January 20, 2006

These Shaky Skills are Awful Rusty

Oh man, I've been trying to bass guitar it along with my Meshell Ndegeocello playlist (wouldja lookit that- she's playing a Jazz bass!) and I cannot keep up for the life of me. Not that I could if I was on top of my game anyway, but still- that woman can play. I've finally been able to appreciate her "Anthropological Mix Tape" album too; for some reason that one was always below the other 3 for me (not counting her debut, which sounds a bit dated now). Plus this new jazz-fusionoid-instrumental thing "Dance Of The Infidel" is impressive too, and similarly way outta my league.

Holy shit- I'm now listening to an old KCRW performance of hers from 3 years ago and she just segued into "Spirits in the Material World" by the Police at the end of one of her own tunes. Talk about alpha and omega: wanky as he may be, Sting was my first influence to play bass, and Meshell my latest re-inspiration. I got "Peace Beyond Passion" in 1996 before my sophomore year at UCSB and it quickly became one of my very favorite albums to play bass along with. For me, bass isn't much fun by itself- I often go long stretches without touching it (hence the rustiness) unless I'm playing with the other 3 guys in the band.

I just started thinking about my bass influences again when I saw Adam Clayton on the cover of Bass Player magazine. See, usually I'm attracted to more complicated players for listening, but the most fun I have is when playing parts by simpler players like Clayton & such so I can insert my own phrases in between their parts if I want, and often that's where my own best stuff comes from. Aside from Clayton, though, I've always enjoyed Mark Sandman's work in Morphine too. I guess that's my range: simpler, poppier players like Clayton and Sting, to intimidatingly complex players like Ndegeocello or sonically inventive ones like the late Sandman.

Wow, guess it's a good thing I've finally posted something that tangentially relates to that big grey bass clef up there.

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