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Here come the dots

Author: Tom Kenrick

Groove Of The Week #39: Incognito – ‘Talkin’ Loud’

From Basses to Buses – Wear Your Damn Earplugs – Time Management It’s 2017 and I’m still way behind on this damn project. Here’s Randy Hope-Taylor’s excellent part on Incognito’s…

From Basses to Buses – Wear Your Damn Earplugs – Time Management

It’s 2017 and I’m still way behind on this damn project. Here’s Randy Hope-Taylor’s excellent part on Incognito’s ‘Talkin’ Loud’:

I hear a clear hat-tip to one Francis Rocco Prestia (with a hint of Jaco’s ‘Come On, Come Over’ groove thrown in). The tempo isn’t bright enough to make the syncopated semiquaver line too troublesome, although shifting up and down the neck in time to grab the high-register double stops might take some practise. 

Here are the dots:

incognito-talkinloud

I didn’t discover Incognito until the age of 19 when I was introduced to the ‘Tribes, Scribes & Vibes’ album by one of my tutors. Randy Hope-Taylor’s superlative playing on this (and other) Incognito albums definitely had a profound effect on me. Rumour has it that Randy has been known to drive London buses from time to time…

 

Now Hear This

A few weeks ago I bit the bullet and got my hearing tested. While I’ve always tried to be diligent about wearing earplugs at gigs and rehearsals I still find that my tinnitus is noticeable and it isn’t getting any better. Here’s what almost 17 years of live music look like:

img_3685

If you work as a musician in the UK then you might be eligible for the Musician’s Hearing Health Scheme which allows you to have a hearing test and custom moulded earplugs for £40 (instead of the usual £170).

 

It’s About Time

In the nebulous wasteland between Christmas and New Year, I always fall into the trap of looking back over the previous 12 months and fixating on all the things that I still haven’t managed to achieve, then resolving that next year will somehow be different and I’ll get everything done.

Time management is something that I have always struggled with, and this video really hit home:

If you’re not familiar with Bob Reynolds (either his music or his vlog) then I’d highly recommend becoming thoroughly acquainted with both.

 

 

 

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Groove Of The Week #38: Esperanza Spalding – ‘Funk The Fear’

Esperanza’s Chromatic Odyssey – Getting In The Festive Spirit   Here’s a funky finger-twister from one of my favourite bassists, Esperanza Spalding: Here's a 12-tone finger twister from Esperanza Spalding:…

Esperanza’s Chromatic Odyssey – Getting In The Festive Spirit

 

Here’s a funky finger-twister from one of my favourite bassists, Esperanza Spalding:

 

If you take a look at the dots you’ll notice that it contains all 12 pitches from the chromatic scale:

esperanza-spalding-funk-the-fear

 

Normally the preserve of modern classical composers, 12-tone serialism gets a modern reworking here thanks to Esperanza. Although some of the note choices are decidedly more ‘out there’ than most funk bass grooves, there are some elements that feature in numerous classic funk lines; the use of octave motifs and chromatic approaches with the percolating semiquaver rhythm lend an air of familiarity to an otherwise otherworldly groove. 

‘Emily’s D+Evolution’ is packed full of interesting harmonic twists such as this, mixed with melodies that betray a pop sensibility and (of course) groove-laden bass playing.

 

‘Tis The Season

Sleigh bells. Compound time. Choirs of children. Weird non-diatonic chord progressions.

These are a few of the hallmarks of the Christmas hits that rear their ugly heads at this time of year.

In previous years I’ve told myself that I’ll write them down to avoid having to re-learn them next Christmas, and having recently endured the horror of listening to them again I’ve finally started putting together charts for the usual Christmas suspects.

Here are the first two:

Slade – Merry Xmas Everybody

Shakin’ Stevens – Merry Christmas Everyone

 

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