A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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When we approached Joe Sanders about participating in the 2012 Jazz Gallery Residency Commissions program, we mentioned that the theme for this year would be “Leading From the Bass”: a spotlight on bassist-composers. Joe took this idea and ran with it; on Friday and Saturday nights at The Jazz Gallery, he will premiere brand new music and arrangements showcasing a quartet of acoustic basses. Joe speaks:

The goal is to have the audience understand that role of the bass isn’t always to stand in the back. You can be the bandleader [as a bassist], and still also play the same role that you were, which is the same as everyone else in the band.

The bass is a beautiful instrument and it has so many capabilities – it can produce beautiful melodies and negotiate tricky harmonic and rhythmic situations – which aren’t explored often enough. Every one of the bassists that will be performing on Friday night is capable of showcasing those capabilities.

For the past few weeks, Joe has spent almost every afternoon at The Gallery, “switching from Firefox and Sibelius ever so nervously, making large and small adjustments to the scores.” This weekend’s performances will feature fellow bassists Shawn Conley, Ryan Berg, and Christopher Mees, as well as saxophonist Pat Carroll, pianist Romain Collin, and drummer Justin Brown.

Tune in to Jazz Speaks tomorrow afternoon for a more detailed conversation with Joe, as well as rehearsal shots. Or just go ahead and buy your tickets: Joe says, “if you like bass…I could almost guarantee you’d like this!”