Art Vista Productions is presenting a new bass sample library series, GrooveMaster – the Tony Newton Bass Libraries, featuring Antonio “Tony” Newton, the legendary Motown bassman. The series includes three playable sampled instruments: Old School Bass, Double Neck Bass, Bright Funky Bass, and a loop library. The libraries in Kontakt format feature configurable automatic idiomatic playback – enabling two-hand playing, as well as configurable key-switching, the authentic Newton bass sound heard on numerous hit records through the 60’s – 80’s, as well as his modern bright bass sound.
Newton was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan and began his professional career at the tender age of thirteen, playing bass guitar with blues legends, John Lee Hooker, T-Bone Walker, Little Walter and other classic artists, on the urban blues circuit. Newton was discovered by Motown executive Hank Cosby while playing in Detroit blues clubs at the age of 18. He was asked to replace James Jamerson as touring bassist with Smokey Robinson and the Miracles so that Jamerson could concentrate on studio recording exclusively. Within two years, Newton became Music Director. He also toured with other Motown artists such as Diana Ross and the Supremes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Four Tops, Temptations, Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, Spinners, and others. While at Motown playing from time to time with the “Funk Brothers,” he left his trademark of solid, hard driving, and deftly clever grooves on such timeless hits as “Where Did Our Love Go,” “Baby Love,” “Stop In The Name Of Love,” “Nowhere to Run,” “ABC,” “Never Can Say Goodbye,” “Don’t Leave Me This Way,” and many others. A little known fact is that Newton and James Jamerson played together as two basses on these Motown hits. Newton was also the bassist for the famed 1965 European Motown Review tour. As staff bassist for the talented songwriting-producing team, Holland-Dozier-Holland, and theirInvictus-Hotwax label, Newton played on several hits for artists, Freda Payne, 100 Proof, 8th Day, and others. He also played on the classic hits of other Detroit recording labels, including Stax Records’ “The Dramatics, What You See is What You Get,” “Johnny Taylor’s, Part Time Lover,” and more. Later, he gained recognition as one of the founding fathers of fusion, as bassist-composer-vocalist in the acclaimed jazz-rock fusion group: “The Tony Williams Lifetime,” penning the fusion classics “Snake Oil,” and “Red Alert.” He was also a member of the British hard rock group, “G-Force,” with veteran guitarist Gary Moore.