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Bass Musician Magazine Q&A with Al Turner “The Burner”


Bass Musician Magazine Q&A with Al Turner “The Burner”

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Photo, Theresa Knox

Al Turner “The Burner”

Born In What City:
Detroit, MI

Current Band(s) I Play With:
Earl Klugh (Music Director/Bassist for 22 years), KEM (Music Director/Bassist for 12 years)

Former Bands I Have Played With:
Bob James, Oleta Adams, Cheryl Lynn and many others.
(Please see website/discography

CD’s I’ve Released/ Been a Part Of:
Al Turner “It’s Good To Have Friends”, Al Turner “Movin”, Al Turner “Sunny Days”, Al Turner “Simply Amazing”, as well as many, many, many more. (Please see website/discography

The Way I Play Bass:
I am a very well rounded bassist. I have toured and recorded with many great artist in the music industry.

Here are a few quotes from artist that I have worked with:

  • It is always a big treat to make music with The Burner! He lights up the stage with his energy, & superb musicianship. I treasure our long term friendship.” – Jazz Legend Bob James
  • “Mr Turner Holds it Down! Locks it up RIGHT & TIGHT within the rhythm section… But Still Brings his own Melodic Virtuosity into the mix… was Always a Pleasure to share the stage with u Brother! ABXO” – Anita Baker
  • “Al Turner “The Burner” is clearly doing what God sent him here to do. You can feel it, hear it and see in every performance. World-class musician and an inspiring human being. The baddest bass player in America.” – R&B Sensation KEM
  • “One of the baddest bass players on the planet. Al plays with a feel and melodic sense that is beyond words. He truly is “The Burner.” – Grammy Award Winning Producer Barry Eastmond

Why I Decided to Play Bass:
I wanted to play drums as a young child growing up in Detroit during the 60’s. My parents did not want the noise of a drum set, so my older brother suggested that I should play bass guitar. I saved my paper route money and purchased a Kimberly Bass Guitar from a local electronics store in Detroit.

My Musical Influences:
Motown, James Jamerson, Chuck Rainey, Anthony Jackson, Earl Klugh, Bob James, Jaco, Stanley Clark, Larry Grahm, Louis Johnson, Marcus Miller, Ralph Armstrong, Lamont Johnson, John Patitucci, Paul Chambers, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and I could go on and on.

My Favorite Musical Styles:
Jazz, R&B, Pop, Gospel, Rock

My Basses:
Ken Smith 5 & 6-String Basses, Sadowsky 5-String Basses, Fender 4-String Jazz Basses, BSX Allegro Electric Upright

My Amps and Other Gear:
Aguilar, ISP Technologies Preamp, Reunion Blues, 1964 Ears, Scarbee

I am Endorsed By:
Ken Smith, Sadowsky, Aguilar, ISP Technologies, Reunion Blues, 1964 Ears, Scarbee, BSX

The Best Bass Advice I Have Ever Received:
Always listen and be open to new ideas. Make the music groove and feel good!

Favorite Quote or Life Philosophy:
Give Love and do unto others, as you would have them do unto you!

Most Amazing Gig so Far:
All of them!

Dream Gig:
Herbie Hancock

Best NAMM Moment:
My first NAMM Show in 1986, seeing and meeting a lot of the players that I listen to and admire.

Most Embarrassing Moment on Stage:
Tripping over a stage monitor.

Favorite Tip to Share on Traveling With Your Bass:
Have a very protective gig bag or case and be ready to gate check it if traveling on small planes with limited overhead space. Also, when traveling overseas I use a heavy-duty road case and check my bass.

What Would I Be Doing If I Weren’t a Musician:
Maybe an engineer.

Here’s What I Have Coming Up This Year:
Continue touring with Earl Klugh, KEM and promoting my latest record “Simply Amazing”.

Find Me Online:

Al_Turner_Simply_Amazing_CD_Cover_Art copy

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