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Jamerson Kaye Dunn etc


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#1 only4

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:12 AM

Do we know how much musical input these legendary sessions musicians had on the bass lines they played?
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#2 The Jaywalker

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:20 AM

James Jamerson was originally a jazz bassist. Seems like a lot of his lines were improvised to an extent in the studio. Whether the basic groove was occasionally set by an MD/writer woyld be interesting to know.
Depends on the producer/MD i guess. I will risk hellfire from all quarters by stating that George Martin had a fair bit of input with the Beatles bass parts (he was the arranger/MD after all) and i'm told (reliably) that he wrote the Penny Lane line. Doesnt affect the music or my enjoyment of it but some folks have the Beatles pedestal thing going on...

#3 SpondonBassed

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:34 AM

View Postonly4, on 08 September 2017 - 11:12 AM, said:

Do we know how much musical input these legendary sessions musicians had on the bass lines they played?

Where would you get that sort of information from anyway? I'd love to know too.

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#4 SpondonBassed

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:37 AM

View PostThe Jaywalker, on 08 September 2017 - 11:20 AM, said:

...I will risk hellfire from all quarters by stating that George Martin had a fair bit of input with the Beatles bass parts (he was the arranger/MD after all) and i'm told (reliably) that he wrote the Penny Lane line. Doesnt affect the music or my enjoyment of it but some folks have the Beatles pedestal thing going on...

I have a pedestal in my garden that I've seen the occasional beetle on but despite that I am sure Maccer was receptive to GM's ideas. I think he says somewhere that the fabs learned a lot from George.

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#5 dlloyd

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:37 AM

Jamerson both improvised and sight read parts... I don't know if you're aware of the Carol Kaye/Jamerson where Kaye claims credit for some of the Motown hits that Jamerson is said to have played on, but part of your question is answered by some of that argument:

"Improvised vs. Written Parts - Her claim to "Reach Out" is based upon her contention that "discerning musicians can hear that the parts weren't improvised. It was a written part". James Jamerson regularly improvised and sight read parts of that complexity. Part of his genius was that he could take a written part and make it sound as if it was his. Regardless of this argument, I have a photocopy of the original Union contract from the "Reach Out" session. It's dated July 6, 1966 (the year of the tune's release), it lists James Jamerson as the bassist (for which he received the princely sum of $61.00), and Detroit's Hitsville studio is indicated as the place where it was recorded. Carol herself admits that she never recorded in Detroit. "

#6 lowdown

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 11:45 AM

A lot of the things Carole Kaye was involved in regarding film/tv (not the motown stuff - a different matter altogether..lol) were quite often notated. They were section specific arrangements.
(huge LA sessions with arranger, orchestrators, copyists/engravers etc).
CK had two Facebook pages and she quite often recounted various sessions and what was involved, chart and score wise. She would reply to any of your posts/questions as well.
{Although the Facebook pages seemed to have vanished, which is a shame, because she was good for a natter and a laugh with some great LA studio life stories)
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#7 The Jaywalker

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 01:04 PM

 dlloyd, on 08 September 2017 - 11:37 AM, said:

Jamerson both improvised and sight read parts... I don't know if you're aware of the Carol Kaye/Jamerson where Kaye claims credit for some of the Motown hits that Jamerson is said to have played on, but part of your question is answered by some of that argument:

"Improvised vs. Written Parts - Her claim to "Reach Out" is based upon her contention that "discerning musicians can hear that the parts weren't improvised. It was a written part". James Jamerson regularly improvised and sight read parts of that complexity. Part of his genius was that he could take a written part and make it sound as if it was his. Regardless of this argument, I have a photocopy of the original Union contract from the "Reach Out" session. It's dated July 6, 1966 (the year of the tune's release), it lists James Jamerson as the bassist (for which he received the princely sum of $61.00), and Detroit's Hitsville studio is indicated as the place where it was recorded. Carol herself admits that she never recorded in Detroit. "
Slam dunk ;-)

#8 The Jaywalker

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 01:31 PM

 SpondonBassed, on 08 September 2017 - 11:37 AM, said:



I have a pedestal in my garden that I've seen the occasional beetle on but despite that I am sure Maccer was receptive to GM's ideas. I think he says somewhere that the fabs learned a lot from George.
Yeah, absolutely. No way a lot of those arrangements and chord progressions would have happened without GM, simply because he re-wrote them and the band were into it. It was his job. Some of the greatest pop music of all time. Flip side of that is also evident as well - even officially-approved Beatles bios have mentioned McCartney's ego-tendency to lay claim to GM's stuff (brass band stuff springs to mind).
I guess the point is that it's not only session players who play parts producers/MD have put in the music. It's pretty common.

#9 lowdown

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 02:05 PM

Looks like full length version of 'The Wrecking Crew' has been posted up on YouTube - Well worth a watch.


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#10 chris_b

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 03:21 PM

Duck Dunn, Carol Kaye and Jamerson improvised and/or read their lines. It all depended on the producer.

Some producers insisted that their parts were played exactly as written and some just came with the chords scribbled on a fag packet. There was every other kind of session in between. Nathan East, Sean Hurley and Alex Al etc say that many producers expect the bass player to "leave something to the table", ie come up with an interesting twist on the bass lines.
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#11 ambient

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 03:43 PM

 chris_b, on 08 September 2017 - 03:21 PM, said:

Duck Dunn, Carol Kaye and Jamerson improvised and/or read their lines. It all depended on the producer.

