Wednesday, March 16, 2011

THE Foundation - A salute to bass players everywhere

I came across this clip and was inspired to share it here. It is from Sabian Live 2011 NAMM Party soundcheck with my fav Tim Lefebvre on bass. As far as a piece of music there is nothing really interesting here (it is just a sound check jam in E) but what IS HERE is massive groove!

Listen to the solid table Jeff Kollman (guitar) has to work with as Chad Smith (Chili Peppers drummer) and the aforementioned Mr. Lefebvre lay it down. Listen also, at the end of the clip, as Chad changes the feel to a swing - Lefebvre doesn't miss a step. While soloing, Kolman can lay out altogether and it STILL sounds great. A bass player like this allows the soloist intense flexibility to phrase and build in holes. My hats off to him and all of his kind.

What is really cool to me about that kind of bass playing, is that it is really not flashy - it is responsible. The harmonic framework is strongly reinforced and he adds colours in the holes. But NEVER sacrifices holding it down in the interest of self satisfaction.

Many of today's bass players, when I hear them, I think they are really just guitar players in hiding. Many seem to have a quest for the spotlight ... cool... but that is really not the job. Truly great bass players get excited about holding it down. Playing around roots. Defining chords. They have the most power in the band and wielded properly it can be a thing of beauty.

I love working with great bass players. It changes the game entirely. To all you bass players learn to admire the real power of the instrument. Sure poppin and slappin is cool, but NOT if it sacrifices the task at hand. A band is like a sports team - every member has a job to do. Doing someone else's job not only breeds contempt but it will sacrifice the greater sound as a whole. AND lose you gigs!

Check out Tim's work with another fav of mine Wayne Krantz on their album Krantz, Carlock, Lefebvre. After seeing the Krantz trio live I was gripped by his bass playing. Wayne obviously heard what I heard! Tim Lefebvre is monstrous. He is a BASS player and God love him for understanding what needs to be done.

< jG >

1 comment:

  1. Great video, nice article. It really helps that Chad Smith is drumming, but Tim does an amazing job of laying alongside him – it's great to listen to just the two of them playing.