Friday, June 18, 2010

Pimp Slapping that BASS! (Only For Players...) with updates... By Hal

RE: Pimp Slapping that BASS! (Only For Players...) with updates...
Where we were... in the 40's and 50's


Nineteen fifty, was the year the Electric bass was born as we know and love by Leo Fender in California.

Patent # 187,001

My man Stanley Clarke, was just an infant... when Monk Montgomery was laying down the low notes with his Fender Precision or Fender "P" bass.

What is even more amazing about Monk, he started playing bass in his 30's!!! By today's standards, that's seriously late, but he mastered the bass very quickly. I am really wondering now... If I was a betting man, if Monk had started playing the bass as a child, I am sure he'd been a young prodigy.

Proving once again... "you don't have to start young to learn and play beautifully."

In short... Mr. Monk Montgomery is: "The God-Father of all Electric Bass Players."

[Image: 58pbassman2fp8.jpg]
Most people would had thought Stanley was the the first to bringing the bass to the front of the stage, but this is far from the truth, because Monk was the first to take the electric bass up to the fore front as a commanding lead instrument of a band, and first to lead his band in recordings as well. So, Stanley should thank GOD for Monk every time he hits the stage, and that would be "the righteous way to go..." (as Curtis Mayfield would say...[from the song: "The making of you..."]).

Listen to these recording dating back to 1970-71:
Album: BASS ODYSSEY (as in Hal... from Space OdysseyBlush )
Monk Montgomery - "Foxy Gypsy" (Jimi Hendrix would blush...)

Notice with both sound tracks Monk has a acoustic bass in the background while he solos through with flurries Stanley was known for... LOL!!!
Let the truth be told, Monk was the first bassist to not only to go solo before Stanley, but Monk was also clearly, the first to use the fast finger flurry and strumming technique on his bass years before Stanley Clarke made this his signature style of playing.

It a shame we know little about people who were the true architects of modern electric bass techniques, nor does professional bassist make references to their elders, nor do they pay homage to our elders like "Bass Master" Monk Montgomery who was also Upright bass Master as well.

Although, Monk had passed away -- his music will remain. His younger brother is known as the greatest Jazz guitarist in the world, Mr. Wes Montgomery. The Montgomery brothers were a force all to themselves, and may they rest in peace, yet I call upon their great gifts they were able to share at the blink of an eye...

So when I listen to Stanley playing his solo's, I hear Master "Monk" techniques without a doubt in my mind, and I believe Stanley does too.

Ok, so what we know is:

The first patented electric bass, was designed to support Jazz music specifically. Thus, Leo's "first test pilot" was Monk Montgomery; the elder brother of Wes Montgomery.
Monk Montgomery (Sunrise October 10, 1921 - Sunset May 20, 1982)

When Stanley was playing in the San Francisco Bay Area, (not too long ago) I was hopeful to meet with Stanley, to discuss a multitude of questions, along with asking him about Monk's style of playing electric bass vs his his own style...

Unfortunately I was never invited, and at this point, I honestly still look forward to meeting him someday, but until the blessed day come, I'm left to ask Stanley "on his own website" (on his own turf), -- "right here, and in the open" but my original blog asking this question was deleted from his server... What a shame, and I always considered Stanley as my hero too...

...I wonder if Stanley would care to address my questions, as I move down the line on this topic?

It would be great if Stanley does chime in, because I am closing in on his areas of expertise. Also, Stanley being a "I knowledge" musician whom I had never met personally, I can only theorize what he actually knows, (or didn't know) with regards to Mr. Monk specifically. If Monk was alive, I would seek him (you know I would too...)

LOL, I really don't mind taunting Stanley's knowledge, because this is all academic stuff, and I believe Stanley is a very mature minded person to not take this as a personal attack of character, and with all do respect of Stanley's fame, influences and fortunes that goes along with the title, I don't have one ounce of fear asking Stanley relevant questions on topics related to the field of music, (...and only music).

So, it may be a huge assumption, for anyone to think Stanley created an awareness of his forefathers of jazz specifically, and on topics relating to the electric bass. So, if this is true then this writing would be pointless, for previous works, would make this topic redundant.

So technically speaking when historical issues on African American achievements are already so heavily scrutinized, mis-represented, and misinterpreted (sometimes purposely) and with Stanley's closeness and having access to much great levels of information, and direct contacts with the artists "themselves", I believe interventions and clarity could help foster a better understanding questions (mine, in particularly). I hope Stanley would care to mention people like Monk, for it would be a shame if the record would show no reference of any acknowledgment. Clearly, the media continues to ignore our great African American talents including the great Stanley Clarke too. But what good does it serve, for Stanley not mentioning his great elders who played before him, and written in context. Miles Davis always mention his honors to Mr. Dizzy Gillespie. That's old school respect!

The only advantage I would have over Stanley, (which are everyone's greatest gift) is his inabilities to predict questions. Questions, are what differentiate values. So if Stanley has questions, I would love to know of them as well.

To ask a question, and know one specific answer, and a person dances around the question, is still no answer. You can't have a conversation like this, nor could learning take place in that kind of environment.

In the American dominate culture, my questions are easily downplayed, devalued without understanding the true meaning or gaining any significance. How many people would listen to Stanley on Music vs a Pop Star... It's the same thing... So, I consider this site is more potentially acceptable to handle the questions of which I raise.

Looking at the young Stanley Clarke, and seeing what he became, just didn't come from thin air. Stanley was born during a BOOM time for Jazz and Rock, which was some what like a musical revolution. Times are different now. Does a younger brother like Victor Wooten have the same advantages, when our elders of the last generation are no longer protectors of Jazz?

Stanley is one of the last greats we have left, so with a little assistance in his clarification, I believe he could help foster my continued patronage, and support for righteous causes and draw greater attention to those people who channels GOD given energies, with the same respect, as to receive, what is given for the great levels of good. In other words, I am talking about passing the juice around, and share concepts ye know to those who are truly interested. But, if Stanley is gagged by material measure, then allow me to continue to seek assistance from the spirit of the music which (in some cases) speaks louder.

"Everybody copies somebody... (..and it starts the moment you discovered you've picked up an instrument after being motivated by what somebody else played...)."

Coping Others...

You must be crazy, for me to believe artist never copy each-other. That's impossible.

As much as people hate to admit it, artist do copy each other all the time, and I believe this is a good thing and if maintains order with consistent rules and priniples, because metaphorically speaking, "it's better to use round tires, than using "square ones"...

So when I hear Stanley make references to hearing younger artist using his style, or techniques, that could go both ways. Larry Graham invented thumping, and popping, and I never heard Larry ever saying a word to this on a particular artist. So, introducing Monk Montgomery, I am going at the root of electric bass, which predates Stanley's, Larry's, or anyone else who are considered being a legend, from another perspective.

"You can't love a branch, and hate the tree."
- Malcolm X

Also, as a musician, I believe it's important to know more than just knowing how to play. To gain greater understandings, and appreciation, of music, It's good to understand the artist.

I read countless interviews on artist, and most of it was full of worthless crap! The questions raised from countless Stanley Clarke interviews, were completely commercial and totally boring with nothing worth taken away from, or even worth mentioning. Totally scripted, and promo stuff! WHO CARES! "Is this what a legend says or does???" Junk.

Where is the mental musical revolution, and who's the leader?

Where is the strong strong philosophy, which powers one with enough courage to speak, and address questions that helps foster a sense of unity for a common goal? Jazz is almost completely in ruins, and if Jazz performers, don't speak and pass the touch, un-talented, and very unskilled musicians will consume Jazz.

I am doing my part, to speak and teach, but it would be nice for Stanley to speak to the people who supports his music...

Sure, there are risk, but saying nothing shows nothing but apathy, and apathy creates ghettos, and reluctance.

So with all the miles Stanley traveled, and musical venues he played, there's no doubt in my mind, Stanley's legendary leadership, is required now, so I hope my message get's his Dragon to start blowing some fire.

So like Jimi said: "Don't think I am crazy... I don't think I am losing my mind..."

(Sorry I regressed...)

Keep in mind, the Fender bass was mainly designed for it's compactness, potability, and convenience while traveling and not much emphasis was placed on sound. Portability, was the key selling point for selling these guitars. Also, keep in mind -- with nothing of it's kind to compare quality, the Fender Jazz "P" was the "Model-T" (like the Ford car...).

Therefore, compared to today's standards, the Fender bass was very limited in customizing. However, when you think about it... just owning a Fender P (in compared to an upright bass) was "an-act within itself" because toting a small portable bass, and using it on stage when people were expecting the upright was risky business, and considered to be pretty radical concept for the time period in general. People are very picky about what music they listen to, and when it comes to Jazz, (oh my goodness) if you think the electric bass wouldn't come under fire, you are fooling yourself. Another challenge was, with so very few bass players willing to switch to the electric bass, makes Monk a true "Maverick" of his days; for it shows, he was clearly thinking in a progressive ways never been done before. So, when he found ways to integrate the music of both acoustic and electric bass, that's what trail-blazers do.

Just think about it...

Monk would be the first to integrate both the "big bass" acoustic upright bass and the Fender P electric bass...I don't know about you, but this was "a small step for man, and a huge step for mankind, for bass players!"

So, I credit Monk for taking on the challenge of playing the electric bass when I am sure, he was criticized for being the first to move music from acoustic, to electric. So, frankly -- for an African American to move ahead of the majority in the 1950's that must had been very difficult. But, that was a road, Monk had to take -- if their would be another taking the same path... and Monk not only cleared path, he parted the waters too.

Motown Records would make the P and J-Bass their industry standard sound, or in other words: "That Motown Sound" Hmm (But I'll get to that later...)

So with electric bass hitting the scene, many other guitar manufactures were taking notes, with skepticism, and some with cautiously optimistic views on their companies to produce ((and yes...) or not to produce...) their version(s) of an electric bass.

But I am sure, after listening to Monk's playing the hell out of those J and P basses, it's pretty obvious where history would take the electric bass.

So looking at the Fender P bass, Leo assumed bass players would need a "pick-guard" like those used for electric guitars. So, all P-basses were standard with a plastic plate to protect the wood from potential scratches if played with a pick. Also, the P-Bass only used 1 pickup system with two controls - Volume and Tone and covered with a chrome plated shield.

The basic matrix of the electric bass was mainly made and designed for players to use a pick. So, being proper (as most people were in those days...) almost everybody who owned a brand new electric bass, used a pick even if they played the upright bass with their fingers. Go back even farther, before people used their fingers on uprights, people used bows. So, at one time, it was a radical idea for people to not use the bow on a upright bass.

This is what makes Stanley Clarke a legend...

Stanley's music skills enables him "COLD SWITCH" abilities meaning: Stanley could wip-out his bow and tactility control an upright bass as to support the original origin of their creations, or gracefully switch to his fingers to the origins of Jazz (just like that!)

When it comes to Stanley's cold switch -- I am talking Muhammad Ali "I'm a Bad-Man" BAD, or a James Brown "Super BAD".

In fact, if I could think of the English word to symbolize Stanley playing, it would be...

Stanley plays the bass "with Grace", and he has morphism abilities to take the bass back in time, and or move forward to the present. He's as complete of a bassist as you can get. It's just that simple... But I have my theories as of why most people are not familiar with Stanley's music... and I'll get to this...

The electric bass had evolved greatly over the 60 years, since it was created. Clearly, portability and convenience of the electric bass, stymied the demand for the upright basses. A silent revolution was going on deep within the bows of upright manufacturers. So, with Monk Montgomery changing the directing from the upright bass pyridine toward electric, it opened the doors to more people playing the bass.

For example, my father's dad settled in Texa in the 20's and 30's and he built his house by hand. (That's what people did back in those days...) Anyway, a few years ago I went back to my grandfathers property, and seen the house he built, and my grandmother he raised 11 children in that small house. Imagine if I was born during that time, and wanted to play the bass. The first thing my father would probably said is: "where is that thing going to sleep?" LOL!!! (Exactly...)

