Category Archives: Bass

Yunior Terry

Artist Profile:

Yunior Terry

2004 Toronto Jazz Festival
2004 Toronto Jazz Festival

Born in Camaguay province in Cuba, Yunior Terry is a part of one of Cuba's most gifted musical families. He graduated from the prestigious National School of Art (ENA) in Havana with a double major in violin and bass. He played violin with the Cuban National Symphony and bass with both folkloric and Latin jazz groups. Mr. Terry came to the United States to attend CALARTS in Los Angeles where he graduated in 2002 with honors; he has played with, Lila Downs, Steve Coleman, The Latin Jazz All Stars, Jerry Gonzalo and Fort Apache and the Caribbean Project.yunior_terry_3

Trey Henry

Artist Profile:

Trey Henry

trey_henry_1Trey Henry Musical Beginnings I took up the string bass when I was 13 in order to avoid a seventh grade art teacher with an unpleasant reputation. Then when I first saw the bass I had to play in class, I had to fight back tears. It had peoples initials carved into it (including mine) and I knew my friends would be ruthless. Most of my friends were guys that I played in bands with. They’re still my closest and certainly lifelong friends.

As a musician that is almost entirely produced by the LA Unified School District, I didn’t have a formal lesson until high school. The first thing my teacher demanded was that I get a briefcase for equipment and sheet music, and a date book.

My parents were very encouraging, by not being discouraging. They let me rehearse with various rock bands at their house and occasionally loaned me money for some of the worst musical instruments in history.

My main focus was to be versatile, I love and respect just about every form of music and have always strived to exptrey_henry_2erience them all. I thought making a living as a musician would be cool, too.

I didn’t come to jazz however, until college. It struck me as something profoundly challenging and beyond me. It is a musician’s music though. And I soon became addicted. Creating musical thoughts that are appreciated and understood no matter who’s playing or listening… Rare and priceless.

I guess what really blows my mind about jazz, is the unity. The ability of people from vastly different backgrounds, people who love each other, hate each other, have never met or spoken to communicate on an intimate level spontaneously.

The first band I was in was called Essence. Our first gig was a retirement party. We were playing “Sailing” by Christopher Cross and a guest had a heart attack and died on the dance floor right in front of us. Omen?

Out of all the great musicians I’ve played with, Andre Previn really scared me. I went to Japan with Previn and Julie Andrews. She was singing with the NHK Symphony and he was conducting. She was doing several melodies. – Sound of Music, Mary Poppins etc… Each melody was endless. We rehearsed for hours because no one including Previn had seen the music. We returned the next day for rehearsal and Previn had no scores. He had memorized the entire program over night.

Gerald Wilson called me last minute to play at “Marla’s Memory lane” in Compton, CA. I showed up and there were maybe three charts in the book. The rest were missing. I played far more wrong notes than right ones that night and I felt awful. Then at the end he came up to me and said “Can you come back tomorrow?” I’ve been with him now for 17 years.

I’ve had a recurring musical epiphany. It’s happened with just 3 musicians – Ray Brinker, Christian Jacob, and Herbie Hancock. When you play with great players you want desperately to contribute. With these musicians you simply listen to what they play and your fingers go directly to all the right places and you sound like a genius.

I first began working with Christian and Ray with the Maynard Ferguson band. The first gig was at “The Caravan of Dreams” in Dallas, TX. I felt very self conscious because I didn’t think I could hang with those guys.

The music on Styne and Mine is amongst the most demanding and challenging music I’ve ever been involved with from beginning to end. I expected to be nervous and intimidated but as we rehearsed and became more familiar with the music, I realized this could turn out to be a very honest and natural performance captured on a CD. After listening to the finished product, I can say this is by far the most accurate portrayal of me as a musician and an excellent opportunity to hear 3 musicians be themselves.

I’m in one band, The Tierney Sutton Band, because I’m able to be myself as a bass player, a musician, and a person. If I can find another group of people like that, I’ll be in two bands.

One of the truly great events of my life was doing a demonstration of the bass at my daughter’s preschool and seeing the pride in her eyes.

1980 I played the sousaphone in the Rose Parade. 7 miles, horses, etc.

Improving as a musician is a slow, painstaking and in some cases imperceptible process. Allowing yourself to change as a musician is as important, if not more. Change isn’t necessarily good, but it is evolution, and can open creative doors.

Tony Banda

Artist Profile:

Tony Banda

tony_bandaBassist Tony Banda made his entry into the world in May of 1956. Growing up in the Los Angeles area he gained initial exposure to music through his family. By the age of 5 years old he was performing steady weekend gigs with the family group, thus receiving invaluable "on-the-bandstand" experience at an unusually young age. It was during these formative years that Tony's love and appreciation for all types of music grew immensely, especially Jazz / Latin / Rhythm & Blues.

