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Bass DVDs

Alan Pasqua and Allan Holdsworth, Live at Yoshi’s Jazz Club




** Note: At the end of this page is a transcription accompaniment. Please scroll to the bottom, click to open, and then continue reading.
The DVD I chose to review for this month is one that I have been wanting to get my hands on for quite awhile.  One afternoon, while Youtube surfing and looking for good Allan Holdsworth material, I stumbled across a series of short clips featuring Alan Pasqua and Allan Holdsworth, live at Yoshi’s Jazz Club.  They were each about thirty seconds long and were all the proof I needed to know I must own this DVD.  Not to mention that the two Tony Williams Group alumni are joined by the great Chad Wackerman on drums and Jimmy Haslip on bass.I have to begin my review with a comment on the opening section of this DVD.  It is one of the cleverest title sequences I have ever seen.  It features sections of fast motion photography set in unison to blazing Allan Holdsworth solo lines.  Anybody who knows how fast Allan can play should know that this was a very challenging task.

The quartet starts the night off with a nice warm up tune, Chad Wackerman’s “The Fifth”.  Check out the polyrhythmic triplet fill Jimmy plays on the intro (Ex. 1).  The daunting task of first solo falls onto the shoulders of Jimmy Haslip.  He accepts the challenge and takes two energetic choruses (Ex. 2) before turning it over to Allan Holdsworth.  Allan is in peak form almost instantaneously; playing lines that seem physically impossible less than 5 minutes into the concert.

From the audience comes a yell, “we’re ready now” and the group launches into the Allan Holdsworth song “Looking Glass”.   This tune features a very challenging intro section, set in an odd combination of meters, which the whole group handles masterfully (Ex. 3).   Alan Pasqua is featured for the first time of the night.  It takes him some time to dial in the organ sound, but once he does, his playing jumps to another level.

The Holdsworth fans in the audience immediately recognize the drum setup into the next song.  It is a Holdsworth classic “Fred”, from the Tony Williams album “Believe It” and is my favorite song in the program. The groove is in full force with Jimmy and Chad really locking up under the airy melody played by the two Allans (Ex 4).  Alan Pasqua is really stretching out at this point in the concert.  I must admit, I had not heard much of Alan Pasqua’s playing prior to this review, but he is a pleasant surprise for me.  His spacious approach is in great contrast to Allan Holdsworth’s dizzying technique .  Jimmy sneaks in a slick fill before Allan Holdsworth plays one of the most absurdly great guitar solos I have ever heard.  The rest is pure classic fusion:  An insanely fast unison line (Ex 5), pause, and back in with the groove and melody, and of course, a short drum solo.

The next song is “It Must Be Jazz”, which is a clever name for what I assume is a free jazz improvisation (all members of the band are listed as composers), taking place at one of the country’s well known jazz clubs.  The song is basically in two parts.  The first half is a free improvisation over a shuffle feel.  Then there is another crazy unison lick (they love using these) and the second section, which takes on a very open, ballad-like feel.  Allan Holdsworth takes a great solo, starting with short melodic ideas and space, then building into his trademark shredding.

“Blues for Tony” is the next selection the band performs.  It was obviously written for Tony Williams, who was responsible for getting Allan and Alan together in his band “Lifetime”.  The song is, as its name implies, a 10 bar jazz blues, but set to a very hip and syncopated Tony Williams style groove (Ex. 6).  Chad takes his first extended solo of the night which is a great example of how to play an unaccompanied drum solo over this blues form.

The band then slows it back down for the Alan Pasqua composition “San Michele”.  Pasqua opens the tune with an extended piano solo.  I will mention here that throughout this DVD Alan Pasqua displays a great ability at effectively using many different keyboard sounds.  He uses everything from Rhodes, to organ, to distorted lead tones, to one of the best sounding acoustic piano keyboad patches I have ever heard.  The tune kicks in with a 70’s fusion six feel, with a medium driving backbeat, keyboard playing arpeggios and Allan Holdsworth playing the eastern sounding melody.  Chad is once again the last soloist and takes a very musical drum solo.

“Pud Wud”, another Holdsworth classic,  opens up with an extended guitar solo played unaccompanied by Allan; using a very cool volume swell effect.  His inventive use of chord voicings is the basis for the intro.  This is a perfect example of one of the greatest aspects of his playing.  The tune begins with another great bass fill from Jimmy Haslip, who then holds down the quasi caribbean feel.   Jimmy plays the first solo on “Pud Wud”.  This bass solo is full of his blazing pentatonic licks and soulful blues chops, as well as some very nice angular arpeggio runs.  Allan and Alan once again follow with equally impressive solos.

I was very excited to check out the next tune “Protocosmos”.  This is one of my favorite tunes to play with my group and I always enjoy checking out new versions, especially if it features Allan Holdsworth (he always plays great on this song) and the composer, Alan Pasqua.  Not to mention the original drummer I associate with this song, which for me is not Tony Williams but Chad Wackerman.  Jimmy and Chad do a great job of holding down the groove while Holdsworth and Pasqua both solo brilliantly. (Ex 7).

The night closes out with another improvised piece entitled, “Red Alert”.  It is a blast to watch these four musicians interact on this cut.  Alan Pasqua is like a mad scientist behind the keyboards right from the start of this number.  Allan Holdsworth takes another jaw dropping solo to finish the night.  It is amazing to watch Allan play the guitar.  His playing is nearly flawless and seems effortless.  It is really a pleasure to watch such great players interact at such a high musical level.

The production quality of this DVD truly deserves mention.  The entire concert was shot in HD.  The sound is studio quality and the mix is superb.  The camera angles were a little rapidly changing at points but are always coordinated with the soloists.  I don’t think I have ever seen production this good on a jazz DVD.  The only flaw with a production of this quality is that the little things stand out more.  For instance, somebody (I think it is Jimmy bass) is not grounded, so the buzz is going through the signal to the recording and is audible throughout the whole concert.

The packaging is great and the liner notes are top quality.  The menus are easy to navigate and the overall presentation is perfect.  The DVD can be found at and is solely distributed by  It is a little on the pricey side for a DVD of this length but, I must say, it is worth every cent.  So if you are a fan of any of the four musicians that appear on this DVD or just a fan of great jazz/fusion, then pick up this wonderful DVD.  You will not be disappointed.

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Bass DVDs

Triumph Feature Documentary Rock & Roll Machine Now Available



Triumph Feature Documentary Rock & Roll Machine Now Available

Triumph Feature Documentary Rock & Roll Machine Now Available On Video On Demand 

The much-talked about Triumph feature documentary, Rock & Roll Machine is now available worldwide ex Canada for purchase and rental via iTunes, Google Play, and Amazon Prime.

Directed by Banger Films’ Sam Dunn and Marc Ricciardelli, ‘Triumph: Rock & Roll Machine’ delivers on revisiting a band that sold millions of albums, played for millions of fans, and never put themselves above their audience.

“Triumph lays it all on the line in this endlessly fascinating documentary, in turn cementing their legacy as a tireless Canadian rock trio whose galvanizing magic power — as evidenced on both the live stage and within the grooves of their many brilliant albums — could simply not be contained. Triumph’s ongoing, lasting musical impact resides well beyond their native border.”
–Mike Mettler, Sound & Vision Magazine

“The Triumph story was compelling to me, Marc, and the Banger team because it was an opportunity to piece together a broken puzzle,” says Dunn. “We wanted to know how and why the band dissolved at the peak of their powers. It was quite the ride!” 

“Sam and Marc did an outstanding job documenting what it has been like to have been aboard the Triumph train for the past near-50 years,” raves Triumph bassist Mike Levine. “For fans old, new, and those to come in the future, this is all they’ll need to know about the band.” 

The Triumph line-up –  Rik Emmett,  Gil Moore, and Mike Levine – rocked the world, and in the process, gave us countless classic hard rock anthems (“Fight the Good Fight,” “Hold On,” “Magic Power,” “I Live for the Weekend,” “Lay It On the Line,” and of course, “Rock & Roll Machine,” and albums (Just a GameProgressions of PowerAllied Forces, Never Surrender, Thunder Seven, etc.).

Originally formed in 1975 and hailing from Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, the trio was always proud of their Great White North roots. And seemingly ever since their inception, Triumph was on the cutting edge of technology when it came to their live show – particularly lighting, sound, and effects.

Sophisticated lasers, pyrotechnics and moving lighting rigs, all computer-controlled – Triumph was one of the first arena rock bands to incorporate all of these elements into their shows. Triumph’s headlining tours were legendary, and the band was featured on many memorable stadium/outdoor shows – including the US Festival, the World Series of Rock, the American Rock Festival and Texxas Jam, Day on the Green, to name but a few.

“One of the best music documentaries I’ve ever seen, ‘Rock & Roll Machine’ is a superbly crafted documentary – an in-depth look at a band that makes me proud to be Canadian…a true TRIUMPH of a story!” — Jason Rockman, iHeart Radio / CHOM FM.

The film is produced by Banger Films in association with Revolver Films, Bell Media’s Crave, Live Nation Productions and NBC Universal Canada, along with the participation of the Rogers Documentary Fund and Slaight Communications Inc. 