Some producers insisted that their parts were played exactly as written and some just came with the chords scribbled on a fag packet. There was every other kind of session in between. Nathan East, Sean Hurley and Alex Al etc say that many producers expect the bass player to "leave something to the table", ie come up with an interesting twist on the bass lines.

Which is why they'd be booked, they want 'their' signature on the part.

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#12 ambient

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 03:47 PM

 The Jaywalker, on 08 September 2017 - 01:31 PM, said:


Yeah, absolutely. No way a lot of those arrangements and chord progressions would have happened without GM, simply because he re-wrote them and the band were into it. It was his job. Some of the greatest pop music of all time. Flip side of that is also evident as well - even officially-approved Beatles bios have mentioned McCartney's ego-tendency to lay claim to GM's stuff (brass band stuff springs to mind).
I guess the point is that it's not only session players who play parts producers/MD have put in the music. It's pretty common.

I think GM's input is evident from the way they went from being a pop band producing stuff that was very similar to that of many other bands of the time, to producing Yesterday and Eleanor Rigby.


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Posted 08 September 2017 - 03:52 PM

I know very little about Carol Kaye or Dunn. From what I've read about Jamerson, the parts were written for him, but he was expected to add his thing, and improvise. The standing in the shadows of Motown book is a great resource if you're interested in Jamerson's work. You can see the improvisation, subtle changes and development as the line progresses.

Edited by ambient, 08 September 2017 - 04:20 PM.

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#14 spectoremg

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 04:15 PM

Reminds me of that awesome exchange that went on on the last Kaye/Jamerson thread which I think was locked in the end :D

#15 Burns-bass

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 07:30 PM

If anyone is interested I interviewed Caroline Kaye about this stuff, but never published the article as I didn't get around to writing it. Anyway, can post the stuff somewhere of anyone is interested? Includes a load of her handwritten transcripts, contracts and stuff as well.
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#16 lowdown

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 09:12 PM

View PostBurns-bass, on 08 September 2017 - 07:30 PM, said:

If anyone is interested I interviewed Caroline Kaye about this stuff, but never published the article as I didn't get around to writing it. Anyway, can post the stuff somewhere of anyone is interested? Includes a load of her handwritten transcripts, contracts and stuff as well.

Burns-Bass, yes I would be interested if you can post up somewhere.
I am sure there would be others interested too.
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#17 Burns-bass

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Posted 08 September 2017 - 10:23 PM

I'll stick it all in DropBox tomorrow and post the link.
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Posted 09 September 2017 - 04:22 AM

I can always tell the difference between a Jamerson and a Kaye bassline.

One grooves, the other plods along playing pretty pedestrian lines
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Posted 09 September 2017 - 06:50 AM

Maybe it was written ploddy ...
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#20 lowdown

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 07:04 AM

I don't get this 'plods' thing. If it was written ploddy, surely it would be on the beat?
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#21 SpondonBassed

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 08:46 AM

View PostBurns-bass, on 08 September 2017 - 07:30 PM, said:

If anyone is interested I interviewed Caroline Kaye about this stuff, but never published the article as I didn't get around to writing it. Anyway, can post the stuff somewhere of anyone is interested? Includes a load of her handwritten transcripts, contracts and stuff as well.

I'd read it if it were for free.

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#22 chris_b

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 10:05 AM

Hey. . . . why can't we be bothered to have a discussion about musicians who changed the sound and style of music forever?

Instead of just slagging them off?
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Posted 09 September 2017 - 10:19 AM

View Postchris_b, on 09 September 2017 - 10:05 AM, said:

Hey. . . . why can't we be bothered to have a discussion about musicians who changed the sound and style of music forever?

Instead of just slagging them off?

I agree. Both Kaye and Jamerson are considered icons of the bass, and Kaye is one of the most recorded bassists. So...millions around the world , including top class artists who used them, would beg to differ with the "ploddy" tag.

#24 SpondonBassed

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:20 AM

I just found out that Donald Dunn wasn't actually a duck.

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#25 louisthebass

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:22 AM

View PostCoilte, on 09 September 2017 - 10:19 AM, said:

I agree. Both Kaye and Jamerson are considered icons of the bass, and Kaye is one of the most recorded bassists. So...millions around the world , including top class artists who used them, would beg to differ with the "ploddy" tag.

+1.
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#26 lowdown

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 11:34 AM

PC Plod jacked it all in to go pedestrian on 'Chump Change'.... :D


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#27 chris_b

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Posted 09 September 2017 - 12:32 PM

They used to read those sessions.

Apparently you got 2 takes.

If you needed anymore than that your chances of getting the call for the next session rapidly diminished.
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#28 Burns-bass

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 09:57 AM

Hi all, i've got the stuff from Carol Kaye. Rather than post an open link, if you want me to share it with you, then pop me a PM. All free etc.
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#29 SpondonBassed

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 01:43 PM

View PostBurns-bass, on 10 September 2017 - 09:57 AM, said:

Hi all, i've got the stuff from Carol Kaye. Rather than post an open link, if you want me to share it with you, then pop me a PM. All free etc.

Many thanks.

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#30 lowdown

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Posted 10 September 2017 - 01:49 PM

PM sent. Thanks. :)
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