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A Perfectly Tuned Evening Every Time...
Opened in 2008, The Dirty Dog is one of the premiere destinations in the United States for world class Jazz and cuisine. It combines the charm of an English-style pub with intimacy and meticulous attention to detail and hospitality.
THE DIRTY DOG JAZZ CAFE BLOG
The Dirty Dog brings together the musicians and guests in a way that creates a lasting impression and desire to come back.
June 10, 2019

double-bass

 

The modern “double bass” or simply  “bass” is the largest and lowest pitch string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra or bands in other genres including Jazz.

 

 

The bass provides the “foundation” of the band, and has a special role in supporting all of the other essential compositional ingredients in Jazz and other genres. Those ingredients include the melody, chord changes, rhythmic figures and much more.

 

 

Jazz would be lackluster without the bass. This essential instrument helps create the “bottom end” and the inherent swing and groove elements that define the Jazz feel. The bass keeps things on track, guiding a band through the various progressions in the music.

 

 

Along with keyboards, drums and percussion, the bass is part of the Jazz rhythm section. Its diverse role ranges from playing the roots of the chords, to providing melodic material and contributing rhythmic figures, that coincide with the drums.

 

Fender Electric bass

Fender Electric Bass

 

There are many different kinds of basses from the centuries-old acoustic upright “double bass” or “bass violin”, to today’s electric bass guitar and electric stand-up bass which create modern, contemporary sounds for an instrument with roots in ancient times.

 

 

The bass can be played in a variety of ways, thus creating a variety of sounds. This includes strumming, plucking, slapping, bowing, tapping, popping and other methods; each having a distinct role and affect. Many of these add specific rhythmic emphasis, especially with Jazz’s walking-bass and fusion styles.

 

 

The beautifully rich sound from an acoustic bowed bass is almost other-worldly, adding deep, resonant, sustained tones to the overall sound of the ensemble.

 

 

Next week’s “Jazz Notes” blog will pay tribute to many of great bassists who are or have been from Detroit.

 

 

The list includes one of today’s finest bassists in Jazz and contemporary music, Ralphe Armstrong, who performs at the Dirty Dog, Wednesday June 26 and Thursday, June 27. For reservations and information, call 313-882-5299 or go to DirtyDogJazz.com

 

 

 

 

Detroit Public Radio mainstay, Judy Adams, is a pianist, composer and musicologist who hosts a Jazz and contemporary music show on CJAM 99.1FM and guest hosts on WRCJ 90.9FM. She made her mark at WDET 101.9FM where she was program director and daily on-air music host for more than 30 years.

 

 

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Each week the Dirty Dog Jazz Cafe hosts live performances from the greatest jazz musicians across the country.