In the bass quartet Bass Nouveau, Tacuma heads a collection of electric and acoustic players - Tyrone Brown, Warren Oree and Gerald Veasley - along with drummer Webb Thomas - who ``interact with each other, creating melodies and playing as an actual band unit,'' Tacuma said.
The bassists have the unusual role of being ``soloist and a foundation builder at the same time,'' he said.
The group, together for three years, has frequently played in Europe and will release its yet-to-be-titled CD in a few months on a German label, said Tacuma, known for his eclectic electric bass work.
And overseas is where Ron Carter is like Michael Jordan: He's pitching items unrelated to what makes him famous. In Japan, the legendary straight-ahead bass player has done ads for a liquor distributor and a clothing line.
That's doesn't happen much in the United States, where established jazz artists are stuck shilling musical wares - drum sticks, saxophones - to other jazz players.
That's a common problem faced by longtime jazz players, said Carter, 59, who can be heard on more than 1,000 albums.
If given control of a jazz record company, Carter would focus on the publicity department, making sure records were easily available. And jazz artists would get the same tour support pop and rock acts ``seem to have in abundance,'' he said.
And young talent would be given the time to develop.
A teacher at City College in New York for 14 years, Carter is disappointed by the students he's seeing these days.
``There's a lack of preparation, a lack of discipline,'' to practice and play in ensembles, Carter said.
``I want to stay on their case until they get it right.''