Friday, May 17, 2013

Fat Friday Feature: Jethro Tull's Jeffrey Hammond On "Aqualung"

You might know that (occasionally) on Fridays, I feature a bass part or bass player that is truly outstanding. Today's feature is Jeffrey Hammond's playing on "Aqualung".

In a way, Hammond's playing on "Aqualung" is unremarkable: it's just a good old fashioned walking bass line.  However, I have always been drawn to this bass line because a brisk paced, 4/4 walking bass line - though common in other genres like jazz - is not quite as common in rock, specifically riff heavy '70s rock.  The other reason I like it so much is that it provides an great anchor for the guitar work on this tune, especially when the solo takes flight.  In a sense, it is the opposite of the dog-fight type situations I typically go in for.  The steady but rapid playing are the gears that propel the song forward all the while providing the framework for the guitar player to do his guitar-like things.  Dig it.

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