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Bassist Ed Lucie– Why Is Music Important (The Panel Experiment) by Brent-Anthony Johnson

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Photo courtesy of Marv Goldschmitt

Photo courtesy of Marv Goldschmitt

Bassist Ed Lucie on Why Is Music Important…

Who are you, and what do you do?

My name is Ed Lucie. I am a professional musician who plays electric bass guitar. I am also a professor at Berklee College of Music. “Who am I?” is an ongoing journey… I am one who is loved and trying to love.

Who are your primary musical influences?

Jaco (Pastorius) is by far my strongest influence on my instrument… along with bassists Steve Swallow, Ricahrd Bona, Anthony Jackson and Jimmy Johnson. I also love the original Allman Brothers Band, John Coltrane, among many, many others.

What are you listening to musically, in the past 12 months that has enhanced the way you think about music and your craft?

I’ve been listening to Richard Bona, Bobby McFerrin and Wayne Shorter. Each of these artists have enhanced my playing through their freedom, relaxedness, joy and spontaneity.

How does your personal musical voice directly relate to the function of the basses? Also, what are your main instruments?

My sound is everything! I strive for a deep, strong, rich, resonant sound that is critical to my playing.

My main bass is a ’63 Fender Jazz Bass. I use a Walter Woods amp and Epifani cab’s with 12” speakers. I also have a ’66 Jazz and a ‘73 Jazz fretless. These are my main instruments.

Describe your musical composition process.

I am a member of a trio that is committed to playing together at least once every week. This provides me with a great forum for my writing. I tend to write when inspired. So, I don’t regularly sit down and write for 2 or 3 hours a day.

I often have a harmonic idea that develops as I write. The idea generally consists of 3 tonal system; or unusual substitutions, modal interchange… Or, something like that. I have also been writing a lot in odd time signatures. My most recent composition is based on rhythm changes in 7/4 that modulate up a minor third for the last A section!

How does music affect your culture and immediate environment?

Music brings beauty and depth that cannot otherwise be seen as we go through life in the moment. Music is culture and environment, and it is the result of our humanity… but it is also a part of the power that makes us human.

What would you be, if not a professional musician?

A monk.  

What is the greatest sacrifice you’ve ever made while in the practice of being a musician, and how did that sacrifice affect you?

I do not consider the choices I have made to be sacrifices, necessarily. I play music because I am driven, compelled to do so, and I absolutely love to play. I did not choose it as a career choice in the way people choose business or engineering. I keep my lifestyle very simple and basic, which (therefore) allows me the freedom to continue to play… even if the financial rewards aren’t there.

Describe your standing practice regimen. Also, what technical (and musical) aspects of your playing are you currently working on?

I try to practice everyday, usually about an hour or so – more when I am preparing for a new project or a gig. I regularly play up to 6-8 hours a day considering teaching, rehearsals and gigs.

I usuall begin with a few moments of silent meditation or prayer. From there, I’ll play absolutely free and random for a time. Then I go through a regiment of scales, arpeggios, sequences, right hand exercises, etc. Then, I play through things I am trying to memorize, ie; Bach Cello Suite movements, standards, melodies, and so forth. The aspect of music I am consciously working on right now is phrasing, and having a natural, relaxed, free feeling within the time.

What does music, and being a musician, mean to you – at the deepest level of your being?

Music is really not something I do… it is who I am. I am most myself when playing. I am proud to be a musician, I love it, and it is an experience that cannot be found in any other way of life. It continues to inspire and motivate me to improve, and it is a privilege to share music with others.

How important is it to understand the Language of music?

I think understanding music is very important – especially if one intends to be a professional. The Language of music is how we communicate and share our ideas and intentions. It is similar to any other profession where language exists. I would be lost if I was among a gathering of doctors! But I am completely engaged when it comes to music… even if it is challenging at times.

How do you collect the series of seemingly random influences and articulate them through music?

This is not done consciously… Articulation through music is the mysterious process whereby the practice and study of music prepares and refines one to express our hearts and souls in ways that others who are listening also experience their own heart and soul. Music allows me to find myself, and lose myself, at the same time. I do not intentionally try to express anything. I simply live my life and try to play at the highest level I am capable of.

