Good Friend is one of those gems you can find if you follow your Discover Weekly list
on Spotify religiously. I knew Emily King from another song called Distance
that was transcribed and covered by Pedro Zappa. Despite that, I never looked into her
album called The Switch until Spotify listed Good Friend.
There are a few interesting bits about the bassline, the electric synth sound
which was played by Mike Lavalleusing an original Novation Bass
Station, the slightly awkward and sustaining chopped-off rhythm and those
nice, tasty fills. To recreate that sound I resorted to a Markbass MB
Octaver which is a discontinued, faithful copy of the venerable BOSS OC-2.
But I am GASing for a Novation Bass Station II now for a while already.
I have never been a fan of the Dire Straits and until a month ago I knew nothing
besides the fact that they wrote Sultans of Swing and Mark Knopfler is their
guitar player. Well that changed after this month’s
SBLCover Challenge which featured the
song Your Latest Trick from the album Brothers in Arms. What caught me by
surprise was the relatively complex chord progression, the anticipated note
motif and the nice little fills by bass player John Illsley. To my surprise, I
could not find a good transcription …
Both Questlove and D’Angelo cite J Dilla (born James Yancey) to be a visionary
and an eye opener. He single-handedly invented the sloppy, slugging
behind-the-beat feel that is now considered a staple typical for Neo Soul,
Fusion and Hip Hop acts. Rumours say it happened by accident, when the samples
were not aligned “correctly” to the beat grid but shifted ever so slightly. In a
video, Questlove explains how he had to unlearn the rhythmic tightness and
precision he acquired over the years in order to achieve the musical ideas of
D’Angelo based on J Dilla’s beats.
Unfortunately, J Dilla died early in 2006 on a rare condition. However instead of giving
in, he produced his final solo album The Diary lying in a hospital bed. Off of
that album, Gangsta Boogie is a prime example for the aforementioned style,
which a transcription hardly can capture.
Avishai Cohen alongside Christian McBride is my favorite contemporary upright
bassist. Unlike McBride, he has developed a very particular sound and approach
to music, mixing modern Jazz with Latin and middle eastern influences. In the
past, he became famous being the bass player for the Chick Corea band but since
then made a huge impact with his own group and trio work.
Calm is a song from Cohen’s Continuo album featuring Sam Barsh playing keys
(coincidently, he also appears on Anderson .Paak’s Malibu) and Mark
Guiliana on drums. Compared to most other tracks, Calm has a relatively
simple bassline and is driven mostly by arpeggios played by the piano.
José James and this particular track was one of those gems that I found in my
weekly discovery list on Spotify. Thanks Spotify! Anyway, José James is a former
Jazz singer who turned to a more RnB and Neo-Soul style with his Blue Note debut
record No Beginning No End which contains also features the track Trouble.
To get an idea about the entire record and James’ past as well, I highly
recommend you to check out the review Pursuing Many Paths to Find His Own in
the New York Times.
I have no verification, but the bass on this track might come from the venerable
Pino Palladino. The track features a J Dillaesque laid back rhythm during the
main riff that is played by drums and bass. In the verse the rhythm becomes a
bit more straight while the chorus incorporates nice eighth note anticipations.
Unlike most RnB and Soul which tends to be harmonically simple, Trouble
features an interesting almost Jazz-like chord progression over four different