Steve LaSpina and Chris Champion: Falling Grace

Here’s a tasty treat – a bass and guitar duet of Steve Swallow’s “Falling Grace” by bassist Steve LaSpina and guitarist Chris Champion. What intonation and tone!

LaSpina has toured and recorded with a virtual who’s who of jazz royalty including saxophonists Benny Carter, Stan Getz and Phil Woods, vocalists Joe Williams and Mark Murphy, trumpeters Clark Terry, Chet Baker and Randy Brecker, and guitarists Pat Martino and Jim Hall.

Complimenting his contribution to the world of bass playing he makes in live performances and on recordings, LaSpina is also respected bass teacher who has been on the faculty at William Paterson University since 1999 . He also shares insights into playing and technique with presentations at a variety of venues including The Berklee College of Music, Skidmore Jazz Institute and at William Paterson’s Summer Jazz Workshop programs.

If you like the playing on this incredible video version of “Falling Grace”, check out LaSpina’s blazing playing on the legendary 1987 live recordings from Fat Tuesday’s in New York City that were released in 1989 as Pat Martino comeback album The Return — the bass work is positively stunning especially on “Slipback” and “Turnpike”. The frenetic pace set by Matrino as he returns to music after losing his memory after brain surgery and recovering after an arduous period rehabilitation features Joey Baron on Drums and Steve LaSpina filling the shoes few bassist can only dream of — keeping pace and equaling one of the most fearsome jazz guitarists on earth when he is out to prove something.

LaSpina can get fancy without overplaying, and when it is the guitarist’s turn to streach out he really knows how to step into the supporting role.

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Share your thoughts

  1. So many things to like about this video.
    LaSpina’s rhythm ‘taps’ on the bass are awesome.
    Both musicians are in total connection, a beautiful thing.
    A joy to watch and a God-like experience to listen to.
    Too bad many will never see this.
    Awesome post, Will.

  2. Patricia Marks

    I love that song; maybe I can buy it on itunes.