Weekend in Review Pt. 2 – Danny Ziemann Recital

After some awesome concerts this weekend, each featuring one or more string players, I was left with much to say. Here are my thoughts. (photo by Larry Colen)

Weekend in Review Pt. 2 – Danny Ziemann Recital

This past Saturday, Danny Ziemann out on his graduate degree recital with Chase Ellison on drums, and Michael T. Jones on piano.

Looking at the concert on the whole, it was a fun and fast hour and fifteen. Ziemann and his trio played a total of seven tunes, a healthy mix of Great American Songbook (“Nobody Else But Me,” It Could Happen To You,” “Skylark), Latin (“Ana Maria”), more modern compositions (“Shiny Stockings,” “Silver Rain”), and even an original by Ziemann called “Feel the Bern(stein).” Ziemann was also an entertaining and warm emcee throughout the night.

Ziemann’s band had a great chemistry; having played with for a while, the three were comfortable on stage together. Ziemann’s taste and thoughtfulness on the bass, combined with Ellison’s perfect combination of flourish and time and Jones’s Bennie Green big band keyboard sound was energetic, fresh, and tight. The arrangements very much resembled big band arrangements, with long development sections, tutti shout sections, and avoided the tropes of trio jazz.

Audiences were treated to everything that makes Ziemann a great bass player. His aforementioned taste and thoughtfulness were present throughout, and was flexible and diverse in his attacks and articulations. Ziemann’s smooth left hand technique is always great to watch, and his technical facility was very impressive. The most improved part of Ziemann’s playing is his note choice and ability to harmonically sit in the tune; every bass line and solo felt distinct, and didn’t call upon the chromatic clichés of jazz bass solos.

Ziemann sets himself from his other contemporaries is his arco solo ability. On the German bow, Ziemann navigated the bass up, down, left, and right with complete control and ease.

This was a cool full circle moment for me. Danny was my bass teacher throughout most of college. Almost everything I know about playing the bass came from him. It was a privilege to have been his student for that time. It’s been especially gratifying seeing him applying the same lessons and ideologies he’s taught me to his own playing, and watching him grow as a person and bass player throughout the years.

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