Tuesday, July 12, 2005

In recent performances with the II-V-I Orchestra I've gotten the opportunity to perform a bass feature on Duke Ellington's Satin Doll. Here are page 1 and page 2 of the bass part we have. The MP3 file is Jimmy Woode's performance which I took from an LP of the 1958 Duke Ellington album "Bal Masque". Jimmy Woode just passed away in April of 2005 after a 50 year playing career, most notably with Duke Ellington from 1955-1650 and as a founding member of the Clarke-Boland Big Band from 1964 to 1973.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Here are a couple of tracks with bassist Sam Jones.

First is an old favorite, Thelonious Monk's "Jackie-ing".
I made this vinyl rip from the Milestone twofer M-47023, "Thelonious Monk - Brilliance". The tune was originally released on Riverside 305, "Five by Monk by Five", and was recorded in New York City on June 4, 1959.

This track has a rising feeling to it, an optimism and buoyancy that is a combination of Monk's Lydian melody, his usual sophistication in setting tempo and using space, the cheerful, almost bumptious styles of tenor player Charlie Rouse and cornettist Thad Jones, and the rhythmic drive of drummer Art Taylor and bassist Sam Jones.

Next is "Thumbstring", from Riverside RLP-9432, "Down Home", by Sam Jones & Co. I took this off the Riverside CD reissue OJCCD-1864-2. This was recorded in New York City on August 16, 1962.

Ray Brown wrote the tune, and Ira Gitler quotes Brown in the liner notes as stating that the song title refers to the method of playing the bass part, "done with the thumb only, and going in the opposite direction from the normal way of playing" the instrument. I haven't figured out quite how that works yet.

It's an interesting band, with arrangements by Ernie Wilkins, Ben Riley on drums and Joe Zawinul on keyboards, Blue Mitchell and Snooky Young on trumpet, Jimmy Cleveland on trombone, Frank Strozier on alto, Jimmy Heath on tenor, and Pat Patrick on bari sax.