5 Double Bass Players That Influenced Elsen Price

Elsen Price is an Australian Double Bassist and composer based in Sydney, Australia. As a featured artist, Elsen has performed both locally and internationally at BassEurope (Prague), Yilan International Art Festival (Taipei), Audio Foundation (Auckland), Sydney Festival, Vivid Festival, MONA and Woodford Folk Festival. Having just released his new single ‘Birth: The Spirit Begins’ a lead single from his album ‘Death of the Spirit and the Rise of the Pointless’ we ask Elsen to list his top 5 Double Bass players that have influenced him.

Edgar Meyer:
Edgar Meyer is possibly the most successful and influential double bassist on the planet. a Multi-Grammy Award Winner, who from the beginning of his career has re-defined the role of double bass in Bluegrass, Classical Music, Jazz and World Music. His entire discography from the highly successful to the obscure, is a great insight into the development of his huge capacity as a performer and innovator. Its fair to say hes possibly the only double bassist in history to perform in front of a 10000 person size festival audience, with most of the audience familiar with his work and understand his importance to music as a whole. This album, ‘The melody of Rhythm’, is something of a template on how the double bass should sound when recorded, not to mention its performance of the highest calibre, ive been fortunate to record with sound techs Richard Lake at A sharp Studio and George Sheridan at Music Feeds Studio in Sydney on a number of successful recordings, who have been able to capture the sound of the instrument in a similar way. Edgar is performing in Sydney this year so i hope to see him perform live this year.

Victor Wooten:
Whilst being an electric bass specialist and not specifically double bass, i personally feel there is alot of cross pollination between the instruments in this day and age, and Victor Wooten is without a doubt a very important part of musical history, with a noticable change in how the bass is used globally before his rise as a performer, and after. I had the humble opportunity to perform at one of his Australian workshops when i was around 18 years old, which helped support my own development as a player for 2 reasons, being confident in being a creative performer, something which isnt sold or supported at an elementary professional level, often cited as being a ‘pipe dream’ or unstable approach to a performance career, whilst after 10 years of professional performance and various experiences, being continually creative in your practice as performer is not only essential, but develops all the other aspects of your career, creating both opportunity and interest. The other reason is Wooten has had a strong effect on me, is his wonderful capacity of holding an entire audience, both large and small, in the palm of his hand for the full duration of his performance. I experienced this the first time seeing him live and really set the bar high for performance expectations for both myself and when watching other performances. Not to mention i believe he was extremely jet-lagged on that specific performance, though didn’t show it in the slightest. This track ‘Classical Thump’ is one of his works which redefined bass playing for players all over the world, in the similar manner Jaco Pastorius’ ‘Portrait of Tracy’ did to the world of music a generation before.
David Heyes:
David Heyes is a Performer, Educator, Composer and Publisher based in the UK. I started pursuing solo performance in 2012 whilst still studying, and in 2016 i had the wonderful opportunity of being in contact with David, which has opened up an entire new world of double bass music and performance. David is a tireless advocate of double bass playing and performance, with literally seemingly weekly International Premieres (performing new commissioned compositions), New Composers being found and published, and giving constant double bass workshops and education seminars, which inform the public, amateur bassists and professional bassists about the new, the exciting and the traditional. Heyes finds double bassists and composers from all over the world, and gives their music access to the rest of the bassists around the world, something which i believe is fueling and the backbone of the current renaissance of bass playing globally, with the standards of double bass playing and the awareness of double bass music at the highest its ever been historically. As a performer, Heyes is highly recognized amongst his peers, being a regular performer and collaborator at leading double bass festivals. This is a performance by Heyes in Spain performing his work ‘L’Alborada’, which was a world premiere. To some not familiar with presenting new works in a live classical music setting, its not the simple luxury of a hypothetical pop band releasing a single on Spotify, seeing if it does well, then moving on whatever the outcome. Presenting music like this is a combination of creative talent, confidence and a huge amount of organization, to then present music never heard before to the audience present. Heyes does a perfect performance of this wonderful innovative work here, and without a doubt, probably premiered many other works in the same concert to the same very high standard.
With over 20 years experience as a bass player, Elsen has performed alongside
Josh Groban (Multi Grammy Award Winning), Mike Patton (Faith No More), Lee
Ranaldo (Sonic Youth) and many others.
‘Death of the Spirit and the Rise of the Pointless’ will be released 24th January on
Itunes and Spotify. Accompanied by a Sydney album launch to be held on the on the
same date at Johnston St Jazz, 81 Johnston St, Annandale NSW 2038. $15 Entry –
$20 entry with album purchase.
This album was composed and performed by Elsen Price and recorded at Music
Feeds Studio, with mixing and mastering done by George Sheridan.

Bruce Cale:
Ive had the wonderful opportunity of meeting Bruce and performing alongside him in the last couple of years, which have been a truly wonderful experience. In short, Bruce is easily one of Australia’s most Internationally present double bassists, with starting his career travelling to New York and performing/collaborating with the leading jazz artists of the time, to composing orchestral works that have been recorded by some of the worlds leading orchestras, to in the 80s setting the bar for Australian Jazz with highly successful recordings, performances and residencies with the leading jazz artists of the time, to inspiring an entire generation of jazz musicians, many of which who are leading jazz artists of the current time, to now semi-retired and still performing regularly, which im lucky to be a part of. Cale was even commissioned to write works for bass to be performed by the Melbourne Symphony, and with no bass players available or able to play the music at the time, he performed the works himself. This track ‘Rolling Thunder’ is awesome.

Teppo Hauto-Aho:
Teppo is an extraordinary performer and composer. Ive performed his work ‘Multi Bass Fiddle Story’ on 5 occasions since August last year both in Australia and overseas, and on every occasion it was a musical delight for both audiences and me. Teppo is a classical musician, jazz musician, experimental musician and highly celebrated composer, and has the incredible ability to conceptualize all of his experience into his works. I had major spine surgery this year which put me out of performance for 5 months, after 2 months of no playing, i had the very brilliant Sydney Luthier Richard Greenup (The Bass Shop) modify the instrument so i could practice whilst still unable to carry the instrument. ‘Multi Bass Fiddle Story’ was a work i was determined to play despite limitations at the time, and as a result i premiered it the first day i was able to perform publicly again. The work was very important in my returning to performance quickly, as a result recording this album. I highly reccomend checking out any of Teppo’s recordings or compositions. This is Teppo performing in duo form

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