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Rhonda Smith... I don't know guys...

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by KenToby, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    I saw Prince less than a month ago in Seattle and while the show was pretty good (I'm not a huge fan and did'nt get caught up in the whole "Genius" hype thing) I've gotta say, most any of us could held down the bass chair; I was not impressed by Rhonda Smith at all. Yea, she did her job with no mistakes and was semi-enthusiastic, etc., however I'm still wondering exactly what her claim to fame is; It isn't her live her chops for sure.

    Did I miss somthing!!!

  2. Hey, as my ol' Granpaw used to say…

    "…well, I wouldn't crawl over her to get to you…"


    - Wil
  3. DigMe


    Aug 10, 2002
    Waco, TX
    You CANNOT judge someone's bass playing abilities from watching them do a show supporting a solo artist. While they may sometimes get some kind of big solo section it's pretty rare and their sole role is to support the music of that artist. The other night I saw Adam Nitti play with Christian recording artist Stephen Curtis Chapman. I am by no means a fan of Chapman and just went to see Nitti. There is no way that anyone who has never heard Nitti's solo stuff went away from that show thinking "I bet that guy is an incredible bassist that can really tear it up." Nitti just supported the rather simplistic arena rock by playing simple, tasteful lines. However, Nitti IS an incredible bassist that can really tear it up. You only get a very narrow taste of someone's abilities in that kind of situation.

    brad cook
  4. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Uh.....she's playing with Prince! 'Nuff said! To put it mildly, Prince only plays with top notch musicians who can play their instruments better than he can which is pretty tough!
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Yeah, ya did!
  6. She played the Prince gig and made no mistakes, kept it in the pocket, and had stage presence. Sounds like a pro to me. I thought she sounded great on the stuff I have heard.
  7. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Absolutely, you can't tell ANYONE's true abilities by watching them back up another artist. 99% of the time, if they're doing their job right they aren't garnering any attention, just doing their job holding down solidly for the artist and being as invisible as possible.

    I play in a cover band several nights a week. I'd shudder to think that anyone would judge my true bass-playing abilities when seeing me play "Honky Tonk Woman". :rollno:
  8. ElMon

    ElMon Supporting Member

    May 30, 2004
    Oklahoma City, OK

    How can this be? I can tell an experienced bass player by the way they hold their bass. If I walked in on some dude/chick at a club who was playing the frets off of the bass, ripping melodic 32nd note figures and slappin and tappin like Wooten, I might be hip to them as a kind of technician who has woodshed their techniques, but this still does not reveal how they occupy the role of 'musical foundation' that is the bass. I'm sure that rhonda drawing little attention to herself is only a reflection of how deeply imbedded in the music she was.
  9. +1
    try playing those live grooves. They are crazy go nuts! The new live version of musicology is very different than the studio version and is pretty challenging to play. Rhonda is great at sliding aroud her groves and she is modest about her other chops. You should really attemp some of those grooves.
  10. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    Don't get me wrong, I didn't say Rhonda could't play, I'm sure it's quite the opposite. My one and only point is, given the 25 years of Prince hype, I didn't find Rhonda, the 2nd keyboards or any of the horn players to live up to the legend; I expected virtuosity. What I saw was a well packaged enjoyable show. The drummer, 1st keys, Prince on guitar and guitar #2 were very impressive!
    I tend to think maybe Prince being as controlling as his reputation suggests, didn't give these guys enough chain.

    Bottom line, I'm sure Rhonda can really shine but I think she may need a different venue.

    Thanks everybody,

  11. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Sometimes you gotta 'dumb' down to earn a decent living! Look at Jimmy Johnson with James Taylor. Nathan East with Eric Clapton, Phil Collins or Babyface. There are lots more. It's not always about chops and showing them off.
  12. Hollow Man

    Hollow Man Supporting Member

    Apr 28, 2003
    Springfield, VA

    We need more Grandpas like this.
  13. slinkp


    Aug 29, 2003
    brooklyn, NY, USA
    Maceo Parker in the horn section didn't make any impression?
  14. KenToby


    Aug 15, 2002
    Maceo is a living legend for sure. I've been listening to him since his James Brown, P-Funk, etc. days. It was nastalgic to see and hear him in person, but objectively I found him kind of limited. He did a great job blowing the melody to "What a wonderful world" but with all of Prince's choices of players I was suprized he got that gig (I'm glad he did however). It was all about respect I guess; Maceo sure has paid his dues!!!.


  15. Groove is all about space, and for that many musicians in Prince's band to groove so well without getting in each other's way is tougher to do than some crazy Wooten/Pastorius/32nd note chops. And IMHO its more tasteful (musical).
  16. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I imagine you were either:

    A. Asleep.
    B. Not really present.
    C. Dead.

    Rhonda Smith and Prince have got musicianship and groove to spare. How else can you get a crowd of 25,000 people dancing, especially when half of them are white?
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    Never been to a Tiffany concert, eh?

  18. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    Not that I would admit.

  19. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    That's a backhanded "yes" if I ever heard one.

    <a href='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008' target='_blank'><img src='http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/25/25_12_32.gif' alt='' border=0></a> <a href='http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb008' target='_blank'><img src='http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/7/7_5_131.gif' alt='Aerobics' border=0></a>
  20. Humblerumble


    Feb 22, 2004
    Priceless Brad :D :D :D :D :hyper: