Research Blog

Blog Post #11 - Melody Maker Insights  

My research journey has led to me to a fascinating article in an issue of Melody Maker from November 28, 1953. This is an important year for Monk Montgomery and for the Fender Precision Bass. In 1953, Montgomery took the instrument on a tour across Europe with the Lionel Hampton Orchestra. It is also the year when Montgomery recorded the instrument for the first time. 

The Melody Maker writer Mike Nevard finds the Hampton Orchestra in the UK on a stop over, before returning home to the USA. Nevard speaks to Montgomery and the interview focuses on the Fender Bass and Montgomery’s feelings towards the instrument. He states that he wasn’t keen on the idea of playing the instrument but at the time of writing is enjoying using it and believes that you ‘…get a better tone.’ However he does say that the tone can be ‘whiny’ if the tone control is not set correctly. When discussing the instrument, he mentions that he uses heavy gauge strings which are attacked with a light touch. 

One of the most fascinating aspects of the interview is Montgomery’s opinion that ‘…the electric model seems to fill in a lot for the missing piano. It gives a kind of depth to the rhythm that’s missing when the piano’s not there.’ Pianist George Wellington had recently left the orchestra, leaving guitarist William Mackel as the predominant harmonic source. The assertion that the bass guitar fills in the harmonic gap left by the absent piano, maybe more so than the double bass, is worthy of further research through performance practice and recording analysis.

Blog Post #10 - Vinyl Discoveries  

The journey of discovering and accumulating Monk Montgomery’s recorded output has been long, yet enjoyable and rewarding. In a recording career that spanned a near 30 year period, Montgomery recorded on dozens of studio and live albums, some of which are still surfacing with the vinyl revival. Some recordings have proved more difficult to track down than others. The rarest being In Africa…Live! released under Montgomery’s own name, and Johnny Griffin’s Do Nothin’ Till You Here From Me. 

Montgomery’s first recording on the Fender Bass (which is also believed to be the first commercially available studio recording of the instrument) was on a session by the Art Farmer Septet. The band was comprised of members of the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and the session features Quincy Jones as the arranger and pianist. These recordings have been issued under various titles over the years. However, I have searched for an original issue (under the title Work Of Art) on the Esquire label for many years. Only one copy has been available on the internet to my knowledge and it is listed for over £300. 

This week, on a trip to Lincoln, I went to the local record shops, as I do when visiting any new destination. Just before leaving the city, I noticed a sign for a picture framing shop which also sells vinyl. I went in and browsed the vinyl on the racks. I noticed a few boxes of vinyl on the floor and had a quick skim through. To my surprise, and elation, in the box sat a copy of Work Of Art for the humble price of £40. The copy plays very nicely and the sleeve is in good condition for its near 70 year old age. It is discoveries like this that make the hours of searching though dusty and tightly packed racks worthwhile. 

The liner notes make interesting comments about Montgomery’s performance on the new instrument - “The amazing penetrating power of this instrument is well demonstrated on UAM UAM where it embodies a percussive sound in the part it plays at the onset”. The track listed as UAM UAM would later be listed as Mau Mau on subsequent reissues.

Blog Post #9 - Live Performance  

Over the course of the past few weeks, I have finished working through the II V I lines in Monk Montgomery’s Electric Bass Method. I believe that transposing so many lines into all keys has had great benefits for my playing melodically, harmonically and technically. It has opened my ears to using ‘outside’ sounds more frequently in walking lines. These harmonic/melodic concepts incorporate diminished, whole tone and chromatic sounds. 

One of the major steps forward with the goal of incorporating Montgomery’s playing techniques into my own performance is the development of a callous on the right hand thumb. I am now able to use this technique for extended periods of time without pain or soreness. I have also built up a greater level of muscular stamina when playing with this technique. 

In light of this progression, I decided to play a jazz gig on Sunday March 13th using the Fender Precision bass, played with the right hand thumb. The gig is a fairly informal one which I play at on a monthly basis as part of a piano trio The relaxed pub atmosphere and openness of my fellow musicians presented a great opportunity to start using this sound in live performance. The material performed was comprised of standards such as There Is No Greater Love, Caravan, Now’s The Time, etc. The mix of swing, Latin and funk grooves also presented an opportunity to try using the right hand thumb in a number of styles. 

