Category Archives: Jazz

How bass Solos Ruined Jazz

Bass solos suck. Let’s face it, the ponderous, unwieldy bottom feeder is the least interesting jazz instrument, lacking even the visual appeal of drum solos.

… says Alan Kurtz at In his opinion, one man changed it all: Scott LaFaro. He „perversely transformed the conventional trio from a pianist supported by bass and drums to a bassist backed by piano and drums.“
Scott LaFaro, the Popeye of Jazz, who makes Lennie Tristano run away during a concert set?!?!?

Ray Brown about playing without amplification

In talking about Blanton before you were mentioning the difficulties bassists had in big bands because of the lack of amplification. Now, you had to play very fast with Dizzy Gillespie. Did you have amplification by that time? How did you deal with…

Ray Brown: Well, I didn’t play fast solos. We were just playing fast tempos.

Christian McBride: Things To Come! [LAUGHS]

Ray Brown: When I was talking about playing fast I was talking about the way Christian McBride plays now. 20-30-40 years ago you wouldn’t have heard all those notes he’s playing. Now you can hear every one of them.

But then, from what I gather, people heard you pretty clearly, and those are some tempos that havent been caught up with yet!

Ray Brown: Were not discussing tempos, now. Were discussing solo lines. That’s a big difference. Nobody dared play anything that fast because you couldn’t hear it. Oscar Pettiford played some magnificent solos, and you didn’t really get to hear him until he joined Duke Ellington.


Charles Mingus jazz documentary

Kevin Ellington Mingus is working on a documentary film on his grandfather, jazz great Charles Mingus.

The feature-length documentary is the journey of a grandson searching for the truth behind the legend of the grandfather he never knew. Surrounded by controversy for his polemic actions and his unpredictability, the enigmatic figure of his grandfather became a jazz icon. The documentary opens doors to unknown facets of a composer who left one of the largest musical legacies of 20th Century American music. It is the path of his grandson, looking at the life of his grandfather through the eyes of those he touched and inspired, and through the locations where he lived and composed his art. The film rediscovers both, the man and the artist: Charles Mingus.

There are many perspectives of my grandfather that have not had a place in defining his legacy… I am seeking them out to understand him beyond myth, fable or a singular vision of his work.                                                                                                          – Kevin Ellington Mingus, Director  

Kevin Mingus still needs support to continue this project. If you want to contribute, visit his site at Kickstarter or

Link Tips

“Double Basseast” its the title of bassist Hagai Bilitzky’s weblog. He is a specialist in classical arabic and middle east music, and has written a method odor double bass and middle eastern music – “A Perfect Match ”

The “eastern positions” for the double bass are a way to execute the micro tonality, or ‘quarter tones’*, that are in use in Middle Eastern music’s modal frameworks, making it possible to play the double bass in an ensemble and also to bring the double bass into prominence as a solo instrument in this genre.

Do you need lead sheets of jazz standards? offers 1200 jazz charts – just the chords and no melody, but: you can transpose all tunes to any key you need with just one click.

JazzCapacitor is a YouTube Channel that features tons of transcribed music – mostly double bass solos of legends like Ray Brown, Scott LaFaro, Charles Mingus, Ron Carter and Eddie Gomez, but also of contemporary greats like Scott Colley and Christian McBride.

Workshop with John Goldsby

Lando Music and John Goldsby will present this Workshop on Jazz Double Bass History and Techniques on Saturday, Dec. 3.

Since 1994, John Goldsby  has been a member of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Big Band (the Cologne Radio Big Band). From 1980 to 1994, John lived in New York City and was an active fixture on the New York jazz scene, performing everywhere from Carnegie Hall, to the nightclubs of Greenwich Village, to concert stages around the world. John is actively involved in the jazz scene as a bassist, bandleader, composer, teacher, clinician and author.

John Goldsby is well-known as a jazz educator and has taught at the Folkwang Hochschule Essen, Cologne Musik Hochschule, William Paterson College, Long Island University, and Columbia University. He also teaches at Jamey Aebersold’s Summer Jazz Clinics and he has recorded many educational jazz records for Mr. Aebersold.

The Jazz Bass Book is his most recent book, documenting jazz bass players and their techniques from a historical perspective. This first-of-its-kind work is filled with transcriptions, historical and technical information, discographys, and Goldsby’s insightful and inspiring writing. A play-along CD is included for the reader/student to use with written etudes, patterns, scales, and improvised solos and bass lines.
John Goldsby has written two other instructional method books: Bowing Techniques for the Improvising Bassist, and Bass Notes. Bass Player magazine says, “Bass Notes is an excellent resource for intermediate to advanced jazz bassist.” The National Association of Jazz Educators says, “Bowing Techniques should be a required publication for upright bassists!” Since 1990, John Goldsby has been a featured writer for Bass Player Magazine with his columns “The Tradition,” “Mastering Jazz,” and “Jazz Concepts.”

The workshop is for bass players of all levels – from beginners to students to professionals. Participation fee is 20 €.

Location: The “Freitagsküche” at Mainzer Landstrasse 105, Ffm
(at the Lando Music premises)
Date: Saturday, December 3., 12 to 5 p.m.
Directions: 3 minutes walking distance from the Frankfurt central station

During the intermission and after the workshop, there is also the opportunity to chat and play and test Christopher basses, the Eminence bass, Presto strings, pickups and amplifiers.

Registration form after the click …

Looking forward to meet you there, Jonas