As jazz icons go, John Scofield defies expectations as much as he meets them. His evergreen abilities as a guitar hero are fuelled by an undying fascination for music of all varieties and his obvious joy at simply being able to plug in his guitar and play the music he loves at the highest level. We first met last year on his promotional trip for his dirt funk, lo-fi electro groove fest 'Bump' which pushed his palette into, what some might call, a trip-hop area that featured a
The mercurial Metheny is one of the truly consistent and pivotal figures in modern music. As a recording artist he has ventured in to so many stylistic areas even his most prolific peers have struggled to keep up. He also frustrates his critics with this suppleness; Metheny sees nothing wrong with switching styles as often as he changes his guitar on stage. His latest forays have the feel of an Olympic decathlete as he long jumps and pole vaults through or over any hoop
When recounting the events of a life story so tragic, and not for the first time, one can only feel still further saddened at the loss of a soul so bright and brilliant as that of Jaco Pastorius. Never had someone possessed so much potential and squandered so much of it on drink and drugs and most tragically of all, to a mental condition that he was powerless to overcome. However, the beginnings of his rise to becoming (in his own words) "the world's greatest bass player
"I wanna spend some money too and run coolers in the Bahamas and all that other bulls**t. On the real side of it, I want to play some music and be happy." (Doug Wimbish) When Living Colour split up in 1994, America was discovering its heart of darkness with a pre-Napster Metallica selling out arenas and Kurt Cobain's lank-haired features adorning every college students' bedroom walls. Against this dark background of pre-Columbine disarray, some serious naval gazing began to
With black, thick-framed glasses, a smart designer top, and a voice that's as deep and weighty as his bass playing (Barry White would be impressed), Christian McBride exudes the mature, charismatic air of a veteran, beyond his meagre 28 years. McBride's bass playing caused a stir in the jazz world when he was just 17, when Wynton Marsalis decided to showcase his talents in front of a small Philadelphia audience of two thousand people - more on that later. His résumé of a
Richard Bona is a confident young man. An easy-going native Cameroonian who's lived in Paris, and now New York, Richard is one of the hottest bass players on the planet right now playing with everyone from Harry Belafonte to the late Tito Puente, to Pat Metheny - but this isn't why he's so self assured. No, his confidence is practically without ego, it's more borne of the almost feted, pre-destined path he's followed since childhood, Mike Flynn went to investigate furth
As the bass guitar moves into only its second century as an instrument, it is perhaps no surprise that its sonic and technical advances are coupled intrinsically with the each new development in music itself. Thus half a century of jazz, rock, funk and more recently electronic music have all been defined in some way by the role of the bass; the trouble is how to approach this barrage of styles, taking the best bits from each, without losing your own identity?