Today, it’s bass legend Ron Carter’s 75th birthday. (sorry, I’ve got a wrong information … his 75th birthday is on May, 4. … however, the concert video is worth watching:)
YouTube: Ron Carter Trio at festival Jazz sous Les Pommiers – Jun, 2011
This video shows Jean-Jacques Augagneur from Lyon (France) making a violin bow. From wood selection, carving, hairing and final adjustments, Augagneur shows and explains all steps of bow making.
While watching some YouTube clips of one of the greatest guitarists ever – Wes Montgomery – I became aware of the band’s bass player: Arthur Harper, unknown to me until watching this footage, taken at Wes’ concert tour in 1965 in Europe. But not knowing his name is probably just my fault: he played with the Charlie Parker All Stars, vocalist Betty Carter, pianist Bud Powell, and was part of J.J. Johnson’s world-traveling sextet for many years. He passed away in 2004.
His playing is very interesting, so I really wonder why his name lacks wider recognition.
But the first thing that attracted my attention was Harper’s weird left arm position. His left forearm is almost parallel to the neck at the beginning of his solo – something that is widely considered as a very bad habit. He also stands very close to the bass, leaning over it while keeping his back upright.
Probably, I should have listened to him first, rather than watching him. I really dig his playing, and the whole band is just amazing.
Minoru Kimoto of Yamamoto Strings (Tokyo, Japan) has send me a YouTube link of double bassist Yoshi Utumei, playing arco on Presto Jazzicato Tungsten strings.
The Presto Jazzicato string has a steel core with black nylon wrapping. We (the Presto staff and I) designed the Jazzicato strings primarily as a (Jazz-) pizzicato string. But Yoshi’s performance shows that they are a fantastic orchestral arco string, too! Yoshi’s tone has a nice, cello-like timbre, but doesn’t lack the deep fundamental bass.
In comparison, the Jazzicatos’ tension is already low, and putting them on a 1/2 size bass lowers the tension even more (due to the shorter string length). I guess his bass is pretty easy to play.
Instrument: Montelibro 1/2 size
Strings : Presto Jazzicato Tungsten
Bow: Pfitzner (half black, half white hair)
Bassist: Yoshi Utumei, Piano: Acchan Kobe
The late Motown bassplayer James Jamerson, mostly known for playing the Fender Precision bass guitar, was also a double bassist. In this video, his son talks about his bass playing and shows the double bass he played.