These Performers Touch All Basses Two Musical Ensembles Offer A Variety Of Styles And Sounds

Posted: October 18, 1996

JAMAALADEEN TACUMA and BASS NOUVEAU. Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Ave., 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $10 (students & members, $8). Info: 215-387-1911.

RON CARTER QUINTET. Blue Moon Jazz Cafe and Restaurant, 4th Street between Market and Chestnut, 6 and 9 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $20. Info: 215-413-2272.

If you want a lot of bass in your face, Philly's the place Sunday.

With bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma and his crew setting up shop at the Community Education Center in the afternoon, and bassist supreme Ron Carter playing two sets that night at the Blue Moon, virtually every style, sound and approach known to bass playing will surely be heard.

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.''

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