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OOOoohhh,. . . . . THAT'S who Gary Willis is!!

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by DaveCustomMade, Apr 1, 2005.

  1. I've heard you all talk about Gary Willis, but never was able to place him in anything that I had heard. . . . .Until now. I was looking through some old tapes of mine that I hadn't listened to in a long time and found a Tribal Tech tape. I did a Google search on Tribal Tech, and when I saw who the bass player was, it hit me!

    As far as bass players go, he is just about my favorite of any of the selections that I have. Now I need to find more music from Tribal Tech or Gary Willis! :hyper:
  2. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Gary has some great solo albums too.....he's a burner for sure :bassist:
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Bent is a must-have.
    Willis & Dennis Chambers have it goin'on.

    The last Tribal Tech album, Rocket Science is also very good. IMO, Kirk Covington really stepped up his playing for this recording. I guess this is the last we'll see of TT?

    Also, if you can find Dr. Hee...go for it. At this point, TT had Bob Shepard(sax) & Brad Dutz(perc, mallets). Cool 'tribal' vibe to go along with the 'tech' vibe.
  4. He's also one of most humble players you'll ever meet. Really nice guy with a very unique phrasing style.
  5. Does he have any instruction videos, or are there any videos that have him playing on it? I'd like to watch as well as hear.
  6. Yes, I think it's called "Progressive Bassics".
  7. when I was a BIT student back in the log ago 80's (yes, we had basses back then), Gary was one of my favorite teachers on staff. he taught the funk and fusion classes -- you're starting to see why I dug the man!


    anyway, Tribal Tech had a couple of albums out at the time which I loved. Gary is a great teacher, a monster player, a tremendous soloist, but most people overlook what a wonderful groove player and melodic force he is. check out his understated and note perfect support on "No No No" form the Nomad album. you haven't fully experienced "The Chicken" 'til you've heard Mr. Willis groove it!

    from the lows,

  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    You forgot to mention Willis "the composer". ;)
    I recall reading how an interviewer once told Willis that many people saw him as the heir-apparent to Jaco. Willis said those people must be on drugs(was the interviewer Mike Dimin?).
    Anyway, like Jaco, Willis has it all + the composing chops.
    I don't think it's that far a stretch...& no, I don't do drugs. ;)

    Many forget(me included) that Willis was in Wayne Shorter's '80s band...IMO, though, Phantom Navigator wasn't a good representation of that band(w/ Tommy Brechtlein on cans).
  9. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    I think Willis even "slapped" on Phantom Navigator, I have to dig out my copy, I haven't heard it in a long time. The other thing that make Willis rule besides being one of the best, he really loves dogs!!!! :cool:
  10. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Labs, right?

    ...I got mine(took the dog, left the girl!). ;)
  11. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    Phantom Navigator wasn't a good representation of that band, because Tommy Brechtlein on drums?!
    I think Tommy is great! However that was a horrible album.
  12. right you are, man. I wanted to mention "It's Only Music" in my previous post, from the Bent album, too. spectacular!

    you can hear him slapping on the Tribal Tech tune "Elvis At The Hop", too!

  13. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I think you misunderstood my post...or I didn't put it across very well.

    Brechtlein is bad!
    I mean, great. ;)

    PN wasn't as "live" as I like it.
    In fact, I should dig it out & see how much Linn drum was involved.
  14. jerry

    jerry Doesn't know BDO Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Phantom Navigator was just one of those casualties of 80's production....too much sheen! For the most part in the 80's if they did use real drums, they recorded them like sh&t! All those gated snares............yuck :(
  15. Finally caught Willis at a clinic last year and it was awesome - he played his upside down version of 'The Chicken' - which for the most part is a complex inversion of the bass line and melody - and it just kills. He also improvised some great grooves and to hear his picking in full flight is just something else - the man is a true bass players bassist - in the best possible sense - such a humble guy for one with so much talent - he's a musical monster and plumbs the true depths of music - few of us can do so - even Matt Garrison and co love what he does and have nothing but huge respect for him - check all his stuff out.

  16. ApeIsHigh81


    Aug 24, 2004
    There's a vid of him gettin' down here, they all seem to be down for some reason though... maybe they'll be back up soon. Great site btw.
  17. Lorenzini


    Dec 31, 2004
    Los Angeles
    I get it :)

    Cool :cool:
  18. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002

    And Fingerboard Harmony is a really great piece of useful instructional material. It must be because my head hurts just typing the name!