From the Bottom: The History of Jazz Bass (in 15 Choruses)

Using a G Blues, I’ll trace the history of jazz bass playing over the last 100 years. Playing in the style of 15 of my favorite upright bassists, I’ll give them each one chorus and demonstrate the progression of the jazz bass solo from Pops Foster to Christian McBride.

This is not a definitive list, but a list of great bassists who have helped define MY playing through the years!

Here’s a timestamp breakdown for what’s covered in the video:

  1. 00:00: Head
  2. 00:29: ‘Pops’ Foster
  3. 00:52: Walter Page
  4. 01:15: Jimmie Blanton
  5. 01:38: ‘Slam’ Stewart
  6. 02:02: Oscar Pettiford
  7. 02:25: Ray Brown
  8. 02:48: Paul Chambers
  9. 03:11: Charles Mingus
  10. 03:35: Charlie Haden
  11. 03:58: Ron Carter
  12. 04:21: Scott LaFaro
  13. 04:44: Rufus Reid
  14. 05:07: Stanley Clarke
  15. 05:31: John Patitucci
  16. 05:54: Christian McBride
  17. 06:17: Head Out

Paul Thompson has been playing bass professionally for over 30 years, including recording and touring stints with trumpeter Maynard Ferguson and saxophonist Stanley Turrentine. Recent playing credits include Bob Reynolds, John Pizzarelli, Jeff 'Tain' Watts, and Bob James, among others. Currently, he can be seen playing in and around the Pittsburgh, PA area with the THOTH Trio, the Pittsburgh Jazz Orchestra, and many other musicians in the city's rich Jazz community. An educator of over 25 years, Paul currently teaches Jazz Bass at Duquesne University, West Virginia University, and his alma mater, Pittsburgh CAPA 6-12 Performing Arts School.

Connect with Paul on Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, and his website.

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