With over 40 years of experience and a wide spectrum of musical concepts from which to draw from it's easy to see why he is one of the top players on the music scene today. He counts among his many influences legendary Jazz Bassist Ray Brown, Paul Chambers, John Heard and Al McKibbon. Latin greats Bobby Rodriguez, Cachao, Andy Gonzalez and Soul music innovators James Jamerson, Rocco Prestia, Bernard Odum and Larry Graham.

For the past 22 years Tony's signature rock steady feel has been the anchor for one of the worlds most celebrated music ensembles the Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band. As an original member of the group Tony Banda travels the world recording and performing with some of the greatest names in Jazz today at festivals and prestigious venues such as, Carnegie Hall. Since 1996 he has also been performing with the Banda Bros. Group, which he co-leads with his brother Ramon. The group which features him on acoustic upright is a vehicle for his more adventurous side and has been receiving rave reviews from critics and fans alike.

Tony has always taken immense pleasure in performing. His joyful spirit and outgoing personality connects with the audience and allows them to become a part of the musical experience and is one of the many highlights of Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band performances. Without a doubt, Tony Banda's powerful grooving bass lines on the groups 1999 Grammy Award winning CD Latin Soul propel the performance to a higher level.

Tom Warrington

Artist Profile:

Tom Warrington

tom_warrington_1Tom Warrington is one of the busiest acoustic and electric bass players in Los Angeles. Tom began his career in New York City, playing for three years in the Buddy Rich big band and trio. He also toured Europe extensively as a clinician and performer, and worked with many other great N.Y. artists, including Stan Getz, Dave Liebman, and Hank Jones.

Tom has lived in Los Angeles for the past twenty years, performing and recording with a long list of great artists, including Freddie Hubbard, Billy Childs, Denny Zeitlin, Bob Florence, Joe LaBarbera, Mose Allison, Arturo Sandoval, and Peggy Lee. His playing spans a wide range of styles, from jazz albums with Bob Sheppard and Terry Trotter, to TV commercials, where his music writing skills are often called upon.

Tom is heard on many movie and television scores, and is a featured artist on the soundtrack of Jodie Foster's film "Little Man Tate." He has also performed at the renowned Playboy Jazz Festival with Randy Brecker's quintet at the Hollywood Bowl, with Billy Childs at the Montreal and North Sea Jazz Festivals, and with Steve Houghton at the Samix International Festival in South Africa. This summer, Tom also toured New Zealand and performed a series of concerts in Edinburgh, Scotland.

tom_warrington_2His continuing association with top jazz players, combined with his clear and logical methods for communicating musical ideas have kept him in constant demand for clinics and seminars. Tom has also published a variety of musical works and instructional materials, including "Essential Styles I & II," (with play-along CD's), a video series, "The Contemporary Rhythm Section," a 28-book play-along series, "MasterTracks," and a new beginning bass method/CD, "Crawl Before You Walk."

He is a faculty member at University of Nevada Las Vegas, and holds a master's degree in composition from University of Illinois. Tom has also just released a new CD on the Jazz Compass label (jazzcompass.com), with Larry Koonse and Joe LaBarbera.

After receiving his master's degree in composition from University of Illinois, Tom moved to New York City in the mid 70's. There he quickly got the call to join the Buddy Rich Band, where he played for over two years. He also toured Europe extensively as a performer and clinician, and worked with many other great NY artists, including Stan Getz, Dave Liebman, and Hank Jones.

Tom came to Los Angeles in 1981, and has performed and recorded with a long list of great artists, including Freddie Hubbard, Terry Trotter, Peter Erskine, Joe La Barbera, Bob Florence, Lenny Niehaus, Mose Allison, Arturo Sandoval, and many others. His playing can be heard on over 100 recordings spanning a wide range of styles. Tom has also played on many movie and television scores, and is a featured artist on the soundtrack of Jodie Foster's film "Little Man Tate." He has also performed at the renowned Playboy Jazz Festival with Randy Brecker's quintet at the Hollywood Bowl, and with Billy Childs at the Montreal and North Sea Jazz Festivals. “Corduroy Road,” the current CD by the Tom Warrington Trio (JazzCompass Records) has received international critical acclaim and the group recently completed an extensive tour of New Zealand.

Tom continues to play and record with top jazz players, and his articulate communication methods have made him a top choice as clinician at festivals and conventions. Writing also plays an increasing role in his activities. In addition to jingle orchestrations and vocal jazz charts, Tom has co-authored "Essential Styles I & II," as well as an instructional video series, "The Contemporary Rhythm Section," the book/CD play-along series, "MasterTracks," and beginning bass method,”Crawl Before You Walk.”

Todd Johnson

Artist Profile:

Todd Johnson

todd_johnson_1Todd Johnson is recognized as a pioneer of the six-string bass. With his custom Yamaha six-string bass, equipped with a midi pick-up, Johnson uses an innovative technique where he plays chord changes and bass lines simultaneously. Additionally his use of the midi interface, a technology which allow his instrument to sound like many instruments at the same time, adds both harmonic color and texture that further defines his unique sound. His instrument can, quite literally, sound like an organ and a bass at the same time.

