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Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer #1742537 04/27/07 07:40 PM
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Bass-a-roni Offline OP
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Don't leave me this way by Thelma Houston has such a great bassline and bass tone. Is this Joe Osborne?


"Yeah, I've got a special effect - it's this cable. You plug it into the amp and it makes things loud" -SS
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Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Bass-a-roni] #1742552 04/27/07 08:10 PM
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jeremy c Offline
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I love that track. Memorized it when it came out in 1976.

Not sure why you think it would be Joe Osborne. He doesn't sound anything like that.

I've got the vinyl right here.
It's on Tamla Records (A subsidiary of Motown).
The record was recorded at Motown Studios in L.A. and produced by Hal Davis, who produced a lot of Diana Ross's records at the time.
The song was written by Kenny Gamble, Leon Huff and Carry Gilbert and was originally recorded by Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes (featuring Teddy Pendergrass).
Gamble and Huff wrote a lot of hits for groups on the Philadelphia International Label.

There are no players' credits listed on the album.

It has to be a Motown session guy. Who was playing bass on sessions at Motown in '76? Conceivably, it could have been Jamerson.

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: jeremy c] #1742593 04/27/07 08:56 PM
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As it's from the LA 'Motown' output it could be Jamerson, Ron Baker, Wilton Felder or Scott Edwards. Or someone else! Bob Babbitt didn't do many LA sessions did he?

Alex

P.S. The last movement in 'Everything Is Everything' has just kicked off (muted American Idol until they get on to the results) - righteous. Willie Weeks y'all!

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: alexclaber] #1742595 04/27/07 09:01 PM
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jeremy c Offline
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Ronnie Baker was in Philadelphia at the time and pretty busy. It doesn't sound like him.

I mentioned Jamerson's name, but it really doesn't sound like him either.

It could even have been James Jamerson, jr.

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: jeremy c] #1742641 04/27/07 10:13 PM
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c
I mentioned Jamerson's name, but it really doesn't sound like him either.


I've heard him on a few disco tracks and the big old woolly but clear, dirty but clean tone is still there, distinctive as ever. There's some really great bass playing on disco - Bernard Edwards on 'Upside Down' is a tour-de-force!

Alex

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: alexclaber] #1742643 04/27/07 10:16 PM
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jeremy c Offline
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Now listen to the track we're talking about and tell me what you hear. There are slapped octaves at one point. Jamerson refused to slap. The bass is not "warm and wooly". It's bright and in your face. I swear I can hear round wounds grinding on the strings on the slides. The bass part is also way ahead of the beat, not the way Jamerson usually played.

As as I said earlier, I worked a long time to get this part sounding right. It was hella fun to play it in the disco cover band that I was in at the time. Except we didn't use the word "hella" in those days. And at my age, I probably shouldn't use it now either.

Upside Down was fun to play too. ;\)

Bob Lee probably knows the answer to who played on the track. He knows all that kind of stuff and more. I hope he'll reappear and join the thread.

Last edited by jeremy c; 04/27/07 10:41 PM.
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: jeremy c] #1742753 04/28/07 03:28 AM
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jeremy, How did you get that sound? The recording sounds like flats, with a pick which is why I was thinking Osborne.


"Yeah, I've got a special effect - it's this cable. You plug it into the amp and it makes things loud" -SS
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Bass-a-roni] #1742757 04/28/07 03:37 AM
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jeremy,
Wasn't Wilton Felder a sax player with the jazz Crusaders?


"Yeah, I've got a special effect - it's this cable. You plug it into the amp and it makes things loud" -SS
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Bass-a-roni] #1742783 04/28/07 06:53 AM
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jeremy c Offline
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Wilton Felder also played bass. Very well.

He's on I Want You Back by the Jackson 5, one of the great basslines of all time.

btw, I listened to the Thelma Houston record today on my stereo at home. I have a very good turntable (B&O), lots of big speakers, and I turned the music way up. Whoever played, slaps in the middle of tune. Honest.

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Bass-a-roni] #1742836 04/28/07 12:40 PM
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Rocky McDougall Offline
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Well, to my untrained ears the bassist is very "James Jamerson" like, but not Jamerson.
For the bass my guess would be a Jazz with rounds but no pick.
Sorry Jeremy, I can't hear the slap but your hearing is probably a lot better than mine.
Whoever is playing was a fan of Jamerson.
Rocky


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."
Benjamin Franklin
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Rocky McDougall] #1742838 04/28/07 12:56 PM
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Bassist: Henry Davis

Last edited by DWBass; 04/28/07 08:57 PM.
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Rocky McDougall] #1742883 04/28/07 04:26 PM
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jeremy c Offline
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I just listened again with one of my students.

