Here's part two of Lauren's list of favourite YouTube videos. Part one was very much focused on classical music, so this list covers jazz.
Esperanza Spalding - 'Overjoyed'
I remember watching this video in my Jazz History class at UNT and being enamored by it (and then subsequently watching it thousand of times to the annoyance of everyone around me). Esperanza is just an all around fantastic musician - her beautiful voice, stellar bass playing, and upbeat stage presence make this such a fun performance to watch. You can see Mr. and Mrs. Obama bopping their heads in the audience, which is quite possibly the best part of the whole video.
Christian McBride - 'Turnaround'
So I have to admit something. Christian McBride might be my favorite jazz bass player ever. I’m sorry if that offends you, or if anything I ever say offends you. But I can’t help it - I love Christian with all my heart. His playing is unarguably virtuosic, and I love how he is always right at the front of the beat, sometimes uncomfortably so, but still somehow manages to just feel so good.
Brad Mehldau - 'Teardrop'
I’ve watched this video probably close to a thousand times. Brad Mehldau has one of the most beautiful touches on piano, and his slight changes in harmonies and added dissonances make this such a special piece of art.
Nina DeCesare and Zach Rizer - 'Spain'
Nina and Zach are friends of mine and both great musicians. I love this arrangement of Spain because they bring something new and different to an already beautiful tune. Nina’s tone perfectly fluctuates between airy and mellow to direct and forward-moving depending on the moment, and I love her choice of where to add slides and vibrato. Zach’s playing is fantastic throughout, but I love his solo towards the middle of the video.
Christian McBride and Lynn Seaton - 'Blues in the Closet'
I’m proud to say I was in the room for this beautiful moment, and even still, I’ve watched this video thousands of times. If you don’t know Lynn Seaton, he is the jazz bass teacher at the University of North Texas, former bassist with Tony Bennett, and all around badass and beautiful human being. What’s not to love about two fantastic musicians and friends getting together to jam?
Ray Brown, Victor Wooten, Edgar Meyer - 'Sister Sadie'
I love it when I find out my idols are friends and even more when they get together to collaborate. I think this video speaks for itself - there’s an insane amount of talent on that stage, and some stellar music making!
John Clayton - 'Cheek to Cheek' with Diana Krall
John Clayton’s bass lines are some of my favorite to listen to. I used to transcribe his bass lines and play them along with the recordings, alone in my house so no one could hear me. I love hearing him play with Diana Krall because they just fit so perfectly together.
Tal Wilkenfeld - 'Blue Wind with Jeff Beck'
Anytime you see two people playing one bass at the same time, you know it’s going to be entertaining. Underneath the playfulness and spontaneity of the moment, there is still some fantastic music being made between these two masters.
Craig Butterfield - 'Donna Lee'
I know Geoff included this video in his last list, but I just couldn’t leave it off of mine - it truly is one of my all time favorite videos! I’m sure I’m biased because Craig is my former teacher, but I just love his playing, particularly his bowed solos. I was at UNT when this video came out, and I remember everyone in the jazz department watching it and raving about “that guy’s crazy bass playing.” I was proud to brag on my teacher then, and I’m proud to do it again years later.
Jamareo Artis with Bruno Mars & The Hooligans - 'Treasure'
I know Bruno Mars isn’t exactly a jazz musician, but I’m not exactly a jazz musician either, so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ One thing I love most about Bruno Mars is his band, particularly his bass player, Jamareo Artis. I have watched every video of Bruno’s band on YouTube and that boy never disappoints. He’s got such a great feel and a punchy tone quality that makes Bruno’s already fun music even more upbeat. I love his playing from around the 3:50 mark in this video - those fills are incredible, busy, but still just feel so good. And of course he does all of this while dancing seamlessly.
What do you think? Did you enjoy the videos and what what are your favourites? I love to hear new music so please join us in the comments and share your favourites. - LP