What Drives You?
Reminders of why we do what we do...
Over the last year I have been to see three bassists whose playing I hold in very high regard. I also went to a jam session that reminded me that the journey through music really is a course that lasts a lifetime and will hopefully influence many others way beyond our own.
The bassists I'm refferring to are Laurence Cottle, Gary Willis and Hadrien Feraud.
All three have such a rich depth of musicianship which shines through in their playing and compositions/arrangements. If you have a rut in your playing or think you've done it all, hearing these guys will give you a very sharp reality check! What also comes into sharp focus for me is that each of these incredible bassists have their own unique and distinct voice on the instrument.
The same can be said for the vast majority of my musical heores on any instrument. Sticking to bass for now, if I mentioned Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller, Janek Gwizdala, Richard Bona, Alain Caron just for starters; each of these players also have their own distinct voice.
On other instruments, like the guitar, I can recognise Pat Metheny, George Benson, John Scofield, Mike Stern, Wes Montgomery anytime of the day.
It's well documented that Bach, Mozart, Beethoven were virtuoso performers aswell as world renowned composers. There is a definite correlation between musical ability and the breadth of composition one can imagine. Yet it is not an exact science. You also have the magic of a simple song structure that stands the test of time from blues structures to classic songs like the Everley Brothers classic 'Unchained Melody'
The trip to London also reminded of the importance of keeping links with the Capital. You can't ignore how pivotal London is to the music scene in the UK. Yet is it essential to live in London to have a sucessful career? No - BUT I know of the strong bias towards London based musicians, yet I know musicians who are at the top of the game who have never lived in London. The key, is being involved with a vibrant scene wherever you live. If your local area doesn't have a vibrant scene..well you'd better find one! Drive, get a bus, coach, train to where its happening. Commit to finding somewhere with a great jam session and go once a month.
Which is precisely what I'll be doing this weekend at the Anacoda Basses Showcase, I'll be playing, listening, jamming, networking and ultimately learning. Another case in point would be my summer gig with Sonia Edgy, I met some fantastic musicians with whom I have remained in contact and could well work with again. Having been to the Anaconda Basses Showcase, again I met some great people and have forged the beginnings of some great friendships.
THAT's what drives me.
Most of the time WHO you know is sometimes the difference between getting a gig as opposed to WHAT you know.
The legend Laurence Cottle and me at the
2014 London Bass Show
Fretless maestro Gary Willis at the Tribal Tech Reunion Tour at Band on the Wall in Manchester
Arguably the greatest of his generation, Hadrien Feraud after his performance at the Islington
I want to hear from you! Let me know what you'd like to see on this website.
Who are you're favourite bassists?
Feel free to leave a comment below.
With Sonia Edgy and Matthieu Durmarque at the Jazz Cafe POSK in Hammersmith