Time Flies

Wow it’s been a long time since the last post. I’ve been really busy juggling my schedule with a baby boy so the blog didn’t get the attention it deserved. Add that to the fact that he was born 8 weeks early so he needed a lot of attention to get him through that rough beginning.

The basses have collected a layer of dust and you have been seeing the same post since March. I”m now one less bass than before; the Italian and Prochownik Bow are gone (Neonatal Intensive Care at the hospital is $3000-5000 a day). Now after a long hiatus, it’s time to start getting my playing back up to speed and get this blog rolling again. There’s that God given gift that allows some bassists to be off from playing for a decade, yet one day he/she can just pick up the bass where one last left off like it was yesterday. A truly wonderful gift. I don’t have that gift. Nine MONTHS takes its toll on me. I do surprise myself on how much I retained, but I know that my fingers feel a less dexterous and my brain feel like it has cobwebs that need dusting out.

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Dave Holland – Album $1 This Week

Dave Holland has just released his redesigned website. They are offering a live CD titled “Archive Series Volume 1” this week for the price of $1 as an MP3  download or $3 as a “HiDef” (lossless) download.

This Album contains about an hour of material with four tunes, which means some incredible solos.  This album contains:

  1. Looking Up
  2. Easy Did It
  3. Secret Garden
  4. Claressence

I highly recommend going with the $3 download which is larger in filesize, but also superior in quality. The Mp3 comes with the HiDef download and has a high bitrate for decent sound, but if you are appreciate subtle nuances in music, you will notice the benefits of lossless audio.

Gil Evans / Miles Davis at the Hollywood Bowl

I’ve been on travels, so the actual concert happened two weeks ago.

The Gil Evans / Miles Davis: Still Ahead concert at the Hollywood Bowl was a performance of music collaborated between the late Gil Evans and the late Miles Davis. This was performed by some of the current heavies of jazz: Terence Blanchard, Nicholas Payton, Christian McBride, Jimmy Cobb, Peter Erskine and several other musicians of very high caliber.

This concert was one of the best that I have ever attended in my lifetime. This statement may sound like the commonly 6a00d8341c630a53ef0120a5254c7c970c-800wioverused description of every pop concert a teenager attends, but it’s the simpliest way to summarize the concert. No, I wasn’t screaming like a teenage girl from the addrenaline of seeing my favorite star strutting on stage and lip syncing to a vocal track. No, I wasn’t repeatedly texting my friend next to me OMG! OMG. This concert was a soul digging, synapse charging, audio marathon. I’ve actively listened to Sketches of Spain and Porgy and Bess countless times, but listening to it live and performed by world renowned jazz musicians makes for an incredible experience. Great concerts remind you why you make the effort and spend the money to make it to these events. This just in time for me after attending a string of uninspired concerts performed by orchestras and ensembles around Los Angeles this summer, I was getting losing much enthusiasm for going to concerts. Don’t get me wrong on that statement, I’m not referring to the lack of musical perfection, but the lack of soul in the music performances.

I wished I had something to write about Christian McBride’s performance. He was phenomenal as to be expected, but I didn’t pay singular attention to him. To only focus on one part of the of the complex tonal pallet created by Gil Evans is to miss the forest for the trees. What they created together was a once in a lifetime experience for people who can appreciate and enjoy tonally complex music performed at the highest level.

Brian Bromberg to Release New Album August 25th

brian_bromberg2Highly respected and regarded bassist Brian Bromberg is releasing his next album It is What It is next month. The release also means that he’s lining up venues, so be sure to keep an eye on his schedule as he lines up new shows.

Now the bad news (for upright bassists):

Brian explains, “I’ve done a lot of acoustic playing lately so I wanted to feature my electric basses more…

Brian Bromberg’s new release will feature him playing on various types of basses, including the piccolo and various other setups on bass guitar.

The music on It is What It Is shakes out – literally and figuratively – as a joyous celebration of the amazing breadth of sounds capable by the bass. On the title track, Brian doubles the melody, harmonizes with himself and grooves his tail off using both 4- and 5-string basses in addition to a tenor bass. Meanwhile on the humorously titled “Excuse Me?,” he uses different effects on his hollow body piccolo, tenor, 4-string and upright basses to simulate plucking, burping and other, um, gaseous sounds to funky effect. “Heaven” showcases the warmer, more beautiful sound of the instruments and is one of four numbers with strings arranged by Tom Zink. Brian sets up a lovely duet with himself on fretless bass and nylon string acoustic piccolo bass for a gorgeous Brazilian-lilted backbeat waltz. And on “The Mirror,” he cuts back to just a tenor bass for a solo piece that speaks to the listener like a heartfelt soliloquy. Brian stresses that while guitars are present on the disc in rhythmic and textural coloring roles, all melodic leads throughout the album are played on basses – typically piccolo basses with strings tuned to the register of a guitar.

Source: All About Jazz

Click to Play Streaming Track from Upcoming Release

HorrorPops

I’m way behind the times when it comes to what’s happening in rock. I’ve started listening to this band for about a year out (even though they’ve been around for more than a decade). Patricia Day is both the bassist and vocalist in the band.

I remember when I first saw them on TV:
“She’s playing an upright bass”
“It’s white”
“It’s got a cutaway”
“It’s painted all over”
“She’s got great stage presence and sound”
“I like this band!”

It reminds me of a couple of the rock bands that I liked in the past: Smiths and Siouxsie and the Banshees.

Entertaining. I’ll catch them this Halloween since they will be playing here locally.

Discounts for Upright Bass Stuff

mainPromo_1Music123, which is not a upright bass store, is running a 20% off sale until next Tuesday. Thomastik Spirocores are on sale and AMT s25b bass condenser mic at 20% and free shipping for those of you who have been waiting to buy one. I prefer the AKG C516 non-instrument specific condenser mic, which I also got another one for 20%.

There are some exclusions on brands, but most are included in this sale. The AKG is usually excluded from sales, but it was included in this one. Also, the discount is only for stuff in stock. They won’t give you 20% off of items that are out of stock.