By Andy J. Gordon
The annual Bass Player LIVE! weekend on October 23-24, 2010 was capped off with an incredible two-hour concert at the Key Club (www.keyclub.com) in Hollywood on Saturday night. Talk about a collection of great talent in the house – the place was packed with a lineup of bassists from all corners of the rock, jazz, and funk worlds. The jams were amazing and the discerning crowd of industry pros and fans could not have had a better time.
Part of the attraction was the special award presentations for legendary bassists, Alphonso Johnson (Weather Report), and Bootsy Collins (James Brown, Parliament Funkadelic). Darryl Jones (Miles Davis, Sting, Madonna and the Rolling Stones) and Sergio Mendes presented Alphonso Johnson with his Bass Player Lifetime Achievement Award. Johnson led his solid quartet – guitarist Michael O’Neill, keyboardist David Garfield, and drummer Ndugu, through a short, but memorable set of fusion and modern jazz classics.
Victor Wooten (Béla Fleck and the Flecktones) presented Bootsy Collins with his Lifetime Achievement Award. Collins was also surprised with a birthday cake from Warwick (maker of Collins’ instruments.) The frosting was the image of Bootsy on the cover of Bass Player’s November 2010 issue. Throughout the presentation, and during his set, Collins was his usual over the top stage persona. Dressed like a crazed court jester, he led a band with Wooten on bass, original P-Funk members Blackbyrd McKnight on guitar, and Frankie “Kash” Waddy on drums. The party continued with Collins leading an extended jam with bass legends Verdine White (Earth, Wind & Fire), Nathan Watts (Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson), and some freestyle vocals during P-Funks “Give Up the Funk” by Beyonce’s Divinity Roxx.
The stage was reset for the all-star jam part two, which brought back Alphonso Johnson and another cast of bass greats. Sharing the spotlight were Darryl Jones, Matt Garrison, Hadrien Feraud, Reggie Hamilton, Bunny Brunel and Jonathan Herrera (departing Bass Player magazine editor-in-chief.) After an exhilarating couple of hours of bass player nirvana, the show ended and the crowd filed out. It was quite a night of bass jamming that will be remembered fondly.
Photos courtesy of Andy J. Gordon and Kristen K. Taylor