Bass Walk of the Week: Charlie Haden's "Blues for Pat"

In our Bass Walk of the Week series, Jake Hawrylak has taken us through incredible basslines by low-end legends like Wilbur Ware, Steve Swallow, and Oscar Pettiford. While we’ve seen so many of these bassists perform inventive parts on jazz standards, as well as compositions from greats like Miles Davis and Sonny Rollins, today’s lesson is special because it’s bassist Charlie Haden’s original composition, as played by him and the song’s subject—Pat Metheny.

Haden is a bass player’s bass player, "always supportive, rarely flashy, and incredibly melodic," as Jake says. "Now some of this line that we’re going to look at today may seem strange, but if you really lean in and listen to some of his melodic choices, it will stick with you."

It’s an almost endless cycle of delayed resolutions—with Haden’s notes leading the ear to expect what just won’t arrive—until you land again at the start of the chorus.

Grab your bass and follow along to this masterwork of a bassline, and browse Charlie Haden’s discography on Reverb LP.


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