Walking bass solos

Discussion in 'Jazz Technique [DB]' started by Bijoux, Mar 21, 2002.

  1. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    does anybody have any thoughts on "walking bass solos" I love the Keith Jarrett trio with Gary Peacock and Jack Dejonette, and I kind of dig Gary's walking solos, I think that they create momentun but yet are not explored to it's fullest, any of you ever play like that or have any thoughts on this subject? thanks for sharing.
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    I maintain absolute comtempt for them. I call them, without affection, 'Un-earned' bass solos.
  3. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    New Albany, MS
    I must completely disagree. Leaving the walk out front with added ornementation can be both tasteful AND keep the groove. Ron Carter, Leroy Vinnegar, Rodney Whitaker, and many others have done walking solos that I have thought were really musical and added to the tune.

  4. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    Knowing how to put together a good walking line is a well-honed CRAFT and can contain compelling melodic (if not rhythmic) statements.

    I don't see any problem in a bassist wanting occasionally to display his walking wares (no pun) without the needless clutter of some hornblower mucking things up.
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    There's nothing to agree or disagree with. I don't like them.
  6. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Personally, I think they blow, although I have heard a few that were interesting (Charlie Haden comes to mind). What bothers me about them is that it's the bass player version of what would happen if the drummer just continued to play, "BOOM-spang-a-lang--spang-a-lang--spang-a-lang--spang-a-lang....." for an entire chorus of drum solo.

    But as always, that's just my opinion and nothing more. YMMV.
  7. EFischer1

    EFischer1 Guest

    Mar 17, 2002
    New York, New York
    I think it depends on the chart you're playing. If its a heavy, fast swing or a shuffle walking solos are pretty rad. On anything else...they pretty much suck. Thats all.
  8. I think in the year 2002 that walking bass solos are one of the most unexplored techniques of jazz bass players. Yeah, If you hear some one who doesn't have the ability to do anything but walk during a solo it probably will suck, but when you hear masters like Haden, Peacock, or Mike Richmond pull it off it's mind blowing.
  9. I think it totally depends on what the rest of the band is doing. Many evil pianists will start playing they're own bass line if the bassist stops walking.
    The truth is most non-bassists don't care if the bass player can solo or not.

    "The old bass player said to his young protege'....
    The good news is you have wonderful technique.
    The bad news is you have wonderful technique...."

    Not to mention, if your being upset by watching a bass player walking on his solo, that means he/she is working and you are not. :)

  10. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    I agree with Dave, I've been listening to 6 set disc Keith Jarrett live at blue note and a lot of other Keith stuff, and I realize that the bass player is always following the pianist (of course that's his job) so the bass player needs to be ready to play any harmony and ocasionally choose direction, but when the bass player plays the walking bass solo he is the guy the lead the way and create excitement, check out how Dejonette and keith comp behind Gary, is actually pretty cool, it takes the music to another dimension, and the whole thing becomes like a collective improvisation starting from the bass, I think that there is a lot more room explore on that, and really wish to hear from a bassist's perspective that actually do that just to see if I am in the right track or if I am totally clueless or if there is a lot more to add to it, thanks for your reply.
  11. I think you hit the nail on the head with that one. If the rest of the band can't participate in a walking solo it won't sound good anyway. Since it isn't all that common, many musicians won't be able to get into it and create music the way Keith Jarrett and company can. Like all improvisations, it takes an open mind, shared concept, and knowledge of the style.
  12. Bijoux


    Aug 13, 2001
    yeah when drums and piano follow the bass instead, things just start boiling, is a lot of fun, it creates momentun, maybe after all is not about the bass solo itself, but it's about creating this new situation, just a different concept, there is a lot of concepts to be explored, but we are used to play the head then solos then trade with the drumer and head out. I am going to explore that whenever the situation presents itself and talk to other musicians about it, especially guys that don't play bass and if I hear anything interesting I'll post here, thanks again for the replies guys.