Canadian Musician - March-April 2022 - Page 55

Proznick : I love a warm , energetic , and pointed sound on the upright bass . I often tell students that the bassline needs to be and feel purposeful and have propulsion without feeling anxious . I think that I tried a little too hard when I was younger , and perhaps had a tendency to push the tempo a little too much . But as I became more relaxed and confident with myself , my bass playing started to sound more grounded .
CM : When leading a band for your own albums , can you tell me about the composition process ? Particularly , how do you find your best bass part for the song , and when does the bass come into the composing process ?
Proznick : I often write with three things in mind – meter and groove , melody , and the bass motion as a countermelody . If you have those three components solidly determined , you have the bones of a solid composition .

Jodi Proznick

Jodi Proznick is a two-time Juno Award-nominated bassist , composer , producer , and educator , as well as the 2019 Western Canadian Music Award winner for Jazz Artist of the Year . She has also won numerous National Jazz Awards , including Bassist of the Year in 2008 and 2009 .
CM : When did you begin playing the upright bass ? And what attracted you to the instrument initially , and made you stick with it ?
Jodi Proznick : I started playing upright bass when I was 15 a couple of years after hearing the late , great Ray Brown play solo bass at the Lionel Hampton Jazz Festival . I couldn ’ t believe the sound coming out of the instrument and its capacity to sound so joyful . It stuck with me and inspired my journey on upright bass .
CM : I ’ ve read that you also studied on electric bass and piano . So , from your experience learning and perfecting your upright bass playing , is it noticeably different in process and approach to learning another instrument ?
Proznick : I think there is a similar process to learning any instrument . The upright is large and requires stamina and strength , but ultimately , they are all very similar .
CM : Can you describe your sound or approach to upright jazz bass ? Has it and your influences changed over the course of your career ?
CM : Is there anything related to the bass that you ’ ve been working on during all the time off the road because of the pandemic ? If so , how did you approach it ?
Proznick : Most of my time during the pandemic has been focused on writing , teaching , and producing album projects and educational initiatives with the VSO School of Music and the new online education platform I started with two partners called Music Arts Collective .
CM : What ’ s the most helpful advice / insight you ’ ve ever been given about playing bass ? And what key advice would you give to young jazz bassists ?
Proznick : Always serve the song , do your homework , and focus on your feel . People love working with bassists who put beat one in the right place , play with a sound appropriate for the music , and those that come prepared and ready to play .
Also , always check out the master bassists . The keys to the bass kingdom live on those recordings .
CM : For our gear-loving readers , I always have to ask : what ’ s your go-to bass setup at the moment ? Does it differ significantly between the studio and live ?
Proznick : I have a 1950s German Emanuel Wilfer bass , Pirastro Obligato strings , Fishman Full Circle pickup , the Sonic Farm 2DI4 Pentode direct box , and Markbass Mini CMD 121P bass combo amp .
In the studio I don ’ t use a preamp , only microphones . At home , I currently have a Neumann TLM 102 for home recording .