About 4 minutes in there is definitely a few bars of slapping.

I can't give you the exact time. It's a record, and unfortunately it skips in a few places because I did "drop the needle" so many times when I was learning the song.

Last edited by jeremy c; 04/28/07 05:29 PM.
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: jeremy c] #1742972 04/28/07 08:49 PM
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DWBass Offline
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Don't Leave Me This Way (Radio Edit)

Don't Leave Me This Way (Club Edit)
I honestly don't think he's slapping (@ about the 4 minute mark) but plucking hard but either way sounds good.

Last edited by DWBass; 04/28/07 09:25 PM.
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: DWBass] #1742984 04/28/07 09:29 PM
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That song give me chills up my spine....that bassline is so sweet.


"Yeah, I've got a special effect - it's this cable. You plug it into the amp and it makes things loud" -SS
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: DWBass] #1742988 04/28/07 09:37 PM
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jeremy c Offline
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Originally Posted By: DWBass

Wow, they sure chopped that up. Pretty disconcerting to hear now, just as it was then. Of course the first time I heard it was the long version at a huge disco with an enormous sound system. The packed crowd went nuts.
Slapping starts at 2:48 on that version and lasts for four measures.


That's the same version as the one on my album. Slapping starts at 3:52 and only lasts for 6 measures.

Quote:
I honestly don't think he's slapping (@ about the 4 minute mark) but plucking hard but either way sounds good.


It's definitely round wound strings. Listen to the slides.

The clavinet part is similar to the one on Boogie Down by Eddie Kendricks, another huge hit in the discos.

Last edited by jeremy c; 04/28/07 09:46 PM.
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: jeremy c] #1742996 04/28/07 09:52 PM
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I agree they are roundwounds and probably a P-Bass. I've always played that song fingerstyle and when those octave sections come up, I would dig in especially on the top note to give it more bite but I never thought it was slapped. If I played that song in a band today, I'd probably slap that section!

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: DWBass] #1743687 04/30/07 11:44 AM
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DW,

Who is Henry Davis??? Googled the name and nothing at all.


"Yeah, I've got a special effect - it's this cable. You plug it into the amp and it makes things loud" -SS
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Bass-a-roni] #1743698 04/30/07 11:55 AM
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I've not been able to dig up much, he played on Herbie Hancock's Manchild (as did Louis Johnson and Paul Jackson).
And Marvin Gaye's I Want You (as did Wilton Felder); some gospel CDs, oh and another record from my collection:-
Alphonse Mouzon's Mind Transplant, which featured Tommy Bolin on guitar.
And 'Truckload of Loving' - Albert King (with the great James Gadson); LTD; TIna Turner; Jean Michel Jarre . . .

Ah-ha! I'm getting loads of credits by googling for "Henry Davis bass"

Some heavy company!

Another of the great, unsung sessioneers I guess!

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Phil W] #1743701 04/30/07 11:59 AM
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Your music collection sounds like mine...early 70's jazz players-great stuff. OK, I've got to check some vinyl cedits..How did you get that Henry Davis played this track.

BTW, did you ever hear Stratus by Cobham....I am pretty sure Bolin plays nice chops on it. Great bassline, but very repititious.


"Yeah, I've got a special effect - it's this cable. You plug it into the amp and it makes things loud" -SS
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Phil W] #1743703 04/30/07 12:01 PM
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Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Phil W] #1743721 04/30/07 12:54 PM
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Phil, maybe you and Jeremey should form an "on line" company called. "WHO DID WHAT, WHERE, WHEN OR WHY IN MUSIC"? Low subscription rates, oh course.
Rocky


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."
Benjamin Franklin
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Rocky McDougall] #1743736 04/30/07 01:23 PM
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I have a lot of knowledge about music and bass - pity I can't earn a living in those areas. Jeremy, needless to say, has more; but then he does make a living at it.

TBH I'd forgotten about the recordings I had which featured Henry (Hancock and Mouzon - and probably loads more) and it was just a question of playing with google.

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Bass-a-roni] #1743844 04/30/07 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted By: Bass-a-roni
DW,

Who is Henry Davis??? Googled the name and nothing at all.
I'm clueless as well but I got the info from allmusic.com.

Quote:
Song Review by Ed Hogan
Since 1971, Motown artist Thelma Houston had been produced by various producers, including Jimmy Webb before she was assigned to Hal Davis in 1976. Among his many credits is the classic ballad "I'll Be There," the fourth consecutive number one R&B/ pop single for the Jackson 5 and also Diana Ross' number one R&B hit "Love Hangover." Houston had hit the charts only once with the Grammy-nominated "You've Been Doing Wrong for So Long" which peaked at number 64 R&B in fall 1974. Davis came up with the idea of covering the Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes hit "Don't Leave Me This Way" which was written by Gamble, Huff, and Cary Gilbert. He enlisted the same musicians who played on "Love Hangover": drummer James Gadson, bassist Henry Davis, guitarist Art Wright, and the background singing group the Waters. Running over seven minutes, Houston's version of "Don't Leave Me This Way" became a huge disco hit before hitting number one on both the R&B and pop charts in early 1977.

