Jazz Blues with Charlie Parker’s Billie’s Bounce

My Walking bass lines particularly over the jazz blues progression all seemed the same, so I decided I needed to do something about it. I’ve studied some Charlie Parker sax lines which mostly full over jazz blues, at least the lines I’ve currently looked at have. The next thing would be to listen to the bass line on these recordings and listen to lines I could use in my own playing. I find it easier to write them out, that way I will always have a record of them to look at. Of course, these old recordings don’t have the best sound sound separation as more modern recordings. Picking out the bass was really hard in places. For this reason, I only transcribed the first 4 progressions (48 bars). Curley Russell is the bass player.

One thing to note in the transcriptions is that I have written the standard Jazz Blues chords over the top, the Charlie Parker Omnibook, doesn’t have this track as a standard ¬†jazz blues, iRealPro, which I used in the YouTube clip, uses the standard Jazz blues progression. You can hear a few clashes. Particularly bar 26, where Curley Russell plays A, the usual sequence would be Bb. Also we don’t hear the diminished chord in the sixth bar as usual.

Billie’s_Bounce – Click for music pdf

Runaway – Jerry Scheff bass line with Elvis Presley

Every now and then I decide to write out an interesting bass line I hear or even play. In this instance I play this track with an Elvis Tribute show. The song is called Runway, which was originally recorded by Del Shannon. Elvis performed this when he returned to live performing in 1969. It’s from the Album ‘Elvis Presley : In Person’. (See note at bottom).

Elvis and the band take this track and transform it into their own track. Jerry Scheff’s bass line on a standard song always amazes me. Jools Holland’s bassist, Dave Swift said he liked how Jerry Scheff takes a standard pop tune and transforms it with his playing. He certainly does that with this track. When I transcribe to notate it, I go in depth a lot more than usual. I’m shocked at how much I missed when I originally learnt the bass to this version. Unlike myself, Jerry plays with just one finger, a little like Jameson.

Below is a link to the transcription. I have also added a clip of myself playing along to a bass-less backing track, which doesn’t have the same oomph as the Elvis version, even though it’s based on that. The intro is also slightly shorter. The bass guitar is recorded direct to film, no mixing, just into a mixer and then to camera.

Note: I thought I’d transcribed the version from the Elvis in Person Album. Although this track was recorded during the August 69 engagement, it was released on the February, 1970 On Stage release. However, on listening to the album recently, I realised I’d transcribed from the box release Elvis Presley – Live in Las Vegas. Apologies for my error.

click for Runaway music pdf

Runway_TAB

 

Jet Harris – Razzle Dazzle – Bass line transcription (Cliff Richard and The Shadows Live ABC Kingston)

Jet Harris was the original bass player with The Shadows (formerly The Drifters) who left due to a drink problem. He sadly past away 18 March 2011. He did leave some bass gems behind. Many are well documented already. However I initially decided to transcribe this particular track recorded at a live concert with Cliff Richard in 1962, because the bass during the solo was interesting to me. However, as I started and continued past the solo I realised there were many interesting things going on that can be used over many standard Rock n Rock tracks to make the bass more interesting. I thought I’d share it here. Jet has a driving bass ¬†sound in this recording, quite staggering when you consider he was using a Vox AC30 amp. Probably it was a slightly oversize version with a 15″ speaker, very rare. Most certainly this would have been played on a fiesta red Fender Precision bass guitar with flatwound strings and a plectrum. It’s also worth mentioning that Jet was probably drunk when he played this!
Razzle Dazzle
transcribed by Nathan J Hulse

 

Main highlights / analysis
  • When the song starts Jet plays a standard Rock n Roll line over the F. On the C he adds a 4th with the follow bar starting on a D (9th). This gives an interesting feel and movement. Moving forward to bar 26 Jet again adds a 4th over the C with a run back down to the C later a similar pattern over the F chord.
  • For the solo, you can hear the descending run with the C pedal note throughout each bar. Towards the end he plays a II – V – I pattern over a V – IV – I sequence. Jet was a Jazz player originally and perhaps this was intentional or a happy mistake.
  • Moving on to bar 74 is a lovely descending pattern over a static C chord. This I personally use quite a lot over a guitar solo. There are quite a few jumps which suggests Jet would be using open strings quite a lot to move position.
  • Notice how Jet is also just as happy to play driving quarter notes over the root.

 

There’s a lot of useful info in this track to add to your rock n roll bass line creation and vocabulary with this. I hope you find helpful.