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Gotta love that Richard Bona!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by flypejose, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. flypejose


    Sep 2, 2009

    This is one of my favorite bass player along with Tom Kennedy. Incredible feel + Monstruous groove! And what always amazes me the most is his ability to put his playing in "autopilot" as he sings at the same time!

    unfortunately he's being criticized for not putting much variety into his soloing. I personally don't believe the guy is "incapable" to do it per se in as much as he can play whatever he sings!
  2. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Regarding his soloing, who cares, when you can groove and sing like this?

  3. I had a chat with my university jazz band director today about Richard. And went for a walk listening to Munia: The Tale. The guy is incredible, one of my favorite musicians these days.

    I think his soloing is great! Especially this clip... how does he do it??
  4. flypejose


    Sep 2, 2009
  5. chicago_mike


    Oct 9, 2007
    Chicago - LA - Rome - Dallas
    Endorsing Artist : Genz Benz
    I dig his soloing, and could care less of its the same or some over used chromatic lick or whatever. Unless the naysayers can play WAY better than him, they need to shut up whoever they are.
  6. Tampabass

    Tampabass Going Viral By 2080 Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2006
    I know you are, but what am I?
    +1 on Bona - huge talent.
  7. flypejose


    Sep 2, 2009
    Munia is a great album! I read somewhere that it came about after Richard's refusal to follow some of the musical constraints imposed on him by his then record company (I think it was Sony or one of its daughter company.
  8. mstott25


    Aug 26, 2005
    Guntersville, AL
  9. DannDubblewe

    DannDubblewe Knob Wrangler

    Apr 3, 2009
    thanks for posting the link flypejose. Just incredible...
  10. Portland1


    Mar 14, 2008
    Lowell, MA
    He did some really cool things during his time in Pat Metheny group. Playing percussion, guitar, singing, and more

    One of my favorite youtube videos
  11. camiloochoa


    Nov 5, 2008
    more than a great bassist, he's an incredible musician, really gifted (you just have to read about his life to see why).

    in this video that i'm sure many have seen, he shows how much the instrument it's just a vehicle for what he wants to express, the bass becomes an extension of his body, truly amazing.

  12. mstott25


    Aug 26, 2005
    Guntersville, AL
    man...never seen that video, thanks. How can anyone not love this guy?!?
  13. OldogNewTrick


    Dec 28, 2004
    Germany, EU
    yes, I have seen that video and seen and listened to most everything else from him....

    I can only quote myself...

  14. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    New England
    Kudos to Mr.Bona for playing and singing like that.
    If you enjoy him look for a Brazilian bassist named Sergio Groove.
    Caught him at a clinic this summer in New england.
    Plays great bass, sings and plays timbales all at once.
  15. Jazzomaniac


    Nov 16, 2006
    It is a fact that he is a little "triggerhappy" with one particular lick. In this live performance with Coryell, Lagrene and Cobham
    he repeats that lick over and over again in his solo. They perform Monk's classic tune "Straight No Chaser".


    He repeats this lick at least 3 times in literally
    every solo I've heard him do.
    Don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Bona( I've even seen
    him in concert) but in my opinion he would become an even
    better soloist if he stopped over-using that particular lick.
  16. flypejose


    Sep 2, 2009
    Isn’t that tune “Oleo”? I used to listen over and over to the recorded version in Larry Coryell “Spaces Revisited”. Larry and Bireli were amazing (still are).

    All I’m against is that snobbishness in our culture that puts labels and trashes even great talents. Because of that, many great artists including painters, actors, writers etc., gained their deserved recognition only after they died. In many cases it happened just because they didn’t follow one or several forms set forth by the establishment. I believe it shouldn’t be so.

    A groove monster like Victor Wooten for example was labeled as being too busy bass lines-wise. Victor Bailey, and a long list of bass players have a lot to say about what I’m talking about.
  17. Jazzomaniac


    Nov 16, 2006
    Yes, you're right. It's Sonny Rollins' "Oleo". Sorry about that.

    Anyway, it must be allowed to have a debate about a musician
    with both negative and positive criticism. If someone feels that Bona's solos are often very
    repetitive in nature, it doesn't have to signify a snobbish attitude or wanting to belittle his
    talent( which is undeniable). Are you saying that great talents should be spared for any negative criticism?
  18. mstott25


    Aug 26, 2005
    Guntersville, AL
    I can't listen to that particular link at work right now but I'm pretty sure I know which Bona line you're talking about.
    I'm not sure if he does it three times in every solo he takes but I get what you're saying.

    Here's the deal though: Great soloists of every instrument will play the same licks. Charlie Parker played the same licks all the time! I don't find that Bona line annoying at all. I know Gary Willis, who IMO is one of the premier masters of the instrument, plays the same licks over and over again. He doesn't build his solo around them but you recognize them. That's his personality and unique contribution coming out through his playing. I never noticed that Steve Swallow used a lot of the same lines until I started transcribing him. IMO if you take the time to transcribe one artist enough, you will see how they develop and use the same ideas frequently. But this goes for any artist/author/craftsman etc. It's part of their voice!

    I think that same criticism can be leveled at any soloist or improviser out there, the only thing is that Bona's line is pretty easily recognized whereas a lot of these guys will slip in familiar phrases very quickly.

  19. flypejose


    Sep 2, 2009
    I'm completely fine with that, but as already mentioned, there are other famous soloists who regularly serve there prefered licks without receiving the 100th of criticism that Bona is receiving. Strange!
  20. FunkMetalBass


    Aug 5, 2005
    Phoenix, Arizona 85029
    Endorsing Artist: J.C. Basses
    Incredible voice:

    I must be too far removed from the foreign-influenced 5-string solo-jazz-bass-with-vocals music scene, but I don't think I've ever heard criticisms of his solos.

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