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Phil W] #1743848 04/30/07 04:07 PM
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I've got those LTD records. Great records.

Jeffrey Osborne is the same age as I am and we grew up a few miles from each other. However, because of the nature of the racial divide in the Northeastern US, the odds of me, a middle class white kid, meeting him at the time were unfortunately infinitesimal.

There was recently an article in the Providence, RI paper which was an obituary of his older brother, Clay Osborne, who never left RI and which went on and on about, "this guy was the real talent in the family...a much better singer than Jeffrey". Clay Osborne obituary

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: jeremy c] #1743856 04/30/07 04:17 PM
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Like DWBass, I get a lot of information from allmusic.com. I missed that paragraph when I looked up Thelma Houston. By the way, she is not related to Cissy Houston and daughter Whitney Houston.

I also get a lot of information by looking at the credits on albums and cds which I own. And I own a lot of them.

Actually reading the credits on records is something that I always have done and it has led me down many musical roads.

When I first started listening to all the English invasion groups, I noticed that they all seemed to do songs by someone named Robert Johnson. So I got the Robert Johnson records. Wow, what an eye opening experience that was! And it led me to a deep exploration of early blues.

The same goes for much more of my learning process. I'm always amused when people learn everything by their favorite group in an attempt to sound like them. My approach in trying to sound like someone is to try to figure out who they listened to when they were learning to play and to listen to and learn that.

My favorite bassists have always been studio players...who I learned about by reading the liner notes. Harvey Brooks was probably the first one I noticed. No one ever talks about him these days, but he played on a lot of important recordings.

Last edited by jeremy c; 04/30/07 04:18 PM.
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: jeremy c] #1743874 04/30/07 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: jeremy c
Now listen to the track we're talking about and tell me what you hear. There are slapped octaves at one point. Jamerson refused to slap. The bass is not "warm and wooly". It's bright and in your face. I swear I can hear round wounds grinding on the strings on the slides. The bass part is also way ahead of the beat, not the way Jamerson usually played.


This wasn't addressed at me was it?

Alex

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: alexclaber] #1743923 04/30/07 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted By: C. Alexander Claber


This wasn't addressed at me was it?

Alex


Nope.

By the way, I have decided that I have a wooly tone. But it is not the wool of a sheep, it is the wool of an alpaca.


My tone is biting....kind of like a coyote biting the moon.


My tone is also dark....sort of a dark blue green with a hint of orange....like four feet deep in the ocean just before sunrise.

Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: jeremy c] #1743937 04/30/07 06:15 PM
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Ummm.... intervention time, guys?

Jeremy- lay off the peyote. Just for a little while.


"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)
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Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: jeremy c] #1743964 04/30/07 06:41 PM
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[quote=jeremy c

My favorite bassists have always been studio players...who I learned about by reading the liner notes. Harvey Brooks was probably the first one I noticed. No one ever talks about him these days, but he played on a lot of important recordings. [/quote]

Like Jeremy, I got hooked onto studio players in the 1970's and later, when I began to buy LP's with great liner notes. Prior to that, who played on the record was not readily available. Also, the studio players began putting out their own albums. There were so many really great musicians that most people had never heard of because they were in the background.
Rocky


"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb, voting on what to eat for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb, contesting the vote."
Benjamin Franklin
Re: Don't leave me this way - Who is Bassplayer [Re: Danzilla] #1743973 04/30/07 06:56 PM
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Just got round to listening to this track and although I'd always noted it as one of the essential disco basslines and felt that the song would have fallen apart without it, I hadn't noticed the amount of variation in the part. There really is all manner of stuff going on, the phrasing is incredibly loose and musical and indeed there are some almost pops (sounds like he's digging in on staccato octaves but there's no slapping per se going on, IMO) towards the end of the single (I don't have the full length cut). Fairly fresh roundwounds or older roundwounds on a very bright bass, plucking back towards the bridge, bridge pickup oriented tone.

Much as I love Jamerson and George Porter Jr in their usual contexts, I don't think they drive disco tracks as well as some of these other bassists do, with their in your face sound and busy playing. Ready Freddy Washington claims one of the all time great disco bassline spots with the most excellent Forget-Me-Nots. Who played on Carwash, that has some great moments amongst the cheese?

Alex

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