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respect long overdue to Ray Shulman

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Morris, Oct 8, 2002.

  1. Morris

    Morris Guest

    Oct 7, 2002
    Cardiff, Wales
    I have to say, one of my absolute favourite bass players is Ray Shulman of the 70's prog group Gentle Giant. He is just so tight and on it when it comes to groove yet could be so inventive and fluid when he needs to. Gentle Giant (IMHO) were one of the most technically proficient bands of their or any other era. Ray was a pivotal member and one of the groups cheif composers. I strongly recommend anyone who is bored with their music collection to search out any GG album for a truly inspirational and innovative group. I defy any bassist who fancies themselves as a hot player to try and cop "freehand" and then I'll give max respect!
  2. relayer66


    Oct 10, 2002
    Zushi, Japan
    i agree wholeheartedly. one of the greatest and most underrated bass players of all time. and to think they played at that level of complexity and sung those twisted harmonies at the same time, and could pull it off live! he was also a great violin player! if any of you are in doubt, check out "in a glass house", "the power and the glory", or the aforementioned "free hand". these boys could rock. after gg broke up in 1980 ray quit playing the bass and now works on computer game music.
  3. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    G.G.- Mad skills.....WORD!!!!!!!
  4. Jontom


    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    Tres Amigos
  5. frederic b. hodshon

    frederic b. hodshon

    May 10, 2000
    Redmond, WA
    Microsoft Product Designer
    i saw them open for KING CRIMSON in 1973.


    i have all their lps.

  6. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
    Perhaps the only man alive who can truly play both authentic funk bass lines and proficient classical music on violin.
  7. Morris

    Morris Guest

    Oct 7, 2002
    Cardiff, Wales
    Wow. So cool to get responses about the mighty Ray Shulman and of course Gentle Giant!
    I just cannot contain my manic enthusiasm for this cool band.

    It occured to me the other day that tracks like Just The Same, Freehand and Time to Kill (off the album Freehand) plus Proclamation, So Sincere and Playing the Game (off The Power and the Glory) as well as many others, do not sound as dated as perhaps they should. I think the group had really mastered getting a really fat sound from their inception and throughout their career they crafted some serious tone. This sounds great to my weary 2002 ears. It's so far ahead of its time I don't even think its time has come. Much in the same way as the early 80's version of King Crimson made such a futuristic sound. Their is a certain medieval influence to parts of Gentle Giant which I admit is an "aquired taste" but that aside I think the group has so much to offer the contemporary musician/listener.

    I would say go for either of the albums I mentioned earlier if you are new to GG but virtually all of it (including their much derided final LP's) has really valid and exciting things going on in it.
  8. RS


    Aug 27, 2000
    Cleveland, OH
  9. relayer66


    Oct 10, 2002
    Zushi, Japan
    besides their middle, peak period albums (i don't like the last three very much), one of my all time favorite records is "acquiring the taste" (their second album). sounds somewhat dated but some of the best early prog, up there with early crimson and genesis, and i guess it is an acquired taste, but hey i'm a fool for prog. but what cool bass playing!
  10. Morris

    Morris Guest

    Oct 7, 2002
    Cardiff, Wales
    Yeah! "Aquiring the taste" I think is one of their most satisfying releases. Coincidentaly it it also Ray Shulmans favourite GG album.

    The following quote is off the sleeve of said album. I think that any group who pursues such a defiant musical attitude should be warmly encouraged!

    "It is our goal to expand the frontiers of contemporary music at the risk of being very unpopular. we have recorded each composition with the one thought - that it should be unique, adventurous and fascinating. It has taken every shred of our combined musical and technical knowledge to achieve this.

    "From the outset we have abandoned all preconceived thoughts on blatant commercialism. Instead we hope to give you something far more substantial and fulfilling. All you need to do is sit back, and acquire the taste."
  11. bass_man86


    Apr 29, 2002
    Virginia Beach
    I was lucky enough to see Gentle Giant twice back in 77 and 78. What an amazing band. You are absolutly correct, he was an amazing bass player. Having grown up in that period when I hear guys rave about some of these new guys, my response is invariably "yeah, he is pretty good but......"
  12. JMX

    JMX Vorsprung durch Technik

    Sep 4, 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Cool thread!
    Anybody know..."where are they now?"
  13. relayer66


    Oct 10, 2002
    Zushi, Japan
    if you go to their website, www.blazemonger.com/gg
    it has info on what the guys are doing now. it is a great site for a band that's been broken up for more than 20 years.
    i wish they would remaster all their albums in a decent format. such as the "in a glass house" remaster which is outstanding. their current discography on cd seems to be rather uneven and low quality.
  14. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    GHS Strings
    Yes!! I'm glad you posted this thread. This is one of my absolute favorite bands. Anytime I have new guys out to my rehearsal space, I always try and slip in some Gentle Giant into the c.d. player. Their compositions were so dense that I have a hard time fathoming how they wrote it all. They would do such crazy things like have half the band play in one meter, and the other half play in another meter.Just incredible.Anytime I've tried to write something like that,I've failed miserably.I would say my personal favorites are Three Friends and Octopus.
  15. Morris

    Morris Guest

    Oct 7, 2002
    Cardiff, Wales
    Hooray! More GG fans. Rejoice!
  16. tripwamsley


    Jan 31, 2002
    Sulphur La,
    I thought I was the only Ray Shulman fan! It's good to know that I'm not alone. You guys made my day!:D :D Anyone also into Martin Turner from Wishbone Ash?
  17. Eric Cioe

    Eric Cioe

    Jun 4, 2001
    Missoula, MT
    I just dug this thread up... I am listening to them right now, Raconteur, Troubadour to be specific.

    I have the Gentle Giant and Octopus LPs on one cd, found it at a used cd shop. I love their stuff, and Ray is a good player. His lines are some of the most supportive yet interesting lines ever. He doesn't overplay, but he certainly doesn't underplay.
  18. Playmeout


    Nov 14, 2004
    Been a Ray Shulman fan since hearing 'Three Friends' & 'Octopus' Up to that point Chris Squire was top of my list. Ray was a real technician & had a great feel. Listen to 'For Nobody' from Gentle Giant's 'The Missing Piece' - says it all really. Martin Turner - yeh! - Very underated - & how he managed to handle playing those lines & sing lead & harmony vocals all at once, is one of life's great mysteries !
  19. I'll dig this up because I think this guy was freaking incredible. Shulman is the guy I am mostly trying to learn from right now. Many men can play as well as this guy, but few can write as well Ray. Cheers to Ray Shulman.
  20. RandallFlagg

    RandallFlagg Guest

    Aug 18, 2003
    Kansas City
    Yep! Still listen to them to this day!! Saw one of their shows and it was um.....uh......something!!

    Seriously, they were really good!

    Check 'em out here.......http://www.gentlegiantmusic.com/ggm.html

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