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Yogi Berra on Playing Jazz Bass

Page history last edited by Wayne Renardson 10 years, 5 months ago

Yogi Berra on jazz bass.

Interviewer: What do you expect is in store for the future of jazz bass?

Yogi:  I'm thinkin' there'll be a group of guys who've never met
talkin' about it all the time.

Interviewer: Can you explain jazz bass?

Yogi:  I can't, but I will. 90% of all jazz is half improvisation,
even on bass. The other half is the part bass players play while
others are playing something they never played with anyone who played
that part. So if you play the wrong part, its right. If you play the
right part, it might be right if you play it wrong enough. But if you
play it too right, it's wrong.

Interviewer: I don't understand.

Yogi:  Anyone who understands jazz bass knows that you can't
understand it. It's too complicated. That's what's so simple about it.

Interviewer: Do you understand it?

Yogi:  No. That's why I can explain it.  If I understood it, I wouldn't
know anything about it.

Interviewer: Are there any great jazz bass players alive today?

Yogi:  No. All the great jazz bass players alive today are dead.
Except for the ones that are still alive. But so many of them are
dead that the ones that are still alive are dying to be like the
ones that are dead.  Some would kill for it.

Interviewer: What is syncopation?

Yogi:  That's when the note that you should hear now happens either
before or after you hear it. In jazz, you don't hear notes when they
happen because that would be some other type of music.  Other types of
music can be jazz but only if they're the same as something
different from those other kinds.

Interviewer: Now I really don't understand.

Yogi:  I haven't taught you enough for you to not understand jazz bass
that well.

Comments (1)

Wayne Renardson said

at 2:12 pm on Jan 25, 2012

Yep that's how she rolls.

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