To my own surprise, I was able to use the right hand thumb for the vast majority of the performance without discomfort or fatigue. The only time when I reverted to using the right hand fingers was when I desired more speed in solo lines. It is my hope that my speed with the thumb will increase gradually over the course of the coming months. 

There were several interesting points to be taken from the performance. The drummer in the ensemble commented on the ‘mellowness’ of the sound which I was creating on the instrument compared with my usual tone. In retrospect, it would have been useful to have recorded the performance for analysis. I will do this at the next opportunity. 

As expected, I was finding it difficult to mute the strings which were not being played. Over the sound of the ensemble, this was not too much of an issue. However, I was aware of it and it affected my technique and enjoyment of performing. This has accelerated my goal of fitting a suitable, and historically accurate muting system to the bass guitar. 

I have felt a very slight and dull ache in my thumb throughout the day today. It would certainly not be described as painful but it definitely feels as though it has been worked hard. I will keep observing this to see whether it improves over time or becomes an issue to address.

Blog Post #8 - Further Recording Analysis - Sonic Lineup  

Following my presentation at The University Of York Music Department Postgraduate Forum this month, it was suggested to me that I download software from Sonic Visualiser in order to aid me in the process of recording analysis. This software (available at was developed in the Centre For Digital Music at Queen Mary University of London. Its aim is to help musicologists, archivists, etc in the analysis of sound recordings. After some initial reading, it would appear that the Sonic Lineup software will be the most useful in my research path. 

The primary question in my practice based research address if, and how Monk Montgomery achieved a double bass like sound on the Fender Precision Bass through the use of particular techniques, note choices, etc. This question will be addressed by producing recordings which use a variety of instruments and techniques. These recordings will then be analysed alongside a recording of the same piece made on the double bass. So far, I have made five solo recordings to aid in the process of learning how to use the software and analyse the recordings. These recordings will not play a part in the findings. 

My background is as a musician and teacher and my technological knowledge does not extend beyond some basic home recording. Therefore, this is a new world of learning for me, but one in which I am enthusiastic to step into. I have fed my test recordings into Sonic Lineup and have taken screen shots of the views which I believe may be relevant to my research. I have included these below. The order of the recordings from top to bottom are - double bass, bass guitar played with the index finger, bass guitar played with the thumb (fingers anchored on finger rest), bass guitar played with a plastic plectrum, bass guitar played with the thumb (fingers anchored underneath the body of the bass).


Waveform - Outline Waveform - Spectogram - Melodic Spectogram -

It is at this point where reading and experimentation needs to take place so that I can go from a point of observation to analysis. This will be done through reading, practical experimentation and study with experts in the area. Alongside this, I am working on the biographical chapter of the thesis and my own practice of Montgomery's lines and techniques. 


Blog Post #7 - The Monk Montgomery Electric Bass Method  

A significant portion of my research is currently focused on the practise of Montgomery's playing techniques, harmonic concepts, note choices, etc. The Monk Montgomery Electric Bass Method is a useful tool in this process. Not only does Montgomery go into some detail about his history with, and approach to the bass guitar but there is a substantial amount of musical notation covering scale practise, II V I lines, transcriptions and bass duets. 

The purpose of this blog post is not to go into detail about the book itself. That is covered elsewhere on the website for those who are interested. It is more to discuss how I use the book as part of my own practise regime. Ideally, I would like all of my practise time to be devoted to the material in this book but my life as a professional musician and teacher does not allow this to be the case. Often, I will have to devote time to learning material for shows or for particular student's needs. However, I am able to devote a substantial amount of time to the material presented in this book. 

I have owned the book for a couple of years but it was very difficult to locate. As soon as I became aware of it, I knew that it would be an integral part of my research. I was fortunate enough to find a copy on the internet for a price of around £90. I am pleased that I bought this copy as I haven't seen another one since. My approach to practising material in the book in the past has been somewhat haphazard. Since the beginning of 2022, I have taken a much more thorough path through the book. 

Although I will certainly practise the scale exercises in the manner suggested, I have done many of these in the past so decided to begin my study of the material with the II V I lines of which there are over 100. I am approaching the half way point of these exercises and expect this section to take at least another month when done alongside my other practise commitments. Each II V I line is played 4 times per key (all 12 keys are played). I find this practise process intellectually and physically demanding. Intellectually, because each line needs to be transposed into the different keys and played in an efficient manner on the instrument. Physically, because the right hand thumb is being used on the bass guitar and there are many 'closed keys' on the double bass. Once the first few keys have been played, the line becomes easier to transpose and the playing becomes almost meditative. 

