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Keep an Eye on Bassist Cheikh Ndoye

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Watch out for this young bassist. He’s just breaking onto the scene with his first solo CD featuring such luminaries as Russell Ferrante and Eric Marienthall, and fitting in like a glove with these jazz icons. Known as a “Richard Bona protégé”, (quite a statement to uphold) he shows on this first effort to have tremendous potential in quite a few directions. Being an accomplished composer as well as a player, he represents yet another generation of young lions to be reckoned with. With a surprisingly defined maturity to his playing, coupled with his great sense of melody, Cheikh will become a familiar voice on the scene sooner than later.

Jake: I understand that you’re originally from Senegal, West Africa. How long have you been here in the states?

Cheikh: I’ve been here for almost ten years now.

Jake: Did you have any formal training in Senegal, or were most of your studies conducted here in the states?

Cheikh: When I was in Senegal, which actually is the home for quite a few musicians, I mostly played by ear, which the majority of players do there. There was a conservatory, but very few players actually attended. So most everything we learned there was by ear along with using CD’s and DVD’s. Basically, I was self-taught. Once I moved here, I enrolled in school to work on my reading, and studied composition as well.

Jake: I’ve heard the term ‘Richard Bona protégé’ come up, which is quite a positive statement about you. Has Richard been one of your main influences?

Cheikh: Richard is a friend of mine. He’s a tremendous player that I have great respect for. Four or five years ago I gave him some tracks that I had been working on. He listened to my work and told me immediately that I should start putting together an album of my own. He was definitely a catalyst for me as far as pursuing the beginnings of a solo career and a solo CD.

Jake: I know you are just finishing up your debut CD that will be coming out in 2008 with some very special players on board. Tell me about this recording.

Cheikh: The recording began with a good friend of mine Kevin Peter Jones, who brought me into his management company as well. We met, started talking about music, and I ended up bringing him on my project for two or three tunes. He’s a great drummer. After he spent some time recording with me, he offered to produce the CD for me, and I accepted his offer. At that point, he decided to bring in Russell Ferrante and Eric Marienthal for the remaining tracks, as well as Mike Miller on guitar. I was thrilled to have these players come onboard.

Jake: Tell me what it’s been like for you working with such stellar players as Russell, Eric, and Mike.

Cheikh: I had listened and watched all these players at a younger age. Sitting in the studio and recording with them was a dream realized. I was moved by what great people they are. They didn’t make me feel like I was out of place. Amazingly enough, all very humble people, and the playing itself with them was nothing less than incredible. There are only a couple of cover tunes on the CD, so it was a great experience having these players work on my original compositions. Before we recorded, I gave them a demo of the tunes, and they enjoyed the writing, which of course made me feel quite honored.

Jake: Having such a prolific writer as Russell compliment your material is quite a statement. How did you feel being the “leader” with such great musicians involved?

Cheikh: It was a bit intimidating. When we got to the studio, they kind of put me in the middle, and they looked to me for direction on the session. Being the, once again, humble people that they are, they put me at ease as far as running the session. I became comfortable conducting the tunes. It was great to get their feedback, as this CD is not really a “bass” bass album if you get what I mean. I was much more concerned about focusing on the tunes rather than myself. There are vocals, and quite a few instruments were used beyond the quartet as well. My main focus was bringing that all together and creating beautiful melodies around it.

Jake: What are your plans after the release of your new CD?

Cheikh: I’m looking forward to doing a lot of playing. I’ll be putting together a lot of clinics, which I’ll do with Kevin Jones. We’re also going to organize some touring as well. I believe we’ll actually have some gigs using Russell, Eric, and Mike, which I’m definitely looking forward to. It also looks like a DVD might be in the works in 2008 after we’ve done some touring. I’m very grateful that all this has happened for me.

Jake: All the best to you my man.

Visit online at www.myspace.com/cheikhndoye

Photo: CC Givens

Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

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Interview With Bassist Ciara Moser

Bassist Ciara Moser…

Ciara and I sat down for this interview a few months after the launch of her debut album, “Blind. So what?”

Blind since birth, she is a powerhouse of talent; she is not only a professional bassist, but also composes music, and is a producer and educator. I am just blown away by her talent and perseverance.

Join me as we hear about Ciara’s musical journey, the details of her album, how she gets her sound, and her plans for the future.

Visit online:

www.ciara-moser.com 
IG @ moserciara
FB @ ciara.moser

Photos by Manuela Haeussler

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

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New Gear: Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar

Black Ice Boost and Distort, Battery-Free Modules for Bass and Guitar…

Black Ice Enterprises introduces Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort, small, battery-free devices that can be easily installed in a bass or guitar.

Black Ice Boost offers two selectable stages of up to 7 dB of boost, broadly concentrated in the midrange frequencies to add humbucker-like qualities to Strat®, Tele® and other types of single-coil pickups. Black Ice Distort is an overdrive module that can be configured to offer anything from slight overdrive to distortion. Both models are compatible with all passive guitar pickups and electronics (they’re not compatible with battery-powered active pickups).

Black Ice Boost (SRP: $119.95; MAP, $79.95) can be installed using several wiring options, including a simple “stealth” install that utilizes a single push-pull pot, and a dual-switch option that allows users to select between two different levels of boost. For those using the boost along with Black Ice Distort, a second push-pull pot or switch can be used to select a clean or distorted boost.

The Black Ice Boost module is approximately 2/3 the size of a 9-volt battery, and can be easily installed in most instruments with no routing or permanent modifications required. The tone of the instrument remains completely unaffected when the boost is bypassed.

In addition to use with popular single-coil pickups, Black Ice Boost can also be used with other pickup types. Use it to fatten up a P-90 style pickup, or add girth to a low-wind humbucker. Jazz Bass® players can use the additional midrange content provided by Black Ice Boost to produce a sound that’s reminiscent of a P-Bass® or soapbar-type pickup. Black Ice Boost is not recommended for use with high-output humbuckers and other dark-sounding pickups.

Black Ice Distort (SRP: $27.95; MAP, $21.95) is an overdrive module that can be configured for just a touch of grit, or a more aggressive grind, all the way to a 1960’s-flavored fuzz. While its battery-free circuit will never replace the more refined sound of a well-designed pedal, it provides handy, there-when-you-need-it access to a variety of fun old-school flavors, and is a great way to add additional textures to an already overdriven amp or pedal. Bass players will especially dig its raw dirty grind.

Like Black Ice Boost, the sugar-cube-sized Black Ice Distort provides a lifetime of tone with no maintenance or power source required. A variety of wiring options are included that let you activate the Distort via a switch or push-pull pot, or by easily converting your guitar’s tone control into a control for the Black Ice Distort circuit. It can be used in conjunction with the Black Ice Boost for a wide variety of useful tones.

Black Ice Boost and Black Ice Distort are now shipping.

Visit online at www.blackiceoverdrive.com

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This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

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TOP 10 Basses of the week

Check out our top 10 favorite basses on Instagram this week…

Click to follow Bass Musician on Instagram @bassmusicianmag

FEATURED @loritabassworks @meridian_guitars @alpherinstruments @phdbassguitars @mgbassguitars @mauriziouberbasses @utreraguitars @sugi_guitars @branco_luthier @blasiusguitars

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

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New Gear:  D’Addario’s New Humidipak

D’Addario’s New Humidipak Absorb Protects Instruments Against Excess Moisture…

Utilizing two-way humidity control technology, D’Addario’s new Humidipak Absorb protects against damage to wooden instruments in environments with too much humidity. 

Humidipak Absorb allows players to safely return an instrument and case to the ideal relative humidity level. Using Boveda’s patented two-way humidity control technology, Absorb automatically soaks up excess moisture at a safe rate, re-establishing the right humidity level and eliminating the guesswork of revitalizing your instrument. 

Like all the Humidipaks before, using Humidipak Absorb is easy—there’s no dripping sponges or manual adjustments. All players need to do is put the humidification packets in the included pouches and place them in the instrument case, close the lid, and relax. The instrument and case will remain at the optimal 45-50% relative humidity level for 2-6 months. 

D’Addario’s other Humidipaks, Restore and Maintain, are still available for those who need to increase and sustain the humidity around their instrument. 

To learn more about Humidipak Absorb, visit ddar.io/absorb-pr 

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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