was it like playing with those
You know, I’ve been playing
with other bassists for a long,
long time—back to New York
in the early ’70s with bass
choirs. I think it’s very important to play with other bass
players, because it forces you to
really bring your musicality up.
You can’t just go in and survive
with technique. When I played
with Victor and Marcus, we
were lucky in that we had a natural orchestration. Marcus loves
to play low all the time. Victor
likes to play in the middle, high
… well, he’s kind of all over
the bass. I was playing tenor
bass and piccolo bass. I was the
guy laying out the harmony or
comping. If there was a melody,
I would either play it or support
the melody harmonically.
But it was a challenge trying to come up with music
I told Lenny that the worst thing in the world is for a
guy over 60 years old to be playing electric bass. I get
this picture of an old, fat guy holding an electric bass,
and I said, “It won’t be me.”
that works for three basses. I
don’t think many people know
this, but some promoters actu-
ally didn’t want to have us play,
because they thought we would
blow up their PA or that it
wouldn’t sound musical—that
it would be just a bunch of
rumbles and that we were just
taking advantage of our names.
Obviously, that wasn’t the case.
It was a really fun experience
for me, because it forced me
and Marcus and Victor to really
play different. The only time
we played like ourselves was
when we played individual solos.
Marcus did that along with a
bass clarinet thing. I chose to
play an acoustic bass solo, which
was great, because I was in front
of a lot of kids who were there
because of Victor and had prob-
ably never even seen an acoustic
bass. We plan to get back togeth-
er again maybe at the end of
next year. I told those guys that I
don’t know if I’ll even be playing
electric bass by then … we’ll see.
I still play an Alembic bass.
They just made a brand-new
one for me. It’s absolutely the
best Alembic bass I ever heard
in my life. I’ve been with those
guys a long time. I like playing their basses. I would never
dare say that it’s the best bass
in the world—I don’t believe
in that kind of thinking—
but this bass is good for me
because I’m used to it. It’s got
a good sound.
Let’s talk about gear. What
electric basses are you playing?
Tell us about your electric-bass amp rig.