As a musician and a teacher, I have found that people approach practise in a wide variety of ways. When working on a piece or with reading and improvisation, I do these with complete quiet in the room. When practising exercises which are more repetitive, I find it helps me to watch lectures or hear talking. Rather than distracting me, I find that this keeps my brain alert and engaged with the process. Although I know very little about Montgomery's practise regime, he had stated that he would practise double bass through the night and in the darkness. Out of consideration for my neighbours, this would not be an option at present. 

I am slowly integrating the material from the book into my teaching of jazz on the bass guitar. Particularly the II V I lines which I am currently studying. Even in the early stages of the II V I lines, the material is demanding as there is a substantial use of the diminished and whole tone scales as well as tritone substitutions and chromatic enclosures. This means that I can only use the material with advanced students. The person who I have been teaching it to so far has been very receptive to the material and is disappointed that the book is unavailable. The lack of availability of the material is unfortunate in my opinion. As Montgomery is the first bass guitarist of significance, I believe that his approach to the instrument is of great benefit to the student. The notated materials are incredibly thorough and having being a student of the bass guitar for over 20 years, I have found this book to be one of the most valuable sources of information. 

It is my hope that one day, the book will be rereleased. In the meantime, I plan to adapt some of the concepts and make PDF's available for free on the Educational Material page on this website. 

Blog Post #6 - Presentation at The University Of York - 16/02/22 

A supervision meeting for my PhD this week has been very useful with regards to the analysis of audio recordings. My supervisor suggested that I look into using a piece of software in the iZotpope RX range in order to compare the recordings in greater detail. This is a new area for me but one in which I am very interested in developing. I will detail my progress in the coming weeks. 

This morning has been spent preparing a presentation for the University Of York Music Department Post Graduate Forum which is taking place on the 16th February. I will be presenting my paper at 10am in the Music Research Centre foyer. The presentation is advertised under the title ‘Monk Montgomery and The Introduction of the Electric Bass Into Jazz Music’ but I will give a broad overview of my research up until this point. 

There are several other speakers throughout the day and I would encourage people to attend. I have included the listings for the event below.

Blog Post #5 - Analysis Of Recordings  

This week has been busy with regards to work so finding practice time has been more challenging. I have progressed with the bass guitar as I have access to the instrument when I am teaching. Rather than longer practice sessions, I have been working in shorter bursts when students are unavailable or I have a gap between lessons. Up until the time of writing, I have played the entire first section of II V lines in the book in all keys and have played 19 lines from the second section. 

The callous on my right hand thumb seems to be significantly stronger now and I can play for long periods of time without it becoming an issue. This may be in part down to doing shorter practice sessions, allowing the callous plenty of recovery time. This is speculation but it would be interesting to explore this further, not only for my PhD research but also for bass guitar education and practice generally. 

With regards to the double bass, I was able to do two practise sessions of approximately an hour each this week. I am still working through the first section of II V lines in the book. As previously mentioned, this is a slower process due to issues relating to stamina and intonation. I do believe that this process will be beneficial to my double bass playing as the lines cover intervallic leaps which I would not normally use in my walking lines and solos. 

The area of audio analysis is one in which I have little experience. The areas of my PhD which I am the most comfortable with are historical research and performance practice. The first step in the analysis of recordings has been to put recordings down to analyse. This process was documented in my last blog post. As I research the available software, techniques and methods related to this field, I can at least make some initial comments on aspects of the recordings which are immediately apparent purely through visual analysis of the waveforms. 

When the five recordings are listened to simultaneously, the timing appears to be strong in the sense that the bass lines match up consistently but have a slight chorus effect that comes with the overlaying of several recordings of the same passage. Visual analysis gives me a deeper understanding of how my timing varies on each performance. Although there is fluctuation throughout the performances, I can see that on the double bass, my timing tends to be on top of, or slightly ahead of the beat. Very rarely am I behind the beat on the instrument. The bass guitar played with the index finger follows a similar pattern. As these are the two most familiar styles of playing to me, this seems logical. There is a greater amount of inconsistency with the bass guitar thumb recordings, whether the fingers are anchored on the rest or the body of the bass. It would seem that I play more behind the beat using this method but notes are played in front of, on top of and behind the beat. It will be interesting to see how this changes as I become more comfortable with the technique. The plectrum shows a similar amount of fluctuation although the performance becomes more consistently on the beat as it progresses. 

