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Old 09-09-2007, 08:15 AM
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Ken Smith Ken Smith is offline
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Lightbulb Great Jazz Basses (a new one discovered by me!)

I just posted this on the Cornerless Italian Thread but thought it would be good reading here. We had a Thread back on TB about the Great Basses in Jazz. If you like, let's start it up again.

Last night for the first time I used my Cornerless Bass (Attr. Storioni) on a fairly long Jazz gig. It was just a Duo with Piano. Normally I would use my Bisiach 'labeled' Bass as it's kind of a do-all type Bass and fitted for a Pickup as well.

I received a call from a friend about a week ago about an unveiling of a Mosaic of the Riccardi Bass made by an Artist that is the wife of one of Riccardi's former Students. To be respectful, I brought the Bass to the ceremony and placed it beside the Mosaic for all to take pictures and see them side by side. I believe the Mosiac was made from the photos on my website as it doesn't show the C-extension that is in all the pictures of Riccardi playing the Bass. I removed it because I used the Ebony Chromatic type and not the mechanical version.

Anyway, to avoid carrying two Basses from my house on a 2-hour trip and then back to Philly for a 5 hour gig (yes, we play five(5) 45 min. sets with 15 min. breaks.. a long haul), I put my old trusty 1970s AKG mic wrapped in foam inside the Bridge feet like back in the old Studio days.

This Bass sounded so fat that when my son came in to listen from behind a wall where he couldn't see me, he thought I had brought a much bigger Bass as the further away you get in a room, the louder that Bass is acoustically. The Mic was only used for a little presence so that the piano player could hear my notes. He could feel the Bass, but couldn't hear it being so close.

With the Bass strung with regular Flexocor and a Stark Flex 'E', my son Jon said it sounded like Ray Brown's Bass, attack wise! I know the Bass is a top class bowing-orchestral Bass but until last night I had never tested its Jazz capabilities.

By the way, this Bass still has to go into restoration for about a year long overhaul. I wonder if it could sound even better? That is scary. There were several Bassists at the Riccardi Memorial and all of them had stories to tell about that Bass. It was fun watching them line up to try it once again as it had been awhile since any of them had seen or played that Bass.

I hope to be getting some Jpegs sent to me soon of the Mosaic as well as some photos of Riccardi playing the Bass. I will then put together a memorial page for him linked from the Cornerless Bass's page for all to see.
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