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Respecting the Music With Phil Baker : MY Top 10

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Meet Phil Baker –

Apple isn’t knocking down my door to do my top ten list for iTunes so I’m going to subject you guys to it. So here it goes:

1. Hide and Seek – Imogen Heap
This is probably the best and most artistic use of new technology I have heard in a long time. I heard this song for the first time on a TV show and spent days trying to find it on Itunes.

2. In A Silent Way – Weather Report

3. In A Silent Way – Miles Davis
This is a two parter. I was stunned when I heard the Weather Report’s version (both live and recorded). Joe Zawinul and Wayne Shorter are both iconic musicians that are brilliantly unpredictable. Zawinul’s chords on this song are some of the most beautiful I’ve ever heard. Miles’ version, conversely, is stripped of all chords except for a drone E provided by the bass with just a sprinkling of Rhodes on top. This was Miles’ genius: distillation to perfection.

Even though John McLaughlin’s guitar is out of tune (unusual!) Wayne Shorter plays perfectly in tune. This is the mark of high musicianship: intonation or good time amidst the lack of either.

4. The Dry Cleaner From Des Moines – Joni Mitchell
It’s hard to imagine that all this music is coming from three musicians. Joni’s stunning vocals are perfectly complimented by Jaco and Mike Brecker’s adrenaline driven romp.

5. Don’t Let It Bring You Down – Neil Young
This song knocked me out the first time I heard it. The best songs are usually simple and seem to have written themselves. This one has both melody and haunting lyrics. I love the simplicity of the rhythm section on Neil Young’s “After the Goldrush” and “Harvest” albums.

6. A Map Of The World – Pat Metheny
Again, just a great tune, beautifully recorded, brilliantly played, and masterfully orchestrated. Very moving.

7. Madan – Salif Keita
I’ve been getting into world music quite a bit lately, especially African music. Salif Keita and Youssou N’Dour are my two favorites. Writing about this song does not do it justice. Just check it out.

8. Come To The Well – Gino Vannelli
OK, everybody who does one of these lists works in something they played on. Diana Ross, my former boss, had only her songs on her list. I wouldn’t have included this if I wasn’t proud of it and if the tune wasn’t great. Gino is one of the most brilliant musicians I’ve ever met. It was like musical boot-camp to work with him. It didn’t kill me so I guess it made me stronger. Randy Porter came up with the sublime voicings on the piano and I played a Caruthers electric upright bass.

9. Bag Lady – Todd Rundgren
Todd, like Stevie Wonder on his “Talking Book” album, played virtually every instrument on his “Hermit Of Mink Hollow” album. This song is one of my favorites. This CD sounds amazing enough but is still even more stunning when you realize that it, like the Steely Dan classics, was recorded in the 70s.

10. I Was Made To Love Her – Stevie Wonder
Speaking of Stevie… I couldn’t let this list go by without having something James Jamerson played on. This song makes me pull over to the side of the road every time it comes on.

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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 @meridian_guitars @mgbassguitars @utreraguitars @adamovicbasses @marleaux_bassguitars @str_guitars @foderaguitars @mauriziouberbasses @officialspector @normstockton

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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 @zonguitars @shukerbassguitars @bite.guitars @adamovicbasses @mayonesguitars @bassbros.uk @capursoguitars @overwaterbasses @saitiasguitars @ramabass.ok

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Gear News

New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

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New Gear: Elrick Bass Guitars Headless Series

New from Elrick Bass Guitars, Headless Series added to Custom Lineup…

Elrick Bass Guitars is excited to announce the addition of a headless option on hand-carved series bass guitars. Initially previewed on the 2023 Gold Series SLC MkII bass of prolific solo bass practitioner and educator Steve Lawson, a headless bass option is now available to all. According the Elrick, “The excitement surrounding Steve’s MkII SLC bass at 2024 NAMM confirmed that the time is right to add a headless option to our extensive range of custom options.” To date, Elrick instruments have only been offered with traditional headstock construction but, in response to market demand, custom features will now include a headless option in 4-, 5- and 6-string models.

Headless bass guitars share these features with the traditional headstock series:

24 frets + zero fret
exotic wood top
hand-rubbed oil finish
2-way adjustable truss rod
custom Bartolini pickups
custom Bartolini 3-band preamp
fully shielded control cavity
Hipshot bridge
Dunlop Straploks
Elrick Fundamental strings

The headless option can now be selected when submitting custom order requests via the form on elrick.com, contacting the Elrick Sales Office directly, or working with your favorite Elrick dealer.

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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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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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