For the first time in my life I have had an electric bass made for me. It’s a neat feeling, almost like when someone writes a song for you (which I haven’t experienced, hint hint hint). This is the story about my friend at Fleet Guitars, Leslie McCurdy, and the beautiful fretless bass that he made for me.
So, this should be a quick blog post, right. Everyone these days seems to have come full circle back to the discussion that began in ernest in the 1980′s. Which is better? Vinyl? CD? Well, I am here to announce the official results! There is a definite answer, which is enclosed in an envelope sitting in front of me. Okay, are you ready?
Is vinyl better than CD, or is CD better than vinyl? And the answer is………………
(718) is returning to An Beal Bocht in the Bronx on February 22nd!
Consisting pianist Matthew Fries, drummer Eric Halvorson, and myself on an old Fender Precision bass, we will explore a genre of music that we’ve decided to label as “Alternative Groove”. You can visit our website at www.718music.com and check out our YouTube videos.
Firstly, on Friday December 28th and again on January 19th you can hear a great new project I’m involved with– (718). Consisting pianist Matthew Fries, drummer Eric Halvorson, and myself on an old Fender Precision bass, we will explore a genre of music that we’ve decided to label as “Alternative Groove”. You can visit our website at www.718music.com and check out our YouTube videos.
On January 3rd Tri-Fi (Matthew Fries again, this time on piano, Keith Hall – drums) will be back in NYC at the Kitano in midtown Manhattan! Don’t miss this opportunity to hear this jazz piano trio in action. With no new album to promote, we’ll be playing all the hits from our four current releases in circulation. Oh, and before I forget, here’s a spoiler alert. We’ve just booked a studio in May to record our fifth CD! Stay tuned for more information.
The Kitano – sets at 8pm & 10pm – $10 cover, $15 min
66 Park Ave (at E.38th st)
Manhattan, NY 10016
Pedal boards and the electric bass
It’s something I’ve always thought would be cool, but in the every day sideman world, effects pedals have little or no application for the bass. I have vivid memories of being 13 years old and running my Fender Precision through my dad’s Cry Baby wha wha pedal and having fun– by myself in the spare bedroom. Try pulling that out on a gig. You had better have a vision of how it fits into the music! Well, I’m older now, and I’ve realized that if you want to get crazy with the pedals, all you have to do is form a band and write music with the pedals in mind. Easy!
I love a good problem, especially when I’m actually able to figure it out AND it doesn’t involve my stereo. You can imagine my dismay when my stereo developed a loud ground hum after I had an electrician install two dedicated AC lines.
I was all excited to fire up the system that first night and listen to music that was un-muddied by all the noise running through the 60 year old circuit that I was using to power my fancy stereo. There are only two circuits for the 2nd floor of my house, which was built in 1942. In addition to lights, my stereo was also sharing the juice with a fan, TV, Tivo DVR, and a computer. All of these appliances introduce a little noise into the AC flow. You may not be able to notice it if you’re listing to music through a Bose Wave radio or similar entry level stereo, but you can definitely hear that gook in my fancy-schmancy system that I’ve put together over the last five years!
I have been a fan of earplugs for a long time, but it wasn’t until I lost my custom moulded pair that I reflected on my long term relationship with these little silicone live savers.
I’ve been playing gigs since I was about 14 years old, but it wasn’t until I went on the road with Maynard Ferguson that I realized it was time to fill in ye olde ear holes. I vividly remember my first rehearsal with Maynard. We were set up in an empty hotel room in Indiana. Two saxes, three trumpets, trombone, piano, bass, drums, and Maynard. Now, if you’re not familiar with trumpet players, they can really hurt their lips if they can’t hear themselves properly. That being the case, Maynard was playing into a microphone which was being piped though two stage monitors at his feet. You heard me right. I was standing three feet from the legendary Maynard Ferguson, in a small room, whilst he played double Cs into a PA system!
Just how important is the relationship between bassist and luthier?
A friend of mine from England had a great idea for a research paper. He thought it would be interesting to interview a few luthiers and bass players to get their idea of what they thought about the relationship between a luthier and a bassist.
When Greg told me about the idea, I thought it was an amazing thing to research. Just last year in Argentina I spent a good 20 minutes of a master class telling everyone that they need to learn what to ask for from their luthiers, but it never occurred to me to actually write out my thoughts. I’d like to give a HUGE thank you to Greg for actually following though with this and letting me publish an excerpt of it here on my blog. I hope he keeps the ball rolling, since this is such an important topic that often gets overlooked by bassists.
Phil Palombi 80 EAST - (2000) | By Mark Corroto
In an interview recorded as an afterthought to American Classic, a 1982 Dexter Gordon session, the then sixty-one year old tenor saxophonist was asked about the future of jazz. He replied, “Bebop is the music of the future.” His return to the US from a self imposed exile not only signaled the resurgence of bebop but opened the door for a very young Wynton Marsalis to carry it’s banner. As succeeding generations answer the call, Dexter’s memory and his cause is in good hands. Case and point, bassist Phil Palombi is a loyal devotee to his calling as a bassist and bop composer.
Tri-Fi Postcards – (2007) | By Andrea Canter
Published: January 8th, 2008
Tri-Fi, (L-R): Keith Hall, Matthew Fries, Phil Palombi.
Fans of vocalist Curtis Stigers have known for years that he is supported by one of the finest and most cohesive rhythm sections in the business. Finally in 2005 pianist Matthew Fries, bassist Phil Palombi, and drummer Keith Hall went off to the studio on their own to document their collaboration as Tri-Fi. Now following their auspicious eponymous debut, the threesome have released Postcards with ten original tracks–five from Fries, three from Hall and two from Palombi. Saxophonist Steve Wilson is featured on several tracks, and even Stigers himself has a few spoken words on the final cut. Noting that most of the compositions were specifically written for this recording, Hall points out that “we also took some chances exploring some different directions, which I think proved to be a lot of fun and very musical.” The different directions reflect the stylistic differences among the three composers, creating a divergent set ranging from ballad to straight ahead up tempo to more playful and angular works.