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Rick Suchow: News

James Jamerson Isolated Tracks, Ten Years Later - March 23, 2017

I never intended to have a website. I had nothing to sell and no real interest in self promotion.

In 2004 I played an event at the White House for the Bush family, and was able to get a few photos newbush.jpgwith the President and his family as well as a handful of shots while I was roaming around the place. Since this was in the days before Instagram, I didn't know where I could share the photos with others, so at my wife's suggestion, and with the help of a popular hosting service, I decided to start a site. Besides, she had begun working on an album that I knew we would be promoting, and so I figured why not, it'll come in handy eventually.

The only problem was that unforeseen delays put her album on hold, and I was left with a website that had nothing interesting to share other than a handful of White House photos. Reaching out to other bass players, I decided to upload a few audio tracks that I thought might be of interest, including a live recording of Jaco's very first Word Of Mouth gig after he left Weather Report. In March of 2007 I uploaded some rare isolated James Jamerson bass tracks I had acquired; these were taken directly from Motown's master multitrack tapes.

I posted a quick message on talkbass.com to let the bass community know about my tracks, which at the time I didn't even refer to as "isolated tracks", but rather "soloed tracks" . But my concocted word "soloed" just never looked right, and I also thought that people might think these were Jamerson bass solos if they glanced quickly, so I changed the term to "isolated tracks" and added a link to them on Jamerson's Wikipedia page.

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This month marks ten years since I uploaded the Jamerson tracks. They've literally been heard millions of times since, not only via this site and my Youtube channel, but from the various places they've popped up on the web by others who took my tracks and added it to their own YT channels. I appreciate those who gave me credit for being the source, and disappointed by those who didn't . But in the BP-2017-02_medium.jpgend, we're all just spreading the gospel when it comes to the monumental and legendary work of the great James Jamerson.

Not only that, "isolated tracks" are now a common thing to post all over the web. I think the popularity of the Jamerson tracks made that possible. And now, ten years later, I'm proud that the Motown great is the cover of the recent special issue of Bass Player's 100 Greatest Bass Players, where he sits at number one on the list. I helped write the magazine's cover story with a dozen other Bass Player writers past and present.

Jamerson lived in anonymity, receiving virtually no credit for all the great work he did for Motown. Imagine what he would have thought of how his work is appreciated today.

 

 

 


Full Circle - January 10, 2017

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My first foray into music journalism was way back in college. I was attending Hofstra University and figured I'd take a shot at writing for the school's newspaper, the Hofstra Chronicle. It was a cool experience. I got to write reviews and do a couple of interviews, and it helped me to eventually land a writing position for Good Times magazine, which was the biggest local music-only paper at the time.

At the Chronicle my very first interview assignment was with bassist Percy Jones of the fusion band Brand X. Percy-Jones.jpgIt was at the height of the jazz-rock fusion era, Brand X was on fire, and Percy had already established a reputation of being one of the most innovative and influential bassists in that genre. I went backstage after the show with no mic or recorder, just a pen and a pad, and chatted with one of my personal bass heroes. It was a bit surreal for me, and obviously a sign of things to come. I have no recollection of how it all went, but I did write the article.

Fast forward to late 2016. This time I had a recorder when I got to interview Percy for a second time a few months ago, not to mention a bit of experience under my belt. Amazingly, Brand X is back together for a reunion. Deja vu all over again! The results of our interview are in this month's January 2017 issue of Bass Player, which, by the way, also features a great cover story interview with Metallica's Robert Trujillo.

 

 


You're Hired - November 9, 2016

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Like everyone else, I watched last night's stunning, shocking, historic election results. I'm not sure what to make of it all, but I think we learned a little bit more about America's values. Time will tell what to make of a President Trump in the White House, but let's hope he doesn't put his last name in big gold letters on the outside of it.

Starting January 20th, Trump voters can spend the next 48 months evaluating the great improvement in their lives and watch how their country, which they no longer see as great, returns to its former greatness. Or they can decide they were duped. When the 48 months are up, I suppose our celebrity BP-_Hammond.jpgobsessed nation can look forward to the 2020 race between Trump and Al Franken.

Speaking of presidential history, have you seen the Broadway show Hamilton? I'll take you under the stage where the real action is. Check out my interview with NYC bassist Richard Hammond, who plays in the pit for the mega-hit hip-hop musical, in the November issue of Bass Player and online here.

 

 


Older news posts... - June 25, 2016

... prior to November 2016 have been moved to the Archive page.

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