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Trentin Lee Manning by Brent-Anthony Johnson

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Trentin Lee Manning is quickly becoming one of the leading young American bassists. Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, Trentin first came to my attention in 2006 after he performed a small number of clinics in the Midwest US. Last year, he released “Tranquility & Tension”, a 5-song EP that showcases his “right on it” playing approach as it winds through his deep world experience. Though in his early twenties, Trentin oozes “Old Soul”, and his trio with guitarist/producer Rick Brantley and drummer Matt Gardner please the ear again and again through their rich interplay that defies musical categorization.
www.myspace.com/trentinleemanning

BAJ: You are an incredibly melodic player, man! You have listed
Michael Manring as your primary influence, and you nod heavily to Michael through your composition “Monkey” (one of my favorites!). But, let’s talk about your other musical influences and how they’ve shaped your global musical impression.

Trentin L. Manning: I have always been drawn to all styles of music I try not to limit myself just to one genre. There are days where I will listen to TOOL, The Roots, and P-Funk and then next day I’ll listen to Gospel music or Blue Grass. Michael Manring was a huge influence, but so were Abraham Laboriel, and many others. My wonderful Grandparents raised me, and, man, they have great taste in music. They told me when I first picked up the bass “Be limitless in what you listen to and play”. For those of you who compose or want to compose music ,”Be limitless”! Most of the world’s best composers live by this.

BAJ: Would you consider yourself “self taught”? Also, how do you articulate your knowledge of music theory while you’re playing… or do you?

Trentin L. Manning: I picked up the bass when I was 13, but didn’t get lessons until two years ago, or so. Being self-taught has some good points – like, you listen and look at everything differently. I learned a lot from watching the bass players at church, and instead of asking questions I went home figured it out for myself! Trust me, I would not change that for anything! I learned and perfected personal technique when I started learning from Matthew Human (who studied with Jeff Berlin). He taught me a lot about music theory and proper technique. I do apply theory to my playing. But, I don’t let theory take me over. As you know, theory is in the back of our minds, so what we’re playing feels natural. I find, when soloing over chord changes, I freak myself out if I think about theory too much! So, it seems that I play better when I play from the heart… with just a little bit of mind. The bottom line is that it is good to have a concept of your own personal technique and to learn proper technique. Those two things make me a stronger (and much more interesting) player.

BAJ: You have been doing more solo presentations of your compositions of late. Is this a seasonal thing, or are you abandoning you trio concept? Along with that question, where do you find yourself most comfortable, musically speaking?

Trentin L. Manning: My first album “Tranquility & Tension”, was written when I was about 14 or 15 and each was composition as a solo. I wasn’t thinking about a band setting before I started recording my producer Rick Brantley and we decided to use more instrumentation on the album because the songs needed “more”. I am mostly known as a solo bassist but, I also love playing in the pocket! Not only do I love playing in groups… its what pays the bills!! My next album will be different as far as the presentation on “Tranquility & Tension”. As my comfort zone, I feel great about being either a “solo guy” or being a “pocket guy”. I have to have that balance in my life and I learn so much from both sides of that coin.

BAJ: Cool, man! Please describe your composition process?

Trentin L. Manning: Sometimes ideas will come to me when I least expect it, and then there are other times when it takes a year or two just to feel like this is what I’ve been blessed to hear. When I am writing a song I have to imagine myself listening to the radio and would I stop to listen, or would I say, “this song sucks”, and turn the dial… you will just learn when a song is a great song! You have to try to listen with different ears and always be open to constructive criticism. This is what helps my composition process.

BAJ: What’s the musical landscape in Cincinnati like these days?

Trentin L. Manning: There is a lot of great music in “Cincy”, and in the Midwest, period! Some of my other influences are local guys like harp guitarist and local legend Eric Loy www.ericloy.com and Victor “the Vic” Smith. Both of these men shaped me as a player. I was in Chicago last month and played Jauqo III-X ‘s “Monster Of Bass”! Wow!!! There were so many great players like Doug Johns, Jauqo III-X, Bill “The Buddha” Dickens, Mike Sterling, Will Howard and Andy Deluca. There is a lot of music in the Midwest that gets overlooked.

