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Jamerson Kaye Dunn etc

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Do we know how much musical input these legendary sessions musicians had on the bass lines they played?

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James Jamerson was originally a jazz bassist. Seems like a lot of his lines were improvised to an extent in the studio. Whether the basic groove was occasionally set by an MD/writer woyld be interesting to know.
Depends on the producer/MD i guess. I will risk hellfire from all quarters by stating that George Martin had a fair bit of input with the Beatles bass parts (he was the arranger/MD after all) and i'm told (reliably) that he wrote the Penny Lane line. Doesnt affect the music or my enjoyment of it but some folks have the Beatles pedestal thing going on...

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[quote name='only4' timestamp='1504869174' post='3367877']
Do we know how much musical input these legendary sessions musicians had on the bass lines they played?
[/quote]

Where would you get that sort of information from anyway? I'd love to know too.

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[quote name='The Jaywalker' timestamp='1504869618' post='3367882']
...I will risk hellfire from all quarters by stating that George Martin had a fair bit of input with the Beatles bass parts (he was the arranger/MD after all) and i'm told (reliably) that he wrote the Penny Lane line. Doesnt affect the music or my enjoyment of it but some folks have the Beatles pedestal thing going on...
[/quote]

I have a pedestal in my garden that I've seen the occasional beetle on but despite that I am sure Maccer was receptive to GM's ideas. I think he says somewhere that the fabs learned a lot from George.

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Jamerson both improvised and sight read parts... I don't know if you're aware of the Carol Kaye/Jamerson where Kaye claims credit for some of the Motown hits that Jamerson is said to have played on, but part of your question is answered by some of that argument:

"[color=#000000]Improvised vs. Written Parts - Her claim to "Reach Out" is based upon her contention that "discerning musicians can hear that the parts weren't improvised. It was a written part". James Jamerson regularly improvised and sight read parts of that complexity. Part of his genius was that he could take a written part and make it sound as if it was his. Regardless of this argument, I have a photocopy of the original Union contract from the "Reach Out" session. It's dated July 6, 1966 (the year of the tune's release), it lists James Jamerson as the bassist (for which he received the princely sum of $61.00), and Detroit's Hitsville studio is indicated as the place where it was recorded. Carol herself admits that she never recorded in Detroit. "[/color]

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A lot of the things Carole Kaye was involved in regarding film/tv (not the motown stuff - a different matter altogether..lol) were quite often notated. They were section specific arrangements.
(huge LA sessions with arranger, orchestrators, copyists/engravers etc).
CK had two Facebook pages and she quite often recounted various sessions and what was involved, chart and score wise. She would reply to any of your posts/questions as well.
{Although the Facebook pages seemed to have vanished, which is a shame, because she was good for a natter and a laugh with some great LA studio life stories)

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[quote name='dlloyd' timestamp='1504870662' post='3367892']
Jamerson both improvised and sight read parts... I don't know if you're aware of the Carol Kaye/Jamerson where Kaye claims credit for some of the Motown hits that Jamerson is said to have played on, but part of your question is answered by some of that argument:

"[color=#000000]Improvised vs. Written Parts - Her claim to "Reach Out" is based upon her contention that "discerning musicians can hear that the parts weren't improvised. It was a written part". James Jamerson regularly improvised and sight read parts of that complexity. Part of his genius was that he could take a written part and make it sound as if it was his. Regardless of this argument, I have a photocopy of the original Union contract from the "Reach Out" session. It's dated July 6, 1966 (the year of the tune's release), it lists James Jamerson as the bassist (for which he received the princely sum of $61.00), and Detroit's Hitsville studio is indicated as the place where it was recorded. Carol herself admits that she never recorded in Detroit. "[/color]
[/quote]
Slam dunk ;-)

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[quote name='SpondonBassed' timestamp='1504870661' post='3367891']


I have a pedestal in my garden that I've seen the occasional beetle on but despite that I am sure Maccer was receptive to GM's ideas. I think he says somewhere that the fabs learned a lot from George.
[/quote]
Yeah, absolutely. No way a lot of those arrangements and chord progressions would have happened without GM, simply because he re-wrote them and the band were into it. It was his job. Some of the greatest pop music of all time. Flip side of that is also evident as well - even officially-approved Beatles bios have mentioned McCartney's ego-tendency to lay claim to GM's stuff (brass band stuff springs to mind).
I guess the point is that it's not only session players who play parts producers/MD have put in the music. It's pretty common.