Also, wood tone significantly changes (in even dreadful ways) with acoustic upright basses. However, either playing upright or electric, learning the scales and applying knowledge wither recording music on paper writing (scripts or sheet music) -- or storing rhythms patterns in your head, your love for music is the only thing provided you the inner strengths to continue these daunting task, which ultimately resulted in a performance at the neighborhood church, or a talent show (held at the church... (which, was also built from the hands of everybody in the neighborhood, including the hands of my grandfather...).

"So, what do you want on your bass..."

So, the first generations of electric basses, solved many of the issues on storage, and adverse weather conditions, and because the components were generally easy to build, and took up less room on show-room floors with so many colors to choose, I am sure the marketing playbook was copied and repackaged for Steve Jobs marketing department at Apple Computer Inc. Hmm

The colors of the new basses matched the paint colors of the 50's and 60's. You know, the colors of the 50's and 60's Corvettes, T-birds and pop colors of the days, which are even re-appearing today. So, this starts the concept of choice, for the the bass. People could have some range, in choosing a more favorable color. However, with the upright... big and brown, and they were more discriminating of a persons size.

So, if a small child wanted to play the upright bass before the 1950's, for-get-it. The designers of the upright bass, didn't have small people in mind, nor did they have vision for small people to play their basses.

Again: Thank GOD for Leo Fender, because I seen short children (shorter than Victor Wooten) shown tactile, finesse, and precision-ed articulations where most tall bass player could only dream. Why not build great things for everybody?

What I am getting at... The electric bass is more inclusive to everyone and Leo made upright bass look extremely awkward and dumb in comparison. Also, the people who built upright basses, had no regards, nor consideration to children and/or short/small people who may wished to play them. So with this in mind, and other challenges ahead, the upright bass was clearly heading fast into extinction.

As for Stanley, he's tall enough, for the great potentials of a suitable upright player "as a" birth right if he chooses. Thus, I consider this a blessings from GOD, while others may say its of only "mere chance" but it's debatable either way...However, technology levels the playing field.

So, when Stanley talks about being a bass "Liberator" it was the technology of the 50's and 60's that provided the foundation and framework for that road to be chartered, and annex for his work. Without the landscape being parceled, you couldn't build anything. So, I am not saying Stanley didn't help liberate the bass (he did this...) but what I am saying, the gavel was already dropped once the first electric bass was designed, created, tested and pushed into production and also the landscape of the formal forms of: Rock, Disco, Jazz, Soul or Funk were already readily available and waiting for Stanley at the gate.

Therefore, in speaking truthfully, I believe most significant person of "bass liberation" was Leo Fender; because liberation, starts at the design level to execution. By Leo making something portable, bass players automatically inherits the cardinal principles of liberation. >From the creation of an electric bass perspective, it spawned into the development and creativity of Rock, Disco, Jazz, Soul and Funk. So, Leo is truly where liberation started, and its a question of who Leo was also in contact, and counsel who directly were involved, which ultimately comes down to who's hands the bass falls into for the best test. Again, it all rest upon Monk Montgomery.

So, once we get down to playing, Monk would approve, and validate the success, while all of America was nicely tucked in their beds and fast asleep.

So with such success Leo's next electric bass would be called the Fender "Jazz" honoring the great roots of Jazz.

I would LOVE to understand Stanley's personal views in reference to this area of my blog.

It's Nineteen Sixty, Stanley Clarke is 8 1/2 years old... and Jimi Hendrix is in high school risen sand in the boxes...

Leo Fender, was selling electric basses; and getting paid. Monk Montgomery was in the studios and slamming Fender bass cords with Lionel Hampton's Orchestra, and projects with his brothers Wes, and Buddy.

[Image: Fender%20Jazz%20Bass.jpg]
The Fender Jazz 1960

Hendrix Does a Fender Bass... Johnny Winters, and Buddy Miles. Liberating the hell out of the bass!!! What are your thoughts Stanley???

