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I opened up a mouthpiece for one of my favorite tenor players, and had to take it for a practical run before I felt confident that it was ready for release. It had to go out the Tuesday after MLK day so I took it to my local Monday night jam for a trial.

I'll be damned! The bass player felt the beat exactly one beat behind the rest of the band for 7 minutes of the 9 minute song. I was unfamiliar with his playing. You never know what to expect on a Monday night, but this was a first. Typically I would do my best to set clear downbeats to adjust to one or the other, but I took this as a challenge. It was an old fashioned standoff. Who would break first?

What would you do?????

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pvfbnvu5idi0fg0/AAB7sD-fFvi17xwjT-Vx59j2a?dl=0
 

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I opened up a mouthpiece for one of my favorite tenor players, and had to take it for a practical run before I felt confident that it was ready for release. It had to go out the Tuesday after MLK day so I took it to my local Monday night jam for a trial.

I'll be damned! The bass player felt the beat exactly one beat behind the rest of the band for 7 minutes of the 9 minute song. I was unfamiliar with his playing. You never know what to expect on a Monday night, but this was a first. Typically I would do my best to set clear downbeats to adjust to one or the other, but I took this as a challenge. It was an old fashioned standoff. Who would break first?

What would you do?????

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pvfbnvu5idi0fg0/AAB7sD-fFvi17xwjT-Vx59j2a?dl=0
Are you sure he was a beat behind? I listened to some of it and it sounded like he was playing a groove that was just accenting 2 a lot. It still sounded like he was changing chords on beat 1 but because 2 was so accented much of the time it sounded different. I actually kind of dug it! Great playing by you by the way!!
 

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By the way, I did a duo gig with a piano player once and on one tune I felt like I kept messing up the time on the bridge. For the whole tune I kept thinking "What the hell is my problem on this bridge?" After the tune I asked the piano player and he said he was trying something new by dropping a half beat from the beginning of the bridge and then adding a half beat to the end of the bridge. Basically displacing the whole bridge by half a beat. ***? That was just the kind of guy he was........No evil intent but just wanted to see what would happen.
 

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Reminds me of playing in a band with a Cuban bassist. We learned a lot from her about playing the Cuban style, but I often had trouble finding beat one.
 

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I have worked with a bass player who can't read music, nor could he play by ear. But he could keep time.
 

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I'll echo what Steve said......he was exactly where he should've been, but emphasizing beat 2 of each measure. Maybe a little odd if you weren't expecting it, but none the less still on. You also sounded very nice!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Are you sure he was a beat behind? I listened to some of it and it sounded like he was playing a groove that was just accenting 2 a lot. It still sounded like he was changing chords on beat 1 but because 2 was so accented much of the time it sounded different. I actually kind of dug it!
That's what I thought, but it was clear that he was not quite that skilled during the following tunes. Besides, It's really hard for even the most skilled bass players to hold down beat two for that long. It was pretty hip to me in the moment. I tried for fun with my bass player and we were in stitches at how hard it was. HAHA
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Reminds me of playing in a band with a Cuban bassist. We learned a lot from her about playing the Cuban style, but I often had trouble finding beat one.
When I moved to the Bay Area I began playing with some West Africans who basically invented Afro-beat. I have never been schooled so hard. Same thing. My Western brain wanted to feel beat one so hard. I learned how to know my entrances in correlation to the other parts happening. They use to count us in with four beats, but starting on random beats, and even upbeats. It was terrifying on gigs.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'll echo what Steve said......he was exactly where he should've been, but emphasizing beat 2 of each measure. Maybe a little odd if you weren't expecting it, but none the less still on. You also sounded very nice!
Carrying over onto beat one disrupted that descending passing tone in that song, and sounded off harmonically to me. It seems like if one were skilled enough to move a whole tune behind a beat it would have been a democratic decision. His time is good, but only because I think he literally felt beat one on beat two. The drummer suggested the Poinciana beat and started without counting off. It's easy to feel your own '1' in that scenario as it happened to sandster and me with musicians who feel time differently in their culture. Not sure the bass player was familiar with that feel.
 

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What else to do but keep on keepin' on, like you did, Tommy.
I liked it overall.
The unfamiliarity was all that it probably was, really.
You played great as usual.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
What else to do but keep on keepin' on, like you did, Tommy.
I liked it overall.
The unfamiliarity was all that it probably was, really.
You played great as usual.
Hey thanks for the compliments all! I just am baffled at how someone could do this intentionally or unintentionally for that long. I've been trying to play everything on beat two today, and it's quite challenging.
 

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I've stopped a jam when things got turned around.
It just wasn't fun.
The bass played followed the time and harmony but the keys and guitar went another way.
I was soloing and just stopped and waved my hands,
 

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I agree with Neff about the bass player. Also found that you on sax sounded very good, the rhythm section didn't play a vibe I like (to me they sounded very incoherent, a bunch of individuals instead of a 'rhythm' section).
 

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I listened to the track, your concept and sound was great for the tune.
The hi hat stayed constant on 2,4 but the drummer was busy.
The piano seemed fine.
The bass felt weird but seemed to know where the harmony was.
I had to concentrate to keep things straight.
 

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I was playing a Latin song that I was a bit unfamiliar with. This was in a Quartet and the drummer played a different pattern each measure. This completely threw my sense of where we were in the song. I could usually pick out 12 bar and 8 bar patterns but not this time.
 

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I agree with Neff about the bass player. Also found that you on sax sounded very good, the rhythm section didn't play a vibe I like (to me they sounded very incoherent, a bunch of individuals instead of a 'rhythm' section).
BINGO
 

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The sound coming from my old Macbook does not give me any bass at all, so what I hear mostly is very fine sax playing with hi-hat and cymbals seemingly in time. Your playing was rock-solid, rhythmically speaking. Nice!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
I agree with Neff about the bass player. Also found that you on sax sounded very good, the rhythm section didn't play a vibe I like (to me they sounded very incoherent, a bunch of individuals instead of a 'rhythm' section).
I agree about the rhythm section. The piano player actually hosts the jam, but I get the sense he doesn't really care to listen to jazz very much. These are retired guys just playing for fun and or vanity. I respect that community.
 
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