Not so long ago, the string bass stood tall and proud — roughly the length and breadth of a poor man’s pine coffin — in every musical aggregation throughout the land from Bangor to Buenos Aires, from the highest high life to the lowest lowdown: From tuxedoed symphony ensembles to tipsy calypso bands to honkytonkers in oil-field dives, from elegantly gelled tango orchestras to jazz combos in unspeakable speak-easys to methed-out rockabilly trios right off some flatbed.
Bass Player Magazine: “Few releases are as special and fun as this new 3 CD set, which uncovers the origins of recorded upright bass.”
New York Times: “Tuning into the bass with this particular sequence of records can clear up one of the most elusive qualities of early jazz: its deep relationship to all this other new-world music. In four tracks between 1929 and 1932, for example, we hear the bassist Al Morgan with the Trinidadian bandleaders Wilmoth Houdini and Lionel Belasco; we also hear him in New Orleans and Harlem jazz groups. His rhythmic vocabulary and relationship to the beat is much the same. This was how cross-pollination worked. If this particular light bulb hasn’t gone on for you before, it will now.”