Could you imagine Jimi Hendrix playing an upright bass? I sure couldn't... But I bet he could... easily!

Why not a violin? (It's got 4 strings too...) again... easily!![Image: 253c28a409b4ec2cc0fc3bc8f06dc7a0-jimi-hendrix.jpg]

However, going back to the pictures of Jimi taken some where around 1968, which dates me on the scene, with my first electric guitar given to me by my parents at 4 years old. Stanley would be 13 years ahead of me at 17, and Jimi would be 9 years, ahead of Stanley at the age of 22, and with the few years Jimi would have on the planet, Jimi would play the bass like a guitar, thus: "Liberate the bass" as part of it's destiny...

The significances of including Jimi Hendrix in this blog, is to show -- if there would be a choice between the upright bass and the electric bass, Jimi would probably choose electric. I can't recall if Jimi ever played an upright bass, but I am sure in bands growing up, there were many bands using them.

So, if I was a betting man, I would predict Jimi wouldn't be attracted to upright basses, because those bass couldn't support the range, and musical trusts/attacks known in Jimi's music. Although, I've d listed a picture of Jimi playing as similar instrument with a bow Thumbsup The Violin (with bow and all) and I heard, he was pretty good too!

"I would pay a 30 year mortgage note, owning recordings of Jimi whaling a violin..."

Here's where I am getting at...
With few choices of electric basses, Jimi validates Leo's new electric bass, HANDS DOWN!!!

Fact: Jimi would eventually acquire an 8 string bass before Monk Montgomery or Stanley Clarke... (Another moon landing for the bass by the Legend himself...)

When you think of Jimi Hendrix in the 60's, he was clearly someone who didn't fit into the American music "mold"; and on top of that, Jimi was left handed too. I can imagine how he may had felt as a child watching other kids and adults playing "right-handed" guitars thus, the hidden message from guitar companies saying: "Right is Right -- it's the only proper way to play...". LOL yeah, Right!!!! That's one of the lessons I take with me personally too... "If the majority of industry say one way, there's a good chance they missed factoring in my neighborhood we found valuable. But in retrospective, to industry standards, it's their opinions backed with money to ram it in our heads about what is best.

Like Jimi said: "...Got my world to live through, and I ain't-gonna copy you!!!" (Song:[If 6 was 9])

"Well I am, what I am... Thank GOD...." (Song:[A message of Love].)

Jimi was "Flipping the Script" (even...way before Burger-King's slogan was cool). LOL!!!

Although at the time Jimi, couldn't force change on industry, but he was able force change directly where it mattered most: on basses, and of course his electric guitars. Regardless of guitar manufactures standards, Jimi would take matters in his own hands, and covert what is upside down, become left-side up RIGHT!

Jimi's Fenders, (left-side up) made a huge statement, and the guitars looked "even" cooler, and esthetically appealing than the "so-called: conventional ways...". Jimi's Fenders neck-tips pointing UPWARD, was as if, pointing to the sky; and it looked more masculine and stronger than a right handed Fender; yet adding more to Jimi's original mystique.

Again, we are talking about the 60's when consumers (bass players) hadn't yet establish a culture of understanding the values of customization, nor understanding the vasts array of options in potentially improving the sound qualities of a bass. So, for the most part, the way the bass was physically shaped; the electronics it used; and the woods used was never challenged. The only thing consumers could think of changing, was the shoulder strap.

It's just like when industry created cars with no seat belts; and for the cars coming fully equip with them, people's norms developed the habits for not wearing them. However, in modern times, the habit -- is to wear them, and some people might discuss seating and customization of the seat itself.

Fundamentally, speaking the bass was never awarded the research dollars, in comparisons to the electric guitar. To be honest, bass players were considered a low-level skill, compared to the attention a student learning a piano, a flute, or even a guitar. However, if students played a violin, or a cello, those instruments were more respected because of the perceptions and image society placed on those instruments as proper for being used in symphony orchestras and yet those instruments are only made with 4 strings too. The bass, was considered by some symphony purist as a "failing from grace" instrument, corrupted by the sinners of Jazz. Thus, many purist were hoping industries of Jazz, Soul or Rock wouldn't convert players of the symphony but that's another topic...

