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Lee Ritenour: Rhythm Sessions (Bassists: Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Nathan East, others)

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RICK’S PICKS: Lee Ritenour: Rhythm Sessions (Concorde) / Bassists: Stanley Clarke, Marcus Miller, Nathan East, Melvin Lee Davis, Tal Wilkenfeld, Christian McBride, Chuck Berghoffer, Michael Feinberg

 

The Album: This aptly titled recording features an array of various all-star rhythm sections that guitarist Lee Ritenour has had the opportunity to work with in his career, which now dates back four decades and totals nearly 45 solo albums. The album is another finely crafted and well-executed collection of wide ranging tunes, as Ritenour’s fans have come to expect. Musical contributions come from some of the very cream of the crop of musicians working today, and include guest appearances by Chick Corea, George Duke, Dave Grusin, Peter Erskine, Vinnie Colaiuta and others.

Ritenour’s deft guitar work ties it all together, as he leads the different ensembles through funk, straight-ahead jazz, odd meters, and a couple of R&B flavored vocal tunes. Particularly notable is the 5/4 “800 Streets By Feet”, the elegant “Rose Petals”, and the funky “LA By Bike”. There is also a cool cover of Agent Sparks’ “Maybe Tomorrow” that features South African artist Zamajobe on vocals. Rit once again puts on his mentoring cap for Rhythm Sessions, just as he did on his previous release Six String Theory. That album included performance contributions from winners of a competition of new guitar talent (alongside some well-known guitar legends); this time around Lee expands the contest to include piano, bass and drums, and the winners perform the Grusin-penned final track “Punta Del Soul”.

The Bassists: We’re talking all-star rhythm sections here, so every bassist on Rhythm Sessions deserves mention, and all deliver great bass performances. Here’s the complete low-end lineup and which tunes they’re playing on:

1. Stanley Clarke (“The Village”)
2. Nathan East (“River Man”, “Rose Pedals”)
3. Melvin Lee Davis (“Fat Albert Rotunda”, “LA By Bike”, “July”)
4. Tal Wilkenfeld (“Maybe Tomorrow”, “Spam-Boo-Limbo”)
5. Marcus Miller (“Fat Albert Rotunda”)
6. Christian McBride (“800 Streets By Feet”)
7. Chuck Berghoffer (“Children’s Song #1”)
8. Michael Feinberg, competition winner (“Punta Del Soul”)

Best Tracks: “LA By Bike”, “Spam-Boo-Limbo”, “Rose Pedals”, “July”

Lee Ritenour: Rhythm Sessions available at Amazon.com

Bass CDs

Album: John Entwistle, Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two

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Album- John Entwistle, Rarities Oxhumed - Volume Two

Album: John Entwistle, Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two

Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two is the second of the series of posthumous releases coming from John Entwistle.

Rarities Oxhumed – Volume Two is a compilation that was curated by drummer Steve Luongo, who served as John Entwistle’s producer, bandmate, business partner and good friend for many years. As Luongo states, “When I agreed to do two volumes of John Entwistle rarities, I knew volume two had to be even better than volume one. It is!” The collection of songs on Volume Two are from his years with the John Entwistle Band and include re-mastered versions of studio tracks including “Endless Vacation”, alternate mixes of tracks like “Sometimes”, and live tracks including The Who cuts “Real Me”, “Long Live Rock” and an epic version of “Young Man Blues”. The latest preview track to be released is the Who cut “Had Enough.”

Listen to “Had Enough” here: push.fm/ps/hadenough

Rarities Oxhumed – Volume One was quickly embraced by longtime fans as it featured gems like “Bogey Man” featuring Keith Moon, “Where You Going Now” (demo for the Who), and a raw live version of “Trick of the Light” recorded during the John Entwistle Band’s final tour in 2001. Deko Entertainment is thrilled to have been able to bring both volumes of this unearthed music of John Entwistle to the fans and forever solidify him as one of the greatest rock musicians ever.

For more information, visit online at dekoentertainment.com/john-entwistle

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Bass Videos

Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

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Artist Update With Mark Egan, Cross Currents

I am sure many of you are very familiar with Mark Egan as we have been following him and his music for many years now. The last time we chatted was in 2020.

Mark teamed up with drummer Shawn Pelton and guitarist Shane Theriot to produce a new album, “Cross Currents” released on March 8th, 2024. I have been listening to this album in its entirety and it is simply superb (See my review).

Now, I am excited to hear about this project from Mark himself and share this conversation with our bass community in Bass Musician Magazine.

Photo courtesy of Mark Egan

Visit Online:

markegan.com
markegan.bandcamp.com
Apple Music
Amazon Music

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Bass Videos

Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

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Review: Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB…

Minuendo Lossless Earplugs Live 17dB – Hearing protection has always been front and center on my mind because I love music so much, I cannot imagine my life if I were unable to hear.

You might remember back in 2021, we had a good look at the Minuendo Lossless Earplugs featuring adjustable protection. This system has a lot of very good features but there was always the question of how much sound attenuation to choose.

Now, the great folks at Minuendo have come up with a new version of their earplugs that has a set 17dB noise reduction. You still get a lot of the great features of the adjustables but you just don’t have to think about the specific sound level. In addition, this new version of earplugs comes at a very attractive price point.

For more information, visit online at Minuendo.com

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Bass Books

Review: The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass by Brian F Wright 

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Review: The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass by Brian F Wright 

I was intrigued when The Bastard Instrument showed up on my desk… let’s dig in!

When we dive into the history of our beloved instrument, the bass, we find roots that go back as far as the 15th century. This instrument was a member of the violin family and was for the longest time, an acoustic instrument. As the years passed and music changed, there was a need for the instrument to evolve and the electric bass was born.

Comparatively, the electric bass is a relatively new instrument with its earliest appearances dating back to the 1930s and it is exciting to be an electric bass player while this history unfolds around us. Fortunately for us and future generations to come, Professor Brian F. Wright has taken on the herculean task of documenting the trajectory of the electric bass with this excellent book.

The Bastard Instrument presents an extraordinary amount of fine details about the instrument itself, the development of the amplification to handle its output, the pioneers that dared play it, the rapidly evolving music that flourished because of its presence and so much more. 

When I first started reading this book, I noticed that it felt a tad academic, like a textbook (it might be one someday) or a doctoral thesis, but to present all this information accurately, this approach is more than appropriate. Another detail that might be a bit of a spoiler is that the book only gets us up to the late ’60s. I was left wanting more as we know that so much has happened in the bass world since that time frame; I hope there is another volume in the works to get us up to the present!

All in all, “The Bastard Instrument, A Cultural History of the Electric Bass” is a must-read for all of us who play electric bass and understand its essential place in music.

I found that there was a lot that I already knew but also quite a bit that I was unaware of. I believe that to know and understand where you are, you must know the history of exactly how you got here.

Highly recommended.

The Bastard Instrument is available at Amazon.com (beginning July 2024)

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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 @adamovicbasses @anacondabasses @mgbassguitars @xylembassguitar @officialspector @edwinpaanakker @alesvychodilbasses @boyarskycg @dmarkguitars

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