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Goin' back to Cali, to Cali, to Cali...


_Sweet Willie_

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Back again in California on the annual family vacation. Enjoying it greatly.

 

Today I had the great pleasure of having lunch with robb. and Wally in Monterey followed by a trip to Music Unlimited. I've caught up with Wally in person in past summers, but this is the first time I've met robb. face to face -- and it took both of us being away from home to make it happen. Frankly, I'm surprised that tectonic plates didn't rearrange themselves. :eek:

 

Anyway, it was a grand time and a pleasure to hang out with both of them (as well as robb.'s brother and my daughter). At Music Unlimited we got to finger Wally's F Bass, which is a real delight to play and sounds great. We sampled it thru a Glockenklang Soul Rock head and a Glock 1x12 cab. Pretty tasty. We also played a Curbow 5er, which I think I liked more than anyone else -- some real thump and sizzle in that bass. There's something to that rockwood thang they've got going on at Curbow. This bass was not built by the late, great Greg Curbow, but rather by his colleagues who are keeping his business alive.

 

I have yet another LDLer adventure in the works for tomorrow evening, but I'll wait on the details until after the event.

 

Thanks to Wally and robb. for making time in their schedules for us to get together. :cool:

 

Peace.

--s-uu

 

 

 

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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willie's daughter is precious.

 

i also loved the curbow, but more for the lyrical midrange i got from it than the sizzle (though that was actually quite nice, too). but the width of the strings was a little less than perfect for my tastes. the thing i liked least was the flat neck (it was really playable, though, so it's not like it's a huge issue). between the curbow and the f bass, though, i think i'd still choose my cirrus.

 

the highlight was spending time with y'all and getting to see the coast down there. have fun in santa cruz. we watched the simpsons movie there tonight.

 

robb.

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Had a great time as well! It's always great getting to see and spend time with Willie. It was a pleasure to meet robb. for the first time. I should have put on my glasses and tweaked the Glock rig. As with most amps I believe I may have liked it better if I would have worked with the settings a little more. I may have to go back to that store in the future and spend some time with that rig. Looking forward to tonight in Santa Cruz with Willie and Jeremy.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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tnb, actually this has happened a few times already over the last couple of years. The exciting part of the three of us getting together this year is that we will be going to see Christian McBride tonight. I should also say that my wife will be joining us as in the past. We need at least one musician with us who plays the thin stringed instrument!

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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As well you should have been, Thomas.

 

I had a great time hanging out with Jeremy, Wally, and Lady Bo. We sat for coffee and discussion first, then caught A Christian McBride Situation, and then sat for dessert and discussion afterwards.

 

A Christian McBride Situation was Christian McBride on URB and maple-boarded fretless 5-string, Patrice Rushen on keys, Dave Ellis on reeds, and DJ Sundance (did I get that right?) on turntables. Pretty much an entirely improv'd show. Quite funky. Christian McBride, much to Bumpcity's relief (I'm sure), does indeed know where all the notes are. He is pretty phenomenal. The whole band, though, was smokin'. Patrice Rushen is awesome. Lots of terrific interplay between the musicians.

 

It was an excellent way to spend an evening in Santa Cruz, and Wally knows how to pick a great coffee/dessert spot.

 

Peace.

--SW

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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What a great night!

My only regret was that it didn't last longer.

 

The players had telepathic communication. There was no song list, not rehearsal, just get on stage and make it up as it happens.

 

It was fantastic. The dj was Jahi Sundance who is the son of Oliver Lake and brother of Gene Lake. He functioned as the drummer and despite my bias against turntabilists, did a great job...he was a full-fledged member of the group and had the chops to back it up.

 

Wally and Willie and Lady Bo are all old friends by this point and just continued the conversation from last time....

 

I got to Santa Cruz first and walked over a block to Union Grove music where I tried out a Lightwave bass. This bass has optical pickups...the pickups see the vibration of the string and nothing else...so there is no string noise, finger noise at all. I ended up playing lots of harmonics, real and artificial because they came out just as loud and clear as plucked notes. But I didn't buy the bass. :)

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Lady Bo & I had a great time as well! This is the second time I got to see Christian with this concept. I caught him the first time he performed this improve group at the Monterey Jazz Festial last year. I've seen Christian in a number of different situations, no pun intended, and he always smokes. Nothing better than catching good music and spending time with friends!

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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As Jeremy commented last night, McBride is really developing his own electric voice. He seemed more at home on URB, but he's definitely lighting up the electric -- it just doesn't quite sound like his natural voice...yet. And I really mean the "yet." He still speaks musically with the electric, but it's a little like it's a language with which he is extremely proficient, on the verge of fluency.

 

It's a great group. They're all excellent and deep in the musical moment, listening to each other, and so responsive.

 

Peace.

--SW

 

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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It's a great group. They're all excellent and deep in the musical moment, listening to each other, and so responsive.

 

Wow, I'm glad he got rid of those poseurs drummer Terreon Gully, pianist Geoff Keezer and saxophonist Ron Blake - those guys were just holding him back! :crazy: I am just kidding of course, those guys just kill.

 

Another Lake, that is one incredibly talented family.

 

 

 

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Robb and I had lunch today and hung out for a while.

 

I gave him a little tour of Berkeley, finishing up at Subway Guitars.

 

Fat Dog (the owner) wasn't there because a box of Danelectro bodies fell on him and he had to get six stitches in the forehead. True to Robb's Michigan roots, the instrument he got most excited by was a Kalamazoo guitar.

 

When I met him, I was a little surprised to find out how old he is (under 30). I had expected someone older based on his posts and job experience. Robb is a very intelligent young man even though he went to Michigan State and his parents went to Ohio State. (I went to the University of Michigan and college rivalries run deep in the midwest).

 

For those of you who travel to Detroit, look him up. He is definitely a man worth meeting.

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i'm home from cali. at 5am today it was already warmer in detroit than it ever was the whole time i was in the bay area! this is really funny to me because i told anyone who would listen how cold it was there. they, of course, love it for the weather, among so many other great reasons to love berkeley.)

 

i got to play jeremy's basses, meet his wife, see a lot of berkeley that i wouldn't have seen without a car, and hang out with a really nice guy who has tons of stories and wisdom. i, of course, knew jeremy's a former hippie, so no surprises about his warm and familiar personality (i wouldn't have normally expected that from a UM guy).

 

i wrote a history paper on the gibson company when i was in college, so i actually knew the significance of the guitar beyond a reference to it in "down on the corner". ;) subway was a really cool place unlike any i have seen anywhere else. i wish i could've met Fat Dog, but his accomplice was an enjoyable soul, too.

 

i'll have to post a link to my pictures when i finally get them up. i can't think of a better way to have spent the last four days. also, i know where to go if you really want good pizza.

 

robb.

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I was back in Santa Cruz yesterday. I managed a few minutes in a music shop on Pacific Ave...which happened to be the one with the Lightwave bass that Jeremy wrote about. Interesting instrument -- totally not for me. Very, very clean sound.

 

As for pictures, I realized after the fact that my cell phone has a camera built in. Alas, I didn't really think of this in the moment. Could've gone for a shot of Wally, Jeremy, Lady Bo, me, and Christian McBride...oh well.

 

Glad to read that J and R had a good hang in Berkeley.

 

Also, I should report that Jeremy and Wally are trying to work out ways to visit w/ those of us in the greater NYC area.

 

Peace.

--s-uu

 

spreadluv

 

Fanboy? Why, yes! Nordstrand Pickups and Guitars.

Messiaen knew how to parlay the funk.

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Robb kept complaining about how cold it was in Northern California. :)

 

It was approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit, the same as it is almost all year 'round. ;)

 

 

You should have brought him to the valley. He would have been complaining of the heat. ;)

I miss the weather in the bay area. :(

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  • 2 weeks later...

Willie & Robb, I finally got around to lowering the strings on my FBass. It plays even better! When we were in Monterey at the music store I was surprised at how noisy the F was through the Glock rig. I do not get any noise from the single coil pickups through my Read/Stewart/Accugroove rig. The single coils are really fat sounding. For the modern slap sound it is better using the hum cancelling selection.

 

Wally

I have basses to play, places to be and good music to make!
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