Rush & Roulette

I’ve never been much of a gambler.
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I’ve never been much of a gambler. Sure, when I have time to kill between sets at the odd casino gig, I might park it at a slot machine and burn through some pocket change. But the thought of sitting at a table and risking a big ol’ batch o’ Benjamins makes my belly hurt. To an extent, that aversion to taking big risks manifests in my playing, as well. One of the things that blows my mind about a player like Anthony Jackson—whether it’s his classic work with Chaka Khan or him more contemporary trips with Hiromi and Michel Camilo—is that he sounds absolutely fearless and fancy-free, reaching for out-there fills that always seem to turn out ridiculously fresh and funky. Of course, he’s merely one of hundreds of artists like him (though there’s only one AJ) who take major risks in their playing and yield rich rewards.

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Given the perils of redesigning a magazine like Bass Player, perhaps you can imagine the state of my troubled tummy. Yes, my financial future is tied to the continued success of this magazine. But it goes deeper than that. Going back to my very first issue of Bass Player—which, coincidentally, featured one Gary Lee Weinrib on the cover—I’ve always felt that BP formed the hub of a community that I valued and respected very much. Now, as the shot-caller of sorts for the magazine, I’m terrified that I’ll, well, mess it up. So while it goes against my conservative nature to stir things up in such a big way, we’ve decided to go big with this redesign. Literally. I hope you’ll dig the larger look and feel as much as we do. We’re excited about what the change is allowing us to do, and we’ll continue to stir things up in upcoming issues. We’ll count on you to let us know how we’re doing.

As we wrapped up this issue, we were hit with the news that Donald “Duck” Dunn had died. The news of his passing, following that of Adam “MCA” Yauch of the Beastie Boys and Lloyd Brevett of the Skatalites, made May a major bummer for the bass world. Each of them was a giant in his field, and while we’ll miss them, we take comfort in our deepened appreciation for what they left behind.

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Dig My Rig, August 2012

I have a couple of Ampeg setups for smaller venues, but my biggest amp is this 1200-watt Carvin BX1200 head/4x10/1x15 stack, which I’ve never been able to turn up past “3.”

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NAMMblings

BY THE TIME THIS ISSUE GOES TO PRINT, I hope my ears will have stopped ringing (and my head spinning) from this year’s NAMM Show, which is upon us as I write.

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Lowdown: Tending the Fire

Putting together an issue of Bass Player is not unlike catering a meal for a big group of friends; you want to strike that balance between comfortable and exciting, sweet and savory, hot and cool.

Lowdown, June 2011

Much as I enjoyed putting this (and every) issue together, I know for sure that next month’s is going to be off the charts awesome. You see, since saddling up to the Editor’s desk for the January 2011 issue, I’ve

Student Teacher

Between family life, gigs, and the business of making magazines, I don’t have as much time as I’d like to take on bass students. But for the past year or so, I’ve made a point to hang on to one—an