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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Double Bass forever!




Beside being a guitar player since my boyhood (but who inherited an early '900 double bass in early 2000;-)), I've been an hardcore lover and an avid collector of double-bass jazz and classical music for most of my life.

I don't remember EXACTLY when I first heard this mind-boggling sound... maybe, if memory do not fool me, 'twas Charles Mingus' - a 3-records set recorded live...

Later, it was Oregon's "Trios/Solos" on ECM - my first ECM, with the great Glen Moore and his Klotz double-bass which moved me to tears; later, Dave Holland "Emerald Tears" ECM's solo, still in early '70s... and I still remember I listened to this record for 2 times... the third time was having me trying to duet with my first Yamaha 12 strings acoustic, like Ralph Towner with Moore... all the above during the same summer afternoon, of course;-)

At a later date, maybe 15 years ago, I discovered, as it often happens - by chance - a Telefunken disc by Ludwig Streicher playing some Dragonetti and Bottesini duos, with piano accompaniment... and this possibly, blew my mind!

The impressive agility of maestro Streicher, the beauty of overtones and glissandos, the subterrean subbasses sounds coming from this recording opened to a world of unbelivable beauty and deepness.

I soon began collecting double-bass recordings on a sistematic base: record-fairs, first and Robin Wu's ClassiCo from Los Angeles, California, Irvington Music from Portland, Oregon with their paper catalogs proved to be, in pre-WEB times, a source for cheap, great, then sought-after recordings... then came GEMM and Ebay.

Some years later, say in early 2000, I re-counted what I purchased in the years, and to my surprise, I was truly surprised I found more than 60 different recordings.

Now, 2009, owning more than 100+ vinyl-only double bass discs I feel I created something, much more than a cold collection: Rabath, Streicher, Koussevitzky, Karr for classical music and Dave Holland, Gary Peacock, Charlie Haden, Scott La Faro and Barre Philips for jazz are the most famous double-bassists who come to mind, but there are many, MANY great, unknown musicians who recorded very obscure compositions by even more obscure composers... and HERE is the merit of record collecting: not a mere accumulating rare waxes, per se, but learning about music written to the limits of an instrument, music not made for selling... so the most pure of music.

Like Bert Jansch, not a double-bassist, of course, but a GREAT musician, said: "If you sell your music, you sell your soul; if you give your music, you buy your freedom!".

Applicable or not to double bass, it's utterly true.

"..............." (Will fill here a personal double bass music discography soon).

In the meantime, please have a look to my double bass shop of choice:

Double bass 2die4

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