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Bass Musician Magazine Featuring Edgar Meyer – November 2011 Issue



Let me start by using a quote on Edgar Meyer that I actually referred to in one of my questions in our interview. The New Yorker stated that Edgar “is the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument.” This is quite a statement, but in this player’s opinion, the man walks the walk.

Edgar is truly a modern day Renaissance man. He is a seriously well respected solo classical bassist and has worked with the best of the best in that realm. I’ve heard his work on a few of Bach’s Unaccompanied Suites for Cello and his musicianship is nothing less than stunning. But his other obvious love is his quest for multifaceted musical collaborations, and this has led him to projects working with such greats as Bela Fleck, Joshua Bell, and Chris Thile. Music has no bounds in Edgar’s opinion, and his latest work might be the prime example of that. The recent release of the CD “Goat Rodeo” featuring Yo-Yo Ma, Stuart Duncan, and Chris Thile is a splendid example of cross-genre musical magic, which I would highly recommend to anyone looking to breathe in some truly contemporary compositions.

Edgar has a lot to say about his relationship with his art, and this is an interview I would recommend to those searching for a bit of inspiration in an ever-changing musical environment. His thoughts on himself and his music are as articulate as his performance under any musical conditions. Enjoy the read.

Jake: To begin with, tell me about your latest recording endeavor “Goat Rodeo”, with Yo-Yo Ma, Chris Thile, and Stuart Duncan…how did this project come about?

Edgar: Yo-Yo, Chris, and I had enjoyed playing together on a recent recording of YY’s and we were looking for a way to prolong it. Chris and I thought that hearing Stuart and YY bowing together was something that we wanted to experience before we passed so we suggested this to YY, who thought it was a great idea.

Jake: You’ve been involved with a lot of shall I say cross-genre projects over the years. What keeps you on this, I’d like to say, musically progressive path?

Edgar: I don’t have an agenda one way or another regarding cross-genre projects.  There are places you can only go with homogenous groups and there are other very beautiful things that can happen with mixed groups. It is important to understand that all musical styles are hybrid by nature. Even and especially styles that have partisan proponents proclaiming the pure essence that is unchanged by time need only look to the origins of their faith. Bluegrass and jazz are well known amalgams of pre-existing music. Western Classical music is a more complicated and nuanced discussion, partly because of the time span and the lack of a well defined beginning point. Additionally, there are actually a lot of different styles abiding under that same roof.  It is tempting to look at Bach as a unifying force. He is certainly a musician who brought together ideas from across the continent and from multiple time periods preceding him.

Jake: I recently caught Bela Fleck and the Flectones in my home town. I know working with Bela is one of many projects you’ve collaborated on. What intrigued you about Bela?

Edgar: Bela and I have been good friends for about 30 years.  We see many things the same way. I think we both try to reconcile the diverse musical information that we receive into some kind of personal system that helps us sort it out in our own way.

Jake: The New Yorker hailed you as “…the most remarkable virtuoso in the relatively unchronicled history of his instrument.” Hard as the question may be, could you tell me what has been a consistent personal musical focus for you in your career that you feel has attributed to receiving this type of notoriety?

Edgar: I am still trying to understand what I think it is that makes music meaningful.  Some days I feel a little closer than others.

Jake: What does the practice schedule of one so well versed in multiple genres look like these days, and out of pure curiosity, how do you go about prioritizing what to work on?

Edgar: Realistically, with writing, travel, and many other responsibilities, I practice 1 1/2 to 2 hrs a day. I wish it was more. Prioritizing what to work on tends to be a combination of idealism and pragmatism. There needs to be forward progress on issues that are fuzzy at best, and at the same time it is important to intelligently prepare for the activities that are on the schedule for the next couple of months. Common sense is recommended.

Jake: Compositionally, you are truly all over the map, which I personally have great respect for. Knowing the compositional process is different from artist to artist, what has worked for you over the years when you sit down with pen in hand?

Edgar: The compositional process is intentionally varied with the hope of avoiding ruts.  The best ideas have most often come from thinking about music and more specifically the piece I am currently working on, and then writing down the ideas on paper. The instruments are important and helpful additionally, and I do usually assemble many aspects of a piece on the computer these days, but it is important to be careful with the computer and to not let it become important to the idea of the piece.

Jake: I know you’re a multi-instrumentalist as well…piano, guitar, mandolin, and on and on. How do you feel this has impacted your approach on bass, as well as your overall musicianship?

Edgar: Playing several instruments is fun and informative, but the second instrument that matters is the piano.

Jake: What do you see not happening in 21st Century music that you’d like to see a lot more off?

Edgar: I am not sure if this makes sense or is correct, but I have some interest in seeing more music that has common sense and universal types of appeal combined with more unlimited ambition and achievement.

Jake: With the music business being (obviously in my humble opinion) not at its best, what might you suggest to an enthusiastic young player looking to make his art, his career?

Edgar: No global advice, but things that often seem to come out of my mouth:
Play piano—Get to know and get involved with people who are better that you are—
Immersion—Create a broad base of knowledge—Get to know the things that influenced the music that you love—Learn all the parts not just your own—Writers need to play, players need to write —Learn to listen, especially while playing.


Bass Videos

Brian Bromberg, Paying Tribute to Scott LaFaro, April 2024



Brian Bromberg, Paying Tribute to Scott LaFaro, April 2024 - Header

Brian Bromberg, Paying Tribute to Scott LaFaro, April 2024…

Brian Bromberg, Paying Tribute to Scott LaFaro, April 2024

Brian Bromberg is one heavy-hitting bass player and I am in awe of his talent as one of the few individuals who is equally proficient on electric and upright bass.