So with the 60's being a such a huge advancement for the electric bass, it would be enviable for newer skills and methods to be achieved. I am pretty sure with Leo Fender witnessing such a dynamic bassist as Monk Montgomery, it would be easy for Leo to consider another person of the 70's for his 3 generation basses called the "Stingray". Stay tuned, I'll get to that bass...

From the viewer perspective, there's truly something wonderful about learning, and understanding the significant of those people like Leo Fender (the under dog(s)) who are on the cutting edge, while their Naysayers (artist and businesses) with means, shown significant levels of doubt, or discounted the idea, or of no interest -- at all.

However, from at which point "the moments of truths" are demonstrated, and are in favor of the challenger, the victory is more than personal, it a victory we all win forever. The concept was completely proven, and it stays until something else replaces it; for those are the rules of nature, no one can change. So, to this end of breaking barriers, other companies joins into the fertile soils of the electric bass making game.

Motown Records with Upright bassist James Jamerson converts over to a Fender P Bass, and makes R&B history and becomes a Bass Legend (and people never even knew his name).

(Sunrise January 29, 1938 - Sunset August 2, 1983)

If there was ever a bassist who was least known, but most often heard from music of Motown, this was the MAN! James Jamerson bass playing technique defined what a R&B bassist is. James was the "Jimi Hendrix" of R&B bass playing period, and I believe if it was not for the electric bass, groups like the:

Mabel John, Marv Johnson, Barrett Strong, The Miracles (later Smokey Robinson & the Miracles), Mary Wells, Marvin Gaye, The Valadiers, Edward Holland, Jr., The Andantes, The Contours, Shorty Long, The Marvelettes
The Supremes (later Diana Ross & the Supremes), The Temptations
Stevie Wonder (originally Little Stevie Wonder), Jimmy Ruffin, David Ruffin
Kim Weston, Martha & the Vandellas (later Martha Reeves & the Vandellas)
Dorsey Burnette, Howard Crockett, The Four Tops, Florence Ballard, Carolyn Crawford, Brenda Holloway, Patrice Holloway, The Velvelettes
Jr. Walker & the All Stars, Chris Clark, Tammi Terrell, The Monitors, The Spinners, The Elgins, The Originals Gladys Knight & the Pips, Dennis Edwards
Syreeta Wright, Bobby Taylor & the Vancouvers, Edwin Starr, Rare Earth and The Jackson 5 wouldn't be possible!

Jamerson was a key Archetect of the Motown sound as he was house bassist for the label from 1959-1972. James was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland and the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville Tennessee and I believe the Fender Precision bass had proved for R&B as it proved worthy in Jazz.

The 60's, "Lefty" Bassist of the Legendary "Rock and Roll" Hall of Fame winning (Different from plain Rock) band The Beatles. Paul McCarty with his famous "hollow body" Upright shaped bass guitar called: The Höfner 500/1. Named after maker German luthier (Guitar maker) Karl Höfner around 1960-61.
[Image: 855c3d8d.jpg][Image: ricy3.jpg]
Paul would also be know to drive his message home musically with the famous Rickenbacker 4001 electric bass introduced in 1964. Paul McCartney received the very first left handed 4001S model, made just for him.

But what about FUNK?

Sure, a young teenager named: William "Bootsy" Collins started out, playing exclusively Fender Jazz basses with the first Funk band, created by the God Father of Soul and Funk -- Mr. James Brown.

That's Bootsy right there!!!

Clearly, toward the end of the 60's in my humble opinion, the electric bass, would have no better home, than in the realms of Funk. Out of all the musical genera, there would be nothing more challenging, than what would be coming ahead. Specifically speaking, by the end of the 60's Fender basses were reigning King for R&B and Jazz, circuit, however the Funk would take bases to a whole new level, and Fender fights to stay king.

