Josh Cohen: Solo Bass Arrangement of “Chameleon”

Here is a video that will freak you out musically and visually. Josh Cohen created a beautiful, funky arrangement of Herbie Hancock’s “Chameleon,” and decided to do something a little different for the video. The bassist is clad in an all white suit and moves erratically to emphasize parts of the song.

While the visual dynamic may be bizarre, the bass playing is beyond stellar.

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Share your thoughts

  1. Mike Matthews

    Cool tune, and GREAT solo bass performance of this tune too. I DIG!!!

  • wicked arrangement! also what make is your strap? looks comfy as anything :)

  • David Brouillette

    Very nice Josh, I really enjoyed that. Beautiful clean tone and excellent arrangement.

  • That was awesome , nicely done and that bass sounds terrific, good filming with the different moves and color changes. Now I cant get the sound of the bass playing out of my head, guess I’m going to try and play it, that’s try.

    • Thanks Dochok! I will eventually chart out the entire arrangement, and put it up for sale on my website http://www.themusicofjoshcohen.com. However I imagine it will end up being like 20 pages long lol.

      • Thanks’ Josh,
        Its like your playing two basses in one with this arrangement and I’m lucky to get down one half,
        lucky if I get a fourth down but anyhow it really sounded great, I have some friends that will appreciate this as I did. It was like my brain was seeing double and hearing it too.

        Thank you for sharing this,
        Doc.Hok.

  • That is some pretty insane bass playing. Its almost like you’re playing piano on a bass. Herbie needs to see this!

  • Just awesome. As usual, Josh you amaze me again. Just loved the arrangement!!

  • One of the best out there.

  • Peter Eratostene

    Amazing stuff Josh, truly inspiring. Keep it up!

  • Dan Joseph

    woah. really took me back. made me relisten to all my favourite old herbie hancock tunes. would love to hear a version of ‘Sly’.
    looked up Josh Cohen on youtube and saw some sweet nature videos with solo bass!

  • WHOA! This is crazy, Thanks for posting this and filling me in on this awesome bass player, WHERE DID THIS GUY COME FROM? does he ever show his face?

  • As always, amazing playing. Josh really is one of the new pioneers of solo bass playing in my opinion. Great to see such pro visuals too :-)

  • Micah D

    Crazy video and crazy bass playing. This guy is a monster!

  • Nice song and I like that bass with heart shaped tuning keys, I’ve never seen that before.
    This music reminds me of another band but I cant quite place it , maybe something between Black Sabbath and Lynyrd Skynyrd .

    Doc.Hok.

  • Amazing display of technique and rythm. It’s a great arrangement, hope Herbie gets to see it. Loved it the minute I heard it. Sigue así, saludos desde México!

  • Woody Jones

    A true innovator !!!!!! Monster groove Sir !

  • Erin

    Wow, really well played Josh. You’ve got great rhythm and swing in your playing!

  • Excellent translation, Josh. I love everything about this video. Your tone is awesome. Almost as awesome as your playing. I truly envy your hand independence. It’s something I’m working on and this video REALLY gives me a goal to shoot for :) Thank you.

    • Hey Jeff, thank you for your kind words. I will hopefully put together a transcription of this arrangement soon so that everyone with the impetus can learn it. The key to all of the contrapuntal playing between the two hands, other than the technique itself, is to work on each section one bar (sometimes less) at a time. Then try to play each contrapuntal phrase in a few different keys and gradually increase the tempo before moving on to the next phrase. Slowly, but surely you’ll begin to piece it together until you say “oh man I’ve got it”, and with that musical buzz you’ll feel empowered to continue learning. Anyways, just my two cents.

  • Sean

    “Chameleon” is one of the first jazz standards I ever heard. Josh takes it to a whole new level. Breathtaking, refreshing, and Mr. Hancock would dig it too. WOW!

  • Sav Cardoz

    Awesome stuff Josh!

  • Garuda

    Wow! That is just amazing Josh. Great job and nice video!

  • Good work. Needs the bridge.

    • Thanks Jonathan. If by “bridge” you mean ‘B’ Section, it is there. Once in the original statement of the head prior to solos and once afterwards.

  • Karim Koreitem

    Hey Josh, killer video! Quick question, are you playing the chords and the bass line with the left hand while soloing in the right hand?

    • Thanks Karim! To answer your question, yes I am. Sometimes by tapping the Root, 3rd, and 7th, and other times just the Root and only one of the guide tones (3rd or 7th), with intermittent connecting bass lines, all with the left hand. This specific use of the two-hand tapping technique allows melodies to be tapped by the right hand on the C, G, or D string.

      Prior to the development of this particular use of the technique, I was only achieving the bipartite effect of a bass line and a melody, however now I know it is possible to have it be tripartite with chords, bass line and melody.The key is that the guide tones being tapped by the left hand need to be tapped on the upper strings (in terms of pitch) that are not already being occupied by the right hand melody. I hope this answers your question.

  • Josh is crazybass awesome I enjoyed his performance and his arrangements.