On Wednesday, in London, England, Manring and Lawson brought together Solo Bass from Both Sides of the Ocean. Starting with a workshop by Michael Manring at Chappell music.
I have to say, to Markbass‘ credit, the sound and tone of Michael’s playing was absolutely amazing. I first heard Michael play live almost a decade ago when I was over in California. I drove up to Oakland to catch an evening gig – quite an interesting adventure for a British Tourist! I remember the sound, and the Markbass set up seems to have taken it to a new level. One of the privileges of living in London is that I get to go to Steve Lawson gigs reasonably often – and take friends along too! But both players, in one place? That last happened 5 years ago, and thousands of miles away, so this time…
This time I was there. The workshop was excellent – and packed (thank you Chappell Music and Markbass). The key take away, for me at least, was thinking about playing in a more modular way. Little units of things – Michael talked about the various percussive noises he extracts from his basses – can be built up into rhythmic units. As Steve Lawson reminded me in conversation afterwards, improvisation isn’t ‘making things up’, it is rearranging the things that we know, in real time.
The evening gig, at the recently opened “Round Midnight Bar” featured sets by both artists, and two sets of them playing together – how often do you get to see a bass duo? Some really sensational playing (see the clip above), creating fantastic music. Here are some photos I took during the evening:
Check out Steve’s blog for more (including more video), see Michael’s home page and checkout “Manring and Lawson – Solo Bass from Both Sides of the Ocean” for audio from their last get together.