The violoncello or cello is the tenor voice in the string family. While shaped like a violin, the cello is much larger and is held between the player’s knees. Because it can produce beautiful sounds from its lowest to its highest notes, it is a popular instrument.
By 1529 a 3-stringed instrument was made, probably in Italy. About a century later it was called "violincello", which is Italian for "small double bass". That is what we get the word "cello" from. Late in the 1600’s, composers began writing music for the cello. It played the bass in the early days of the string quartet, only occasionally taking the melody. It became distinct in symphony orchestras and in chamber music in the 1700’s and 1800’s. The cello was used for many years to strengthen the bass section of church choirs.
The cello is the second largest of the string section. It is the tenor or baritone of the string family. The notes have a deep, warm tone. Of all the strings, the rich, singing sound of the cello make it sound the most like a human voice. Some people believe it is the most expressive instrument in the orchestra. In string quartets the cello usually plays the lowest notes. The cello is played with a bow or plucked (pizzicato). It is about 4 feet tall, approximately 1-1/2 feet across, and weighs 22 pounds. The thicker and longer strings of the cello make it a whole octave deeper than the viola.
Friedlander Jazz Cello Lessons
Master bass player Ray Brown turned his attention to the cello on this 1960 recording. "I think it's a wonderful means of expression because it contains the lower range of a guitar and and the higher range of a bass," Brown said of his second instrument, "It allows you to create elaborately and fast." This album showcases a rarely heard aspect of Ray Brown's artistry
Ron Carter The epitome of class and elegance, though not stuffy, Ron Carter has been a world class bassist and cellist since the '60s. He's among the greatest accompanists of all time, but has also done many albums exhibiting his prodigious technique. He's a brilliant rhythmic and melodic player, who uses everything in the bass and cello arsenal; walking lines, thick, full, prominent notes and tones, drones and strumming effects, and melody snippets. His bowed solos are almost as impressive as those done with his fingers. Carter has been featured in clothing, instrument, and pipe advertisements; he's close to being the bass equivalent of a Duke Ellington in his mix of musical and extra-musical interests. Carter's nearly as accomplished in classical music as jazz, and has performed with symphony orchestras all over the world. He's almost exclusively an acoustic player; he did play electric for a short time in the late '60s and early '70s, but hasn't used it in many, many years. Carter began playing cello at ten. But when his family moved from Ferndale, MI, to Detroit, Carter ran into problems with racial stereotypes regarding the cello and switched to bass. He played in the Eastman School's Philharmonic Orchestra, and gained his degree in 1959. He moved to New York and played in Chico Hamilton's quintet with Eric Dolphy, while also enrolling at the Manhattan School of Music. Carter earned his master's degree in 1961. After Hamiliton returned to the West Coast in 1960, Carter stayed in New York and played with Dolphy and Don Ellis, cutting his first records with them. He worked with Randy Weston and Thelonious Monk, while playing and recording with Jaki Byard in the early '60s. Carter also toured and recorded with Bobby Timmons' trio, and played with Cannonball Adderley. He joined Art Farmer's group for a short time in 1963, before he was tapped to become a member of Miles Davis' band. Carter remained with Davis until 1968, appearing on every crucial mid-'60s recording and teaming with Herbie Hancock and Tony Williams to craft a new, freer rhythm section sound. The high profile job led to the reputation that's seen Carter become possibly the most recorded bassist in jazz history. He's been heard on an unprecedented number of recordings; some sources claim 500, others have estimated it to be as many as 1,000. The list of people he's played with is simply too great to be accurately and completely cited. Carter's been a member of New York Jazz Sextet and New York Jazz Quartet, V.S.O.P. Tour, Milestone Jazzstars,and was in one of the groups featured in the film Round Midnight in 1986. He's led his own bands at various intervals since 1972, using a second bassist to keep time and establish harmony so he's free to provide solos. Carter even invented his own instrument, a piccolo bass. Carter's also contributed many arrangements and compositions to both his groups and other bands. He's done duo recordings with either Cedar Walton or Jim Hall. Carter's recorded for Embryo/Atlantic, CTI, Milestone, Timeless, EmArcy, Galaxy, Elektra, and Concord, eventually landing at Blue Note for LPs including 1997's The Bass and I, 1998's So What?, and 1999's Orfeu. When Skies Are Grey surfaced in early 2001.
Lucio Amanti - Jazz Cello Born in Montreal Canada, he grew up and begun his studies in Cello and Composition in Italy and France. After a few years of orchestra and chamber music experience, he won a scholarship in 2004 that allowed him to enter the studio of the legendary cellist Janos Starker at Indiana University in Bloomington for a Performer Diploma degree. After two years of study he decided to explore different approaches to cello playing, improving his already strong classical preparation with two years of studies in the Jazz field with another musical legend: Doctor David N. Baker, becoming the first cellist at Indiana University ever to achieve a Master degree in Jazz studies.
After finishing his studies he decided to dedicate his time to finding a personal balance between musical tradition and experimental approaches. Mr. Amanti has recently finished his first commercial album that has been in the I-tunes top ten sellers in the jazz category in Italy. In this Album, the cello keeps the classical and jazz inspirations constantly in balance using improvisation and the use of electronics to create the illusion of a string ensemble, a percussion ensemble or a rhythm section. He is also writing and recording film scores and designing a series of shows that will feature the synergy between Cello/Electronics and images projected and edited live during the performance.
He has performed and
collaborated with: Luis Bacalov, David N. Baker, Aldo Ciccolini, David
Sanchez, Ricardo Lorenz, Roberto De Simone and others.
[…] He marks a very interesting path to discover the enormous potential of an instrument typically classical, very well used also into the Jazz (Marco Losavio www.jazzitalia.net)
Hesford - UK Jazz Cellist
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