The Funky Bass Book
Bill Leigh
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Buy *Bass Player Presents The Funky Bass Book* by Bill Leigh online

Bass Player Presents The Funky Bass Book
Bill Leigh
Backbeat Books
256 pages
October 2010
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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This anthology of interviews and stories is culled from the pages of Bass Player Magazine and if you're a fan of funk and R&B four-string thumpers, you'll be in heaven with this one. Included here are interviews with James Jamerson, Chuck Rainey, Larry Graham, Marcus Miller, Victor Wooten and many more. The players are divided up into three chapters - The Funky Founders; Funk Bass Flourishes; and Modern Funk Bass. The interviews dive deep into the player's history, style, and motivation.

One particularly intriguing story is titled "Who Played Bass?" It is written by Bob Babbitt, a monster musician who followed Motown great James Jamerson when JJ started to move away from session work. Here is a brief excerpt:

James Jamerson and I were once hanging out in a bar across the street from where the Capitols' "Cool Jerk" was recorded: Golden World Studio, which later became Motown Studio B. The bar had this great sounding bubble jukebox, which started playing "Cool Jerk." Jamerson walked over to it, leaned down, and waved me over next to him. "Listen to that bass," he said.

"Yeah, what about it?"

He stood up, pounded his hands on his chest, and said, "Moi. Me. That's me."

I said, "Nooo ... that's me."

"They must have recut the record."
It's a beautiful moment that Babbitt goes on to describe by talking about the mythology of multiple bass players claiming to have played on the same track.

This is a great collection. If you're interested in knowing who played what and how, you should read this.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2011

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