You might remember our conversation back in 2018 when he released his powerhouse Funk album. Brian’s “A Little Driving Music” album is a staple on all our road trips and his Jaco and Jimi Hendrix tribute albums are mind-blowing… and I could go on and on.

Now, Brian has taken on the arduous task of producing an album paying tribute to the late, great, Scott LaFaro. He teamed up with pianist Tom Zink and drummer Charles Ruggiero and Brian delivers a commanding performance on upright. The entire album is a masterpiece and a real treat to listen to track after track.

Join us as Brian shares the details behind this project and more.

Photo, Michel Bocandé

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FB @BrianBrombergBassist

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Leland Sklar, Over Half a Century of Bass, March 2024



Leland Sklar, Over Half a Century of Bass, March 2024

We all have enjoyed Leland Sklar’s Bass lines for over half a century.

You might remember that we had him on our cover back in 2017 and did an update when he launched his book “Everybody Loves Me” in 2020. It was exciting to hear that The Immediate Family had got back together in the studio to work on their own music in 2019 and are now up to two albums.

Just last December, Magnolia Pictures released a documentary titled “Immediate Family” where we got a behind-the-scenes look at the massive contributions Danny Kortchmar, Waddy Wachtel, Ross Kunckle, Leland Sklar and Steve Postell have made in countless songs that are the very essence of our daily personal musical soundtracks. Seeing the astronomical roster of performers they have supported over many years is very eye-opening. It is a must-see for any music lover!

Now, I am thrilled to bring you a special chat with Leland Sklar where we go more in-depth into the bass side of his musical journey.

Photos: Header, Rob Shanahan – Cover Photo, Jay Gilbert/Chris Schmitt

Skin In the Game – 
from new album Skin In The Game

The Toughest Girl In Town – 
from new album Skin In The Game

Fair Warning – –
from the self-titled album The Immediate Family

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Bass Videos

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More – February 2024



Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More, January 2024

Ricky Phillips, STYX Bass And More…

This Week’s Top 10 Basses on Instagram

I have always been a huge Styx fan. Their music kept me awake during countless nights studying and gave my imagination a place to escape when I had a moment to take a break. 

I had the immense opportunity to chat with STYX bassist Ricky Phillips for our August Cover in 2017 and follow his projects as time passed. Now, I am thrilled to have the opportunity to catch up with Ricky as he has been super-busy over the past six years. 

Join me as we take a deep dive into the band’s most recent album “Crash the Crown” and EP “The Same Stardust”. Ricky shares some insights into the herculean team effort behind the scenes and the musical process that keeps them ever so busy and how he has updated his sound. 

Without further ado… Here is Ricky Phillips!

Photo: Jason Powell

“Crash of the Crown” lyric video

“Reveries” lyric video

“Save Us From Ourselves” lyric video

“Sound the Alarm” lyric video

“Too Much Time On My Hands” Zoom video 2020

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FB & IG @styxtheband

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Bass Videos

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024



Jeff Pilson - Bass Musician Magazine - January 2024

Jeff Pilson, Foreigner Low End – January 2024…

Those of us who were around back in the 70’s remember how certain songs on the radio resonated with us. It turns out that many of these iconic melodies came from Foreigner and they were part of our personal soundtracks! 

After all these years, the band is going as strong as ever with Jeff Pilson firing away on bass midstream into a 2-year farewell tour. 

I am excited to be able to bring you all the details about Jeff’s musical Journey, the farewell tour in progress, how he gets his sound and his plans for the future.

Cover Photo: Krishta Abruzziini / Video Photos: Krishta Abruzzini, Karsten Staiger, Gina Hyams

For more news on FOREIGNER and upcoming Farewell Tour dates, fans can visit:
Also on FB @officialjeffpilson

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Bass Videos

Rodney O’Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023



Rodney O'Quinn, Rockin’ Hard Through the Years – December 2023

Interview With Foghat Bassist Rodney O’Quinn…

Rodney O'Quinn - Bass Musician Magazine - December 2023-v2

Many rock fans have enjoyed music by Foghat, who originally formed in London back in 1971.

Over the many decades of playing, the band members have changed, leaving behind only Roger Earl as the only original member. Bassist Rodney O’Quinn left the Pat Travers Band and joined the group in 2015 and has been laying down the low end for this iconic quartet keeping the Foghat legacy alive. With a new album titled “Sonic Mojo” which dropped on November 10th, the band is as busy as ever and there is lots of very tasty music to come.

Join me as we learn of Rodney O’Quinn’s musical journey, how he gets his sound, and his plans for the future.

Jake Coughlin
Video Thumbnail, Tom Apathy
Photos used in the video: Kerry Quinn, Chuck Lanza, Kim Granger, Kenneth Strohm, Jake Coughlin, Jay Jylika

1st Single from Sonic Mojo – Official “Drivin’ On” 

2nd Single from Sonic Mojo – “She’s a Little Bit of Everything Official Video

 “Road Fever”- California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

“Stone Blue” – Rodney O’Quinn Bass/Lead Vocals – Don Odell’s Legends – Woonsocket, R.I – 10/15/22 – The Stadium Theater

The Earl’s Court – Season 2, Episode 7: Funny Guys 

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – CasinoRama – 6-9-23 

FOGHAT “Somebody’s Been Sleepin’ in My Bed” – Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT – 1/28/22

“I Just Want to Make Love to You” – California Mid State Fair – Paso Robles, CA – 7-27-22

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