Jazz 100
Bass
The Best Jazz Ever Released Digitally


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Liberation Music Orchestra
Charlie Haden
1969 [Impulse!]


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It was 1969 and bassist Charlie Haden decided to speak out about Vietnam by making an album about, of all things, the Spanish Civil War. The lineup of avant-garde luminaries he assembled includes Gato Barbieri, Carla Bley, Don Cherry and Dewey Redman. Guitarist Sam Brown shines on the 21-minute centrepiece track.





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Conference Of the Birds
Dave Holland Quartet
1972 [ECM]


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Apart from Holland's amazing bass playing - this early ECM classic features some fine work from reed players Anthony Braxton and Sam Rivers. While the music here is undeniably free, it is not directionless. Holland is a disciplined and inventive composer and Conference is his defining statement. Not typical of the later ECM sound.





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Jaco Pastorius
Jaco Pastorius
1976 [Epic/Legacy]


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Made before he joined fusion outfit Weather Report, Pastorius' debut album is a treasure trove of adventure and imagination. Playing his trademark fretless electric bass, Pastorius works through this set of mostly original compositions. Serious mental illness would eventually lead him to a life on the streets and a tragically premature death.





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The Peach Orchard
William Parker/In Order to Survive
1998 [AUM Fidelity] 2CDs


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This double-CD set of extended live tracks (the shortest well-over 11 minutes) from New York free-jazz double-bassist and composer William Parker is slowing gathering a host of admirers. This is quite simply music with meaning, with Altoist Rob Brown and drummer Susie Ibarra in particular feeling every consciousness-altering moment.





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O'Neal's Porch
William Parker Quartet
2001 [Centering]


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Avant-garde luminary William Parker almost sounds conventional in places on this fine record, although by 'Leaf' the freedom is well and truly flowing. Released on his own label, on O'Neal's Porch the bassist is joined by a formidable horn section in Rob Brown (alto) and Lewis Barnes (trumpet), with regular sideman Hamid Drake on drums.





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Buzz
Ben Allison & Medicine Wheel
2004 [Palmetto]


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Cited by Downbeat magazine as one of 25 rising jazz stars for the future, double bassist Ben Allison continues to impress with this adventurous set. A few of the Medicine Wheel faces are different to 2001's superb Riding the Nuclear Tiger, with trombonist Clark Gayton and drummer Mike Sarin fitting like a glove.





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Critical Mass
Dave Holland Quintet
2006 [Dare2]


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Holland's quintet has been together long enough to form an intuitive grasp of where the unit is heading when it plays. The result is that each new record seems to be better than the last… and as good as this group is, that's really saying something. Four tracks are Holland compositions, with each band member adding one each to the mix.





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Gently Disturbed
Avishai Cohen Trio
2008 [Razdaz]


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After graduating from Chick Corea's sextet, Israeli-born Avishai Cohen proved to be one of the most innovative bassists and composers in jazz today. His trio includes pianist Shai Maestro and drummer Mark Guiliana. AllMusic reviewer Jeff Tamarkin notes the set is, "...never less than exciting, always seductive, and often quite challenging."


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