Ray’s raving about… Gary Willis
I would be remiss to get to do a column where the great people at No Treble let me “rave” about anything I want to not write about one of my all time favorite bass players, Gary Willis.
Since first hearing Gary with Tribal Tech years ago I was an instant fan. He is a master of groove, melody, soloing and composition. He has been a constant source of inspiration regarding all that is “bass” and I believe I own every CD Gary has played on. He has worked with many great musicians including Wayne Shorter, Allan Holdsworth and Dennis Chambers.
Most people know him from his years with the jazz fusion group Tribal Tech he formed with guitarist Scott Henderson (another fav on mine) in 1984. To me, the band truly defines what I consider to be fusion, elements of jazz, rock, funk, etc. with compositions of musical complexity played with a raw, visceral energy. The synergy of the band both in the studio and live was astounding to say the least. I highly recommend any of their CDs.
As a solo artist, Gary has three CDs (Actual Fiction, Bent and No Sweat). I cannot say enough about these CDs and I feel EVERY bass player should own these CDs, it does not get better than this! (in my humble opinion, anyway).
Willis is also the author of four books for bass, Fingerboard Harmony for Bass, The Gary Willis Collection, Ultimate Ear Training for Guitar and Bass and 101 Bass Tips all published by Hal Leonard and has his own signature model bass by Ibanez.
For more on Willis visit his web site.
Here are a couple videos of Gary doing what he does best:
Face First/ Tribal Tech: