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Its Nature, Instruments, Sources, Sounds, Development & Performers

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In a somewhat different category were two other bassists whose influence reached a peak during the mid-1940s, Chubby Jackson, an early settler in the expansive territory of the five-stringed bass (tuned E-A-D-G-C), functioned as a cheerleader and catalyst in the best of the Woody Herman bands off and on from 1943. Around the same period possibly the most recorded bassist in jazz for a couple of years was Slam Stewart, the Frankenstein who invented a novel but ultimately tiresome technique that combined jazz improvisation with humor, bowing his solos and humming them simultaneously in octave unison.
In 1947 Harry Babasin, a West Coast bassist, began to experi­ment with pizzicato cello played in the manner of the jazz bass. Oscar Pettiford followed suit in 1950. Several other musicians have since subjected the cello to this re-orientation process. The outstanding artist is Fred Katz of the Chico Hamilton Quintet, whose facility is equally glib in both arco and pizzicato work.
The resurgence of the tuba in jazz has produced one or two soloists of sufficient talent and stamina to tackle the physical hazards of improvisation in this cumbersome medium. The first harbinger of this new era was Bill Barber, who played a sectional role in the Miles Davis records of 1949-50 and has occasionally taken jazz solos, even playing a chorus of blues in Woofer from the author's Hi Fi Suite on MGM. John Dengler, an ex-coraetist, exhibited a comparable degree of flexibility in filling both rhythm section and solo roles with the Bobby Hackett orchestra in 1957.