Go here to choose your preferred movie rental or download service:
The digital soundtrack can be streamed here:


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New Film: TRENCHES OF ROCK, The Metal Mission of Bloodgood



New Film: TRENCHES OF ROCK, The Metal Mission of Bloodgood


I was set to interview Michael Bloodgood this past February, the bassist and co-founder of the band Bloodgood, only one week prior to him suffering a hemorrhagic stroke and subsequent brain bleed, from which he never recovered. After a valiant fight, we lost Michael this past July. While I am saddened that I did not have the opportunity to talk with him, his son Paul Michael Bloodgood will get to tell the story of his father’s legacy in the upcoming film, TRENCHES OF ROCK. …Michael will be missed.

Executive Produced by Oscar® and Grammy® winner James Moll (FOO FIGHTERS: BACK AND FORTH) and the recipient of 14 film festival awards, TRENCHES OF ROCK depicts the story of 1980s heavy metal band BLOODGOOD, who was targeted not only by a mainstream music industry that found their blatant use of faith-based lyrics an unfitting marriage with heavy metal, but also by religious extremists who believed their music was the work of the devil.

BLOODGOOD became a trailblazer of Christian Heavy Metal – touring the world and facing adversity head-on while confronted by death threats, picketers and protests against these “metal missionaries”. TRENCHES OF ROCK had its world premiere at the Atlanta Film Festival and garnered the attention of festivals worldwide, receiving numerous accolades including multiple “BEST FEATURE DOCUMENTARY” and “BEST DIRECTOR” awards. TRENCHES OF ROCK is directed by Lone Star Emmy® winner Paul Michael Bloodgood.

Available online at

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Shinedown Announces ATTENTION ATTENTION Film With Bassist Eric Bass



Shinedown Announces ATTENTION ATTENTION Film


Gravitas Ventures, a Red Arrow Studios Company, has acquired worldwide distribution rights to Shinedown’s film ATTENTION ATTENTION, a cinematic experience of the band’s 2018 studio album of the same name. Directed by Bill Yukich and featuring band members Brent Smith [vocals], Zach Myers [guitar], Eric Bass [bass, production], and Barry Kerch [drums] along with actresses Francesca Eastwood and Melora Walters, Gravitas Ventures will release ATTENTION ATTENTION on digital and cable VOD on September 3, 2021.

Multi-platinum band Shinedown invites viewers into the world of ATTENTION ATTENTION in their new film, bringing to life the story of the acclaimed chart-topping album, which simultaneously hit #1 on Billboard’s Alternative, Top Rock, and Hard Rock Albums Charts, debuted Top 5 on the Billboard 200, and has racked up more than 355 million global streams. A stunning sonic and visual work of art, the film weaves the 14 songs from the album into a provocative, visceral and thought-provoking journey that brings viewers along on a psychological, emotional and physical ride from life’s lowest lows to the highest highs. As anxieties dissipate and demons disappear, what emerges is a powerful and enduring statement about humanity, overcoming struggles, the importance of mental health, not being afraid to fail and the resolve of the human spirit.

“When we created ATTENTION ATTENTION, our vision was always to present the message as a sonic and visual experience. We’re really proud of what we created and are beyond excited to partner with Gravitas Ventures to finally bring the film in its entirety to the world,” said Shinedown. 

“ATTENTION ATTENTION the film is where the songs of the album come together with people this music has had a profound impact on. What begins as many stories, many voices, steadily becomes one message, one voice from many. Years in the making, I am beyond pleased to be able to share this vision, which was inspired by this amazing band,” said director  Bill Yukich.

 “Shinedown found the ideal director in Bill Yukich to turn their acclaimed album into a dynamic cinematic experience. It’s a testament to their continued innovation as artists, and we look forward to unveiling the film to audiences worldwide,” said Tony Piantedosi, Vice President of Acquisitions at Gravitas Ventures.

Gravitas Ventures Vice President of Acquisitions, Tony Piantedosi negotiated the deal with Billy Offer and Nick Shumaker of United Talent Agency. 

For more information, visit online at

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New Album: Bassist Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later”



Bassist Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later”

Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later”…

Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later – Releasing on September 18th, 2020.

Veteran Los Angeles touring/ session bass player Derek Frank will release his first solo album in over a decade. Aptly titled “Eleven Years Later”, this follow-up to his 2009 release “Let the Games Begin…” is an exploration in organic instrumental groove music drawing influence from many genres; Funk, Soul, Jazz, Blues, Southern Rock, and 70s soundtrack music are all strongly represented.

‘Eleven Years Later’ is not a “Bass” album per se, but rather an interactive and collaborative effort between Derek and several of his close friends and musical cohorts.

This team includes Joshua Ray Gooch on guitar (Shania Twain), Ty Bailie on keyboards (Katy Perry), Randy Cooke on drums (Ringo Starr, Colbie Caillat), along with a special guest appearance by guitar hero Joe Bonamassa and a handful of other notable musicians from Derek’s various circles.