It would appear that on the double bass, my note length is greater and there is little gap between the notes when compared to those on the bass guitar (all techniques). This was a surprising finding. I believe this may be due to me trying to mute the strings on the bass guitar between notes to avoid overtones and sympathetic resonance. I am very intrigued to see how this will change when I fit a muting device to the instrument. I will analyse these recordings further this week.

Blog Post #4 - Solo Recording  

This week, I have progressed with my instrumental practise to the point where all of the II V lines in the first section of the tuition book have been covered on the bass guitar. This regular practice regime has allowed my thumb callous to develop, resulting in me being able to use the technique for longer periods of time. From a purely musical point of view, the lines haven’t proved to be too challenging so far. I have devoted many hours of practice time over the last decade to playing lines in all keys so I found this process to be stimulating yet without frustration. 

Yesterday evening, I did my second set of practice recordings for analysis. These were recorded at a friends home studio in Leeds. I chose to do the recordings at this location as they were solo performances meaning that physical space was not an issue. Also, I have recorded at the studio before and found the double bass recording to be very clear and what I believe to be true to the acoustic sound of the instrument. As I am in a stage of exploration, I chose to record 3 choruses of a Monk Montgomery 12-bar blues in Bb rather than a whole transcription. This will give me sufficient information for comparison. The performances were played at 120 BPM. Five performances were recorded. These were - 

Double Bass With Steel Strings - Pizzicato Index Finger 

Fender Precision Bass Guitar - Right Hand Index Finger 

Fender Precision Bass Guitar - Right Hand Thumb (Fingers Anchored On Rest) 

Fender Precision Bass Guitar - Right Hand Thumb (Fingers Anchored Below Bass Body) 

Fender Precision Bass Guitar - Right Hand Plastic Plectrum (Dunlop Jazz III) 

The bass guitar was plugged directly into the desk for these recordings so that I can analyse the pure sound of the instrument. As the research progresses, an amplifier will be used. I will return to the studio later this week to make steps towards analysing the recordings. In the meantime, I will make note of some of the performance points which have become apparent. 

As previously stated, for the recording process, I am using a Bb Blues line taken from Montgomery’s tuition book. The content of the book is written primarily for the bass guitar and although it is all playable on the double bass, there are certain instrumental idiosyncrasies which make the performance challenging. The line includes double stops which are relatively straight forward on the bass guitar and less so on the double bass. These will need to be practiced in greater depth before I begin the recordings which will form the basis of the final analysis. 

When playing with my right hand thumb on the bass guitar, I am having difficulty muting the strings which are not being played. This is not an issue with the other right hand techniques. When playing finger style, I use a floating thumb technique which allows my thumb to mute the strings. When playing with a plectrum, part of my palm mutes the strings. With the thumb technique, my hand is either lower than the other strings or arched over them. Therefore, I am moving my hand into unnatural positions to mute, creating a less fluid performance. This can be dealt with in two immediately apparent ways. When the Fender Precision Bass was first developed, it came with a bridge cover that had a mute on the inside. Bridge covers are still available to purchase but they do not have a muting system. However, this should not be too complicated to make. Another possibility is the use of a material over or under the strings (sponge, felt). This was a common technique used by influential bassists such as Carol Kaye. 

At the tempo of 120 BPM, certain musical passages which are easily played using a plectrum or finger style are more challenging with the thumb. One of these is the performance of quaver triplets. These are commonly played in jazz walking bass lines and although I could perform them, they did not feel comfortable yet. It is my hope that with more practise with the thumb, my speed will improve. If this does not happen in the coming weeks then I will introduce metronome exercises into my practise regime.

Blog Post #3 - Instrumental Practice  

In order to be able to recreate Montgomery’s playing techniques for the recording part of my thesis, I need to spend significant time practicing on the bass guitar and double bass. Instrumental practice always plays a part of my daily life when my work schedule allows. The initial stage of the pandemic allowed me more practice time than I would usually have. This is because live performance completely stopped and my teaching moved online. This reduced the time which I was spending travelling to work. However, this new approach to teaching meant that I also had to spend more time preparing teaching materials such as sheet music and backing tracks. 

