Posts Tagged ‘ Bass ’

Kenny Wright Experience – My Roots

The smooth sounds of the Kenny Wright Experience have long been among the mainstay “must hear” jazz sounds in the mid-Atlantic region, drawing ordinary fans and aficionados alike for over 30 years. A nationally recognized bandleader, innovator, and jazz orchestrator whose R &B musical roots date back to the late ’60s, composer Kenny Wright also just happens to be one of the most gifted bass players in America.

Year in and year out, his faithful fans converge from far and wide-among them noted jazzologist, Branford Marsallis, who has been known to go out of his way to track Kenny down whenever he visits Washington. Opting for Wright’s brilliantly improvised versions of jazz standards as well as his cutting-edge solo compositions, Marsallis counts himself among Wrights most loyal followers.

Kenny Wright has performed with such legends as Stevie Wonder, The Whispers, Jazz violinist Michael White, The Temptation Review and Supremes. His music has drawn national attention, having received heavy radio air play in numerous markets as well as the commercial relationships with DMX national cable system network, Muzak Audio, Tru-Sonic Music Services, Pump Audio and numerous other music services.

His new album My Roots (2010) offers fresh contemporary jazz combining hot improvisation with funk, fusion blend.  Find Kenny Wright’s roots at CDBaby.

KJ – Life Line

Kevin’s passion for music began while he was growing up in Memphis, Tennessee. He grew up in a house always filled with music, and by the age of three, Kevin was learning to play a snare drum, his uncle Walker teaching him to keep time with the Blues and Jazz records playing on the stereo. His love for playing the drums continued to grow, and in Junior High, he performed in competitions and earned the “Best Jazz Drummer” trophy. Challenging himself to learn more instruments, Kevin played the trombone in the marching band as well.

In High School, he picked up the bass guitar and keyboards, and then discovered that it was possible to write and record his own music, playing all of the instruments himself. With limited technology at that time, it wasn’t easy to tape, engineer and mix tracks, but by 1993, Kevin was comfortable using sequencing software. With that skill mastered, Kevin found that practicing and developing his own unique style came easily.

In 2000, Kevin added the sax to his repertoire. “I love the sound of the Soprano sax, its beautiful vibrato with long tones. It suits my style I guess”. Six string bass remains Kevin’s primary instrument for improvisation, and sometimes, depending on his mood, he will gravitate toward keyboards as well. Currently, Kevin has completed his second project, Life Line. As he did on his debut project A Place of Solitude, Kevin plays all the instruments.

Kevin says:  “Life Line represents turning an emotional corner in life. It’s that point where you take inventory of everything that has happened-good and bad. Some people write books, internalize, buy a sports car or take a class. I was blessed to be able to pour mine into music. It’s a mid-life revaluation set to music”.

Kevin’s music offers a glimpse into the mind of this truly remarkable artist, and each note represents a step forward on his musical journey. You can be a part of his journey at CDBaby.

I Happened To Hear 12/2009

At Bass Day 2009 in Manchester I met Polish guitar wizard Adam Palma. He has worked with many of the top pop and jazz artists in Poland and with international names including Chris de Burgh and the Average White Band’s Hamish Stuart.

This is a startling album of solo acoustic guitar played fingerstyle with no overdubs or studio tricks – I say startling because at times you would think there were two or even three guitars. Many of the songs are originals, such as the bluesy opener ‘Rocky Mountains’ which displays dexterity I’ve only heard on records by the world’s finest players. I also love the chord changes in his gorgeous ‘When Tommy meets Chet’ and here Palma’s sense of humour is in evidence.

That same sense of humour surfaces on his rendition of the ‘Inspector Gadget’ theme. And it’s impossible not to smile during his staccato version of ‘Love and Marriage’. I’d love to hear this as part of a movie soundtrack – it really does bring something new, warm and endearing to an old song.

Continue reading I Happened To Hear 12/2009

Robin Duhe – Life

If you look in your music collection and pull out a Maze album, listen to it and let the groove take you over. In the middle of that groove you’ll hear the funky and very soulful bass playing of Robin Duhe.

After three decades of recording and touring with Maze, Robin stepped out in 2004 to embark on a solo career. This is his second solo album, following Do it Duhe and it really is a labour of love as he fell dangerously ill while recording it. The title has taken on a deep significance.

So what’s Robin’s sound like in 2009?

Continue reading Robin Duhe – Life

George Anderson – Positivity

George Anderson is widely known as the bass player of Shakatak. Influenced like many other bass players by legendary Jaco Pastorius his further idols are Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, and Jeff Berlin who raised the bar regarding technique. George prefers to play on basses made by John Diggins and Soundtrade basses.

Positivity is George Anderson’s first solo project. Somehow a best kept secret George released the album on Secret Records. Anyway the album deserves some limelight. Unlike other albums of bass players is the main emphasis of Positivity not the bass but vocals.

Beside George (basses, additional keys, drum programming and audio manipulations) the liner notes of the CD list as musicians Alan Wormald (guitars), Paul Williams (guitars), Carmine Membrino (keyboards), Mike Paice (sax), GA (virtual sax/flute), Debby Bracknell (vocals), Fil Straughan (lead vocs on Lay Ur Hands On Me). The album was produced, arranged, composed, recorded, mixed and mastered by George. All under control for the maximum of quality.

The starting song Lay Ur Hands On Me sets an enlightening signal of positivity. Fil Straughan fills the song with his warm voice, ranging from Marvin Gay to Luther Vandross. Debby Bracknell is the featured songstress of the easy going What I Gotta Do. Debbie is also guest singer on Shakatak’s Afterglow and touring partner on Shakatak’s live gigs.

Continue reading George Anderson – Positivity

Brian Bromberg – It Is What It Is

When it comes to list the leading jazz bass players of the world one certainly has to mention Brian Bromberg. Brian is one of those musicians who prefer the bass as lead instrument. Depending on the situation, Brian plays a variety of acoustic, electric and electronic (MIDI) basses including fretted, fretless, piccolo, upright and synth.

He doesn’t let up in pointing out that there are no guitar melodies or solos on his recordings. All melodies and solos that sound like guitar are played by Brian on piccolo basses.

On his new album It Is What It Is Brian is joined by George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Jeff Lorber, Dave Weckl, Dan Siegel, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, Rick Braun and more! Brian is one of those rare musicians who offer a combination of jazz and smooth jazz on the same album.

Brian admits: “I was very closed- minded with tunnel-vision. But I grew up and realized I didn’t have the right to judge anyone for the music they want to play. I came to understand that musical validity is totally subjective. That’s when I began to stretch my own music into contemporary jazz and began playing on movie soundtracks and with pop, rock and world music artists”.

Continue reading Brian Bromberg – It Is What It Is

George Anderson – Positivity

The bass player in Shakatak George Anderson has released his new solo project entitled Positivity. The album is available via iTunes or via George’s website. “Lay Ur Hands On Me” already playlisted on Jazz FM. The new album continues George’s love for Soul and Funk music with influences like Louis Johnson, Larry Graham, Chuck Rainey, Chris Squire and Andy Fraser.

Ronald Jackson called the album a genuine blend of smooth charisma, dirty funk, top-shelf vocals by one Debby Bracknell (a name to remember!), and instrumental mastery. Sample the album here.