fiddle.
  5. Nathan Parker

    Nathan Parker

    Oct 10, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I don't think that means what you think it means. When you say that Slam Stewart is not "really swinging arco", that's confusing.

    Perhaps you could give an example.
  6. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Why not just transcribe a non-bass player and learn the transcription arco? A perfect example of a great, very swinging horn player would be Roy Eldridge.. Look for the CD "Roy Eldridge 1935 - 1940", lots of good stuff on there.
  7. I understand the confusion this being a jazz technique forum but I'm focusing on the swing era definition of swing. Charlie Parker definitely played swinging solos but they wouldn't have worked with a swing band playing for dancers. Maybe there aren't any examples but I thought it worth asking. As far as transcribing other instruments. I was looking for lines that laid well on the bass. Thanks for the responses.

  8. mtto

    mtto Supporting Member

    May 25, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you don't think Slam Stewart is swinging arco, (as in danceable, from the swing era) you probably aren't that familiar with swing music or dance. That's about as danceable as a solo instrument can get.
  9. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    Fair enough, Dave. I guess you'd have to dig to find something that sits well on the bass. I've just been on a Roy Eldridge kick of late though, hence my suggestion. No denying he swings he ass off.
  10. Well that's unfortunate since swing it's my main gig.

  11. Are you looking for swinging rhythm playing with arco technique, as opposed to both swinging solo technique with arco play, and swinging rhythm playing with pizz technique?

    A little more challenging, so far, most of what I've heard is pizz style for the rhythm playing, and when arco is used it is for soloing.

    I can definitely dance to that clip I posted, as could many of my dancing partners. It's weird in that it is arco rhythm playing in a jazz context. Very nice though.

    The lack of recorded material of what I think you're asking is actually a good thing. It means open wide territory for new explorers. Get to work!
  12. I am talking about a swinging arco solo technique. I definitely appreciate the Roy Eldridge suggestion. For string players, I think the the closest might be Stephan Grapellii.
    or maybe Western Swing fiddle like this random example:

    I've looked for cello examples to get a little lower in register but it sounds like I need to be transcribing some fiddle.


  13. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I think you answered your own question, but time is a function of the pulse of the group. Everyone needs to project it. If this is an issue you are having get back in the shed and work on your arco.

    Mike Longo told me a story about when he was playing up and down Florida in Cannonball Adderly's band.

    They were playing someplace and just tearing it up for a bunch of rednecks, but no one was really dancing. One came up to Cannonball and said "man we cant dance to this stuff you are playing" and Cannonball said "Well you better go home and pracitce."
  14. I hate it when I have to answer my own questions. So much work :)
    Unfortunately my band leader doesn't share Cannonball's view, Probably because 99% of our gigs are reoccurring.


  15. Phil Rowan

    Phil Rowan Supporting Member

    Mar 2, 2005
    Brooklyn, NY
    What about Stuff Smith??
  16. Tom Lane

    Tom Lane Gold Supporting Member

    Based on your description, I think you're right that Stephen Grappeli (sp?) is the closest thing you'll find. I think that's because 1) there weren't as many recordings then as there are now 2) bassists seem to seldom use the bow back then except for the endings and beginnings of ballads and 3) the music really had kind of a short life, starting sometime in the 20s and finishing, arguably, in the 50s. 30 years? Roughly? Contrast that to bop which started in the 50s and still gets played some today - 60 years. 4) bassists capabilities on the instrument have developed a lot since the 50s. And Grappeli REALLY swung!
  17. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    The best in terms of ensemble playing is actually John Lindberg. The three quartet albums he made with Ed Thigpen are great examples of swinging ensemble arco playing.
  18. mtto

    mtto Supporting Member

    May 25, 2008
    Los Angeles, CA

    If swing is your main gig, for sure get to know Slam Stewart and Jimmy Blanton for arco. It might be your gig now, but they were there at the beginning. Slam played with Lester Young, Benny Goodman, Slim Gailard, Art Tatum... Blanton with Duke Ellington. Both legendary swing arco bass players.
  19. damonsmith


    May 10, 2006
    Quincy, MA
    This is contemporary but the technique for what you want is there in the opening:
  20. I am familiar with both but I'm saying that the solo style isn't quite what I'm looking for per prev posts. I was looking for a more overt swing feel (more dotted 8th/16th ish) We gave no drummer and the band (for better or worse) is pretty dependent on the bass supporting the groove. So the fiddle-ish or Grappelii approach is the closest I've found.
    Never hurts to go back and listen players like that though!



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