Just about every bassist out there knows Paul Chambers' iconic bass melody from the opening track off of Miles Davis' groundbreaking 1959 album Kind Of Blue.
Most of us have also found out that the real challenge begins after the melody. How do you walk over what is essentially one chord. Well here's how Chambers himself did it. I've transcribed for you the first chorus of walking.
Paul keeps things interesting by adding plenty of chromatic approach notes, a few swung eighth notes and a lot of his signature blues feel. My personal favorite part are the last eight bars, in which Chambers plays a high a F (the third/tenth of the scale) at the start of each measure, really grabbing your attention.
Although this is probably Paul's most famous performance he went on to play with many of the most important jazz artists at the time, including Wynton Kelly, Wes Montgomery, Lee Morgan, Cannonball Adderly and John Coltrane (who wrote the classic Mr P.C in his honour) as well as Miles' bass player from 1955 to 1962 and releasing ten albums as a leader or co-leader before passing away in tuberculosis at the age of 33 in 1969.
Check him out.
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