As mentioned last month, I love the access to (seemingly) endless amounts of music and videos these days thanks to the internet and social media. The ability to hear something and then instantly check it out, find out more about the artist and buy their music is amazing. It gives so many players exposure and creates lots of avenues for releasing music. One of the downsides I sometimes see, however, is the lack of longevity due to this saturation of content. You might be really looking forward to a band’s new album. Release day comes and you buy it online, listen to it a heap, but within in a week/day/hour/month, more of your favourite bands have released something or you’ve discovered another six artists in the meantime. It’s hard to keep up with everything out there and give everything the attention it deserves. The same often goes for individual musos such as the ones below.
Dwayne Thomas Jr aka MonoNeon has been super prominent on YouTube for the last few years. His highly identifiable persona (lots of fluoro, beanies, glasses, ski masks, hoodies, etc.) is matched by his style and setup – playing left handed upside down often with an orange and yellow sock adorned on the headstock of his bass. In terms of sound, he’s got a great groove with lots of character and a touch of quirkiness thrown in for good measure. Gaining much notoriety on social media for his live clips with the likes of Cory Henry, Daru Jones, Eric Gales and the New Power Generation, he was also one of the last bass players to play with Prince. A great mix of style, groove and character.
Born in Azerbaijan to musical parents, Teymur built his early foundations studying bass (both double and electric) at university. Arriving in the USA in 2011, it wasn’t long before he was an in demand sideman gigging with the likes of Oz Noy, Mike Stern and Arturo Sandoval. Solid technique and a great feel see him at home in anything from rock, pop, and funk to Latin, fusion and jazz. He’s also a great educator with lots of online instructional content and a book titled Killer Walking Bass – Melodic Lines for the Advanced Jazz Bassist. He’s definitely worth checking out online (or in person if you get a chance).
Not necessarily a new name, but one that deserves plenty of recognition. A London native, Gwizdala moved to the USA to study at the famed Berklee College of Music. Playing pop, jazz, funk, Latin and almost anything in between, he is a dedicated musician with great chops and musicality that has landed him gigs with players such as Wayne Krantz, Randy Brecker and Pat Metheny. An in demand player, session muso and educator, he produces lots of online and physical content and is endorsed by brands such as TC Electronic, Aguilar, Dunlop and Fodera.
Get inspired with your bass playing by reading our Gear Rundown of one of the undisputed giants of bass playing in the modern age, Pino Palladino.