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Discussion Starter #1
Allo guys,,I have been in lots of time having to play only as a trio instead of a quartet! When we are four ,base,piano,drums and tenor(soprano),the group is reall great,and lots of times,the base can't make it for different reasons!Base player are impossible to findover here a small town!So when we are only three,I feel that the drummer is just more in the way,and also gets on my nerve for some other reasons!So I was thinking of playing only as a duo on gigs,If the base is not there.Without the base it is so empty,but with the drum without the base it is even more strange! I keep telling the keyboard guy that we should play only as a duo whenever the baseman is'nt there!
What are your thoughts? The drummer is not exactly doing his practice,as he should too,cause I wish he would play with brushes,and change his style also,,since the first day I have been giving him cds with jazz drummer player,,but he never practices them ,or keeps on the same style and similar beats!!!!What do you think about this??
All the best,
Saxobari
 

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I agree a good solid base is essential if you want to avoid falling over - oh dear! do you mean BASS.

Sorry couldn't resist.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry guys,,yes Bass player!!

Allo again,sorry guys about my bad english,,I did ment Bass player..
Saxobari
 

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can the keyboard player play left hand bass? the drummer seems to be a different issue altogether, but I see how the problem there seems to loom larger when the bass is absent. Duo would work. ;)
 

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"It takes a great drummer to be better than no drummer at all."

--- Rick Fay (RIP)

As a pianist, I prefer playing without a drummer if there is no bass. As a horn player, I prefer playing with only a pianist if there is no bass and the pianist plays a full piano.

I do not care for left hand bass, however. Very few pianists can do the Dave McKenna thing well. There are better uses of the left hand. I prefer a piano style that states the rhythm and changes, keeps things filled in, solos properly, and maintains an accompaniment style during ensembles. Here's an example (recorded when I was a relatively new sax player).

http://www.alstevens.com/tunes/mp3s/ishouldcare.mp3

Even though this is a small resort town, there are three other pianists in the area who can handle that kind of accompaniment, so I have the luxury to indulge my preferences.

An aside: As a general rule, forget trying to tell a drummer to change how he plays. All it does is make him mad and strengthen his resolve to do it his own way.
 

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You obviously go with the duo if it means more money for you. Most decent pianists will adapt their style to suit.
Having said that, you can't beat jamming with just sax and drums.
 

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I often gig with a keyboard player who is rather hard to follow, fills every break and noodles (rather than straight comping) during other solos. It's come to the point where I have to insist upon having bass and drums with us just to give me something to hold it all together. When you come to think of it though, almost any sort of combo can pull off a job; depending of course upon the players, and whether or not they're willing to adapt their style accordingly.
 

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Straight comping usually doesn't work when the piano is the only accompaniment. You need a good statement of the time and the changes, which traditional comping, a format that depends on the bass and drums for that, does not provide.

There is a fine line that separates good accompaniment and being too busy, getting in the way. You have to find the spaces to fill and the lines to allow through while still maintaining the time. Accompanying singers is the best way I know to develop those skills.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Al,the piano guy can do a fair good job on doing both ,comping and also will do the base with his left hand!As for the drummer,treu by telling him how to play drums is kind of delicate,,but he needs to be told,If he wants also to progress in a positive way,i think that he should concentrate on being more of the style we do,and leave also the basedrum alone!!
I don't think that it is absolutely crusal to have a drummer,I prefer having a bassman besides me with the keybard then having a drummer without a bassman no question about that!
Thanks everyone for all your opinions of the subject!
All the best
Saxobari
 

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Al Stevens said:
"It takes a great drummer to be better than no drummer at all."

--- Rick Fay (RIP)
Al,

Thank you for this quote, which I had never heard.
It expresses my attitude exactly, especially in Jazz.

saxobari,

You are not alone with these difficulties.
Good luck to you & the keyboard player.

Do you have access to a decent rhythm guitarist?
If so consider no drummer, when the bassist is
available or not. Just a suggestion.

Probably I am a fool, as many assert,
but surely not for preferring to avoid
playing jazz with ham-handed drummers.
Subtle rhythmic wonderfulness is joy in jazz.

rabbit
 

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Get the pianist some kind of Hammond B3 set-up (Nord, Roland, or Korg have good sounds) and tell the bass player to take a hike or commit to your gigs.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Whaler,,I understand what you are saying about the bass guy,but he is a good bassman,also here there are no bassplayer at all,,except rock&roller ones,,which I really don't want!But,whenever he's available he's with us!!!
Rabbit,,guitar players are about the same situation as bassguy,,and I am totally 100 percent with you that it is difficult to deal with a drummer that is not putting work and don't do effort in his playing!I don't know what Ill do!
All the best,
Saxobari
 

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Sounds to me like you'd be far better off without that drummer in any case. I'd go with the duo (piano & sax) or the trio, when the bass can make it, in your particular situation. Maybe the drummer is one reason your bass player can't make many gigs? Nothing worse to a good bass player than to have to play with a poor drummer. For that matter, nothing is worse for any player than to put up with a poor drummer. Nothing better than playing with a really good drummer, though!
 

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I have a quartet. Without the bass player, I would rather just play a duo with the pianist and let the pianist, unless he is pretty accomplished, play out of a "songbook", that is, the type of book with the original piano arrangements which can be used as a piano solo or to accompany a singer (or sax player).

I have heard sax, guitar, and drum trio work OK, however.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
JL,,my next gig will be without the drummer,,just piano and saxe,,also as requested by the persons who did hired me!I already told the keyboard guy that this comin gig will be only as two players,,the drumer is definitely out!
For me,I do prefer only piano sax then having to carry a drummer that plays the same rythm,and also just wont put work to improve his style!On the other hand the drummer is a great guy,,but man his drumming just kills me at times!Thanks again everyone for your time about this subject!
All the best
Saxobari
 

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You can play a gig with any combination of band members. To pull it off requires good musicianship for all players in the combo. I often do duo wor k with Piano players (Lh Bass type players) or with a bass player only or with a guitarist or other horn players. The hardest one to pull off is with a drummer and sax, but it can be done and work well.
 
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