Some of my fav. recordings of me playing in a jazz band... Bookmark and Share

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Some of my fav. recordings of me playing in a jazz band...

Postby bloke » Sat Oct 29, 2016 10:38 pm

...are NOT of me playing the tuba. :shock:

Back in the 80's, I played much more bass that tuba. No, I wasn't a better bass player than a tuba player, but - that having been said - other bass players (who played bass way better than I did) would compliment me - at jazz festivals, etc. - on being able to "create nice lines" (wow... :oops: )

Something that I often did (perhaps different from many other bass players in jazz bands, as my entire reference was from a tuba player's perspective) was to cut off my string bass after-ring to match the lengths of the sounds the drummer was making...The guitar/banjo liked it, began doing it as well, and that became the "signature" sound of our rhythm section (and band). Henry Cuesta ( https://s3-us-west-2.amazonaws.com/find-a-grave-prod/photos/2009/350/8203448_126107051931.jpg ) seemed to also like it, because - when he and we were booked at the same jazz festivals - he would ask for our rhythm section (coordinating his sets so that we could dash out, work his sets, and then dash back and play with our own band).

fwiw, We never used charts, or even lead sheets. The band leader had a vast record collection. He would make "work tapes" (cassette tapes with 20 - 30 tunes on them...that we would listen to in our cars). Each tune would have [1] (if he had it in his collection) the original recording of that tune [2] a really great later rendition [3] perhaps yet another. After a few weeks of living with a "work tape", we would have new-tunes rehearsals at his house (lured by great food and beer) and then, we would try them out on our weekly Sunday afternoon gig. typically; The first time...OK... second time: better. Usually, by the 5th or 6th time we played a tune, we would have an "arrangement"...which might stay the same, or might continue to improve.

These cuts were recorded (analog) on 1" tape at Ardent Studios (Memphis) in the early 1980's. We were all in the same room, there were no splices, and no do-overs. We paid for a three-hour session, recorded a couple dozen tunes...bam-bam-bam...etc., sold half of them to George Buck in New Orleans (Jazzology Recordings - to cover the cost of the session). We were booked to play at a huge charity ball in D.C. at the Mayflower Hotel. We convinced them to hand out l.p.'s of our band as "party favors"...so that purchase by them covered the cost of the vinyl pressing the tunes that we kept for ourselves. :wink:

I've linked recordings of this band here before...fwiw, I resigned from the band in 1984. They had begun to accept jobs that I was not interested in accepting (cruises, and tours with an [unreliable/unstable] very well-known blues singer), the trombone player left and was replaced with an inferior one, my music store business was growing, my father had just died and I needed to help my Mom with some stuff, etc., etc., etc...

The tunes I'm linking here today, were all bass (~not~ tuba) tunes, and are on the l.p. (now: c.d.) that we sold to Jazzology.

I'm starting with my favorite: This is a Jelly Roll Morton tune. I feel like this is closest that we ever came to "organic" playing (things just happening nearly perfectly...AS IF everything HAD been written down ahead of time).
:arrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uY580O5jc0

This song, simply, is called "Gone". The words are a bit simplistic (as are most mournful songs), but I like the chord changes, the key changes, and I think I did a good job interpreting them - underneath the melody and the front-line chords...and I miss my old friend and touring roommate, Gardner Hitchcock, who was a "drummer/crooner" with touring bands back in the 1930's, '40's, and '50's.
:arrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mz6gfzvfug

I don't quite like the lines that I laid down on this tune as well as some of the others. Were I to play this tune today, there is a half-step downward reference that I would have used on one of those secondary dominants...but - oh well... - the guys' solos were really great, and I didn't take away from them.
:arrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2Q_PH7uypc

Just for fun, this is the title tune of the album.
:arrow: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWaVgWwT7Q4

I hope you enjoy these.
I rarely play bass anymore...I honestly don't know how well I would do if I were to "get back on the bike"...but - again - I hope you enjoy these tracks. Unlike "the tuba" I never had any "bass" lessons, but (well into the 1970's) had been in very serious pursuit (c. five hrs./day of technique and repertoire development) of classic guitar technique. I transferred as much of that technique over to bass as I could (using an Ampeg "Baby Bass" - so that I could s-t-r-e-t-c-h and use four fingers in first position), and ...well... never learned how to use the bow.

...There's a consistent misprint on the personnel list.
Our clarinet player was not the host of "The Price is Right".
Our clarinet player was Bob Baker.
I cannot find a hi-res. picture of him on the web...

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Re: Some of my fav. recordings of me playing in a jazz band.

Postby Three Valves » Mon Oct 31, 2016 8:07 am

How can you play good jazz without a tattooed woman playing the washboard and singing the lead??

8)
Who needs four valves??
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Re: Some of my fav. recordings of me playing in a jazz band.

Postby bloke » Mon Oct 31, 2016 12:12 pm

Three Valves wrote:How can you play good jazz without a tattooed woman playing the washboard and singing the lead??

8)


or a bass saxophone...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0OWKf_uVfrE
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