Here are some extracts from historical recordings, not necessarily well known, which were inspirational (and still are) for choosing bass.
Jean Jacques Burnel
Age 10 Gary loved melodic punk…
Jean Jacques Burnel – bass, lead vocal / Hugh Cornwell – guitar, vocal / Dave Greenfield – keyboards / Jet Black – drums
Norman Watt Roy
…and punk with funk.
Norman Watt-Roy – bass / Chaz Jankel – keyboard, guitar / John Turnbull – vocals, guitar / John Roberts – drums / Micky Gallagher – keyboards / Ian Dury – vocal / Davey Payne – saxophones
James Jameson – bass / Marvin Gaye – vocal / Tammi Terrell – vocal / The funk brothers – other instruments
BBC Jazz 625 television broadcast from 1965. Gary’s definition of “swing”
Larry Gales – double bass / Thelonious Monk – piano / Charlie Rouse – tenor sax / Ben Riley – drums
Larry Gales – bass / Charlie Rouse – tenor sax / Thelonious Monk – piano / Ben Riley – drums
As a toddler his dad used to hold him and play him like a double bass whilst listening to Ray Brown with Oscar Peterson! As a teenager, his dad watched «Jazz at the Gateway»on TV at night, the volume so high that his son couldn’t sleep. Gary finally gave in and joined his dad and his interest in jazz began.
Ray Brown – double bass / Tom Ranier – piano / John Collins – guitar / Milt Jackson – vibraphone / JJ Johnson – trombone / Roy McCurdy – drums
Lesson with Ray Brown:
Advice from Ray Brown:
- Work on accompaniment and practice time keeping (more than solos).
- Learn standards by heart, singing the melody, in every key.
Red performed this live at the Paris New Morning club during the intermission of a Helen Merrill concert in the 1990’s.
Red Mitchell – words & vocal / Tony Fruscella – trumpet / from Simple isn’t easy (Sunnyside 1983)
Jean François Jenny Clark
An extremely kind man, and demanding musically, he had 2 lessons with him in 1990, a wonderful example and inspiration for a young musician…
Tribute to bass legend Scott LaFaro.
This is the bass solo that really knocked him out…
George Mraz – double bass / Tommy Flanagan – piano / Elvin Jones – drums
His classical teacher in Paris, he always stressed the importance of good technique and of keeping an open musical mind.
Thierry Barbé – double bass / Karine Roze – piano
A masterclass in Bagnolet in 1989, Charlie made clear the importance of sound quality and of saying something deep with your instrument.
Charlie Haden – double bass / Art Pepper – clarinet / Billy Higgins – drums
Reggie Workman – double bass / Wayne Shorter – tenor saxophone / Herbie Hancock – piano / Joe Chambers – drums
Advice from Reggie Workman :
- Realize how fortunate you are to be able to study.
- Give yourself every opportunity to get good instrumental training.
- Interest yourself in all types of music.
Marc Johnson – bass / Enrico Pieranunzi – piano / Joey Baron – drums
Advice from Mark Johnson :
- Try to feel time in both hands.
- “Play the bow, man!”
Magnificent double bass & guitar duo
Advice from Gary Peacock :
- An out of tune note has the right to exist. Don’t try and play well.
- Accept what you play (even if mediocre) appreciate (love) what you spontaneously improvise.
Pierre Michelot – double bass / Dexter Gordon – tenor sax / Bud Powell – piano / Kenny Clark – drums
Advice from Pierre Michelot :
- “A walking bass line should be strong and well constructed like a melody”
Henri Texier – double bass / Steve Swallow – bass / Joe Lovano – tenor sax / Aldo Romano – drums
Advice from Henri Texier :
- Nothing is more important than “sound”
- Two things to be taken very seriously are intonation and time keeping
Dave Holland – double bass / Hank Jones – piano / Billy Higgins – drums
Lesson with Dave Holland :
Advice from Dave Holland :
- Find the right way of playing according to the style, so that it fits, and makes the music work. Music from the past, such as Ellington’s saxophone voicings are very relevant to today’s music.
- Don’t be too self critical while you are playing.
Riccardo del Fra
Riccardo del Fra – double bass / Michel Grailler – piano / Chet Baker – trumpet / John Engels – drums
Advice from Riccardo del Fra :
- If you have nothing more to say (during a solo), shut up!
John Brunton Sr (his father)
His parents have always been very supportive in his musical development. His childhood memories are filled with the sounds of his dad’s clarinet and baritone saxophone.
Advice from John Brunton Sr :
- Vary your style of bass accompaniment (mix it up, don’t walk all the time)
- Don’t have your amp too loud!