Double Down ! : The Use Of Two Basses in the Jazz Avant-Garde of the 1960s
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Double Down ! : The Use Of Two Basses in the Jazz Avant-Garde of the 1960s

  • Author(s): babin, thomas
  • Advisor(s): Dresser, Mark
  • et al.
Abstract

The standard model since the advent of recorded jazz is for an ensemble to include a single bassist (or, in the earliest days, a tuba player). In the 1960s, however, all of the major figures that we associate with the jazz avant-garde included two bassists in their ensembles during pivotal points in their development.As music of the period attracts more and more academic interest, it is important that this practice, largely overlooked in the literature, is included as part of the discourse. This paper will provide an overview of the practice of using two simultaneous bassists during the 1960s by major figures including John Coltrane, Cecil Taylor, Ornette Coleman and Albert Ayler and discuss the motivations, outcomes, and eventual decline of the practice.

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