Solo Bass Night II - WTF?
I shouldn't be surprised that for many people - "Solo Bass" still means the spot in the show where you take a whiz or get another drink at the bar.
Even at the recent Bass Extremes Solo Bass Workshop Weekend - the students seemed to ignore the "solo bass" part of the title of the weekend when they signed up. Most simply wanted to know how to play bass better, or solo better or hang with Victor. When Vic & Steve started talking about Solo Bass - the class was clearly not at that level.
So the idea of Solo Bass Night to the casual observer - and even bass players themselves probably sounds - uhhh lett's say - boring.
After all - if you thought the 5 minute Bass Solo at the show you saw last weekend went on for about 3 minutes too long - why in the world would you want to listen to 4 bass players do it for 30 minutes each!
But Solo Bass Night is different. It's not about bassists "soloing". It's about using the electric bass in the same way you would any other instrument that's been accepted as a solo instrument - guitar- piano, cello, reeds and countless others.
Each of us is exploring the instrument in a solo context in totally different ways - but we're all doing one thing alike - we're all playing pieces - compositions. It's music. Not a solo. And - it just so happens we're all playing it on the bass.
We're all playing some form of modified basses. All of them are extended range instruments - meaning they extend beyond the range of a normal bass guitar - both much lower and much higher.
Edo Castro plays 7+ string fretted & fretless basses - uses a looper to create some wonderful ECM styled jazz - and he's an impressive improviser.
Dave Grossman will perform a 7-string bass arrangement of Suite No. 5 in C minor for Solo Cello and the Chaconne from Partita No. 2 in D minor for Solo Violin by J.S. Bach. Very intricate music!
Jean Baudin will play his signature 11 string basses with creative use of digital delays to create amazing video-game-esque soundscapes.
And Me - I use lots of altered tunings on 5 & 6 string fretted & fretless basses. It's hard for me to describe my own music but more than a few people have said it reminds them of Michael Hedges.
The point is - this isn't a night of never-ending bass wankery.
These guys are all incredibly musical with their own thing to say. As an addedd bonus - I don't think you'll hear anyone SLAP all night.
How can you have 4 "bassists" play for 2 hours and not hear any slapping?
Please buy a ticket or 2 and find out. ,-)
Dec 7th - Larkspur Theater Cafe 8-10:30pm $15.00
cross posted on myspace here