[Dixielandjazz] Solos - was bass solos

Don Ingle dingle at baldwin-net.com
Fri Jul 23 14:42:21 PDT 2004

Steve's list was a great one. I had the rare and delightful opportunity to
play a set at the Elkhart Jazz Festival some years back with Jack Lesberg on
bass. A joyful lift of the spirit. At the same festival on a different set,
I played with my "hero" among pianists, Ralph Sutton. It was almost as good
as sex (almost!). I even got to sing my favorite James P. Johnson sogn with
backing me and by the gracve of a good friend with a digital recorder, I
have it on tape.
Jim Beebe, Kim Cuscak and Wayne Jones also on the set. It is like a mortal
invited to
sit with the gods.
To get back a bit on the bass soloists comments -- I would drive all over
the state if
I could hear any of these players in the rhythm secton -- if fact I have:
Doc Whiting (Bing Crosby's long time bassist), Phil Stephans, Milt Hinton,
Bob Haggart, Morty Corb, Mike Wallbridge, Hank Wayland (with Bunny on the
Can''t Set Started sides and later with my dad), Gene Mayl, John Bany, Paul
Keller, Slam Stewart, Joe "Country" Washburne, Quinn Wilson -- the list goes
on and on. When called upon they could play solos as inventive as any
horn man, and they were all indefatiguable in the rhythm section. Many of
these players are gone now -- others still with us. But for God's sake
listen to enough of them so you can understand that there is a great deal of
terrific bass work, including solos , that has been there for us to enjoy.
As in any category there are those who excell, and those who get by.
It is up to you to use your ears to learn the difference.
I can tell you that many if not most of these players also played both
and blow bass -- Quinn Wilson, who Ji Beebe and I had the joy of working
with in the house band at Chicago's Jazz Ltd. played both. His solo work on
both was stellar. Quinn was just 16 years old when he recorded in Chicago
with Jelly Roll Morton -- Chimes blues, Chicago Breakdown and others in some
of the last Red Hot Peppers sides. He later worked for yearsinthe '30's band
of Fatha Hines and is one many recordings. Chicago had Truck Parham to
inspire us as well.
It is up to the listener to LISTEN -- then make sbased on knowing what a
good bassist sounds like. Only by putting in the listening time and
broadening your ears' education can you make good judgments on what's good
or bad. It is your opinion then. But there have been some really outllandish
dismissals of good players on the basis of whether they make a face, or play
a solo, or other horsepucky. If it sounds bad, then don't listen any more.
But, please, no more blanket dismissals.
There -- I feel better now. Nothing like a good rant followed by a good
single malt to make a fellow smile!
Don -- heard the best but not all of them yet -- Ingle

More information about the Dixielandjazz mailing list