Archive for October 13th, 2013

Will Lee – Love, Gratitude and Other Distractions


You’ve seen him on television. And if you’ve listened to contemporary jazz over the last 30 or so years, you’ve probably heard him as well. He is bassist Will Lee, and he’s expressing himself with Love, Gratitude and Other Distractions (Sunning Saint Ltd., 2013), his first as a leader in 20 years.

Lee is the featured bassist and occasional vocalist with the CBS Orchestra on Late Show With David Letterman. He was also with the band during Letterman’s 11-year presence on NBC. For all intents and purposes, that’s his day job. More recently, he has been performing with Fab Faux, a Beatles tribute band. Among the guests for Love, Gratitude and Other Distractions are guitarists Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Hugh McCracken, Chuck Loeb, John Tropea and Steve Lukather (Toto); Bob James; drummers Narada Michael Walden, Steve Gadd and Peter Erskine; Chuck Loeb; and keyboardists Mitch Forman and David Garfield.

The title song opens the set. Late Show band leader Paul Shafer plays organ. Lee sings lead, plays fretless bass and performs synthesizer programming. The song is a charming, life is good piece, highlighted by the positive lyrics and an ethereal, keyboard solo. “Love is like a sunny day / shine and you’ll be on your way,” Lee sings in one verse.

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