Jonas Tauber is a naturally gifted as well as a highly trained musician. He has a classical background as a cellist but changed courses in life (as he often likes to do) and became an Avant-garde bassist. We played quite a bit together while he was living in Portland. I'd have to say that the most rewarding experiences I've ever had playing free music were with him. This is an e-mail he sent me recently, he raises some interesting points.
It sounds, I'm afraid, like you just don't have enough to do ;)
I have developed ideas on bass playing, not quite consciously, over the time I have spent here with people who practice too much in the wrong direction as far as I'm concerned, and it seems like there's a slightly more concrete idea peeking out of the woods of too many notes: once I take a chart and learn the melody, the harmony, play the harmony on the bass, play as much of it all together as I can, integrate the form of the piece, or the version of the form that makes sense to me (Speak No Evil: good example where I took and destroyed the form on the chart in a session and turned it into an AAABAC form) it seems at that point that I forget everything I have done and concentrate on the one thing that makes jazz beautiful as an art form to me: interactivity. With other musicians. Listening to what's happening within whatever form that is. I have fought with my own sense of helplessness in playing with people to have set ideas of what they were doing, feeling inadequate at every turn, and finally found my own personal solution of just listening, reacting, and stimulating things into a direction that made sense to me at least. Some of the other concrete ideas were that I don't even like doing substitutions and complicated things, my solos are becoming more and more melodic, in the older sense, singing solos as well as bass lines on the instrument so that somehow the melodic integrity of the bass line frees certain things up in the soloist, while spontaneously jiving with the drummer or rhythm part of the composition and/or band, be it a chart or free playing (becoming more and more similar to me by the way), and that way creating a sense of synergy between the music that is happening and the muse herself that is simply the most stimulating thing I can think of besides sex... Two cents for no real reason except each time I get an email from you and read the blogs this pops up in my head.
Hope you are well!
- this thread is continued in the comments.........