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7 months ago

BassPlayer 2017-03

BassPlayer 2017-03

CS Oskar Cartaya led to

CS Oskar Cartaya led to my producing Two Amigos for GRP in 1990, with [flautists] Dave Valentin and Herbie Mann. What brought you back to Los Angeles, where you’ve remained ever since? A relationship I was in ended, so in late 1993 I came to L.A. just for the weekend, but when I called friends, they had gigs and sessions for me. My car sat at JFK for three months. Even the Northridge earthquake didn’t dissuade me! I went back to New York and got my stuff and moved to L.A. in early 1994. Soon after, Herb Alpert called me to write and produce his Passion Dance album, and I’ve had the tremendous good fortune to remain busy to this day. How have your roots in Latin bass impacted your overall style, and what insight can you share? I think of the instrument as a melodic drum, which is the traditional concept. In Latin bass, your rhythmic sensibility comes first. That’s primarily how you create a push-and-pull tension in the music, although you can accomplish it melodically, too. When I play other styles, I may draw from that knowledge and move something over by an eighth-note, and the band will react. That’s no different from an Anthony Jackson or Charlie Haden bringing their R&B or jazz knowledge to the Latin gigs they’ve done, contributing something new to the genre in the process. But I’ve worked hard to learn other styles authentically, as well. My list of credits proves I can play bass in any language, and that’s what all bassists should strive for. Victor Wooten AD 17.qxp_Layout 1 1/18/17 I do 11:28 have a AM tip Page I like to 1 share when I’m asked how to play bass in a Latin rhythm section, where so much is going on: Think of all the percussion instruments as part of an elaborate drum kit— the congas are the bass drum, the timbales can be the hi-hat, the bongo cowbell the snare, and so on. In other words, listen to and play to the overall groove as a whole, just as you play to a drum kit without consciously breaking down and following each part of the kit individually. Any other thoughts or words of advice? I’ve always taken immense pride in my heritage and in helping to set a precedent for others with similar backgrounds to follow. I can remember sitting on my porch as a kid and playing along with records by artists whom I would eventually get to work with. I’d like any young bassist in any rural town anywhere in the world to know that you can do it, too. Limitations only come from within, so dream big. In everyone’s career, luck and talent will meet at some point. The key is to be as prepared as possible on the talent side so you can take advantage when that moment of luck and opportunity arrives. Having this album project come together, I feel like I’m entering another period of good fortune, and I’m going to make the most of it. BP Berklee Summer Programs: VICTOR WOOTEN BASS WORKSHOP Friday, June 16–Sunday, June 18, 2017 Victor Wooten, a bass virtuoso who has won five Grammys, and renowned longtime collaborator Steve Bailey, Bass Department chair at Berklee College of Music, will help you make your bass lines groove like never before as you learn cutting-edge concepts from Berklee and the Victor Wooten Center for Music and Nature. berklee.edu/summer

© 2016 PRS Guitars / photo by Marc Quigley Gary Grainger Bass These basses were designed over several years with Gary Grainger and input from many other artists and sound engineers with the goal of creating a solid foundation that is versatile enough to deliver stage. The EQ section gives you unprecedented tonal control and the radiused pickups provide balanced string attack and a fat, clear sound. Grainger 4 and 5-string basses visit www.prsguitars.com

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