Mr. 335 in concert

Just saw a recent concert of the Larry Carlton Quartet from Spain. Wow, still laying down a good groove after all these years. You might know the last piece in this video…

Larry Carlton

Thanks for reading.

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 😉

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 totally 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.