Basses

Rufus Reid spoke eloquently of his musical mentor and friend, Eddie Harris. He recalled the passion for musical innovation that was so much apart of Eddie’s life. Rufus himself is constantly trying to reach out musically to gain something new, just as his role model did. Rufus was a bit modest...
Ned Steinberger is known around the world for his innovative instrument designs. His guitars and basses created without the traditional headstock gained wide popularity in the 1980s rock era and have come to be known simply as Steinbergers. When he formed NS Designs in 1990, Ned focused on electric...
Jess Oliver was the inventor of the Ampeg Baby Bass, the first electronic upright bass instrument. The fiberglass body and unique design was key to projecting the sound of a double bass into an electric amplifier. His idea was one of the many used by the Ampeg Company. When the Baby Bass was...
Carol Kaye can be heard on such landmark recordings as “La Bamba,” the Mission Impossible theme, and scores of hits produced by Phil Spector. She started playing jazz guitar in a big band during the early 1950s. Within the decade, she gained employment at the studio where she would later meet...
Bill (the Buddha) Dickens became a performer/inventor when the speed of his funky bass lines allowed him to do more than the traditional four string electric bass would allow. Working with Cort Guitars, the Dickens model was designed by Bill and the Cort engineers to get the most out of his talents...
Claude Watson was a precise and revered luthier who perfected the fine art of handcrafted instrument building. He was known for his clever design and complex inlay work in country-style flat tops and a series of violins, cellos, and string basses. He most enjoyed building the guitar and was...
Chubby Jackson was the 1947 Down Beat magazine’s reader poll winner for the best bassist of the year. When the Kay Music Company of Chicago told Chubby that they would be presenting him with a new bass to mark the occasion, Chubby had one request – add a fifth string. Jackson played that bass...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Warren Vaché Sr. was a jazz bassist and author whose son, Warren Vache Jr., is a noted jazz cornetist. Warren started out on drums but was asked to switch to bass as there...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Bob Haggart may be best known for his crazy bass playing on the Bob Crosby hit record "Big Noise From Winnetka." The song featured bass slaps and even the drummer playing...
This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Arvell Shaw was the swift handed bass player who set the groove for such jazz greats as Teddy Wilson and Louis Armstrong. Arvell worked with Louis several times throughout...

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