As for George Clintion's Parliament Funk-a-delics the Hagstrom 8 String Bass was used William "Billy Bass" Nelson (born 1951).

William was the original Funkadelic bass player from 1966 to 1971 and was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, and was second (after Jimi Hendrix) in Funk to use Hagstrom 8 string basses.

I got a thang
Hagstrom was a Swedish Instrument manufacturer that started out making accordians, and by 1958 was making guitars too. Here's a rare picture of Jimi Hendrix playing the world first 8 string bass, called: The Hagstrom 8 string bass.
A rare photo of Jimi's in the studio recording his licks on a Hangstrom bass.

Sly and The Family Stone early years.
[Image: Larry-Graham-331x500.jpg]
Larry Graham Fender Jazz bass

Under the banner of Funk, Larry Graham, would redefine the art of bass playing forever. Larry invented a technique of slapping, thumping and popping the bass strings to create a percussion like sound and accents which gives the bass an entirely new and extremely different personality, and a formally trained young Jazz bassist, would be taking great notice of Larry's techniques...

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Return To Forever in the early years...
[Image: stanleyclarkeG3.jpg]
Stanley Clarke with a Gibson Grabber

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Bassist Jack Casady, from the Jefferson Airplane Rock Band was the first to behold Alembic custom bass #72-01 (The first Alembic bass ever made).

The Fender and Gibson Killer Alembic #72-01
[Image: alembic2.jpg]

Yeah, that's right... The first Alembic bass was made for Rock and Roll music (not Jazz, Soul or Funk).

[Image: The+Who.jpg]
The Who from the early years...
[Image: JohnEntwistle333.jpg]
The Who Bassist John Entwistle and his custom Alembic called: "The Explore".

Alembic Inc. was formed in 1969 by a Husband Wife team, Ron and Susan Wickersham near the electronic hot bed of California's Silicon Valley. I would learn through my interviews with Susan, I learned we both attended San Mateo High School.

The electric bass was entering the 20 year mark, and by this time, Gibsons, Fenders, Guild and there were little improvements made to enhance their

To be Continued: (I have more to say...)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Alembic Toma_Hawk Bass

The Alembic Toma_Hawk was about
making a Series Bass
"Cross Over" to "THE LAND OF FUNK"
and be "FUNK-TISED".

From a pure design perspective,
this is the bass I told
Stanley Clarke, if I was in
the bass design game, I would
had built this bass for him

and Larry Graham 30 years ago
because I believe it would had
provide the versatility, and
freedom not known to any bass
I seen them play. As for Bootsy,
I believe his Famous Space Bass
would be quite jealous LOL!

Yes, I agree, this is a bold
statement, but it's the truth.
The Funk styl
e of playing had
moved this industry, and I hope
musician start considering
designing their instruments,
that honestly addresses, and
supports their style of playing
instead of "one type fit all"...

Also, I can't see paying over
$10,000 - $30,000 on a body design
that never considered Slap, Pop, Strum,
or Thump playing styles. For me,
is cool, but it's year "2010" for heaven
sakes, Design a bass for the Funk!
(So, I did...)

Alembic Inc. get's my deepest
blessings for taking on such a
challenge, and they did an
outstanding job in raising
the Bar! (LOL!!!)

I can only pray, they continue to support
others as they'd supported my dreams.
I simply can't thank them enough for what
they did in the past, and what they done
for me.

Honestly, if I known this
bass would sound this good, if
Toma_Hawks were available;
I would had paid double or
even triple the price, because
the sound and design is just

But since I came up with the concept,
and design, I was given a generous
and righteous discount.

P.S. - Some Alembics are more hollowed
(like my 1976 Shorty) and it gives that
"Traditional Alembic sound..."

However, Toma_Hawk is
"PURE MUSCLE" with no fillers...

In fact, my drummer said
the Toma_Hawk's vermilion wood
markings, looked as if the skin
was striped -- exposing only
the muscle cells... (a very
good analogy indeed). LOL!!!

Peace and love,