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.
Playing the bass by sliding the video’s timeline … a YouTubeBass is something that we don’t necessarily need, or what we have inpatiently been waiting for – but it’s a funny idea, anyhow.
But don’t miss to watch Adam Ben Ezra’s double bass version of the Michael Jackson’s Billie Jean!
Do you dream of playing with a symphony at Carnegie Hall? YouTube invites you to audition: “Professionals and amateur musicians of all ages, locations and instruments are welcome to audition for the YouTube Symphony Orchestra by submitting a video performance of a new piece written for the occasion by the renowned Chinese composer Tan Dun (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). (…) Finalists will be chosen by a judging panel and YouTube users to travel to New York in April 2009, to participate in the YouTube Symphony Orchestra summit, and play at Carnegie Hall under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas.”
The deadline for all video submissions is January 28, 2009. Website: www.youtube.com/symphony. The double bass masterclass can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NS8s199fxU
“Learn how to play upright bass in E Major Swing in this free video clip. Get bass and music lessons from a professional musician.”
Double bass Luthier Georgio Pianzola from Switzerland has recetly relaunched his website www.kontrabass.ch.
Toby Chennel has published a short video on making a cornerless double bass at Youtube; Matthew Tucker from Australia shows at Youtube his DIY-bending iron in action. He’s currently working on his second bass, a cornerless model.
Christopher Double Basses now have a German website, too.