Transcription: Slam Stewart “I Got Rhythm”

by Hannah Dexter, bass Slam Stewart is often forgotten when we think of virtuosic bass players. Although he came to prominence at the same time, Jimmy Blanton is credited with changing the way bass players solo, maybe due to how difficult Stewart’s classically trained style is to emulate. Although he spent one year at Boston […]

10 Fingers: Reuben Rogers

by Ella Campbell The same evening we posted an article about Eric Harland, we had the opportunity to interview Reuben Rogers after a Charles Lloyd concert. Here it is: 10-Fingers-Minus-One with Reuben Rogers. 1. What music do you listen to when you’re feeling introspective? “Wow. Okay. I don’t know. It depends on what I scroll […]

10 Fingers: Ben Williams

by Ella Campbell Lately, I have been terrible about asking ten questions to musicians. Somehow I only get around to asking about 7 or 8, so here we have 10-Fingers-Minus-3 with Ben Williams. (when I typed ‘minus’ just now, I accidentally wrote ‘mingus.’ bass must be on the mind. #jazzgirltypos). He and I played phone […]

10 Fingers: Esperanza Spalding

by Hannah Dexter The benefit concert with Esperanza Spalding and the American Music Program is now an annual event. My fellow Portland and Michigan State bass man, Louie Leager, was playing alongside Miss Spalding this year! I was running Pete’s Bass Shop while my boss was out of town and she rented an upright from […]

10 Fingers: Derrick Hodge

by Ella Campbell Allow us to explain what a “10 Fingers” post will be: we ask musicians ten fun and and quick questions. Hopefully the answers only require one or two sentences, we know these guys have got a lot of people to talk to! With those short answers, we at Back Beat add links […]

Messages from Masters: Marion Cowings

by Ella Campbell During the winter semester of 2012, Michigan State University’s jazz studies program was blessed to have a week-long residency with the master vocalist, Marion Cowings. Unknown to many, his lack of popularity is not telling of his charm, stage presence, and beautiful vocal styling: the day he left from his residency at […]