Bengie

Bengie

This track from my first session with Ashford and Simpson is a good example of my initial studio playing style;shamelessly melodic but a refreshing approach to bass playing at that time. They embraced this style and I'm glad they did!

Fix It Alright

Fix It Alright

This track from my first session is typical my early playing style, very melodic and rhythmically busy. Also featured on this track are my high school mates Buddy Williams and Nat Adderley Jr.

Solid

Solid
It’s 1984 and electronic musical instruments are starting to play a significant role in record productions. The Lyndrum is starting to replace drummers on sessions and bass samples from Moog and various other synthesisers are making session bass players nervous. I decided to fight back by purchasing several effects boxes to emulate the electronic bass sound. Here I am using Boss pedals:T-Wah, Octaver, Vibrato pedal and using a palm muted pick technique.

Mighty Love

Ashford and Simpson
This track utilizes a unique blend of my “strumming" technique and “slap" bass. This record was not a big hit and I had forgotten about it until magazine editor Elton Bradman (from the now defunct periodical Bass Player Magazine) reminded me of the track at a photo shoot for an article he was doing about me. Thanks Elton, this is one funky track!

Don't Cost You Nothin'

Ashford & Simpson
This session was a turning point for the Ashford and Simpson sound. I remember this session well. Valerie was reluctant to use the “slap “ bass sound on the record but Nick was adamant about trying something new. The big secret is that I didn’t know how to play the “thumb slap style" so I reverted to “strumming" the bass, which is a carry over from my guitar playing days. What ensued was a unique bass sound that I would use on many subsequent recordings and it inevitably helped distinguish me from other bass session players at the time. I would eventually learn to “slap" and combine the two techniques in later albums. Check out the track “Mighty Love".

It Seems To Hang On

Ashford & Simpson
I love this track. The drums are keeping a nice steady groove. I attempt to help define the “A" and “B" sections of the song by creating a sparse bass line in the “A" section that leaves a lot of space then creating a more legato bass line in the “B" section to highlight the drama in the tune. See if you agree...