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Stevie Wonder - Hotter Than July

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Howard K, Oct 23, 2002.


  1. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    I'm just listening to this album and it is incredible.

    Anyone know where I could get any transcriptions for bass parts on the album, or failing that just chord charts would be a headstart?!

    Oh and I don't want tabs, thanks ;)
     
  2. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    ...bump...


    and who played bass on this album?

    no one is credited on the album at all, so i guess it was either stevie himself (does stevie play the bloody bass as well - he plays pretty much everything else!!!) or an unnamed session player.

    i need to know!!!! :eek:
     
  3. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Stevie's regular bass player is Nathan Watts who is a great player - Stevie does play keyboard bass, but never bass guitar. I like Nathan's Bass lines on "Songs in the Key of Life" best - awesome grooves!! I think I said on here before that the line on "I Wish" is my favourite to play!
     
  4. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    ...some guy from outer space?

    Cheers, I'll check him out.

    If you havent got this album, get it. Sure, the bass is great, but the songs are is infinitely awesome.
    I think I'm in love with a piece of plastic!
     
  5. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yeah, Hotter Than July is a great album. I *think* there's quite a bit of synth bass on that album, but when I get home I'll check, the remastered version I've got lists all the players. As for transcriptions - do it yerself! :D I know the chords off the top of my head to some of the songs (it's been quite a while since I listened to that album), but I'd be happy to have a listen and transcribe the chords if you want any particular songs...
     
  6. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Ok, "Did I Hear You Say You Love Me", "I Ain't Gonna Stand For It", "As If You Read My Mind", and "Master Blaster (Jammin)" are Nathan Watts on bass. The rest are Stevie on bass synth.
     
  7. beermonkey

    beermonkey

    Sep 26, 2001
    Seattle, WA
    TOTALLY agree with you, man. Nathan is a smokin' player and Songs in the Key of Life are most definately some of his best efforts. I am also extremely partial to the stuff he plays on the tune "Do I Do".

    My funk band does "Sir Duke" and then "I Wish" right after it... as it appears on the album. This makes me smile a great deal. :)

    Another thing that makes me smile a great deal is Stevie's left hand on "Boogie On Reggae Woman". Holy dear lord. Funky-ass keyboard bass at it's finest.
     
  8. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Oh, well thanks, but I'll do it myself, just if anyone had a head start I'd use it.

    So the bass on All I Do is keyboard! It sounds just like fretless with some tasty effect... bloody nice rolling smooth lines. I wouldnt usually commend synth bass, but it's SO good!
     
  9. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Yeah, Stevie was a great synth-bassist. The thing I find slightly annoying about playing his songs is that they were in awkward keys, on the piano at least. I suppose it's because he's blind, but he liked the black notes a lot... Quite a few of his songs are in B, which is not too bad, but the funky ones like Superstition, and I Wish and others are in Eb minor - argh! I suppose when you're blind, the black notes are easier to find without looking. The band I was with used to play I Wish, and the electric piano part is made a little tricky by being almost all black notes - they're thinner and easier to miss! And playing the I Wish bassline in tune on a fretless is a tad tricky too :D
     
  10. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    Yeah, Eb minor... not exactly the usual key is it, especially for composing a nice easy bassline, "I mean I dig the song Stevie, but can't we use a key with just one open string? ...and mind the drums!!!" ;)

    I think I'm gonna strat on tarck one and work my way through thwe whole album, synth parts n all. Oohh, if I can aget my fretkess to sound anything like Stevies synth sounds like I'll be happy happy man! :)
     
  11. jazzbo

    jazzbo

    Aug 25, 2000
    San Francisco, CA
    Really? In time I've kind of found that one a little boring. It's like playing a jazz tune, since you've got the walking line, but taking all the fun out, since it's an ostinato figure. GREAT freakin' song though.

    I've always liked Sir Duke, (I adore bass lines that follow horns), and from the Jamerson years, I Was Made to Love Her.

    I kinda dig the bassline to I Believe (When I Fall in Love). Not what you're used to hearing with Stevie. I'm not sure, but I would guess that it was synth bass on that track. Kinda grindy and dirty bass line. Cool.
     
  12. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Heh, well, you'll enjoy playing along to that one... All I Do is in G# minor ;) Lately is in Db IIRC, a really nice song actually, I used to play it on piano. I Ain't Gonna Stand For It is in A Major/F# minor, which is nice and easy. IIRC Cash In Your Face is in D minor, which is nice and easy. And Birthday of course, which is actually in C, unusual for Stevie. And it's only got about 4 chords. Though, he gets his fix of black notes when it changes key to Db near the end :) Master Blaster is C minor, which is ok. Actually, as far as keys go, he's gone easy on us with this album. IIRC, the Fulfillingness' First Finale album is more of a black-note-fest. But great none the less :)
     
  13. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    What does that mean?

    All his damnde sonsg are good, even the super cheesey ones, ie, you are the sunshine of my life.

    I beleve IS one of my favs songs too, although I've got to admit that I find it difficult to focus on the bass when I'm listening to Stevie cause his voice, the songs, the melody, ther harmonies - everything is just so fkn fantastic, you know, I kind a just absorbed in the songs, I really do.

    Actually, this is well cheesey, 'I believe' is top of the list for 1st dance when me & the mrs (well, miss currently) get married, sometime in the pretty distant future! :D
     
  14. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - that's what I meant - it's such a great song to play and gets everybody dancing - plus there's lots of space for embellishments - like on the original - as well as going off on funky improvised lines during solos.

    I think you can get great satisfaction from playing ostinato figures when they are great lines and fit the song well. Of course - I prefer improvising, but then you can't say - this was my favourite line I improvised and get the recognition from other people! ;)

    I still think its a great line and every time I hear it on the record it makes me feel good and every time I have put it on at a party, it always gets people dancing, right from that first appearance of the bassline.
     
  15. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    I played piano with a quarted for a while, and we used to do I Wish and go into a jazz swing at the end, and solo over it. Did a medley of that and Superstition as well - same key, similar tempo.
     
  16. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    ostinato.. in few words means...? :)
     
  17. moley

    moley

    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    An ostinato is a repeated figure, like a riff.
     
  18. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    It's just a repeated figure - the term comes from Classical music, where these things are quite common in the bass.
     
  19. Howard K

    Howard K

    Feb 14, 2002
    UK
    aah, I see. I think I'll stick to 'riff' for now. Good word.ta
     
  20. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member

    Well - the "I Wish" line is hardly a riff as it extends across the song into the chorus. ;)