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Steve Bailey

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by Erlendur Már, Aug 14, 2000.

  1. Erlendur Már

    Erlendur Már

    May 24, 2000
    What do you all think about him? I´ve downloaded some Bass Extremes mp3s and the video from http://www.ampeg.com and i think he is pretty cool
  2. Chop


    Dec 12, 1999
    I heard him play at a Wooten Clinic about 4 months ago. He was this surprised guest..basically him and Victor jammed for over an hour. I was blown away by his playing. I had only heard his name before. His playing was very fluid, musical and technically great. I look forward to getting a fretless...

    I have looked for CDs by him..I have found that he made at least two:


    I don't know where to get them, but I would love to. I think he is most known for doing a lot of session work for various big names..not necessarily for being a long standing member of any group-though I may be wrong.
  3. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
  4. Col_Forbin


    Aug 14, 2000
    i know he's done stuff with greg bissonette and dizzy gillespie in the past (i doubt it was on the same recording though...but damn that would be interesting!! :) )

    yeah i saw their clinic here a few years ago...their styles work so well together because they're so different...vic is more rhythmic and syncopated (obviously LOL) and steve's is more melodic...he never did any slap during the clinic, and he used far more chords than vic...

    Steve also talked about an ongoing debate he had with Jaco about artificial harmonics...Jaco preferred laying his thumb over the harmonic and plucking it with his index. Steve preferred laying his index over it and plucking it with his middle...and every time he tried to prove why it was more effective, Jaco would always prove him wrong...
    but one day Steve thought stump him for sure...
    he told Jaco "if you use your index finger, you could lay your whole finger across several strings of harmonics, and strum downward with your middle finger to play a harmonic chord...and if u use your thumb you can't do that..." (which is true...you can't...)

    and u know what Jaco's response was? "I don't NEED to do that!!"
  5. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    I would be interested to hear when this conversation took place - has Steve Bailey been around that long? His approach is the typical rock guitarist approach to artificial harmonics and this is no suprise to me as a lot of his solos sound like this. I do like his chordal work and he obviously has a phenomenal fretless technique, but some of his high register distorted solos sound like typical heavy metal guitar solos to me and I don't really like this - I keep thinking this isn't a bass solo as such.
  6. Dave Siff

    Dave Siff Supporting Member

    Yeah, he has been around quite a while. I remember seeing him with Maynard Ferguson on the green in New Haven, CT in about 1984, so you know he'd been on the scene for a while at that point.. he was playing a white 5-string fretless if my memory serves me (which it sometimes does, believe it or not!)
    I saw him do a clinic with Victor Wooten in '95 (John Turner was there too.) Bailey was pretty amazing.. he was pulling off some pretty extreme stuff with flawless intonation on 6-string fretless, and telling jokes at the same time! Plus, he's like 3 1/2 feet tall.. his bass is almost as big as him..
  7. Col_Forbin


    Aug 14, 2000
    yeah he didn't say when it took place, but dave's right...he's pretty damn short!!!
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999

    It isn't a "bass solo" as such? That's "OK", ain't it? :D
    I'm over hearing bass solos that sound like "bass solos".
    One reason why Jaco continues to blow me away is 'cause his solos aren't "bass solos" as such.
    ...dammit, I've mentioned "solos" in ONE post about as often as ANY post of yours! :D

    Bailey has been around awhile.
  9. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    yeah, i remember that.
    bailey has played my fretlesses on numerous occasions - he has mentioned to me and bill conklin that he likes them a lot.

    btw, steve bailey recorded on jethro tull's recent album "roots to branches". nice, melodic stuff, good album.
  10. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam


    I do agree on that, but we don't get to see or hear much of Steve Bailey over here in the UK and the only thing I've really heard is the "bass extremes" stuff which is sold as instructional material. I just don't like the "Heavy Metal Guitar" feel and I think it's probably a bad influence on aspriring bass players.

    To me, it's sort of like saying a "bass" solo isn't enough - you've got to put lots of effects on and play really high. But if it's melodic, like Jaco's solos then you don't need effects and extended high range and I think this is a better "message" to give out. I just imagine all these young kids over here, buying the video/CD and thinking - "well I can never be as fast as Wooten, but if I buy a 6-string and put loads of effects on it I can wail just like a lead guitarist!"

    To the others - thanks for the background, as I say I didn't know much about Steve Bailey, I now feel "humbled" that you all seem to have actually met him and swapped basses - so please feel free to disregard any of my comments - just an outsider's view, looking on. ;)

    [Edited by Bruce Lindfield on 08-16-2000 at 04:10 AM]
  11. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I'm with you; remember, I'm not big on effects, either! :D
    ...that said, I did finally see Jaco on the Joni Mitchell video(SHADOWS & LIGHT album); Jaco goes off on some kinda distortion-riddled romp out of homage to Hendrix...it was C-O-O-L! Pure unbridled "noiz"...totally sonic!

