Extended Bass With Al Caldwell
Nothing is more time consuming than second guessing one’s self when it come to composing. I have just finished composing my latest project. My biggest problem was trying to say something to myself. I wanted to play some music that made sense to me. When I was younger, all I wanted to do was be the best and the fastest bassist in the world. Now all I want to do at 48 is to understand my intent. Every musician is judged by another. Some of us have great technique but no substance. Some of us have great vision but 90% of our note selection belongs to another artist. We’ve learned to do impressions to the point where we don’t know how to stop. All we have for the rest of our lives is our intervallic decisions. That tells the world the pattern that our musical mind follows.
I’ve been afraid for most of my musical life to speak. I have been such a fan that I question my voice. It “Finally” occurred to me that a child doesn’t learn to speak without copying every little thing that their parents say. Eventually they form their own words and sentences and they find themselves. I have arthritis now, so my technique isn’t what it use to be but the music I hear in my mind has matured. Flash sounds like screaming to my ears now. I know why Joe Pass and Jim Hall and Wes are Legends now. They played in a manor that stayed with you. It was like a great bowl of chili!! Extra beans please!!
I will put videos on you tube showing some of the methods of my recording process. I still use midi but I find myself playing clean bass 80% of the time. I will do an all MIDI CD someday. The two new CD’s are “Wisdom from the World” and “My 11 String”. The “Wisdom” CD is mostly fretless and it’s based on songs that were inspired from my travels abroad. “My 11 String” CD is based on songs that remind me of why I play music. I love the bass. I love music. I want to see that neck move when I play. That’s what a great bassist does. He’s into the pocket. What a great musician does is listen and then play. I’m still learning how to be both. Everything is just making sense to me. I hope that you enjoy the new music. I will put samples on my MYSPACE page. The banjo has been a bright light in my life as well. The banjo doesn’t sustain long so you have to approach it differently. I love the way other people play the banjo but I just don’t want to play the same way that’s been played for years. Thank God that we have so many ways to play Bass and Guitar. I love funky banjo. I’ll give some examples of that as well.
I hope that my explanation of my journey can help someone find the road to themself.
Music is Everything. It’s not as obvious as I thought it was as a child. It’s hard work learning to share yourself harmonically. I’ll have New Music in January folks.
Happy Holidays and Stay Blessed!!
Your Pal Al Caldwell