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A View From the Side by Michael Viseglia

Review by Raul Amador –

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Have you ever wanted to sit down and pick an experienced bass musician’s brain? A View from the Side by Michael Viseglia makes it possible! First you have the many stories that only actively playing for over twenty years can bring. Michael shares humorous incidents, touring with Suzanne Vega, historical insights, observations about the state of music and so much more.

I was fascinated to read how Jan Arnet had escaped communist Czechoslovakia. I was glad it wasn’t me when Mike recounted his experience with a demented fan, and I was saddened to learn how two face-to-face encounters with Jaco compared, as he went from being amazing in his early years to how he was shortly before his death.

As if this wasn’t enough, there are interviews with some of the bass icons of our time including Leland Sklar, Marcus Miller, Donald “Duck” Dunn, Tony Levin, and Jeff Berlin to name a few.

One interview that I particularly enjoyed was the one with Leland Sklar… I have been a Fan of James Taylors for a long time and I had always noted the ‘bearded drive’ behind his tunes. Now I know what transpired between them after a solid 20 years of playing together (at least Leland’s side of the story to be fair).

Other highlights include Leland’s’ experience playing with Phil Collins, the use of Mandolin frets on a Bass fret board and lots of candid statements about the music industry and where we are going.

I found this book to be an easy read that I enjoyed in small portions so I could savor them. I found the chapters titled “The Gift” and “The Gift part two” very moving. There is a wealth of valuable content that you are going to have to read for yourself to fully grasp. Check it out!

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