A beginner bassist's foray into the unknown

Carol Kaye: Session Legend Interview

I came across this fascinating video interview with Carol Kaye two nights ago. She goes into a lot of history about her work, her start and her feelings on music. She also spoke about chords vs. scales again – something that I first saw her do a few years ago in another interview.

Carol Kaye: Session Legend Interview

Here’s a list of the chapters, or questions asked, in the video:

hh:mm:ss   Question/Chapter
00:00:32   How did you begin playing music?
00:03:36   How did you begin your studio career?
00:06:36   What were the 1950’s & 60’s like for female musicians?
00:07:34   How did you create your sound on the bass?
00:11:07   Why did you choose the bass as your main instrument?
00:14:43   How did you approach sessions with Sonny & Cher?
00:16:52   How can you create music from an idea or concept?
00:21:26   Why did you return to jazz after playing pop music?
00:25:11   What lessons did you learn from studio session work?
00:29:27   How did you meet and come to work with Phil Spector?
00:33:41   What was working with Brian Wilson like?
00:36:18   What was working with Ray Charles & Mel Torme like?
00:39:11   What is the importance of craft in making music?
00:40:52   What do you think about the presentation of pop music?
00:41:39   Can music have a positive impact on society?
00:43:02   What are your thoughts on music piracy?
00:45:21   Can a person be a fan and pirate artists music?
00:47:12   Why do you think so many people pirate music?
00:48:48   Why did you transition out of session work?
00:50:56   Did you ever work with artists who could not play?
00:53:24   How do you feel about todays digital studio methods?
00:54:48   Was every musician you worked with trained?
00:56:01   What is your advice to young musicians?
00:57:00   How do you feel about your history in music?
01:01:55   Who was one of your early influential teachers?
01:03:52   How did you handle playing with mostly male musicians?
01:04:44   What is your memory of the early Los Angeles jazz scene?
01:05:56   What are your thoughts on today’s social climate?
01:06:43   Carol shares her memories of musician Earl Palmer
01:08:02   Carol’s closing message on the value of music
01:08:50   Closing riff
01:09:49   CREDITS

Carol is definitely a jazz proponent – particularly bebop. Its interesting to hear about how the LA jazzers of the 50s & 60s approached rock & roll and pop music. Its also interesting to hear Carol’s views on them (and her line about punk rock).

I think, from watching this and remembering “debates” on Talkbass about the importance of learning chords vs. scales as the basis for constructing basslines – Carol falls in the chord camp.

There is one last thing – its not completely related to this video, but, I came across the following thread on Talkbass about Carol. It seems that she’s fallen on hard times due to piracy on the internet – particularly piracy of her instructional books. Her mortgage was foreclosed, which is part of the reason that she’s teaching again – well into her 70s.

Its disheartening to me to learn that this has happened to her. She seems to have generally led a work-driven life while raising her children and taking care of her mother. I’m going to visit her website and buy some of her materials.

[edit 4.10.2016] It just occurred to me that I should link this to the other Carol Kaye interview I posted before this one: Carol Kaye Interview


2 responses

  1. Pingback: Unsung Heroes of Bass Guitar: #1 Carol Kaye | Ugly Bass Face

  2. Pingback: Carol Kaye Interview | Ugly Bass Face

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