Sam Jones: Visitation




Sam Jones (cello)


Visitation (Steeplechase 31097)

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Sam Jones (cello), Terumasa Hino (trumpet), Bob Berg (tenor sax), Ronnie Matthews (piano), Al Foster (drums).

Composed by Paul Chambers


Recorded: Copenhagen, March 20, 1978


Rating: 100/100 (learn more)

With the application of the cello into the jazz ensemble, many used the instrument to explore new melodic terrain. Sam Jones took it in a different direction by playing walking bass lines on the cello. Sam’s technique of using the cello as an accompanying instrument can be best represented by the title song from his album “Visitation”.

Jones and Berg play the melody in unison with their tones blending seamlessly into one cohesive sound. Jones displays a straightforward, yet intricate touch during his solo from :37-1:53 by taking small ideas from the melody and incorporating them into his solo. Equally impressive are Jones’ accompanying skills, which he modifies depending upon which member is soloing. For Berg, he tends to stick to the root of the chord and for Hino he performs higher on the neck in order to match the timbre of the trumpet. At times, Jones’ slides sound more like a fretless electric bass than a cello. A great song by a great band, “Visitation” is highly recommended for its use of the cello in modern jazz accompaniment.

Reviewer: Eric Wendell

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