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My baby came to me this morning and said I'm kinda confused. She said "If me and B.B. King was both drownin', which one would you choose?" And I said "Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby, I ain't never heard you play no blues" - Steve Goodman, The I Ain't Never Heard You Play No Blues

Author Topic: Bass solos  (Read 1839 times)

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Offline dj

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Bass solos
« on: October 21, 2009, 08:45:35 AM »
I've been listening pretty intensively to Casey Bill Weldon lately.  This morning's listening included "Keep Your Mind On It", a 1936 recording by the Hokum Boys, who on this session were Big Bill Broonzy, vocals and guitar, Casey Bill Weldon, guitar and vocal, Washboard Sam, washboard and vocal, and Bill Settles, bass.  What caught my ear on this song is that on the final chorus Settles takes a bass solo.  Which got me to wondering - can anyone think of other bass solos on blues records from before World War II?   

Offline Prof Scratchy

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2009, 10:48:04 AM »
Interesting question. I can't bring to mind any bass solos, but there a certain artists' 'sounds' that wouldn't be quite the same without the presence of a string bass. I'm thinking Bill Gaither, Jimmy Yancey (at times), and Tommy McClennan too.

Offline Richard

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2009, 12:50:20 PM »
Go for it dj  ;)
(That's enough of that. Ed)

Offline uncle bud

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2009, 02:58:28 PM »
One just came around in iTunes. In "My Four Reasons" by Banjo Ikey Robinson and His Bull Fiddle Band, sung by Frankie Jaxon, there's a fast, walking bass solo by Bill Johnson. This wonderful song is really more jazz than blues to me, but it is in B&GR, so I say it qualifies.  :D Recorded 9 February 1929, which seems to me to be fairly early for a bass solo.

(I must admit that when I first saw this topic I thought about the old "Drums must not stop" joke.)

Offline mr mando

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2009, 01:51:12 AM »
..., so I say it qualifies.  ....

Banjo Ikey Robinson qualifies for everything! (say I).  :D Uncle Bud, you beat me to "My Four Reasons", so I'd just like to add that many of the accompaniments that Bill Johnson played are essential listening for anybody interested in blues and early jazz double bass.

More on topic, I can think of an even earlier occurence of a bass solo: it's bowed and it takes two (!!!) twelve bar choruses. And it was recorded in 1926!! It's Black Cat Blues by the Old Pal Smoke Shop Four, available on DOCD-5167, String Bands 1926 - 1929.


Offline banjochris

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2009, 02:36:15 AM »
Speaking of "My Four Reasons" and Bill Johnson, if you don't have this, you should...

http://www.dust-digital.com/bass.htm

Offline Mike Brosnan

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2009, 03:22:20 AM »
Wow.  Thanks, y'all.  There really is no end to the number of CDs I need to buy.  "How Low Can You Go" looks excellent.  So much for Jimmy Blanton inventing the bass solo, huh?  ;D

Offline banjochris

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2009, 09:54:21 AM »
"How Low Can You Go" really is a great anthology, esp. if you like early jazz, although there's lots of other stuff on there too. Warning: Wilmoth Houdini's "Tiger Tom Killed Tiger Cat" will be stuck in your head for a long, long time (not a bad thing).

Offline Johnm

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2013, 07:45:06 AM »
Hi all,
One of the strangest bass solos I've heard is on Bill Monroe's original recording of "Tennessee Blues".  What the bass player plays on it relates to the pulse and tempo of the tune, but pitch, scale or chord changes--not so much.  It's a real head-scratcher.  Despite that, what a great tune, my favorite mandolin instrumental, I think.
All best,
Johnm

Offline CF

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2013, 07:51:07 AM »
Mine too John, this one just absolutely swings & I love the hesitation into the V chord, it's tricky! I often request this from Bluegrass bands . . . & get East Tennessee Blues  :) I think it was Bill's first instrumental composition.
Stand By If You Wanna Hear It Again . . .

Offline The Jazzbo Tommy Settler

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Re: Bass solos
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2013, 09:18:18 AM »
One of Bobby Leecan's Need-more Band sides had a bass solo in it.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 02:50:33 PM by The Jazzbo Tommy Settler »
A few of my favourite tunes: Telephone Girl - Arville Reed, Rag Baby - Willie Baker, Big Bed Bug - Jazzbo Tommy Settler, How Long Blues - Jed Davenport, Toodle Doo - Alec Johnson, Am I Right Or Wrong - Son House, Don't The Moon Look Pretty - Seven Coloured Boys, Barbecue Bust - Blind Roosevelt Graves, Omie Wise - Grayson & Whitter.

 


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