Re: Styles of Abraham Laboriel

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Posted by El Pájaro on June 29, 2000 at 13:29:09:

In Reply to: Styles of Abraham Laboriel posted by shengjie on June 29, 2000 at 10:01:42:

: Can anyone tell me what is the bass style Abraham Laboriel frequently play for slow songs, (especially gopsel songs). Jazz fussion or blues? Or others? And what's a latin style of playing?

Hey there,
Jesus Christ, Shengjie, you never run out of difficult questions, do you? Allright, I'll try my two cents here.
Regarding Abe Laboriel's style, well, I guess I should hear the one specific song you're interested to tell you which style I think he's playing, but if you hear a gospel flavor to it, the style Abe plays is most likely, well ...gospel. I'm no specialist in that kind of music, mind you, but as far as I can tell, gospel bass shares a few of the qualities often found in blues music.
And about the "Latin" style, just let me tell you (speaking as a Latin American musician) I just HATE that world, because it means nothing. Music from Latin America is so diverse, the term "Latin" is just a word American record label marketing execs came up with to refer to a lot of different music they don't understand dick about. Yes, salsa music is "Latin", but so is Brazilian bossa, and so is Venezuelan joropo, Colombian vallenato, Chilean cueca, Argentinian tango, Cuban danzón and Uruguayan candombe!! And let me tell you all of these styles are VERY diverse, the only common denominator among them being they all come from South or Center America.
Anyway, and going to the point of your question, the key to most bass playing commonly refered to as "Latin" is, in my opinion, the rhythmic approach. An easy way to add a "Latin flavor" to your lines is to simply play a rhythmic figure consisting in a dotted quarter note followed by an eight note, and so on. Of course this is just too simple, and as you advance in your investigation of Latin music you'll find a lot more than that, but it should get you started. Ultimately, my best piece of advice for you is to get any recording by Latin musicians and study their bass lines closely, then try to emulate the rhythmic feel. A personal fave, though, is Peruvian bassist Oscar Stagnaro. His recordings with Cuban reedman Paquito D'Rivera are simply stunning. He has a deep understanding of (and a great street feel for) most Latin styles, and his solos cook, too.
Well this post is getting too damn long so I'll better end it here. Buena suerte and keep your bass up front in the mix,

El Pájaro.

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