"Listening to jazz now" is a very effective and brief walking bass
("cello in a basement bar") themed setting that goes back and forth from a bright lazy New Mexico morning to a smoky jazz bar in Manhattan.
The first seven chapters include pentatonic and blues scale review, comping, 12-bar blues and blues licks, walking bass
and major/minor blues.
Doc Watson's Deep River Blues transported you to Mississippi and the walking bass
in Blue Moon made him sound like he had a full backing band.
The stepwise motion in the fourth horn part is reminiscent of a walking bass
line, which can open up a discussion about style.
Following on from that barnstorming opener, a walking bass
line strikes us into the heart of Spiders, a gravely rhythm and bluesy song containing the album title line, Black Dog Running.
The components relate to harmonizing a melodic line, composing harmony over a held bass tone, harmonizing a walking bass
line, tonic to dominant patterns, other chord progressions, and loops.
The fourth chapter, "The Rocks," dives into boogie music and its characteristic walking bass
line, tracing back to ragtime music through big band jazz and hokum song.
Bassist Anderson and drummer Schuller kept things percolating, Anderson with a walking bass
line, Schuller with some crisp drum work.
But there are also familiar jazz standards here, too, including Thelonious Monk's Criss Cross, with Cohen playing such a strong walking bass
that you'd swear there was a drummer behind the piano solo, Cole Porter's All Of You, and John Coltrane's Central Park West.
The insistent energy of the opening Mongrel Airs and the mesmeric, repetitive patterns of Aria with Walking Bass
led into a fantastically energetic Roadrunner finale, in which violinist Thelma Handy - along with colleagues - acquitted themselves with some brilliance.
Primarily performing on acoustic bass, William Parker has been widely touted as the heir-apparent to the legendary Charles Mingus, with his harddriving and intense walking bass
style and his yen for thematic long-form compositions that embrace poetry and dramatic presentation.