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John Leftwich????

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by powermans, Feb 3, 2004.

  1. Have just picked up an el-chepo DVD of Ricky Lee Jones live at the Wiltern Theatre.
    Ricky Lee didn't do a lot for me however, the bassist she was using John Leftwich absolutely BLEW me away with his technique , great sound and just overall tasteful playing! The first two tracks on the DVD are Bye Bye Blackbird followed by Makin Whoopee. This guy has had to have played some serious Jazz Gigs Somewhere!!!!! Some one tell me more? :help:
  2. Recently I was at a friend's house and he had on a Chet Baker CD - the last one he recorded, I think, Let's Get Lost. I was curious to know who the bassist was, since the sound was considerably more modern than what I would associate with Chet Baker. Turns out it was Leftwich, my first exposure to him. The sound was rich, warm, and full of sustain, the playing tasteful and appropriate. I would like to hear him in a less restrictive setting. Anyone recommend anything?
  3. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    He played a lot with Carmen McRae (I have him on several recordings). He's great! Unbelievable ability to play great changes at blazing tempos!
  4. Yes, I was blown away by a couple of 16th runs he did at lighting speed up above the "G"Octave right across the 4 strings and, as clean as a whistle...then finished that off with a touch of harmonics then within a flash was sitting back into a nice groove at the bottom end of the bass.....nice stuff!
    Anyway is he American , Canadian, doesn't look real old..... :cool: about 30ish???
  5. Do you happen to remember which carmen mcrae discs is he on? I found him on a lyle lovett album "i love everybody". Tasty, tasty...
  6. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
  7. B String

    B String Supporting Member

    Apr 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    John's from San Diego. Studied with Burt Turetsky. Plays
    electric as well as acoustic bass. Is doing a good amount of
    producing in L.A. Great soloist. Very eclectic.
  8. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    Sorry, forgot about this thread!

    I have him on a bunch of Carmen's discs. Two of them are the "Live at Ratso's" (vol 1 and 2)
  9. pierre


    Jun 3, 2005
    Médoc FRANCE
    I find this guy very tasteful too.
    Has someone others cd in little setting trio, quartet..even pop or folk
  10. leonellis


    Sep 17, 2006
    I've known John most of my adult life. We met in college (UCSD) and over the years I've watched him grow into a very accomplished musician. On a personal note, his character is as sweet as his playing. A great, great friend.
  11. Re :- Leonellis, how I envy your relationship with John..... I would kill to get a couple of lessons off him. I've only caught him on the Ricky Lee Jones DVD . I have NO OTHER recordings of this Great Player and funny.... at the time I bought the DVD,it was in a throw out bin at the local CD/DVD outlet for $5.00 and I bought it on the strength of Ricky Lee having NEVER heard of John and I didn't even checkout who was performing with her on the DVD ..... she did nothin for me however, was immediately drawn to John's playing.... so tasteful and can he get around the bass! especially up above the thumb position. I'd love to be able to play like that!:hyper:
  12. olivier


    Dec 17, 1999
    Paris, France
    Mans, you've been lucky. That DVD is now an out-of-stock-collectors-item that goes for 100US$ a pop on Amazon...
  13. Oliver , I find that incredible! Although, maybe it's become a collectors item because of John Leftwich!!!!!:smug:
  14. fusion58


    Dec 11, 2008


    Mar 4, 2011
    I had the amazing honor of having Johh Play on my record.
    I met him on a boat to Catalina, and he was carrying his big upright. I knew several good bassplayers but none that were local and were comfortable with bowing. I asked him if he bowed that. And he said yes. I told him I was doing a record and needed someone well versed in bowing upright, and 5 string jazz bass. He gave me his number, and stupidly I did not go and see him play while in Catalina. I was doing pre-production with my little 4 track I was carrying with me. I called John when I got back and he was working on a record with Rikki Lee, but found 2 days to record with me. He knocked me off my sox! When he bowed (although he must have used 4 different basses over the 2 days), I could not speak, my engineer looked at me and asked,"if I was ok", I wrote on a piece of paper, "can't speak will burst into tears".
    John Avila, a good friend had told me, if you can get John Leftwich, do it! I had no idea I had stumbled on a world class musician! He even pitched one of my songs he played on to Rikki, but she was not interested in doing songs written by an "unknown" like me, but she did like the tune. "Oh What a Kiss Can Do". The rough mix of that tune went on to be in a film, and I made around $20,000, now I realize, I probably owe alot of that to John Leftwich! He is probably the greatest musicians I have had the honor to play with, and is a wonderful person too!!
    Yes John is the MAN, for sure!!!


    Mar 4, 2011
    John played on a record of mine, I just listened to Jasmine & Driver, again I am stunned by all of the players on those tracks-perfection-crazily for my own uses I have retitled them: jasmine is for me: running and rolling in the clover!
    and driver is for me: wind on the tulips and still they stand tall!
    Wowee those tracks are most wonderful!!!
  17. Nice to see this thread re-activated after all this time.... and I can only presume that since I first listed this thread John has gone on to be an EVEN better player ! if that's possible and by all comments posted , a real nice guy!!! Hey, wouldn't you love to see John and Brian Bromberg doing a gig TOGETHER???? eg:- like I think:confused: (Trio 77) I've got it down stairs on DVD... I may have the year wrong! Anyway it was with Oscar, Ray Brown & NHOP Montreux! LIVE IN HOPE!
  18. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    I was just hanging out with John and his family last night. What a terrific guy, and beautiful playing on upright and electric (with Hubert Laws). It was a real pleasure.

    Oh yeah... Ralph Penland on drums. That guy can groove at the lowest volume imaginable. I'd think any bassist would be extremely happy to play with him. So tasty.