When the lockdowns came to an end, life became very chaotic. My teaching schedules would be written but then would have to be constantly rearranged due to students isolating, availability of teaching spaces in schools, etc. This resulted in the latter half of 2021 being one of the busiest periods of my working life, leaving me very little time for anything outside of my paid employment. I was working every day of the week with only a few hours to relax on an evening when no live performances were booked in. This led to the difficult but necessary decision to leave one of my teaching posts at a secondary school. I had been at the school for close to 10 years and had been teaching many of the students for several years. Leaving the school has given me two weekday daytimes free to focus on my research and the reduction in admin from having 20 fewer students has given me a better work/life balance. 

The materials which I am using for my Ph.D instrumental practice are the Monk Montgomery Electric Bass Method Book and my own transcriptions. I have done some work from the tuition book in the past but it has been broken and disorganised. I have now started working methodically though the book on both the bass guitar and double bass. This is a process which I expect to be completed by the end of February. 

There is a significant amount of material in the book including numerous scale exercises, over 100 II V I bass lines to be practiced in all 12 keys, transcriptions of walking bass lines and several bass duets. I have chosen to begin with the II V I lines as I have covered most of the scale exercises in practice in the past. However, I will cover them again using the right hand thumb technique on my 1950’s replica Fender Precision Bass. 

Up until this point, I have practiced 19 II V I lines on the bass guitar and 8 on the double bass. The lines are written in the key of Bb but I (as recommended in the book) have played each one in 12 keys, 4 times in each key. This means that each line is played 48 times. The patterns are all walking lines using crotchets. Very few of the lines are diatonic with most making use of the diminished and whole tone scales, tritone substitutions and chromatic enclosures on the dominant chord. This makes transposing the lines into a challenging task but one which I’m sure will have many benefits both inside and outside of my Ph.D study. 

On the bass guitar, I have been using my right hand thumb as much as my stamina will allow. Not only is it taking time for the muscular stamina to build, but I also have to build a callous on the pad of my thumb. It is an area of my hand which I have not used to strike the string with any great regularity in the past. To allow the callous some time to heal, I have alternated practice between the bass guitar and double bass. One observation which I have made so far is related to a small change in right hand positioning. Early Fender bass guitars came with a rest underneath the strings where the player could anchor their fingers, allowing them to use a downstroke with the thumb. I have been using this finger rest in practice. Photographic evidence of Montgomery would suggest that he anchored his fingers on the bottom of the instrument. Having tried both positions, I have found that this does alter the tone of the bass slightly and it may be a consideration when delving deeper into the analysis of recordings. 

As I practice the lines following the cycle of fourths (a common way to practice in jazz) starting in the key of C, the practice of each line is book-ended by ‘easier’ keys - C, F……D, G. On bass guitar, the keys in the middle are not an issue. Due to the fretted and positional nature of the instrument, there is no great difference when playing in sharp and flat keys. On the double bass, it does become more difficult in the middle section of each II V I line. Playing in ‘closed’ keys for extended periods of time does require greater stamina and attention to intonation. There are fewer opportunities to give the left hand a rest with open strings and to check intonation against the open strings. It is my hope that doing this practice regularly will increase my stamina in these closed keys. 

Doing practice in this way has become almost meditative. Playing crotchets for upwards of an hour at a time requires discipline and concentration in order to keep track of where you are musically and where you need to go next. Instead of finding this stressful or demanding, I have found it to be relaxing and almost addictive. The only sense of stress has been physical (the right hand thumb on bass guitar, the left hand on double bass). As well as writing regular updates on my instrumental practice, I will also be recording videos detailing the research where I can demonstrate the various aspects of the work.

Blog Post #2 - Planning The Recording Process 

In this blog post, I am going to discuss the progress made with the recording process and share my thoughts so far. 2021 was a difficult year to organise projects that involved other musicians being in confined spaces due to the coronavirus pandemic. Restrictions were in place at intervals throughout they year, and when restrictions weren’t in place, people were understandably hesitant to work in confined spaces, or were unable to due to isolation. Most of my work in this aspect of the Ph.D during 2021 was in planning. I needed to find the right musicians, equipment, studio and test piece. 

In order to make the process as free of complications as possible, I needed to find a studio which was close by, would have free time to book, would not be too expensive and would have a recording engineer who I could rely on. I have been very fortunate in this respect as a friend and fellow musician has set up a studio in the village where I live which seems to have everything I will need for this research. The studio is a 5 minute walk from my house and I have been friends with the engineer for over 10 years. He is a drummer with a degree and an MA in jazz studies so he not only understands the research, he is enthusiastic about being involved. 

