Who played bass on Michael Jackson's "Rock With You"

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by T. B. Player, Jan 10, 2008.


  1. T. B. Player

    T. B. Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Southwestern Pennsylvania
    I'm tired of searching the Internet and TalkBass - all the responses highlight "With" as a potential match.

    Somebody's got to know this off the top of their head.

    Thanks!!

    Z
  2. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2007
    Location:
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Use Wikipedia much:

    "Rock with You"

    * Written and composed by Rod Temperton
    * Produced by Quincy Jones
    * Lead and background vocals: Michael Jackson
    * Bass: Bobby Watson
    * Drums: John Robinson
    * Guitar: David Williams and Marlo Henderson
    * Synthesizer: Greg Phillinganes and Michael Boddicker
    * Electric piano: David "Hawk" Wolinski
    * Horns arranged by Jerry Hey and performed by The Seawind Horns:
    o Trumpet and flugelhorn: Jerry Hey
    o Tenor, alto saxophones and flute: Larry Williams
    o Baritone, tenor saxophones and flute: Kim Hutchcroft
    o Trombone: William Reichenbach
    o Trumpet: Gary Grant
    * Rhythm and vocal arrangements by Rod Temperton
    * String arrangement by Ben Wright
    * Concert master: Gerald Vinci
  3. jerseyrichSnr

    jerseyrichSnr

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    Rufus (Chaka Khan's band) essentially hired to be Michael Jackson's session band for the single. The great Bobby Watson was featured in a recent Bass Player Magazine and Rock With Me was discussed.
  4. jerseyrichSnr

    jerseyrichSnr

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    Sorry, "Rock With You"
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  6. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    It totally sounds like Bobby Watson. He always played very melodic basslines. But I wanna say it was Louis Johnson just to throw a wrench in the works. I could be wrong though.
  7. KuMBye YamALaWd

    KuMBye YamALaWd

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    The BassPlayer article discusses this.... Bobby Watson played on a few of the original tracks, and Louis Johnson replaced his parts on some (and keyboard bass on others)
    In the end, Bobby's playing > Louis's playing on "Rock With You"

    ... so they kept Bobby's!
  8. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    Cool. I was always felt that "Whatcha Gonna Do For Me" vibe whenever I listen to "Rock With You".
  9. JimK

    JimK

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    Dec 12, 1999
    Definitely Bobby Watson. I heard this tune yesterday while waiting to get a haircut. Great example of Pop bass playing: It grooves, has fills galore, & has a life onto itself...hard to believe this was from '79! Time flies, huh?
    Couple years ago, Bass Player did an article on him...& transcribed "Rock With You" in its entirety. Pretty sure, you will need to de-tune (Eb-Ab-Db-Gb) in order to play along.
  10. Hoover

    Hoover

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    While I personally detest the ubiquity of Wikipedia entries being used as "authoritative sources", I can confirm that the liner notes from the original LP do indeed match the above. Bobby Watson FTW!
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

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    Just checking Rufus band members credits! I didn't know Will Calhoun played drums for Rufus and the Gap Band?!?!?! Is this the same cat from the Black Rock Coalition band Living Color? I totally missed this!
  12. bottomzone

    bottomzone

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    Oct 21, 2005
    News to me, too!!!


    A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste! :cool:
  13. agreatheight

    agreatheight

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    That's William "Moon" Calhoun and is a different guy, AFAIK.
  14. dan.ablett

    dan.ablett

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    i dont think it would be a different guy, because one of Will Calhoun's signature ride cymbals is called the "will calhoun lunar ride"... so i can see the moon connection there.

    but i could be way wrong too. would be a huge coincidence if it was a different guy considering the signature cymbal....
  15. T. B. Player

    T. B. Player Gold Supporting Member

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    Sadly, I don't use Wikipedia much, since in Academia, it's considered an unreliable resource. I much prefer asking questions like this to a group of experts on the subject - which is why I prefer forum utilization over wiki utilization. The expertise of TalkBass has provided definitive clarity once again!!

    Thanks, everyone!!

    Z

  16. agreatheight

    agreatheight

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    Will Calhoun was born in 1964 - wouldn't that make him too young to have played in Rufus and the Gap Band?

    I think it must be a coincidence.
  17. JimK

    JimK

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    Dec 12, 1999
    I agree...I've read a few Will Calhoun (of LC) interviews & Rufus, Gap Band, etc. were never mentioned.
  18. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low Supporting Member

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    Re: Wikipedia, when it works it works. For stuff like this I find it mostly correct. For academic subjects I go elsewhere.
  19. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

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    Louis is on the album but NOT on "Rock With You".
  20. XtraLongScale

    XtraLongScale Supporting Member

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    That cleared it up for me. I was always under the impression that Louis Johnson did the entire album and that's what I told people in conversation for years. Looks like I've gotta correct myself to these folks :oops: Still one of my favorite albums of all time and this coming from a metal guy, lol.
  21. markjazzbassist

    markjazzbassist Supporting Member

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    great song, great bass work, great album

    go bobby watson go:)

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