Tribute to Leland Sklar

I know that typically I put up musings of Double bass but today I wanted to pay homage to Leland Sklar. This man is a diamond in the rough for me. I had to learn a whole heap of James Taylor tunes and John Denver(Which I hated…) but these bass lines were blowing me away. I thought that this was going to be a simple, straight forward, caucasian thing. You know, I – V – I – V type of bass lines. I started listening to them in arrogance and was totally humbled. I spent a long time learning these lines and they weren’t easy by any means. I love the way the bass is in the fore front of all the other instruments. Even over James Taylor’s cool guitar playing. I had to check out who this cat was. Much to my surprise It was this majestical creature of a man Leland Sklar. He is not only James Taylor’s right hand man but has played on so much stuff it would make your head spin! I love it! I had never heard of him until last June and I am thanking God that I did! I think that more bass players would do themselves some good to study these lines and see how to accompany with a bass. I love to hear guys that totally change the “traditional” role of bass! Especially in POP tunes! I have to give Sweet baby James some credit also, his songs are thoughtful and difficult. The production is outstanding! Basically NO two verses are the same and they cranked out some HITS! Man! So my hat is off you Leland. This has opened my ears to other whitey’s that had some class and some soul i.e. Joe Osborn and Carol kaye. I will record a cool bass line from Joe possibly later on. I over dubbed my bass on Top of Leland’s so you could hear where he was playing. I am pretty sure that I hit it right but It’s been about five months since I learned it and haven’t played it since the gig. So have fun wit it. Blessings, Parker

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