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Leon Sylvers III

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Mike Arnopol, Apr 24, 2010.


  1. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    Just listening to "And the Beat Goes On" The bassist absolutely killed me. Found out it was Leon Sylvers. Anyone know other cuts he played on? Just listened to Shalimar "Full of Fire"
    WOW
     
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  2. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    He played on most of Shalimar's hits, The Whispers and his own band, Dynasty, Hellova player. Played all styles (including with a pick) mostly on a Rick.
     
    Mr_O'B likes this.
  3. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    Look for almost anything on Solar Records back in the late Seventies and early Eighties. Leon Sylvers, as well as his brothers Foster and Rickey, was one of the best r&b bassists of that era.
     
    Mr_O'B, Jhengsman and Goy77 like this.
  4. Mike Arnopol

    Mike Arnopol Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 4, 2005
    Chicago
    Owner of MAS Soundworks
    On a Rick? What a killin" player.When I was first listening to the Whispers tune, I thought it was Bernard Edwards on a MM. Shows you that it's in the hands and the musicianship. By the way, considering that I'm an old fart jazzer, any Bernards Edwards stuff I may have overlooked? I know of the Chic and Sister Sledge stuff. ( I even bought that silly Debra Harry album with him on it)
     
  5. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    He used a Rick 4001 with flat wounds and the mutes on full when I saw him live. A friend of mine who did some studio work with him said he did use a Stingray also. He probably had an old one with mutes. I know when I had a Rickenbacker and used used mutes, flatwounds, and a pick, I was able to do a decent Leon Sylvers imitation.:bassist:
     
    Goy77 likes this.
  6. ERIC31

    ERIC31

    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    I just pulled out my old Shalamar records "Big Fun" and "Three For Love". Leon is just killing it all over the place. Make That Move is just so damn funky!! Full Of Fire is killer too! Leon is awesome! It's going to take a long time for me to play his basslines. :)
     
    Goy77 likes this.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I agree! His basslines are not that easy to cop! Check out the bassline to 'Friends' by Shalimar or 'Here I Am' by Dynasty!! Classic! Who would have come up with basslines like that?? I wish he would have kept on producing and playing. I likened him to a modern day Jamerson. Dude had immense chops and an incredible sense of melody and harmony (he was also a vocal arranger). Listen to all those vocal harmonies on all those Solar records he produced!
     
    Mr_O'B, Dr. Cheese and Goy77 like this.
  8. ERIC31

    ERIC31

    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    What is he doing these days?
     
  9. ERIC31

    ERIC31

    Jul 1, 2002
    Maricopa, AZ
    Here's a video clip. Is that Leon on the Rick?
     
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Yep! That's him.
     
  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Honestly, I don't know. He has zero web presence. Last I heard he was active with Teddy Riley when Teddy was still in Virginia. Haven't heard anything since.

    From Wiki..........
    Whoa! Did not know that!!
     
  12. bottomzone

    bottomzone

    Oct 21, 2005
    Absolutely an unsung bass hero. Leon had a mastery of the groove while playing tasty "rubbery" lines!!!

    A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste! :cool:
     
    Goy77 likes this.
  13. recently he played bass/produced the new N'Dambi record (pink elephant). he son played bass on a couple tunes as well (leon iv).

    killer record and grooves. definately worth picking up.
     
  14. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
    MY buddy who saw him use the Stingray in the studio was playing with him and Teddy Riley in Virginia back in the day.
     
  15. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis


    I know he's lipsynching, but here is Dynasty and Leon Sylvers III with his Music Man bass.
     
  16. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

     
  17. Dr. Cheese

    Dr. Cheese Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 3, 2004
    Metro St. Louis
     
  18. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    I checked out that cd......totally different vibe. Would have never thought Leon Sylvers by listening to it. I'll just listen to his 80's work to keep me smiling! The record itself.....mmm..it's okay! Other than Can't Hardly Wait, it didn't do much for me.
     
  19. Don't forget "There it is" and "I can make you feel good" from Shalamar
     
  20. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    The Whispers-Emergency

    Check out the vocal production as well! Tight @$$ harmonies! Leon was on point!
     
    Goy77 likes this.

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