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Reader Spotlight: Mike Frost

Mike FrostWhen we featured a video by bassist Mike Frost back in July, it really knocked everyone out.

Now we get a look at the story behind this exciting musician. I’m betting as you read this, you’ll be just as impressed as we were.

Mike is No Treble’s reader in the spotlight for the week of September 15, 2014.

Bio:

A former student of jazz legends Pat Martino and Jaco Pastorius, Mike is a composer, studio musician, educator, and recording engineer. He leads his own Mike Frost Band and has toured with Jesse Colin Young and with guitarist Esteban.

Mike has recorded and performed with a long list of high-profile musicians including Donald Vega (Ron Carter trio), Jimmy Bruno, New York Voices, The Gypsy Kings, David Mann (Tower of Power), Wycliffe Gordon, Manolo Badrena (Weather Report), Todd Turkisher (David Byrne, Ute Lemper), John Scarpulla (Tower of Power, Bruce Springsteen), John Miceli (Meatloaf), and George Cintron (Leslie West, Blue Oyster Cult). Mike is well known for the unique quality of sound that he produces on his custom Clifford Roi four, five, and six-string basses. He is an authentic crossover musician with a deep melodic pocket and beautiful creative solo approach.

Location:

Aiken, SC

Day gig:

I’m a full-time musician. I have a passion for teaching and have taught music for over 30 years. I currently teach at the University of South Carolina Aiken as well as in my private studio both in person and online via Skype. I also engineer in my own recording studio, Spirit Studio, where I’m preparing for the release of my next jazz album, Inside Your Eyes (September 2014).

Years experience:

I’ve been playing bass since 1976.

Bands & Gigs:

My band is Mike Frost Band, based in South Carolina. We play a lot of local and regional shows and are touring in Las Vegas and southern CA this September.

Gear:

I endorse:

  • Clifford Roi basses: four, five, and six-string fretted and fretless basses
  • Aguilar Amplification: GS 410 (LOVE this cabinet), Tone Hammer 500
  • Hartke 410
  • S.I.T. Strings
  • Foot Fetish Pedals
  • Guardian Pro cables
  • Pedal Racks custom pedalboard systems

Why I play the bass:

When I was six years old I started playing my older brother’s drumset in our basement in Lynbrook, NY. In elementary school band I wanted to play drums, but there were no spots available. I challenged the lead drummer to a “drum-off” and beat him for the chair. I played drums until one day when I was 16 my brother came home with a cheap electric bass. I picked it up and never looked back. Soon after, I bought my first bass, a 1972 Fender Precision with a maple neck for $200. I rode home on my 10-speed bike carrying it over the handlebars in a hard-shell case.

What drew me to the bass and still does today is the feeling of holding and creating sound on the instrument. The bass channels my inner voice more directly than any instrument I’ve played. The bass is the connector between the essential rhythmic and melodic aspects of music.

My bass superpower/claim to fame:

Soon after Anthony Jackson, I was one of the first bassists to play six-string. I teamed up with Joey and Vinnie Fodera and Chuck Alder back in 1980 to help design Fodera’s first six-string bass.

I played primarily six-string for decades, but in the last few years I’ve also been concentrating on four and five-string. I had a fretless four-string custom built to closely emulate the natural sound of an acoustic bass for straight-ahead jazz playing.

Jaco Pastorius is my bass hero and I was fortunate to get the opportunity to study with him in New York in 1982.

My influences:

Jaco Pastorius, Niels-Henning ├śrsted Pedersen, Larry Graham, Verdine White, Ron Carter, Charles Mingus, Charlie Parker, John Paul Jones, Paul McCartney and Jerry Jemmott.

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Share your thoughts

Richard Verity

Richard Verity

Well deserved recognition Mike !!

Brian Rowe

Brian Rowe

Not only is Mike a fantastic musician, but he is also a wonderful teacher. I was fortunate to have a lesson from him at his home studio in Aiken, SC. It was the most valuable hour I’ve had as a bassist!

Mike

Mike

It is great to see Mike getting the recognition he deserves. I had the opportunity to study with him for a short while in N.Y. before he moved south. He is an awesome musician and a great person also. Kudos to you Mike.

Barry Assadi

I’ve known Mike for over 20 years and he is a great guy on top of being a great musician/educator. He lives on the east coast and I am on the west coast. when I have a Skype lesson with him, he can load me up with two weeks of work in 15 minutes. At least that gives us 45 minutes to catch up on things!