The World’s Most Recorded Jazz Bassist?

Yes, most of us already suspected this to be true. But now it’s been confirmed by researchers: Ron Carter is the most recorded jazz bassist in jazz history, according to Guinness World Records.

Ron Carter

Carter, he of the luxuriant tone, reliable time, and rhythmic acuity and creativity, has racked up 2,221 individual recording credits as of Sept. 22, 2015, per Guinness.

Not a surprising achievement for a musician who was THE first-call jazz session bassist for many decades. I think I first heard Carter via one of his recordings with Miles’ second great quintet. After that, he seemed to show up in the credits of every other jazz album I came across.

Carter and Ray Brown, Niels Henning Orsted Pedersen and Stanley Clarke were the biggest early influences on my upright playing, in terms of enlightening me to what a double bass should and could do in a jazz context.

As a side note: Where do Brown and Milt Hinton land, in terms of the volume of recording credits?

So … congrats, Ron Carter.

More details. Visit Ron Carter online here.







RIP, Herb Ellis

The great jazz guitarist Herb Ellis, probably best known for his work in pianist Oscar Peterson‘s celebrated trio with bassist Ray Brown, passed away on Sunday night.

Ellis, a Texas native and Charlie Christian disciple who settled in Southern California to pursue session work, also worked with Ella Fitzgerald, and was part of the Great Guitars group with Barney Kessel and Charlie Byrd.

Jazz critic Doug Ramsey‘s thoughtful blog post on Ellis is here.

Michael Janisch, in Bass Player Magazine

I recently spoke with Michael Janisch, the U.S.-to-U.K. bassist making a splash on the international jazz scene, for a piece published in Bass Player magazine. Check out the story here, or read the text, below:


WISCONSIN-BRED MICHAEL JANISCH obsessed over Flea’s lines, played electric in rock bands, and earned a history degree on a football scholarship before studying jazz at Boston’s Berklee College of Music. There, he refocused on the upright, deepened his love for the playing of Paul Chambers and Ray Brown, and prepped for a period in New York. In 2007, he permanently relocated to London.

Janisch’s debut solo CD, Purpose Built, recorded in Brooklyn, is a transatlantic effort that highlights Janisch’s fleet-fingered fretboard work, and features superb performances by the likes of pianist Aaron Goldberg and drummer Johnathan Blake. The group takes on an eclectic set of challenging, inventive original compositions, and bracing arrangements of standards.

In your early years playing, who inspired you the most?

The deep feeling Ray Brown put forth when he played, and his consistent quarternote groove, are things that I still try to emulate today. In terms of tone, I’ve always been into Larry Grenadier. He was really hitting the scene ten years ago, and that huge, dark sound of his was what I wanted to get into.

What did you want to accomplish with your debut solo album?

I knew it was going to be pretty ambitious, in terms of personnel and compositions. I ended up deciding on 12 tracks, and using nine different musicians from here and the States, since I had freelanced in both countries. I wanted to present a mix of things that I’d been up to, hint of what’s to come, and showcase different kinds of compositions.

How does the London jazz scene differ from that of New York?

In America, it’s beaten into your head to learn standards. Here, they don’t teach that in schools. It’s more like you’re encouraged get your own concept together when you’re very young, instead of spending so much time on the tradition. But knowing standards really helped me when I got here, because it helped me get across in all the different cliques.

BP0310_bn_mj_nrHEAR HIM ON

Michael Janisch, Purpose Built (Whirlwind, 2009]; Gary Husband’s Drive, Hotwired (Abstract Logix, 2009); TransAtlantic Collective, Traveling Song (Woodville, 2008); Paul Towndrow, Six By Six (Keywork, 2007)