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Melvin Gibbs of Rollins Band

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by indie-visible, Feb 20, 2001.

  1. Can somebody tell me anything about this guy? His equipment, who he is...
    I really like the way he plays in context of songs: the heavy bass that is always moving, driving the song.
  2. Niels Keijzer

    Niels Keijzer Guest

    Nov 27, 2000
    I've seen them live once, and I've had their album "Weight"...
    He plays MTD basses, and uses distortion and auto-wah pedals (maybe boss) but that's just gear-stupid nonsense.
    He plays with fantastic feel and I couldn't have thought of such ways to play music, he grooves like a rubber warmachine.
    He and the other members of the Rollins Band got replaced by Henry Rollins, and now Melvin is making jazz again...
    If anyone has ever heard jazz recordings featuring Melvin Gibbs on bass, I would really like to know about that...
  3. acousticdave


    Dec 29, 2000
    Melvin Gibbs played on a record with Bill Frisell in the late 80's called 'power tools' he also did stuff with the late guitarist Sonny Sharrock. These are about as 'Jazz' as I know of him playing on. He certainly does lay it down with Henry. I would love to know what he's up to now.
  4. The last I saw he was working with Arto Lindsay. Try searching the net for details. ;)

    I too have only seen him live once, at Reading in 1994. His backline at the time was all Mesa/Boogie and he switched between Tobias and Warwick Thumb 5 strings. IMHO Melvin and Sim Cain made up one of the best rock rhythm sections going.

    Also some of his best Rollins Band stuff never made it on to the albums - there is a song called 'Miles Jam' that was a B-side and a Radio 1 session that just made me go:eek::D
  5. Copycat

    Copycat Supporting Member

    Nov 14, 2000
    Pittsburgh, PA, USA
    Power Tools was a free jazz power trio with Ronald Shannon Jackson and, yes, Bill Frisell. My familiarity with Melvin came mostly from his work with RSJ in the band The Decoding Society, with a pre-Living Color Vernon Reid on guitar. To hear Melvin at his harmolodic best, try the RSJ and the Decoding Society CDs Mandance and Barbecue Dog. Both discs feature Melvin and another bassist, Bruce Johnson. Bruce plays fretless and Melvin plays fretted, with the former generally playing higher register things and Melvin laying the bottom down. If you like that, also check out Black Rock by James Blood Ulmer and Of Human Feelings by Ornette Coleman's Prime Time. The Ulmer band features Amin Ali on bass, and Prime Time showcases the in-your-face bass of Jamaaladeen Tacuma. Free jazz harmolodic funk at its most joyous.
  6. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    ...I'm with ya; Ulmer's Black Rock is happenin'(as are the Music Revelation Ensemble discs with Ulmer, Ali, Cornell Rochester, G. Calvin Weston, etc AND the horn players! Sam Rivers, Arthur Blythe, Pharoah Sanders, John Zorn, David Murray, & Hamiet Bluiett...!

    And I just ordered Sonny Sharrock's Seize The Rainbow with Melvin Gibbs...more Free/Acid Jazz/Avant Funk-Rock.
    (BTW, Sharrock's Ask The Ages is worth checking out...w/ Charnett Moffett, Pharoah Sanders, & Elvin Jones. How's that for a band?!).
  7. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    I've seen his name on Marisa Monte's latest; must be the Arto Lindsay connection.
  8. deadweeds


    Oct 28, 2002
    Harbor Beach,MI
    If it weren't for Melvin I wouldn't be posting here...
  9. natebass


    Sep 6, 2001
    Bremerton, WA
    he also co-led a band with his wife called Eye & I, I picked it up used for $2 - and I feel it was well worth it. The sound was a little too pop-ish for me, but the bass lines he was pullin, man oh man.

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