The Bassist On Marvin Gaye's 'The Last Concert Tour' ?

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Bird Lives, May 29, 2018.


  1. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives

    Dec 19, 2017
    Does anyone know who the bassist on Marvin Gaye's 'The Last Concert Tour' is? If you've heard this album you know that the recording itself - the sound quality - is not very good. Saying it's mediocre is being kind. I've heard Grateful Dead bootlegs done from the audience by, uh, enthusiastic amateurs, that put this recording to shame. And, sadly, Marvin's vocal performance is a bit rough and worn in some places (but this is Marvin and even a less-than-stellar performance is pretty good and moving), but the band is pretty is fairly smoking and the bassist is not just solid throughout but he puts his stamp on the performance and elevates the whole album. I can only imagine playing bass in concert with any of the great Motown performers would be a tough gig from the word go. Having to nail some of the funkiest and best-known bass lines - and the comparisons to some of the best bassists would have to be daunting. Whoever this bassist is doesn't try to imitate Jamerson (or Babbitt or...) in tone or style. There are no dead flat wounds here and there's a fair amount of thumping and popping as well, which if you'd told me that before I'd heard it would have made me wrinkle my nose up and make a funny face usually associated with smelling bad milk - but this guy sounds fantastic all over Marvin's catalog and in the vamps and intros between these songs. Between songs Marvin asks for a round of applause for his musical director, McKinnley Jackson, and he does laud the band himself and again asks the audience for support to "c'mon, lay it on the band, y'all!" but he never gets around to introducing said band. If anyone could enlighten me, I'd be in your debt. I'd love to check out other work by this monster player, whoever he or she might be!
     
  2. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    earth
    I'll take a guess and say Frank Blair who was with him circa 2003. Hope that helps:cool:
     
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  3. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    2003? MG died in 1984. I want to say it was Deon Estus. I occasionally play gigs with his guitarist/MD Gordon Banks. I'll ask him.
     
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  4. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    earth
    I'm pretty sure about Frank although I screwed up the year, pardon moi:cool:
     
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather

    Gordon says it was Byron Miller on the last tour before MG's death.
     
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  6. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    earth
    Here's a sample of Frank Blair's work, enjoy:cool:





     
    Last edited: May 30, 2018
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  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather


    Byron Miller on the left. Gordon Banks on the right.
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2018
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  8. jerry

    jerry Too old for a hiptrip Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 13, 1999
    Blair did great stuff with Robert Palmer too.
     
  9. i love frank blair's playing with marvin. byron did a lot of stuff with roy ayers in the 70s ( i love that stuff). looking at his credits i see a herbie hancock record and lots of george duke as well.
     
  10. OnTheOneBaby

    OnTheOneBaby

    Sep 4, 2013
    Here's Marvin Gaye, Frank Blair and a great band cooking up the definition of a 'Funky Groove'.

     
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  11. Clark Dark

    Clark Dark

    Mar 3, 2005
    earth



     
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  12. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives

    Dec 19, 2017
    Thanks, Clark Dark, for the info and the fantastic examples!
     
  13. Bird Lives

    Bird Lives

    Dec 19, 2017
    Thanks to all who replied! Sounds like Frank Blair may be the player I'm seeking but all the players y'all brought up sounds awesome. Just when you think you've heard it all you realize how little you know!
     
  14. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

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