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Archive for November 2014

Weekly Top 10

Weekly Top 10: New Bass Gear, More On Harmonic Substitutions, “Marcus” Doc, Top Bass Videos and More

This was a huge week for bassist birthdays: Donald “Duck” Dunn, Edgar Meyer, Bob Babbitt and John McVie. We also celebrated Thanksgiving here in the U.S., with some of our favorite videos. That, plus some new gear, Damian’s third and final installment on his Harmonic Substitutions series, news of a documentary on Marcus Miller and the bass of the week...


Brice Introduces Defiant 53437 5-String Multi-Scale Bass

Brice has introduced a new multi-scale version of their Defiant model. The 5-string Defiant 53437 stands out with a string scale that ranges from 37 inches on the B-string and 34 inches on the G-string with fanned frets to accommodate the adjustment. The Defiant’s design includes slim, dual cutaway mahogany body wings attached to a five-piece maple and walnut neck....

Bass Videos

Sharay Reed, MonoNeon, Federico Malaman, Joe Cleveland and Young Chuck: Bass Cypher

Here’s a great video of a roundtable of bassists Sharay Reed, MonoNeon, Federico Malaman, Joe Cleveland and Young Chuck. The clip is a “cypher”, which the video explains is “anything cyclical. If you’re freestyling, you get down in a cypher (one after the other). Interrupting another man will break that cypher (unless he’s next in line and the dude behind...

New Albums

Jeff Coffin & the Mu’tet Releases “Side Up”, Featuring Felix Pastorius

Former Béla Fleck and the Flecktones sax player and current Dave Matthews Band member Jeff Coffin has yet again joined with a group of musicians called The Mu’tet, featuring electric bassist Felix Pastorius (son of Jaco and a Yellowjackets member) for a new album. , is the sixth album from Coffin and the Mu’tet. Gypsy, African, Brazillian and New Orleans...

Bass Videos

Tal Wilkenfeld: Chelsea Hotel

We think – as do many readers here – that Tal Wilkenfeld is a killer bassist. Now she’s proving she can sing, too. Wilkenfeld recently launched her own YouTube channel with a solo version of the Leonard Cohen classic “Chelsea Hotel.”


Nathan East Documentary to Debut in December

A new documentary about Nathan East may catapult him from being known primarily in bass circles for his years of superstar work and into the orbit of more casual mainstream music fans. “He’s just the baddest bass players that ever was,” says Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds in the doc, Nathan East: For the Record, which debuts in December on Hulu. East’s...

Bass Players To Know

Bass Players to Know: Marshall Lytle

If you’ve been keeping tabs on the Bass Players to Know series, you may still be spinning the Brothers Johnson records and practicing your 70’s funk and disco chops. While Louis Johnson, Larry Graham, and many others have popularized what we’ve come to know as “slap bass,” the term was coined much earlier. Dating as far back as the 1920s,...

Bass Videos

Franklin Peredo: La Fleur de Sipo

Franklin Peredo sent us this video of his solo bass song “La Fleur de Sipo,” and it really caught my attention. The song has a beautiful flow to it thanks in part to Peredo’s incredible right hand technique and rhythmic sensibility.

New Albums

Jeff Beck Releases “Live In Tokyo”, Featuring Rhonda Smith

So, with the Jeff Beck: Live in Tokyo , a viewer not only gets to see the guitarist in action, but also electric bassist Rhonda Smith. Smith, who previously worked with Prince, has released solo albums, and played in a band of her own as well an all-female rock/funk band with percussionist Sheila E., is a musical force in her...

Ask Damian Erskine

Breaking Down Harmonic Substitutions: Part 3 – Practice Material

As a follow up to this series on harmonic substitutions, I thought that I would include a few choice pages from my book, The Improvisor’s Path, related directly to what we’ve been discussing. First, here are the pages that relate to my breakdown of some available scaler substitutions. Next is the Wayne Shorter tune, “Nefertiti” with a few scaler options...

Bass Videos

Soul Summit and Bob Babbitt: What A Man

In 2007, keyboardist and producer Jason Miles brought together a killer supergroup to perform classic soul hits at the Berks Jazz Festival in Reading, Pennsylvania. The band included vocalists Maysa, Susan Tedeschi and Mike Mattison (Tedeschi Trucks Band), saxophonists Karl Denson, Richard Elliot (Tower of Power), Dave Mann and Barry Danielian, guitarists Reggie Young and Sherrod Barnes, trumpeter Tony Kadlek,...

New Albums

Bob Marley & The Wailers 1980 European Show Released on Video

A performance by Bob Marley and the Wailers, filmed for German television the year before Marley’s death from cancer at age 36, is now available on the . The show, recorded in June 1980 in Dortmund, Germany features not only the charismatic, now-legendary Marley, but also Aston “Family Man” Barrett, bassist and bandleader for The Wailers. The restoration of the...