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  • Ray’s raving about… Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society

    Secret Society is an all-star 18-piece big band led by composer Darcy James Argue. This is not the usual music you think of when you hear the words “big band”. Darcy mixes minimalism, contemporary classical, indie rock and jazz styles. The music has great complexity and beauty and I really enjoy all the musical styles... »

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  • Ask Damian Erskine: Odd Time Signatures

    Q: How can I work on getting more comfortable playing in odd time signatures? A: Great question! The first thing I’d say is, there really are NO odd time signatures. Who made 4/4 the king of all time signatures? A time signature is only “odd” because you aren’t used to hearing it. More accurately, you... »

  • A Review of the Linda Oh Trio’s “Entry”

    Wow! This CD certainly defied my expectations. A young musician not long out of music college releases a debut record and you might expect something designed to impress with a few standards, a touch of flash, derivative playing, maybe a guest star appearance and a disparate set of styles and moods. This record is nothing... »

  • Ray’s Raving About… Kenny Werner’s “Effortless Mastery”

    Ray’s Raving About… Kenny Werner’s “Effortless Mastery”

    Effortless Mastery by Kenny Werner is a book I never keep far from my reach and I recommend to EVERYONE. The subtitle to this book is “Liberating The Master Musician Within”. Although the applications of this book could benefit to any profession it is so refreshing to have something like this written by a musicians... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Reading Scenarios

    Q: Quick followup question to a recent No Treble column… In your article you mention reading as being a big part of being a professional musician. What types of reading scenarios are put in-front of you as a bassist? A: It really depends on the styles of music you might try and play (especially with... »

  • A Review of Rudder’s “Matorning”

    Matorning should carry a warning sticker, something like “Listening to this record while in public may make you look like a complete lunatic”. The grooves are that infectious. This is a jazz record in the widest and best sense, and it features an improvisational groove music that swings like crazy. But it features few solos... »

  • Ray’s raving about… Konnakol

    Konnakol is the comprehensive language of rhythm which allows the composition, performance or communication of rhythms in any style. Konnakol uses syllables that are aimed at optimizing vocal performance and allow you to create seemingly endless amounts rhythms. Konnakol is something I’ve studied for many years now. Whereas Western music puts more emphasis on harmony,... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Playing with and around the beat

    Q: What is and how do you play behind or ahead of the beat? Is it just rushing or dragging? A: Good time is an obvious starting point. A great bass player is in control of their internal clock. You should be adept at playing dead ON the beat, pulling behind, pushing ahead and everywhere... »

  • Ask Damian Erskine: Getting Jazz

    Q: What is the best way to “get” jazz. in school, we had a ton of theory shoved at us but it really seemed disconnected. Solos still get me to this day because while theoretically sound, they sound manufactured. A: There are certain styles that one must “marry” in order to play with any authority.... »

  • The Lowdown with Dr. D.: Making the Switch from Electric to Upright (part 2 of 3)

    Last time we talked about some of the general concepts involved in making the switch from Electric to Upright Bass. It’s a fairly big subject, so we are going to continue down this road for the next several installments. As I mentioned last time, an accomplished Electric player can often pump out a line on... »