Nb. Blog now updated on the Wordpress version of the Web-den (includes copies of all posts from here).
That is the title of the new duo album by Steve Lawson and Trip Wamsley available from Steve's website. Price? Whatever you want to pay for it. You could even get it for free but, as I aurally chew over this exquisitely cooked offering with all the rich goodness I expected from these two bass-meisters, I don't regret deciding it was worth a bit more than that. Tasty.
My Sei bass requires a very light touch, thanks to a combination of extra-super-light gauge strings and a very low action. However, after recent carting about I had noticed it was getting a bit too buzzy and, on Sunday morning, I discovered a range of notes on the high string that were unusable due to hitting the frets.
Fortunately it only took a small tweak (righty-tighty) on the truss rod to bring back clarity; an easy fix and one not to be feared.
Of all the Oxford colleges, St Catherine's is the one most reminiscent of my alma mater in its architecture (which is to say that its modernist lines mean that it is probably just as well it is demurely situated away from the main tourist trail). It is now also the site of my first college gig, down in the bar for a short session with Peter and the Wulf last night.
Moving pictures are made up of lots of individual frames shown in quick succession. Sometimes this leads to interesting side effects, such as on the above video of a double bassist shot with a Canon 5D Mark II. The interaction of shutter speed and string frequency is such that vibrations are seen waving along the strings!
I am going to down to Coulsdon today where The Pico Brown Five are back together for the annual driving in ceremony at the Woodcote Park Golf Club. It won't be quite the same line up (same rhythm section but a different horn and we'll actually be just the PB4) but it should be fun.
I note that the PB5 is #7 in jazz for London on the Reverbnation charts. Is this a good thing? I'm not sure; given that the band has been out of circulation for over a year, that probably suggests that Reverbnation is not the thriving hub of the music world that it would hope to be!
It is folk music time again on Saturday when Pete and I provide lunchtime music (12:30-1:30pm) at Oxford's Magic Café on Magdalen Road. Free entry, although you probably should buy at least a drink to sit in there (and, in fact, the whole menu comes highly recommended).
When I last mentioned Artweeks, I noted that I had provided some live music as background ambience and also that I had some recordings. Here is one of the pieces I came up with on Saturday afternoon:Nefertiti-ish by basswulf
It is based on the first four bars of Nefertiti by Wayne Shorter, from which I have taken the chords (Abmaj7b5, Dbsus, G-7b5, G7b5b9 - definitely jazz chords!) and the essence of the melody. Partly due to limitations on my DL-4 looper and mainly due to choice, I meditated round that short excerpt, gradually building layer after layer for a rather haunting result.
The whole piece is about 7 minutes long and voiced with electric upright bass and electric guitar. What you don't hear is the ten minutes or so I chopped out, paring down the recording so that it didn't wait too long before moving from section to section — if you listen very closely, you might even spot a couple of points where I skipped intermediate sections and two or more new layers appear at once.
I am pleased with the final piece. I should make time to redo it in a studio setting so that I can avoid things like the clicks of turning the looper on and off, the background noises from the church and a few duff notes or dubiously time phrases. On the other hand, perhaps the imperfections are part of the character of the piece?