Jazz Double Bass / Band Coaching

John Goldsby

Jazz
http://john.goldsby.de/

John Goldsby interview on life overseas, writing books and innovation.

Since 1994, John Goldsby has been a member of the Westdeutscher Rundfunk Big Band (also known as the WDR Big Band or the Cologne Radio Big Band). From 1980 to 1994, Goldsby lived in New York City and was a fixture on the jazz scene there. He continues to contribute to the art form as a bassist, bandleader, composer, teacher, clinician and author.

Goldsby’s most recent recordings as a bandleader include The Innkeeper’s Gun, Space for the Bass,The Visit, and Live at the Nachbar [all Bass Lion]. The Innkeeper’s Gun and Live at the Nachbar feature a powerful sax-bass-drums trio with Jacob Duncan and Jason Tiemann. The Visit is a duo recording with pianist Bill Dobbins. The John Goldsby, Peter Erskine, Bill Dobbins Trio are featured on the acclaimed album Cologne [Fuzzy Music].

The WDR Big Band records constantly and is featured on several current releases, such as: the Grammy-Award-Winning Avant Gershwin and For Ella, from Patti Austin; Joe Lovano Symphonica; Abdullah Ibrahim Bombella; Maceo Parker Roots and Grooves; Big Band Time from Paquito D’Rivera (featuring John’s burning duet “Basstronaut” with electric bassist Oscar Stagnaro); The Latin Jazz Suite, Esparanto, The Jazz Mass, Jazz Goes To The Movies, Gillespiana, Bullit and Mannixfrom Lalo Schifrin; Pussy Cat Dues with Bill Dobbins, Kevin Mahogany, Charles McPherson, Jimmy Knepper, Dennis Mackrel; “Better Get Hit In Your Soul” with Bill Dobbins, Jack Walrath, Miles Griffith; Eddie Harris The Last Concert, and Prism – The Music of Bill Dobbins and Peter Erskine.

Goldsby is busy with recording projects as a sideman, like the recent albums with tenor saxophonist Paul Heller: Special Edition 1, (featuring John Engels and Michael Abene) and Special Edition 2 (with Al Foster and Olaf Polziehn), and the recent release from Saxophonist Karolina Strassmayer and drummer Drori Mondlak, Joining Forces. Waltz for Worms, Frisky and Live at Le Pirat are recent releases with trumpeter John Marshall.

Feed the Birds, The Shimmering Colours of Stained Glass, and The Underwater Poet with pianist Hubert Nuss, Ups and Downs with trombonist Ludwig Nuss, and guitarist Joachim Schoenacker’s Blunatic are among recently released recordings which feature John. Behind Closed Doors with Peter Erskine, The Chase with Randy Sandke, An Ellington Affair with Bill Mays, Big Man’s Blues with Andy Fusco, and The Return of the Great Guitars (Herb Ellis, Larry Coryell, Mundell Lowe, and Charlie Byrd) are among other noteworthy recordings. Three critically acclaimed records with the Frank Vignola Trio are Appel Direct, Let It Happen, Look Right, Jog Left and Off Broadway.

Other notable performances include “The Tonight Show” with Claude Bolling and Hubert Laws, the Grammy-Award winning soundtrack for “The Cotton Club,” and work with Wynton Marsalis, Gunther Schuller, Lionel Hampton, and the Smithsonian Masterworks Orchestra. Goldsby has performed at the JVC Jazz Festival, the Chicago Jazz Festival, and the Odessa Jazz Festival among others in addition to tours of Europe, Japan, Canada, and the United States.

The Village Voice says that John Goldsby is “One of the few bassists steeped in the tradition of Jimmy Blanton and Oscar Pettiford.” The New York Times says “John Goldsby’s bass playing was spectacular . . . the rhythm-section contributed some of the most vivid passages to the concert.”

The Jazz Bass Book is Goldsby’s most recent book, documenting jazz bass players and their techniques from a historical perspective. Goldsby has written two other instructional method books, Bowing Techniques for the Improvising Bassist and Bass Notes. Bass Player magazine says, Bass Notes is an excellent resource for intermediate to advanced jazz bassist.” The National Association of Jazz Educators says, Bowing Techniques should be a required publication for upright bassists!” Goldsby is a disciple and master of the Paul Chambers school of jazz bass playing, and spent many years perfecting his own style of arco (bowed) jazz playing. Through private study with Dave Holland and Michael Moore throughout the ‘80s, Goldsby codified and honed the techniques of arco jazz. Goldsby perceived a gap in jazz bass pedagogy in the area of arco technique, and published his first book Jazz Bowing Techniques for the Improvising Bassist in 1990.

In 2009, Goldsby was awarded the International Society of Bassists Special Recognition Award for Scholarship, a biennial award recognizing players and scholars who contribute their special talents, knowledge and support to furthering ISB ideals. Goldsby received jazz performance grants from the National Endowment for the Arts in 1988, 1990, and 1993. The “John Goldsby Plays Oscar Pettiford” concert, which was funded by the 1990 grant received much critical acclaim from the New York Times, Jazz Times, and the Village Voice.

Goldsby is an inquisitive scholar, constantly studying, documenting, and codifying jazz bass styles, techniques and players. He seeks to understand the aesthetic foundations and structural development of jazz bass playing in order to define the state of the art. Goldsby heartily endorses trumpeter Clarke Terry’s educational maxim: “Imitate, emulate, innovate.”



Share: