Today music fans are not only listening in the comfort of their homes but they are also watching. Thirty years ago, there may have been one or two TV shows a week – other than Lawrence Welk – that featured any kind of musical performance. Today, not only does cable TV regularly offer performances, but videos of all kinds of musicians – some famous, many unknown (and for a reason) – are available both commercially and free on the Internet at sites such as YouTube.com.
Happily, bass players have not gone ignored in this new age of video clips. There are amazing videos of your favorite bassists, sometimes performing with people who might surprise even the most knowledgeable fans. In addition to presenting some jaw-dropping videos of the world’s greatest bass players, we will also offer up some the funnier bass performances on video. Warning: Videos on YouTube and similar sites have a habit of disappearing quickly for all kinds of reasons – most of them legal – so catch them when you can. Sorry if they are already gone by the time you try to view them.
This issue features videos of electric bassists Gary Willis and Victor Wooten doing their own distinctive versions of a Beatles tune, upright giants Dave Holland and Christian McBride, funkateer Bootsy Collins, the phenomenal Hadrien Feraud, and as an extra treat, a special performance by the Osmonds (70s alert!).
Here is our staff writer Gary Willis performing the Beatles’ “Norwegian Wood.”
Compare Victor Wooten’s version of “Norwegian Wood” – same tune but entirely different interpretation than Gary Willis’s. Both exquisite, of course!
Here is a solo by Christian McBride with Michael Brecker and Pat Metheny. Christian is scheduled to tour with Pat Metheny in early 2008 to coincide with the release of a new Metheny album. As you likely know, we lost the great Michael Brecker earlier this year to leukemia.
Here is Dave Holland performing Charles Mingus’s “Good Bye Pork Pie Hat.” He can also be seen performing “Mr. PC” from the same performance, also on YouTube.com.
Bootsy Collins is seen here performing “Stretchin’ Out” with Dave Sanborn on the TV show “Night Music” from 1989 or 1990. The same episode also had Bootsy performing (sans bass) with the superb jazz bassist Steve Swallow and Carla Bley (also available on YouTube.com). For a full list of the musicians featured on this incredible TV series, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunday_Night#Episodes
To view this video, please click here.
Hadrien Feraud just got off the road with John McLaughlin’s band. He is frightening, and given that he is in his early 20s, his future is very bright – as is ours. Check out his solo beginning at 4:39.
The Osmonds are seen here, sometime around 1972, performing “Crazy Horses” featuring Merrill Osmond on bass and vocals. Check out the Funky Chicken. Pity on those of you who weren’t around in the 70s to witness this as it happened.