As an integral member of the critically acclaimed jazz trio of guitarist Ron Escheté, Johnson excels as both a supporting musician and a seasoned soloist. He is consistently cited for his contributions of skill, originality, and versatility, as well as his ability to sound as if he is simultaneously playing multiple instruments. Group leader Ron Escheté says "Todd . . . can sound like a second guitar player or even an organ or electric piano." Zan Stewart of the Los Angeles Times writes that Johnson’s six-string bass along with Escheté’s seven-string guitar "give the musicians an amazing range of sounds and approaches." The group is repeatedly hailed as the trio that sounds like a quartet.

What is most admirable is Johnson’s ability to play alongside Escheté, intuitively knowing where Escheté will take a tune, seemingly before Escheté knows himself. Having played together for 10 years, Johnson and Escheté play remarkably well whether they are performing rehearsed or improvisational material. 20th Century Guitar Magazine’s Jim Fisch calls it "a delight to witness the telepathic communication between Todd and Ron seamlessly dovetailing their carefully crafted improvisation."todd_johnson_2

Since joining the Ron Escheté Trio in 1991, Johnson has recorded four CDs with the trio and has performed at numerous festivals, concerts and club dates throughout the United States. Johnson is currently completing a CD entitled Live at Rocco, soon to be released.

In addition to his work with the Ron Escheté Trio, Johnson performs and records with other artists, including Mike Stern, Dave Weckl, Scott Henderson, Plas Johnson, Sam Most, Joe LaBarbera, Poncho Sanchez, Paul Humphrey, and Frank Gambale.

Though Johnson dedicates himself largely to performing and recording, he is currently writing a bass method book and teaching courses and workshops in a variety of settings. Johnson has taught for nearly a decade, at such notable schools as California Institute of the Arts, Musicians Institute, and the L. A. Bass Exchange, as well as teaching private lessons. His unique style has also afforded him the opportunity to work with Yamaha as a Clinician demonstrating various techniques and concepts at clinics and master classes upon request. Even still, Johnson is active in his church and makes time for community activities and volunteer performances.

Originally from Washington State, Todd Johnson has dedicated 20 years to studying music, perfecting his skills and developing his style. A graduate with vocational honors and the Outstanding Student award from Musicians Institute (BIT) in Hollywood, CA, Johnson was also privileged to study electric bass with such renowned electric bassists as Gary Willis and Jimmy Haslip.

As a seasoned performing artist, Todd Johnson has developed a rich philosophy encompassing his spiritual, educational and achievement-oriented sides. Johnson sees his talent as a gift to continually enhance and develop. Recognizing the bias against electric bass in standard jazz, he is determined to increase the acceptance of the instrument within the field while adding strength and beauty to the music. A unique musician with a unique instrument, Johnson strives to stretch the limits, creating new sounds and directions in which the electric bass can go.

"Todd Johnson has found the freedom of extra strings, and as such has developed a distinctive solo voice on his instrument . . .," writes Jim Fisch. Time and again, Johnson is acknowledged as unique, creative and innovative in his musical talents. He brings more than mastery to the electric bass; Todd Johnson brings a new vision of the instrument that greatly expands its musical horizon.

 

Tim Powell

Artist Profile:

Tim Powell

tim_powell_1Hello, I have been playing and teaching acoustic and electric bass for 30 years. I earned my master's and undergraduate degrees on full-scholarship. I freelanced in Los Angeles, where I recorded 25 major motion picture soundtracks (Troy, King Kong, Timeline, Radio, etc) and a dozen CDs. I have extensive experience in many styles, both live and in studio.

Ted Williams

Artist Profile:

Ted Williams

ted_williams_2Drummer/bassist Ted Williams. Augustin is a veteran musician, whose influences include Joe Pass, Wes Montgomery, and Pat Metheny. Ted Williams manages, amazingly, to excel at playing the bass and drums at the same time. The two form something of a jazz duo/trio.

Scott Ray

Artist Profile:

Scott Ray

scott_rayMulti-instrumentalist Scot Ray is an active and innovative musician/composer. Equally fluid on trombone, tuba, and dobro slide guitar, Ray has been featured on over five dozen recordings.

Ryan Kunimura

Artist Profile:

Ryan Kunimura

ryan_kunimura_1We want you all to meet Ryan Kunimura, who is effectively the glue that holds us all together over here at Colossal. Ryan is our Production Manager, a job that is no easy feat. His days typically start before anyone else’s (even before our painters, who are up before the crack of dawn), and he’s generally the last one to leave the shop. In the time he’s not handling the production of each and every one of our paint jobs down to the very last detail, he plays with his metal band. But Ryan’s also a trained jazz musician with a penchant for disco. The only secret we haven’t picked up on yet is how he keeps his head on straight when the rest of us lose ours.