Feature: Interview with Bassist Derek Frank

Derek enlisted the legendary Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Sting, Wilco, Tedeschi Trucks Band, etc.) to produce, record, and mix the album at his Southern California studio “PLYRZ”, a veritable playground of vintage instruments and analog recording gear. Recorded start-to-finish in less than two weeks, this sophomore release of Derek’s is an eclectic representation of his many musical influences, all wrapped up in an overall sound that is ohso-seventies.

Derek is currently serving as bass player with both Gwen Stefani and Shania Twain, and is in the midst of residencies with both artists in Las Vegas at Planet Hollywood’s Zappos Theatre (shows are currently on hold due to the pandemic). Derek has also toured/performed with: Air Supply, Shakira, Daniel Powter, Mindi Abair, The Boneshakers, Victoria Justice, Palaye Royale, Dancing With the Stars, Aly & AJ, Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express, and many others.

Pre-orders for “Eleven Years Later” are available on all digital download and streaming platforms now, and the album will officially be released on September 18th. Special edition USB drives (packaged with souvenir 8-track tapes) are available via his website, and a 2-disc vinyl release will be available in October.

For more information on Bassist Derek Frank, “Eleven Years Later” visit online at

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“Immediate Family” Follows Up On “The Wrecking Crew”



"Immediate Family" Follows Up On "The Wrecking Crew"


Photo: The Immediate Family. L-R: Russ Kunkel, Steve Postell, Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel and Leland Sklar.

Filming has begun on the feature film documentary Immediate Family, director Denny Tedesco’s follow-up to his award-winning music documentary The Wrecking Crew, which chronicled the most iconic session musicians of the 60s, playing with virtually every major American artist of the era including The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Sonny & Cher and others. Immediate Family picks up where The Wrecking Crew left off, with Tedesco turning the lens toward another group of recording studio pros who first came to prominence in the early 1970s and still work constantly to this day: Danny Kortchmar, Leland Sklar, Russ Kunkel, Waddy Wachtel, and a handful of others.

Kortchmar, Sklar and Kunkel made up three-quarters of The Section, best known for both their studio and live work in support of some of the top-selling singer/songwriters and solo singers in the history of music, as well as their own acclaimed instrumental albums. (They were later joined by Wachtel). Collectively, The Section helped define the sound of a generation by supporting the top singer-songwriters of the last five decades: James Taylor, Carole King, Linda Ronstadt, Jackson Browne, Keith Richards, Neil Young, David Crosby, Graham Nash, Don Henley, Phil Collins, Bonnie Raitt, Warren Zevon, Stevie Nicks, Bryan Ferry, Lyle Lovett and Jimmy Buffett, and producers Lou Adler and Peter Asher – many of whom have already been filmed for the doc. In this illuminating documentary, many of these super-star artists reflect on their relationships and deep history with these legendary players, sharing why they’ve trusted them to shape their sound, and in many cases, extended their roles to include writing, co-writing and music producing.

However, Immediate Family is not a nostalgia piece.

Unlike other eras, where players fell out of fashion, this particular crew never did; their phones still ring with artists and producers looking for a piece of the magic they’ve come to expect from players five decades in as hitmakers.

But what really separates their story from the pack is their close friendships; tight bonds further bolstered by shared performances on massively influential, modern classics. In recent years, Kortchmar, Sklar, Kunkel and Wachtel have again teamed up, joined by guitarist Steve Postell (David Crosby, John Oates), to perform on stage and record as The Immediate Family. Kortchmar quips, “we’re like a cover band that plays all originals,” referring to the band’s repertoire of hits they either wrote or co-wrote for artists like Jackson Browne (“Tender is the Night” and “Somebody’s Baby”), James Taylor (“Honey Don’t Leave L.A.”), Don Henley (“Dirty Laundry” and “All She Wants to Do is Dance”), Warren Zevon (“Werewolves of London” and “Things to Do in Denver When You’re Dead”), as well as a slew of others.

The most exciting segments of the documentary may be the tales told by the session aces themselves, who have moved forward for so long by rarely looking back on their storied careers, but now can reflect on the major impact they’ve had on contemporary music. As James Taylor said to the doc’s director Denny Tedesco at the end of his interview, as mics were being taken off, “This is a great thing that you’re doing. It’s so interesting.”

The Immediate Family documentary is produced by Greg Richling and Jonathan Sheldon of Pfonetic, producer Jack Piatt and co-executive producer Elmo Lovano, both of Jammcard, executive producer Cliff Burnstein, co-executive producer Caroline Hoste, and executive producers Matthew Helderman and Luke Taylor of BondIt Media Capital. Sales agents/EPs Dan Braun, Josh Braun and Ben Braun of Submarine are representing the film globally.

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