    Too, I'm assuming you weren't a Foley fan(one of Miles' '80s "bassists")?
  12. top028


    Dec 14, 1999
    Lancaster, PA
    Steve Bailiey's use of false harmonics and extremely clean technique is amazing. I think he is a session player...I could be wrong...Did any one see the bass extremes video with Greg "Mullethead" bissonet on drums... what a goof ball Get a hair cut!!!
  13. ka-tet


    May 2, 2000
    I personally think he sucks. I have a friend who is a drummer that played a session with and confirmed my oppinion. After Steve left the session, my drummer friend felt so bad about his own performance that he wanted to quit drumming. He was in the middle of apologizing to the producer about his poor performance when the producer told him to "not be silly that the problem wasn't him but that it was Steve." He said that was the worst groove playing he had ever heard and promptly called another bass playing friend of his to replace all of Steve tracks! All the times I've heard Bailey in person not once did I think he was a good player. Sure his technique is great but so what. He never has anything useful to say with it. All he does is play those damned harmonic chords and then wanks on the most unemotional solos. I'm so sick of him riding Vics coatails to fame. He had a career before Vic but I think the only reason he has one now is because of him.
  14. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    well...steve bailey has played on _MANY_ more albums since the first bass extremes than vic has his whole career. and as for "riding Vics coatails", actually wooten asked him to do that project.
  15. ka-tet


    May 2, 2000
    It's been about a year since the session but I think it was done in either South Carolina or North Carolina. I have no clue who the producer was, the album, etc. I didn't care. My friend Ric Murry told me about and I believe every word he said. Ric's a great guy and has no reason to lie. I don't dispute the fact that he plays on a lot of albums and that many people like his playing. The thread was about Steve Bailey and I decided to give my view of him. I could have sworn I read somewhere that it was Steve Bailey's idea to do the Extremes thing but maybe not. I didn't submit my post to offend anyone. The only person I could have offended is Steve Bailey and maybe his family. The simple fact is, is that I haven't heard one note come from him that did anything for me at all.
  16. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey, that's cool, i don't know of anybody who might have been offended, but when a session pro with over 20 years experience gets supposedly slagged by a professional producer, i'd like to know more. after all, dizzy gillespie dug what bailey played enough to have him as his touring bassist, about 14 years ago, and dizzy had pretty discerning tastes.

    if you could get me the info of who the producer was, i would be interested in knowing, also what session it was and who replaced him. just curious.
  17. Brad Johnson

    Brad Johnson Supporting Member

    Mar 8, 2000
    Gaithersburg, Md
    DR Strings
    I'd suggest for the sake of your friend that you do it offline. That story was probably between the two of you.
  18. ka-tet


    May 2, 2000
    Acually the story was not between the two of as he told many people and I don't believe it reflects poorly on his or the producers part. I don't expect the producer to hire Bailey again so it's a non-issue. The only one this could hurt is Bailey and I'm sure no words from me are capable of doing so. After all, I'm nobody and he's on all the albums. Steve could have been having an "off" day for all I know. I was just relating that story to the many times I have heard him and that it just echoed my opinion of him. If I bother to find out all the details of this I would be comfortable to report my findings. For whatever reason John Turner wants to know the gory details as if he were walking by the scene of an accident. This is all too unimportant to me because in the end my views of Steve Bailey and John's views will remain.
  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    "as if he were walking by the scene of an accident"?? that's ridiculous - i gave my reasons - bailey is an accepted expert, an instructor, and recognized by many as a very tallented innovator on the instrument. other than roots to branches, though, the only cds i have with him are the bass extremes cds, so i am far from a "Bailey-oid" and am interested in learning more about him, just as i am in learning more about many other bassists.

    when someone weighs in on a public forum about how someone who is an accepted master of the instrument "sucks" and was fired from a session, and replaced, i would like to know the facts behind the situation. i would respond the same way if somebody mentioned tony levin or jeff berlin or victor wooten in the same light.

    what's wrong with that? if someone came on here and said "so-and-so is the best bass player ever, better than wooten and dickens and manring combined" i would either expect some kind of proof or else chalk that person up to being some kind of poochy fan boy.

    i think you misinterpret my interest for some kind of "fan's defense of his idol". believe me, i have no idols.
  20. ka-tet


    May 2, 2000
    There's only one person I can think of that can considered an "accepted master" and Steve Bailey isn't him. What would it do for you if you knew who the producer was that didn't like his playing? It doesn't matter. I should have never replied to this post. I didn't give my opinion to have to defend it. In the end it doesn't matter what any of us thinks of another player.

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