Still Learning

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eg cr

I’ve been a musician my whole life, had a modicum of success (in a “small-fish-in-a-tiny-pond” kind of way), now enjoying retirement where I don’t need to accept lousy gigs just to pay the electric bill, and over all of those years I’ve met, played with, listened to, and been inspired by a great number of excellent musicians. And in my retirement I have the time to REALLY listen to new stuff …

Recently, Sheila introduced me to a band called “Delicatessen” from Porto Alegre, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. They’re a Brazilian jazz band, primarily performing covers of jazz standards, who released three albums between 2006 and 2011 (as best as I can tell) and it looks like they may have disbanded or, at least, stopped recording under that name.


The bass player on all three albums is a guy named Nico Bueno, and he is, as an understatement, an incredible double bass and fretless bass player. I’ve been inspired by DB and fretless bassists my whole life … DBers like Mingus and Ray Brown and Scott LaFaro, somewhat newer players like Brian Bromberg and Kristin Korb, as well as a number of great electric fretless players like Pino Palladino and Steve Bailey and Gary Willis.

But it’s possible that Nico Bueno, a somewhat “bigger-fish-in-a-small-pond” (using my previous “small-tiny” analogy) as best I can see, may well have become the largest influence on my playing … his tone is incredible, a real true fretless voice on electric in particular (and that is not to take anything away from his DB playing at all). This guy, about whom I know essentially nothing, has made me rethink how I want to approach playing at this sort-of late stage in life.

One thing I’ve found during my 1st year of retirement is that, as the old saying goes, you’re never too old to learn, even if it’s from some relatively obscure jazz bass player from Brazil or from the funniest & most lovable grandkids in the world or from your beautiful new wife! 2nd chances (and 3rd, 4th, 5th and so on) just never stop coming and with those opportunities comes a bunch of new stuff that you had never considered or knew. It’s what you do about those chances that decides whether you’ll continue to thrive in your retirement or just kick back and let the clock tick away.

Still learning
BTW, if you’re a bass player, check out Nico Bueno’s playing on the Delicatessen “My Baby Just Cares for Me”, in particular the tunes “My Foolish Heart” and “My Melancholy Baby” … his tone is amazing and his playing is crazy melodic without being over the top busy or distracting. I know the albums are on Spotify for sure. Even if you’re not a bass player, or a big jazz fan for that matter, check out the band anyhow. It’s one of those “universal appeal” things …

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