CBC 214: Terry Plumeri tribute

Today’s episode is a tribute to bassist, film composer, and conductor Terry Plumeri, who was found murdered in his home in Florida on April 1st of this year.  This episode features comments from former Terry Plumeri student Eric Swanson plus some recordings of Terry performing and conducting.  Learn more about Terry’s bass playing in this For Bass Players Only article.

Tracks featured:

bassist, composer, and conductor Terry Plumeri died on March 31, 2016

bassist, composer, and conductor Terry Plumeri died on March 31, 2016


My all-time most viewed videos

I was poking around in the backend for my YouTube channel recently and was surprised by the view count on some of the videos I’ve put out in the past.  I haven’t done much YouTube content recently (though that is probably going to change), so most of this material is from the mid-2000’s.

Several of my most-viewed videos are pretty unsurprising:

I was pretty surprised to find my “Amati” bass recital video up there in terms of views (45,159 views).  My camera at the time only had space for short clips, so these were all that we got on tape.  Not exactly high fidelity!  I did get the whole recital on audio, however, and I put it out on the podcast back in the fall.

Another couple of surprises:

One that I was expecting to have more views (only 1500 or so) was my ButtCradle review video… complete with theme song sung by me!


What I’ll Miss About Chicago 2

I’m not from Chicago, but it has been my home for the past 22 years, so I think I qualify as at least an honorary local.

I have always taken pride in my being from South Dakota–I’m the first person most folks have ever met from that state!  But more and more each year, I have grown to admire and love Chicago, this metropolis with world-class attractions and incalculably insolvable problems.

Murder capital of America?  Check.

Most vacated county in the United States?  That’s Cook County.

America’s most segregated city?  Yes, according to CNN.

Yes, it has crime.  Lots of it, actually.  It has winters that would scare Siberians.

But it’s also the city of Carl Sandburg,  Nelson Algren, and Saul Bellow.  This city clawed and scratched its way to prominence in the 19th century, repeatedly reinventing itself through the decades, from the era of river traffic, railroads, and meatpacking through organized labor and bootlegging to interstate travel and flight.  Al Capone ruled the roost in the 20s only to be brought down by Elliot Ness from his Printer’s Row office building in the 30s.  Chicago somehow survived the collapse of Rust Belt manufacturing, managing to remain a city of international significance.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ll mss most about this place as I make my move to San Francisco.  Here are the top five things that get me a little misty-eyed when I think about leaving:

1. – Lake Michigan

Lake Michigan during the good months!

A lake?  Really?  This would be a sea in any other part of the world.  I’ve lived here for 22 years, and nearly all of them were spent within spitting distance of this great body of water.  Though I’ve been living in the Midwest, but I probably spend more time walking on a beach than most coastal dwellers I know.

(more…)


CBC 213: Leon Bosch – the Sherlock Holmes of the double bass 2

double bass virtuoso Leon Bosch

double bass virtuoso Leon Bosch

Leon Bosch is a remarkable figure in the world of the double bass.  From his early years growing up in South Africa to his long tenure with the Academy of St Martin in the Fields and his proliferation of solo projects, Leon has approached each challenge with a focus and determination that are incredibly inspiring. This is a “must listen” episode for any musician eager to realize their greatest potential.

After retiring from the Academy of St Martin in the Fields to devote himself fully to solo, chamber, and conducting projects, Leon has been working to bring undiscovered treasures of the repertoire to light and to encourage new works for the double bass from composers. New composition are being written for Leon from South African composer Péter Louis van Dijk, British composer Paul Patterson, and American jazz icon Wynton Marsalis.

This episode is sponsored by Discover Double Bass, and they have a course on bowing technique with Lauren Pierce that I highly recommend checking out.  This course is divided into 37 HD lessons, and Lauren gives a short video overview of the three categories that these videos cover: the basics, bow control, and real world techniques.  There’s also a free preview lesson on phrasing with the bow—check it out!

We feature excerpts from Leon’s latest album throughout the episode.  Check out Leon’s excellent albums (available both as digital downloads and CDs):

 If you’re enjoying these episodes, I’d love it if you’d give us a quick review on iTunes!  These reviews help us with discoverability and they give me great feedback about how I can keep working on the podcast to make it as valuable as possible for you.  Leave a quick star rating and if you could even jot down a sentence or two that would be great.  You can also leave a review for our iOS, Android, and Kindle apps.

Summer Camps for double bassists – send me links!

I was hunting around online the other day for a comprehensive list of summer camps for double bassists, and I couldn’t find one… so I created one!  You can find it at doublebassblog.org/summercamps.

Help me build this list!

I’ve put a lot of camps up there already along with 2016 dates, links to the website, and bass faculty, but I know that I’m missing a huge number of camps.  If you could leave a comment here with camps that aren’t on the list I’d really appreciate it.  You can also email me any suggestions at doublebassblog@mac.com.  Thanks!