Ray Brown Masterclass

Ray Brown’s contributions to the music and bass are innumerable. As a performer and composer he advanced music. But what we also appreciate about him was his dedication to education and teaching.

Thank you to the person who recorded this back then and the person who posted this, making it available for us to continue to treasure.

In this video gives a history of technique and then he brings it all together into how to get a great tone. For those of you that haven’t seen his classes, he always emphasized tone over a type of what I would describe as quasi-virtuosity (lot of notes). Technique to get tone and tone to play incredible sounding notes. Playing lots of notes for the sake of playing a lot of notes was something that he often taught detracted from THE music. Similar to rambling. Kinda of like my posts sometimes I suppose. Make those notes sing and make them meaningful!

If you are skimming the video (though I encourage you to spend the time to watch it through, several times), be sure to watch the section starting at 16:30. It’s just as true today as it was back then and a common affliction that creeps up on all of us.


NextBop Artist: Ben Williams

I’ve been busy juggling all of the aspects of life and music just like most of you. Still seeking and appreciating new music, I have been enthusiastic about NextBop.com, which titles itself as”The Next Generation of Jazz”. It’s refreshing to hear new ideas that are still true to the form. Some music personally connect with, some I don’t, but that is music. Beside the more recognized names such as Christian Scott and Brad Mehldau, here’s bassist Ben Williams (and Band Leader) that I’ve chosen to showcase this time. Some of you may remember him as a past International Society Of Bassist award recipient.

A young players out of D.C. with a funny story of how he got into playing the bass.


Edited Promo:

Marc Johnson

Not a household name (how many bassists are?), but a highly respected bassist.

Bassist with Eliane Elias (wife), Lyle Mays as well as recorded with Stan Getz, Joe Lovano, Michael Brecker, Gary Burton

Brandi Disterheft

I was out and about, and curious to if anyone else uses Velvet Garbos on their Czech Ease. Sometimes in my Internet searches, I inadvertently find videos of bassists with incredible talent, yet don’t get much exposure.

Maybe some of you have heard of her, but if you haven’t, she’s a talented young bassists to keep an eye on.

Black Dahlia – Recording Session Footage

This is what I consider to be one of the GOOD albums in my music collection. We are fortunate that Bob Belden (the composer) had posed footage of the recording session for the first track of the album. Even better, Ira Coleman, the bassist was sitting behind the soloists so we get a good deal of footage of him in the shot.

If you are an aspiring recording musician, take notes. You have to be on your ‘A’ game because you don’t want to be the cause of a second take. Your reading and playing needs to be spot on.

“Technicolor Nightmare” – Christian McBride

Miles Mosley

One of the recent highly talented upright bassists that I’ve stumbled across that’s doing something spectacular and outside cliche arrangements is Miles Mosley. Keep and eye out for him, I believe that his talents and abilities will take him much further in music.

Also take note for those of you putting together promotional videos. It’s clear visually and in audio, with effective camera angles. Well done Miles

Contrast that with a nice arco solo that he does here: