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Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore

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Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore - Showroom-2

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore…

How did you get your start in music? Are you still an active player?

Oh like anybody else…. Wanted to be a rock star. I still practice a bit but not currently with a band. I would like to be much more active although it can be hard to find the time and the players. Nobody ever wants to do original/experimental music. Doesn’t pay.

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore - Me

How did you get started as a Luthier? When did you build your first bass? 

I’ve always had interest in building my own instruments. I started setting up my own basses to get them just the way I wanted and I’ve always had an eye for something different. We’re going back to the mid 90’s here, that is when I discovered Luthier’s Access Group and I discovered lesser known (at the time) builders such as Marleaux, Ritter basses and some others and I became infatuated with what these guys were doing. The only problem was that I would never be able to afford one of those basses. So I was in a music store one day playing a really nice bass and started looking closely at it and thought, “You know I could probably do this myself.” I built my first bass shortly there after; I believe that was in either 2005 or 2006.

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore - MB50414005 Art Shot w-BG

How did you learn the art of woodworking/Luthier? Who would you consider a Mentor?

I don’t really think of myself as a Luthier; I build basses, it is my complete focus. Trial by error, I am self-taught… I guess is the way you would put it. Lots of books, articles, and research; there is a wealth of knowledge on the internet now. When I first started doing this there wasn’t much, but now there’s tons on info out there. Mentors, I would say Mike Tobias, he and I met and talked at Bass Player Live 2013 the first time I showed my basses. What a great guy he is and awesome Luthier, he definitely gave some words of advice. The people that have influenced me are Jens Ritter, who my first four-string basses were modeled on (no longer making that design out of respect for Jens) Carl Thompson, Marleaux, and of course Mike Tobias.

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore - MBS5 full body bg

How do you select the woods you choose to build with?

I have a couple of companies that I use to source wood from. I try to find the craziest looking wood that I can get my hands on because that’s what really drew me in to doing this, the beauty of the wood. I have been using a lot of Walnut, Spalted and figured Maple much of it reclaimed. It’s great sounding and light weight. I look through crap loads of wood waiting for a piece that jumps out at me, that I can’t take my eyes off of, something I would build a bass for myself out of. That’s the wood I want. It’s a very selfish thing I do, I do it all for me and then hope other people like them enough to buy one.

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore - Neck Carving-2

How about pickups? What pickups did you use in the past? What electronics do you use right now? 

Currently I am using Bartolini pickups and pre-amps exclusively. I love the sound I get from them, it’s a great product and Bartolini has been phenomenal with helping to support me and get the word out about the basses and how great they are.

How do you develop a signature or custom bass for an artist?

I don’t and I’m not sure if I will. If I did it would have to be someone who is as passionate about my basses as I am.

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore - Side Dot Inlay

What are a few things that you are proud about your instruments and that you would consider unique in your instruments?

The uniqueness of the wood that I use, I love. The way the body and the neck meet is somewhat unique for a bolt on neck. Small bodied, extremely well balanced and lightweight. My basses are constantly evolving so much so that I make changes to the design as I’m building it sometimes. There’s a lot of improv in music, there is a lot of improv in my building… that is one of the things I love most. I don’t strive to make everything exactly the same every time.  I try to make what I feel is right for the instrument that I am working on at the time, when it feels right it’s done.

Which one of the basses that you build is your favorite one?

I don’t think I’ve made it. The proto-type of the scroll bass that I made is the one that I play all the time. I am getting ready to remake that one for myself out of a special piece of wood that I have had stashed in my shop for a number of years now, I have a feeling that will be my favorite.

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore - Carving a Neck Joint

Can you give us a word of advice to young Luthiers who are just starting out?

Don’t be afraid, just dive in and do it. If it doesn’t work out…… make another one. Oh yeah don’t chop off any fingers.

What advice would you give a young musician trying to find his perfect bass?

There is no magic bass. There is however the proper fit, that’s what makes it feel like a magic bass. It’s the bass that you can’t put down, can’t stop playing… it’s looks and it’s price tag are irrelevant. It’s what I love about my little scroll bass, it just fits. Last word, the sound is in you.

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore - Necks After Fret

What is biggest success for you and for your company?

That players like my basses. They are my basses, I created every one of them for me. It makes me feel really great that other people want them. Makes me feel like I’m doing something right.

Are you preparing something new, some new model or new design? Or maybe some new gear amps, etc. 

All I can say right now is the 5-string basses on the web site (www.moore-basses.com) are a new design with a very different feel to the neck. The 4-string design is no longer being made – once there’re gone that’s it and they will be replaced with a new design.

And keep in mind folks…… I’m just getting started!

Bass Musician Magazine’s Year of the Luthier – Martin Moore - Headstock Close up

What are your future plans?

Keep building basses!

Is there anything else you would like to share that we have not included?

Please, please support your local musicians and artist they make the world a better place and deserve to be paid for what they create. Go out listen to some original music, you never know what you might find and you might even have some fun! Thanks for listening.

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Bass Videos

Interview With Bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes

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Interview With Bassist Erick Jesus Coomes

Bassist Erick “Jesus” Coomes…

It is always great to meet a super busy bassist who simply exudes a love for music and his instrument. Erick “Jesus” Coomes fits this description exactly. Hailing from Southern California, “Jesus” co-founded and plays bass for Lettuce and has found his groove playing with numerous other musicians.

Join us as we hear of his musical journey, how he gets his sound, his ongoing projects, and his plans for the future.

Photo, Bob Forte

Visit Online

www.lettucefunk.com
IG @jesuscsuperstar
FB@jesuscoomes
FB @lettucefunk

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Bass Videos

Working-Class Zeros: Episode #2 – Financial Elements of Working Musicians

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WORKING-CLASS ZEROS With Steve Rosati and Shawn Cav

Working-Class Zeros: Episode #2 – Financial Elements of Working Musicians

These stories from the front are with real-life, day-to-day musicians who deal with work life and gigging and how they make it work out. Each month, topics may include… the kind of gigs you get, the money, dealing with less-than-ideal rooms, as well as the gear you need to get the job done… and the list goes on from there.” – Steve the Bass Guy and Shawn Cav

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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 @foderaguitars @overwaterbasses @mgbassguitars @bqwbassguitar @marleaux_bassguitars @sugi_guitars @mikelullcustomguitars @ramabass.ok @chris_seldon_guitars @gullone.bajos

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Bass CDs

New Album: Jake Leckie, Planter of Seeds

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Planter of Seeds is bassist/composer Jake Leckie’s third release as a bandleader and explores what beauty can come tomorrow from the seeds we plant today. 

Bassist Jake Leckie and The Guide Trio Unveil New Album Planter of Seeds,
to be released on June 7, 2024

Planter of Seeds is bassist/composer Jake Leckie’s third release as a bandleader and explores what beauty can come tomorrow from the seeds we plant today. 

What are we putting in the ground? What are we building? What is the village we want to bring our children up in? At the core of the ensemble is The Guide Trio, his working band with guitarist Nadav Peled and drummer Beth Goodfellow, who played on Leckie’s second album, The Guide, a rootsy funky acoustic analog folk-jazz recording released on Ropeadope records in 2022. For Planter of Seeds, the ensemble is augmented by Cathlene Pineda (piano), Randal Fisher (tenor saxophone), and Darius Christian (trombone), who infuse freedom and soul into the already tightly established ensemble.

Eight original compositions were pristinely recorded live off the floor of Studio 3 at East West Studios in Hollywood CA, and mastered by A.T. Michael MacDonald. The cover art is by internationally acclaimed visual artist Wayne White. Whereas his previous work has been compared to Charles Mingus, and Keith Jarrett’s American Quartet with Charlie Haden, Leckie’s new collection sits comfortably between the funky odd time signatures of the Dave Holland Quintet and the modern folk-jazz of the Brian Blade Fellowship Band with a respectful nod towards the late 1950s classic recordings of Ahmad Jamal and Miles Davis.

The title track, “Planter of Seeds,” is dedicated to a close family friend, who was originally from Trinidad, and whenever she visited family or friends at their homes, without anyone knowing, she would plant seeds she kept in her pocket in their gardens, so the next season beautiful flowers would pop up. It was a small altruistic anonymous act of kindness that brought just a little more beauty into the world. The rhythm is a tribute to Ahmad Jamal, who we also lost around the same time, and whose theme song Poinciana is about a tree from the Caribbean.

“Big Sur Jade” was written on a trip Leckie took with his wife to Big Sur, CA, and is a celebration of his family and community. This swinging 5/4 blues opens with an unaccompanied bass solo, and gives an opportunity for each of the musicians to share their improvisational voices. “Clear Skies” is a cathartic up-tempo release of collective creative energies in fiery improvisational freedom. “The Aquatic Uncle” features Randal Fisher’s saxophone and is named after an Italo Calvino short story which contemplates if one can embrace the new ways while being in tune with tradition. In ancient times, before a rudder, the Starboard side of the ship was where it was steered from with a steering oar. In this meditative quartet performance, the bass is like the steering oar of the ensemble: it can control the direction of the music, and when things begin to unravel or become unhinged, a simple pedal note keeps everything grounded.

The two trio tunes on the album are proof that the establishment of his consistent working band The Guide Trio has been a fruitful collaboration. “Santa Teresa”, a bouncy samba-blues in ? time, embodies the winding streets and stairways of the bohemian neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro it is named for. The swampy drum feel on “String Song” pays homage to Levon Helm of The Band, a group where you can’t always tell who wrote the song or who the bandleader is, proving that the sum is greater than the individual parts. Early jazz reflected egalitarianism in collective improvisation, and this group dynamic is an expression of that kind of inclusivity and democracy.

“The Daughters of the Moon” rounds out the album, putting book ends on the naturalist themes. This composition is named after magical surrealist Italo Calvino’s short story about consumerism, in which a mythical modern society that values only buying shiny new things throws away the moon like it is a piece of garbage and the daughters of the moon save it and resurrect it. It’s an eco-feminist take on how women are going to save the world. Pineda’s piano outro is a hauntingly beautiful lunar voyage, blinding us with love. Leckie dedicates this song to his daughter: “My hope is that my daughter becomes a daughter of the moon, helping to make the world a more beautiful and verdant place to live.”

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Bass CDs

Debut Album: Nate Sabat, Bass Fiddler

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Debut Album: Nate Sabat, Bass Fiddler

In a thrilling solo debut, bassist Nate Sabat combines instrumental virtuosity with a songwriter’s heart on Bass Fiddler

The upright bass and the human voice. Two essential musical instruments, one with roots in 15th century Europe, the other as old as humanity itself. 

On Bass Fiddler (Adhyâropa Records ÂR00057), the debut album from Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter and bass virtuoso Nate Sabat, the scope is narrowed down a bit. Drawing from the rich and thriving tradition of American folk music, Sabat delivers expertly crafted original songs and choice covers with the upright bass as his lone tool for accompaniment. 

The concept was born a decade ago when Sabat began studying with the legendary old-time fiddler Bruce Molsky at Berklee College of Music. “One of Bruce’s specialties is singing and playing fiddle at the same time. The second I heard it I was hooked,” recalls Sabat. “I thought, how can I do this on the bass?” From there, he was off to the races, arranging original and traditional material with Molsky as his guide. “Fast forward to 2020, and I — like so many other musicians — was thinking of how to best spend my time. I sat down with the goal of writing some new songs and arranging some new covers, and an entire record came out.” When the time came to make the album, it was evident that Molsky would be the ideal producer. Sabat asked him if he’d be interested, and luckily he was. “What an inspiration to work with an artist like Nate,” says Molsky. “Right at the beginning, he came to this project with a strong, personal and unique vision. Plus he had the guts to try for a complete and compelling cycle of music with nothing but a bass and a voice. You’ll hear right away that it’s engaging, sometimes serious, sometimes fun, and beautifully thought out from top to bottom.” 

While this record is, at its core, a folk music album, Sabat uses the term broadly. Some tracks lean more rock (‘In the Shade’), some more pop (‘White Marble’, ‘Rabid Thoughts’), some more jazz (‘Fade Away’), but the setting ties them all together. “There’s something inherently folksy about a musician singing songs with their instrument, no matter the influences behind the compositions themselves,” Sabat notes. To be sure, there are plenty of folk songs (‘Louise’ ‘Sometimes’, ‘Eli’) and fiddling (‘Year of the Ox’) to be had here — the folk music fan won’t go hungry. There’s a healthy dose of bluegrass too (‘Orphan Annie’, ‘Lonesome Night’), clean and simple, the way Mr. Bill Monroe intended. 

All in all, this album shines a light on an instrument that often goes overlooked in the folk music world, enveloping the listener in its myriad sounds, textures, and colors. “There’s nothing I love more than playing the upright bass,” exclaims Sabat. “My hope is that listeners take the time to sit with this album front to back — I want them to take in the full scope of the work. I have a feeling they’ll hear something they haven’t heard before.”

Available online at natesabat.bandcamp.com/album/walking-away

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