Who is Bob Magnusson?

Discussion in 'Bassists [DB]' started by Chris Fitzgerald, Oct 29, 2000.

  1. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Normally, when I hear a great acoustic Bassist, it's on a jazz record *, but recently I heard a an old pop cut called "The Glow" (Bonnie Raitt) that featured an acoustic player named Bob Magnusson. Even in the context of that setting, he sounded amazing, and I was wondering if anyone out there knows anything about this guy?.... I imagine he's a studio guy, but I don't know. He had a beautiful sound and feel, and if he's on any jazz albums (especially trio) I'd love to find out.The cut I heard was semi jazz, and it's pretty obvious he's a jazzer of some sort, but I'd like to know more. Can anyone help?

    * this remark was not intended to offend symphony bassists, pop musicians, or Edgar Meyer fans in any way, shape or form.
  2. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
  3. Magnusson is a first-rate bassist who has worked with seemingly everybody. One very interesting trio setting is a CD by Laurindo Almeida on classical guitar, Magnusson and a drummer, in concert. It's on Concord Jazz. The dynamic level is perfect for hearing the interplay of strings.
  4. dar512


    Mar 25, 2005
    Chicago, IL
    He's also written a good introduction to walking bass lines: The Art of Walking Bass.
  5. Chris Fitzgerald

    Chris Fitzgerald Student of Life Staff Member Administrator

    Oct 19, 2000
    Louisville, KY
    Wow, this one's an oldie...

    Thought it would be worth a mention that I played two nights last year with a great pianist named Randy Porter, who is from out Bob's way. Just for yuks, I asked him if he knew anything about Bob, and he laughed and said that Bob was the bassist on his last trio record. I got the record, and it's no surprise that Mr. Magnusson sounds fantastic, as does Randy. Small world, what?
    bobsax likes this.
  6. christ andronis

    christ andronis

    Nov 14, 2001
    There's a documentary I happened to see on TV (BET Jazz I think) about Art Pepper. Some of the playing was shot in a small L.A. club and Bob Magnusson was the bass player....man is he ever a fine player. I believe the documentary was produced by Pepper's wife, Lori (sp?). Highly recommended!
    bobsax likes this.
  7. freemole


    May 24, 2003
    Bob Magnusson is a monster.
    I first heard Bob in 1978 when I went in to an L.A. jazz club because as I walked by I heard this bass player doing all these "Jaco" riffs.(I was young)
    My jaw dropped to the floor when I saw this guy playing astonishing, melodic, lyrical lines all over the DOUBLE bass with ease. I found out his name was Bob Magnusson.
    I recall learning he started playing with Buddy Rich when he was 19 and spent a few years on the road with him and was/is an in demand player. He has played/recorded with just about everybody and is probably one of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.
    bobsax likes this.
  8. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Yeah, he's got a great bio...he's played with so many great people. One of the underrated mofos of the DB.
  9. abaguer


    Nov 27, 2001
    Milford, NJ
    He also played in Art Pepper's last groups before Art's death. Great Player.
  10. ctcruiser


    Jan 16, 2005
    West Haven, CT
    I just bought that book. It is very good for a beginner like myself.
  11. Mike Goodbar

    Mike Goodbar Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2001
    Charlotte, NC
    Only pretty much one of the best bass players ever! Geez!

  12. Cairobill


    Dec 15, 2003
    Another recommendation for Magnusson's book - it's a seriously good method for constructing walking bass lines - helped me a lot...

  13. I spent the best part of half an hour going through some of my old vinyl records looking for an album I bought about 20 years ago and, it was Mark Murphy with Bob on Bass and do you think I can find it ???? I need a better filing system however, YES, he's a great bassist and the reason I remember him is because the first track on the album is just Mark Murphy and Bob doing "Tangerine" (just vocal and Bass and he really cooks!!!!) I bought the album on the strength of that track alone. GREAT PLAYER! :hyper: Now back to searching for that album.....
  14. Gotta give my .02 on Mag.
    I had heard him on a lotta sides for years.
    Mike, where did you get that picture? It's real old. Bob lived in L.A. for years teaching, at times, at that Jazz School that Ray Brown started down there. But the definitive Bob Magnusson started, for me, when he moved down to San Diego and started to play with the great pianist, Mike Wofford. I'd originally heard Mike with Shelley Manne's band at the old Manne Hole in L.A. Mike's a mother too. He was Ella's on call pianist when she died...just to give you an idea of his credentials. Mag and Mike joined forces with drummer Jim Plank who was with the Symphony at the time. What A Trio! This band worked alot with an old friend of mine, Holly Hoffman, a great flute player who was working in Ray Browns band when Ray passed. Holly books many clubs in the San Diego area, or at least did....I remember that, because she brought me into town to play a guest spot with that trio with Mike and Jim. I, of course had a ball trying to fill Mag's shoes for a week-end. I lost alot of weight playing with those guys!
    When Bass Player Magazine did an article on me a few years back, Bob Magnusson was the first person to call and congratulate me. They don't come any better musically or personally than Bob Magnusson!!!
    bobsax likes this.
  15. I think Wofford plays with him on the book's accompaniment CD.
  16. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    Oh crap, that's funny. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one pretty much unplugged from the pop-culture grid!

    (Paul, that's a picture of "Napoleon Dynamite," which, although I haven't seen the movie myself, is probably Mike's very creative way of saying "Well, no DUH!" in response to the assertion that Bob M. is a bad mofo of a bassist...)
  17. mpm


    May 10, 2001
    Los Angeles
    Last I heard he and Holly were still working in the San Diego area.
  18. Holly and Mike got married! Holly has this band with two other flute players called 'Fluteology' I guess that's the spelling. Frank Wess and another lady flute player. Mike, Tony Dumas on bass and my old friend Jeff Hamilton on drums.
    I was working a loud Loud, MEATMARKET in Denver once and having my eyes closed as usual, someone came up and yelled in my right ear: Would you hold it down? These people are tryin' to talk!! It was Jeff.
  19. God, i'm old! I was wondering how Magnusson could ever have looked like that.....that's almost embarrasing.
  20. Jeremy Allen

    Jeremy Allen Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2002
    Bloomington, IN
    On the contrary--I'm almost embarrassed for recognizing the picture! But one can't avoid movie posters when going to Blockbuster to rent DVDs of "Family Guy" and "The Sopranos"--the two guilty pleasures of current television allowed in my cable-and-aerial-free home.

    Can anyone recommend some particular recordings of Bob Magnusson for those of us clueless bassists unfamiliar with him?

    (And Paul--Jeff Hamilton was just here in town to visit his alma mater and play a gig with his trio; speaking of bad mofo's, he's one...he and "my" current drummer, Steve Houghton, had a good time that night, and Ed Thigpen happened to be there and sat in--Bloomington just happened to be a nexus of jazz that night for some reason...)