As I am comparing audio recordings, I believe the best and easiest way to do this is by using the same written bass line at the same tempo. What is being compared is the sound and frequencies produced by different instruments and techniques. Therefore, if the performances line up as much as possible, it will make the analysis much easier. I will be able to line the audio recordings up and not only analyse them using software, I will be able to visually compare the waveforms. The bass line will be a 12 bar blues line in Bb taken from Montgomery’s bass tuition book. 

The options of equipment which I could use are extensive. There are so many variations of the bass guitar available now that I will have to limit my options initially and I can expand on them if time allows. I am comparing the sound of the bass guitar to that of the double bass so the double bass will be recorded first as the test piece. There will only be 2 variations with the double bass and these will be with the strings - steel and ‘gut’.Due to his historical significance on the instrument, a reasonable amount of information is available regarding Montgomery’s bass guitar instruments and techniques (mainly from his interviews and tuition book). Although he made several albums on the double bass and returned to the instrument in the 1960’s, very little information is available regarding his double bass playing. I am relying on photographic evidence and audio recordings so far. I am hoping that video footage may exist which would allow me a greater insight into his playing techniques. 

The initial recording variations on the bass guitar will be - 

Fender Precision Bass (1950’s replica) with flat wound strings - 

1) Played using the right hand thumb 

2) Played using the right hand index finger 

3) Played using a felt plectrum 

Fender Jazz Bass (1970’s replica) with flat wound strings - 

1) Played using the right hand thumb 

2) Played using the right hand index finger 

3) Played using a felt plectrum 

Alembic Bass Guitar With Active Electronics with round wound strings - 

1) Played using the right hand thumb 

2) Played using the right hand index finger 

3) Played using a felt plectrum 

I have chosen these three instrument for the following reasons. The precision bass is the closest instrument which I have available to that which Montgomery would have played in his initial stages of bass guitar playing. I would like to use an original 1950’s bass but these instruments are collectors items. If it can be arranged, I would like to loan one of these for the recording process. The three right hand techniques cover the two which are known to have been used by Montgomery (thumb and plectrum) and one which has now become the primary right hand bass technique (rest stroke with the index finger). Montgomery switched to a Fender Jazz Bass later in his career when his Precision was stolen. Video footage exists of him playing this instrument so I believe it to be essential to the recording process. I have included the Alembic bass as an example of an instrument with is very popular in the bass guitar world but is far removed from any instrument which Montgomery used regularly. Bass guitars could be split into 2 distinct camps. Those with passive circuitry and those with active circuitry. It would seem to be a glaring omission if I did not include the later. 

On the 12th January, 2022 I went to the recording studio to do some initial recordings. The intention is not to use these recordings in the analysis stage but just to have a trial run and trouble shoot any issues which may arise. The recordings were made with bass and drums. The recordings of the bass instruments will need to be free of bleed in order to analyse them properly. Therefore, the bass guitars were plugged directly into the desk and the double bass will be recorded in a separate room to the other instruments. When recording the double bass, I will use microphones instead of the pick up as that will be closer to the recording techniques of the 1950’s and 1960’s. I would like to use amplifiers for the bass guitars as the research progresses which would require the amplifier to be isolated in a separate room. Unfortunately, I know very little about how Montgomery’s bass was recorded. Therefore, I will research the standard recording techniques for the bass guitar and double bass in jazz during this era. 

Assuming the recording process is free of issues, I plan to do 2 initial sets of recordings. The first will be with a small ensemble. If the musicians availability allows, the band will be comprised of bass, drums, vibraphone and either piano or guitar. I would like to include a vibraphone as so much of Montgomery’s recorded output was with one (Lionel Hampton, Buddy Montgomery, Roy Ayers). I only know one jazz vibraphone player so the recording will rely heavily on his availability. As a student of the instrument, he is also very keen to be involved in the project. I would like the recording to take place with an ensemble as I believe that musicians play differently in an ensemble than they would individually. As a bassist, I believe that I would be compelled to ‘dig in’ more when playing with a drummer than I would in a room on my own. However, I will make the same set of recording on my own. It will be interesting to see if there any differences in my playing in the two situations. All of the recordings will be done to a click track. Although this presumably did not happen on Montgomery’s recordings, it will make the process of analysis much more straight forward