WDR Big Band and Richard Bona

For me personally, a bass has to have 4 strings. Don’t know whether I could deal with more ­čśë

But there are of course musicians who can handle more than 4 strings with ease. So take one of the best living bass players and put him together with one of the best (Grammy awarded) Jazz Big Bands I’ve ever heard, let them play in Leverkusen and you’ll have a great evening.

So watch them on Youtube – it’s worth it!

Thanks for reading.

Two of my currently favourite Jazz Standards

Recently I sent some music links to a colleague (who also makes music), and her remark about Jazz was that she only likes very few selected pieces.

So do I. Ok, I can deal with hot fusion stuff like Snarky Puppy, because I could also (at least partially) dig people like Frank Zappa when I was younger. Plus what Snarky still have are melodies. Search Christian McBride’s documentary (also on my blog) about them for this.

So it’s melodies, but it’s also rhythm – as long as you can sing (or at least remember) the melodies, and/or even dance to the rhythm, it’s a good song. And so two of my currently favourite Jazz Standards are both Bossa Nova tunes, can you believe it?

The first one is from Horace Silver, and it’s called “Song for my father”:

And the cover photo indeed shows his father John, who was from the Capverdian islands. Horace wrote this in the house of Flora Purim, and so he combined a Brazilian Bossa rhythm with an old Capverdian folk meldody to write this masterpiece.

What totatlly got me was not only the theme and rhythm, but also the sax solo from an (at the time) young man called Joe Henderson.

And so the second tune I want to recommend today is on Joe’s first album under his own name. It was written by (the trumpet player on this) Kenny Dorham, who was also kind of a mentor for Joe and other, younger musicians. Kenny’s most well know song is also a Jazz Standard, and it’s called “Blue Bossa”:

Time- and priceless, don’t you think? The soli, and the slightly different melody when it comes back after those soli (and the bass solo is really cool!); wonderful. Sunshine music, both of these tunes. Love them.

Thanks for reading and/or listening.

A short status update

Yesterday we were out for a short walk in a small village on the other side of the nearby airport. Here’s Zuleikha sitting on a bench near the river:


Back at home, I was doing the usual daily practice routine on my bass, followed by playing around with some standards. As some of you might know, I have the “New Real Book” since some 30 years or so, but it doesn’t contain every standard you might look for – for these, you’d also have to get some of the older classic real books, or better yet, iReal Pro for your smartphone and/or tablet computer, which comes with about 1,300 free classics. And other than the name suggests, this also exists for Android devices. But these are chord sheets / playalongs only, like the original real books these tracks don’t come with the melody due to licensing restrictions.

Here’s also a new version of the collab with jonetsu/nominal6 on Soundcloud. He mixed in my fretless bass quite nicely already, tho the piece is still considered work in progress. In the LinuxMusicians forum entry you can also see some screenshots of the commercial Harrison Mixbus 32c console (on Linux of course) with which he mixed it – together with some nice plugins which I don’t have on Ardour (and which he used for the bass). Anyway, go ahead and listen to that small ambient piece in case you’re interested. It’s under a CC license which means that you could for instance use it for own videos and the likes.

So – currently I’m back to work, where I just upgraded my WordPress to 4.8.1 before writing this (together with updates of two plugins). And today I’m expecting a call from my brother who will visit our aunt, and who will probably need my help with her Linux machine during my lunch break.

And later on, I’ll probably continue working on “Blue Bossa” on my bass…

Thanks for reading.

Sunday Morning Blues (of a bass player)

Just recorded a simple one man session in A minor:

The piano and drums are the Calf Fluidsynth, the effect on the bass solo is the Calf Vintage Delay. Recording was done in Ardour. No further mixing and mastering, just a simple and direct export to the .ogg file here.

The bass (2 tracks) is my Fender Squier Vintage Modified Precision Bass Fretless, directly into my Focusrite Scarlett 6i6 (2nd gen) USB audio interface (to which I also connected my MIDI keyboard to record piano & drums).

Enjoy. And thanks for listening.

Auf Deutsch: Workshop – Die komplette DAW f├╝rs Mini-Budget – aktualisiert f├╝r 2017

Im deutschsprachigen Musiker Board hat der User @mk1967 – ein wohl professioneller Radiomacher aus Krefeld – einen wie ich finde ganz hervorragenden Workshop bez├╝glich Tonstudio in Linux ver├Âffentlicht. Den hab ich auch im ebenfalls deutschsprachigen Recording.de Forum hier weiter verlinkt.

Also f├╝r Alle die des Deutschen m├Ąchtig sind und die sich f├╝r eine quasi kostenlose Aufnahmem├Âglichkeit mit dem eigenen Computer interessieren – absolut lesenswert!

Danke f├╝r’s Lesen.


I was looking up some things in the forums, and also some of the test sites for musicians, so I first stumbled upon Vulfpeck (“Mit Peck”, like they called their first album) here on the German-speaking Bonedo site. And wow, indeed their bass player Joe Dart really is “Beastly” (the opening track of their first album “Mit Peck”)!

Here’s one track from their latest album “The beautiful game” – this one is called “Aunt Leslie”:

And here’s another one, called “Dean Town”:

But if you want to see (and hear) Joe, look at this:

If you want to hear more, then almost everything is available on Youtube – just look at their website for more information. If you want to buy something, they’re on bandcamp as well; two of their tracks (including the quite impressive “Beastly”) are even available as multitrack records if you want to mix and/or play along yourself – cool! Also look on their Youtube channel which has some quite funny and interesting things as well.

This is some very professionally played 60s and 70s soul & funk, and these guys groove like hell, tho they weren’t even born yet during the time of their musical style. So if Snarky Puppy is a bit too demanding, maybe this is easier to digest (and to dance to; can hardly keep my feet still when listening to this).

Meanwhile, I’m practising playing my bass ( a picture of which has been in my last blog post). And I’m also learning some cool new (and free and open source) stuff, like for instance rakarrack. Having a wonderful time.

Thanks for reading.