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Looks like full length version of 'The Wrecking Crew' has been posted up on YouTube - Well worth a watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w0UJoSw57JU

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Duck Dunn, Carol Kaye and Jamerson improvised and/or read their lines. It all depended on the producer.

Some producers insisted that their parts were played exactly as written and some just came with the chords scribbled on a fag packet. There was every other kind of session in between. Nathan East, Sean Hurley and Alex Al etc say that many producers expect the bass player to "leave something to the table", ie come up with an interesting twist on the bass lines.

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1504884101' post='3368078']
Duck Dunn, Carol Kaye and Jamerson improvised and/or read their lines. It all depended on the producer.

Some producers insisted that their parts were played exactly as written and some just came with the chords scribbled on a fag packet. There was every other kind of session in between. Nathan East, Sean Hurley and Alex Al etc say that many producers expect the bass player to "leave something to the table", ie come up with an interesting twist on the bass lines.
[/quote]

Which is why they'd be booked, they want 'their' signature on the part.

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[quote name='The Jaywalker' timestamp='1504877474' post='3367980']

Yeah, absolutely. No way a lot of those arrangements and chord progressions would have happened without GM, simply because he re-wrote them and the band were into it. It was his job. Some of the greatest pop music of all time. Flip side of that is also evident as well - even officially-approved Beatles bios have mentioned McCartney's ego-tendency to lay claim to GM's stuff (brass band stuff springs to mind).
I guess the point is that it's not only session players who play parts producers/MD have put in the music. It's pretty common.
[/quote]

I think GM's input is evident from the way they went from being a pop band producing stuff that was very similar to that of many other bands of the time, to producing Yesterday and Eleanor Rigby.

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I know very little about Carol Kaye or Dunn. From what I've read about Jamerson, the parts were written for him, but he was expected to add his thing, and improvise. The standing in the shadows of Motown book is a great resource if you're interested in Jamerson's work. You can see the improvisation, subtle changes and development as the line progresses. Edited by ambient

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Reminds me of that awesome exchange that went on on the last Kaye/Jamerson thread which I think was locked in the end :D

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If anyone is interested I interviewed Caroline Kaye about this stuff, but never published the article as I didn't get around to writing it. Anyway, can post the stuff somewhere of anyone is interested? Includes a load of her handwritten transcripts, contracts and stuff as well.

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[quote name='Burns-bass' timestamp='1504899042' post='3368224']
If anyone is interested I interviewed Caroline Kaye about this stuff, but never published the article as I didn't get around to writing it. Anyway, can post the stuff somewhere of anyone is interested? Includes a load of her handwritten transcripts, contracts and stuff as well.
[/quote]

Burns-Bass, yes I would be interested if you can post up somewhere.
I am sure there would be others interested too.

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I can always tell the difference between a Jamerson and a Kaye bassline.

One grooves, the other plods along playing pretty pedestrian lines

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[quote name='Burns-bass' timestamp='1504899042' post='3368224']
If anyone is interested I interviewed Caroline Kaye about this stuff, but never published the article as I didn't get around to writing it. Anyway, can post the stuff somewhere of anyone is interested? Includes a load of her handwritten transcripts, contracts and stuff as well.
[/quote]

I'd read it if it were for free.

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Hey. . . . why can't we be bothered to have a discussion about musicians who changed the sound and style of music forever?

Instead of just slagging them off?

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[quote name='chris_b' timestamp='1504951505' post='3368484']
Hey. . . . why can't we be bothered to have a discussion about musicians who changed the sound and style of music forever?

Instead of just slagging them off?
[/quote]

I agree. Both Kaye and Jamerson are considered icons of the bass, and Kaye is one of the most recorded bassists. So...millions around the world , including top class artists who used them, would beg to differ with the "ploddy" tag.

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[quote name='Coilte' timestamp='1504952362' post='3368494']
I agree. Both Kaye and Jamerson are considered icons of the bass, and Kaye is one of the most recorded bassists. So...millions around the world , including top class artists who used them, would beg to differ with the "ploddy" tag.
[/quote]

+1.

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