BAJ: As you’ve evolved as a player, what are those facets of your practice regimen that have remained throughout the years you’ve been playing?

Trentin L. Manning: It depends on what I’m trying to accomplish. If I ‘m hired to do a gig I’ll work on what those things that particular gig needs. Lately I am working my sight-reading and also on transposing traditional pieces to new solo bass arrangements.

BAJ: Okay… Let’s get to the New Demo you sent to me recently! You open with “Soulful-Joyful” which is a beautiful piece of music! There is also a piece called “The Rebirth”. Let’s chat about your new direction and your immediate goals for your career and composing practices.

Trentin L. Manning: Thank you I am glad you like those 2 pieces! Both compositions will be on the new record, but I don’t have a release date yet. My new direction is: Simply put, I believe is what I believe to be God’s will for my life. People often come to me after a solo show and tell me, “Your music is so beautiful and it really touched me”, and that pushes me do what I do. I want to share music that means something, and I feel that is a good goal to have in life.

BAJ: Music is, indeed, a Language. What are you hoping your listening audience will hear you saying?

Trentin L. Manning: Truth and purity in some pieces… confession and desperation in other compositions. Hey, love me or hate me… at least you’ve heard of me, right?

BAJ: What does the next 3 months of your musical journey entail?

Trentin L. Manning: A lot more writing! I’m also working with Luthier Pete Skjold www.skjolddesing.com on a custom 6-string fretted instrument. The idea is: Pete is making me a super bass guitar for my solo side and pocket sides that will give me my own sound that is memorable! Bassist David Dyson is also an endorsing artist for Skjold. I am also with Accugroove Cabinets www.accugroove.com and I am booking more solo shows with some guest musician like Drew O’Dom, Corey Cater and many others. Please stop by www.TrentinManning.com or www.myspace.com/Trentinleemanning and drop me a line!

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

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Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)

Bruegel Masterpiece (1565) Inspires BITE Masterpiece (2023)…

Flemish Master Pieter Bruegel the Elder probably had many things in mind when painting his Hunters in the Snow in oil on oak wood in 1565. This masterpiece tells plenty of little stories about winterly pastimes and precarious livelihoods in the Early Modern Age. What Bruegel presumably did not have in mind was that this painting would, several centuries later, become one of the most popular ones in fine arts globally, displayed in a permanent exhibition at Kunsthistorisches Museum (Museum of Fine Arts) Vienna. The painting’s popularity was lately taken to a different level as it was replicated by hand to design an exclusive BITE bass.

An international art collector and bass player who regularly visits Vienna to immerse himself in the wonderworld of Kunsthistorisches’ Bruegel Hall asked BITE to replicate the painting on a bass body. BITE Guitars, an Austrian premium manufacturer exporting most of their basses to the US, has become renowned for colorful artwork basses, offering a range of manual and digital techniques. The firm’s art director Peter, a trained scenic painter of Oscar and Palme d’Or rank, specializes in photo-realistic reproductions. He also painted the bass for Robbie Williams’ 2023 world tour by faithfully replicating Robbie’s own stage design onto the tour bass.

Peter copied the Bruegel motif onto the bass body in minute detail, little twigs even by one-hair-brush. Positioning the rectangular image section on the body shape proved to be a special challege that he met by repositioning little elements, a bird here, a horse and cart there.

It all came together in a memorable video shooting in front of the original painting in the Museum’s Bruegel Hall: venerable fine arts, premium handicraft and groovy jazz tunes.

View video at the museum: www.youtube.com/shorts/2evdqfR6gUE

What’s the conclusion of BITE’s client, our Vienna, art and bass lover? “It’s a magical bass! When I touch the strings, I feel warm inside.”

Specs highlights:
Bass model: BITE Evening Star, the proprietary BITE premium model with inward curved horns
Pickups: 2 x BITE 1000 millivolt passive split-coils (PP)
Neck: roasted maple neck and roasted flamed maple fretboard

Price tag incl. insured door-to-door express shipping:
New York: 4726 USD
London: 3645 GBP
Berlin: 4965 EUR

Full specs available at bite.guitars/old-master-bass/

Bruegel Hall at Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna: 
khm.at/en/visit/collections/picture-gallery/the-best-of-bruegel-only-in-vienna/

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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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Gear News

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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