Can music ever truly become commercial? Why, or why not?

Obviously, the business and commercialization of music is a completely different subject. I must admit that I am the worst business / promotional musician! I do, however, believe musicians should be able to earn a living at their craft! The fact of life is that music is created all the time simply for profit. But I am interested in creating, playing (and listening) to authentic, honest, and challenging music.

Bass Videos

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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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Travis Book

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Interview With Bassist Travis Book

Interview With Bassist Travis Book…

Bluegrass music has had a very solid following over many years and I am always happy to hear from one of the pioneers in that genre.

Travis Book plays bass for the Grammy award-winning band “The Infamous Stringdusters” and has recently released his first solo album “Love and Other Strange Emotions”. As if he wasn’t busy enough, Travis also hosts a podcast, Plays a Jerry Garcia music show with Guitarist Andy Falco, and is constantly gigging locally in his neck of the woods.

Photo, Seyl Park

Visit Online:

www.thetravisbook.com
www.thestringdusters.com
FB @ TheTravisBook
IG @ travisbook

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Bass Videos

Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Interview with Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Malcolm-Jamal Warner…

I am pretty sure that everyone is aware of Malcom-Jamal Warner’s work as an actor. What may be less known is his work as a director, poet, musician, and most importantly for us, a bass player. With four albums of his own, Grammy nominations and wins, as well as a sizable amount of ongoing live gigs, Malcolm is dedicating a serious amount of his attention to his music.

Join me as we hear about Malcom’s musical journey, projects, his gear choices, and plans for the future.

Here is Malcom-Jamal Warner!

Photos: Dwain Govan @dwain_go / Conrad Montgomery Mckethan @eyeconimages

Visit Online:

malcolmjamalwarner.com
IG @malcolmjamalwar
Twitter @malcolmjamalwar 
Facebook: Malcolm-Jamal Warner

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Bass Videos

Interview With The Labex Funk Project

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Interview With The Labex Funk Project

Interview With The Labex Funk Project…

Time really flies when you are having fun! Just over a decade ago, I had the pleasure of interviewing Michel “Labex” Labaki for our July 2013 cover.

At that time, much of our conversation concerned his personal approach to bass playing and his techniques. Fast forward to now and I am pleased to discover Michel’s new endeavor, the Labex Funk Project.

Join me as we meet the band:
Kynion Lanier on vocals
Pablo Batista on percussion
Jake Brightman on Guitar
Daniel Gonzalez on Drums
And Michel “Labex”Labaki on bass

As a bonus, we have the band’s producer Phillippe Dib in on this video chat as well.

Here is the Labex Funk Project!

Visit online:

michellabaki.com
www.facebook.com/MichelLabexLabaki/
www.instagram.com/michellabaki
www.youtube.com/c/MichelLabaki
FB @LabexFunkProject
IG @ Labex Funk Project

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

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Interview With Bassist Tony Newton

Bassist Tony Newton…

I am always learning new details about Bass history when I get the opportunity to talk with seasoned players like Tony Newton. Tony, a Detroit native, came up in the golden years of Motown and laid down the low end for countless performers and studio sessions; he has performed on over 25 gold and platinum hit recordings.

As time went by, and the whole Detroit scene dwindled, Tony relocated to LA where he worked a busy schedule, even going back to school to learn about music theory and composition.

Over the years he performed on many historic hit recordings and tours with Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson(music Director), the Temptations, Aretha Franklin, The Funk Brothers and more, as well as working with veteran rock guitarist, Gary Moore in the British group G-Force.

Presently, Tony is super busy and on the verge of releasing a movie titled “Mars Quest” among his numerous other projects.

Join me as we get to enjoy all the history and knowledge that Tony has to share along with the details about his new Signature bass from BITE Guitars named “The  Punchtown Bass”.

Here is Tony Newton…

Photos: Mary K. Brand, Mitch Snyder, Haneefa Karrim, Hans Adamsen

Visit Online:

tonynewtonmusic.com/
FB @ TonyNewtonMusic Artist
YTB @ antoniotonynewtonmusic

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