Texan native Nigel Rivers has had a fascinating path to his current position as top call bassist for artists such as Erykah Badu and the Gritz. An alumni of NTSU, Nigel has killer chops and a deep musicality that make him a formidable musician and first call session player in his current home town of LA. It was a pleasure to hear his story and learn about his approach to being a professional musician in today's highly competitive climate.
Follow him on instagram @nigelonbass
Felix Pastorius!!! A true gentlemen and rising star of the bass guitar, it was a privilege to get to spend some time with Felix and hear more about his philosophy on music and life as well as some insights into his musical journey and family life.
Born and raised in Delaware, Bratten grew up in a musical family. He was influenced by his father, James Bratten Sr. who played the bass guitar and directed the choir at church. His mother and sister sang in the choir along with other local groups.
Gracing many stages, Bratten has had the opportunity to play with an plethora of artists including Drake, Jill Scott, Mark Ronson, Eric Roberson Musiq Soulchild, Mario Barrett, Fantasisa, Jaguar Wright, Flo Rida , Martha Munazzi, Tye Tribbett, Anthony Brown, to name a few. Bratten’s Discography includes the work of J. Cole “Born Sinner”, Tasha Cobbs “Grace”, JJ Hairston "No Reason to Fear", Tye Tribbett “Fresh”, Angela Johnson “It’s Personal”, as well as Musiq Soulchild “A Philly Soul Christ"
Leland Sklar is a true living legend of the music world. Having played on over 2,500 recordings, toured the world with such iconic acts as James Taylor, Phil Collins and Toto along with numerous television appearances around the globe, Lee Sklar is a bass player you've probably already heard more than you know. It was an absolute honour to spend a few hours with Lee at my home studio while he had a day off from the Phil Collins tour and it's my pleasure to bring this interview to you all!
Shem von Schroeck has been entertaining audiences since he was 3 years old. A veteran of the stage and recording studio, he has performed in all 50 United States and 54 countries around the world as a singer, multi-instrumentalist, and music director in a diverse range of genres. Currently the bassist and principal backing vocalist for the legendary band TOTO, Shem has additionally toured and recorded with several international and Grammy Award-winning artists, including Kenny Loggins, Michael McDonald, David Foster, Christopher Cross, Richard Marx, Don Felder (The Eagles), Al Stewart, Patti Austin, Stephen Stills, Tom Jones, Loggins & Messina, Gary Wright, Spooky Tooth, and many others.
I caught up with London bassist Pete Martin while he was in Melbourne touring with nu jazz keys sensation Kamaal Williams. We recorded this interview the morning after Williams sold out show at the Corner Hotel in Melbourne so despite the jet lag and road weariness Pete was super generous with his time and we get into some great dialogue about technique, Garry Willis, the current music industry, touring with Natasha Beddingfield, his early inspirations, his upcoming solo album and much more!
I caught up with Kevin while he was down under with FORQ and recorded this interview by his hotel pool.
After 15 years on the Atlanta music scene, bassist Kevin Scott is expanding his musical and geographic reach. In the last year, he has toured and recorded with Jimmy Herring and John McLaughlin’s “Meeting of the Spirits,” Wayne Krantz, FORQ, and Matador Soul Sounds. Kevin’s creative spirit and instinctual, groove-driven playing have made him a must-have on many exciting and unique projects. Although his itinerary has him travelling more than ever with no signs of slowing, he remains a musical pillar in Atlanta, where he has been a member of multiple bands including Ruby Velle & The Soulphonics and King Baby, and hosts the long-standing Tuesday jam session at Elliot St. Pub; an improvised, no-holds-barred weekly summit of musicians from all genres and backgrounds. There is much to look forward to in 2018 and beyond…European tours with FORQ, Wayne Krantz, Matador!, and Donny McCaslin, U.S. and international dates with Jimmy Herring, and the release of a Jimmy Herring/John McLaughlin live album recorded last fall in San Francisco.
When I first saw what Jarman and Matty were doing in their band 'Men Imitating Machines' I was convinced there must be tracks running in the background, but then I found out their motto is 'Live as F***' and that everything you hear is being created in real time, live in front of you. I was fascinated to find out how Jarman was creating such epic subsonic landscapes with what looked to be a humble jazz bass, enter: The Industrial Radio Pro4. This incredible instrument built in Sydney is one of the finest Midi controller instruments I've ever come across and it was great to see how Jarman really pushes the boundaries with it.
Check them out:
Tom Kennedy is an accomplished touring and studio musician who ranks as one of the top acoustic and electric bass players in the world. His credits include performances and recordings with both mainstream legends and leading contemporary players.
Tom’s musical roots with on the acoustic bass, an instrument he started playing at age 9 and took to so naturally that within a few years he was performing with internationally known players such as Freddie Hubbard, James Moody, Nat Adderly, Sonny Stitt and Stan Kenton.
Gaining a reputation that soon traveled beyond his native St. Louis, Tom relocated to New York City, where he quickly gained work with multiple groups. Further accolades came through a recording with guitar great Bill Connors and tours with tenor saxophonist Michael Brecker in the world-renowned jazz-fusion group Steps Ahead. Additional tours and recordings with Brazilian pianist Tania Maria and guitarist Al DiMeola followed.
In 1998, Tom became an integral part of Modern Drummer hall of famer Dave Weckl’s band, a group he toured, composed and recorded with for over nine years. Tom and Dave have continued to perform and record together on various projects for other artists, including Mike Stern, Didier Lockwood, Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour.
Tom has also performed and recorded with top contemporary players Simon Phillips, Steve Gadd, Frank Gambale, Steve Lukather, David Sanborn, Jeff Lorber, Ricky Lawson, Joe Sample and fusion band Planet X.
Tom has released five solo CDs: Basses Loaded in 1996, Bassics in 2004 featuring Mundell Lowe and Joe LaBarbera, Just for the Record in 2011, featuring Dave Weckl and Mike Stern, and Just Play! in 2013 featuring Lee Ritenour, Renee Rosnes and George Garzone. His most recent solo project, Points of View, released in 2017.
Born in South America (Chile), Igor Saavedra started playing bass at 22 years old. He's considered by the most prestigious critics as an ambassador of the authentic South American bass culture and one of the world's most innovative, respected, influential & virtuoso bassists, granting him as being a Pioneer of the 8-String Bass (since 1999) & one of the absolute Masters on the Extended Range Basses field. Well known for not using any knobs or effect/volume pedals, relying only on his hands for all the sound variations. Created the Mic Ramp & The Revolutionary VST right hand technique. He has performed solo concerts and Master Classes in Germany, UK, USA, Italy, Poland, Spain, Canada, Costa Rica, Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, Chile & more. On 2011 was the 1st South American bassist to be featured at the Bass Player Live, the most prestigious US Bass Show, sharing the famous BPL All-Star Jam with the bassists for The Rolling Stones, Megadeth, Metallica, Chic Corea, Earth Wind & Fire. On 2013 was also the 1st South American bassist to be featured at The London Bass Guitar Show (Europe's biggest) sharing the credits with the bassists for Stevie Wonder, Pink Floyd, Megadeth & New Order.