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Who played bass on Michael Jackson's "Rock With You"

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by T. B. Player, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. I'm tired of searching the Internet and TalkBass - all the responses highlight "With" as a potential match.

    Somebody's got to know this off the top of their head.


  2. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Use Wikipedia much:

    "Rock with You"

    * Written and composed by Rod Temperton
    * Produced by Quincy Jones
    * Lead and background vocals: Michael Jackson
    * Bass: Bobby Watson
    * Drums: John Robinson
    * Guitar: David Williams and Marlo Henderson
    * Synthesizer: Greg Phillinganes and Michael Boddicker
    * Electric piano: David "Hawk" Wolinski
    * Horns arranged by Jerry Hey and performed by The Seawind Horns:
    o Trumpet and flugelhorn: Jerry Hey
    o Tenor, alto saxophones and flute: Larry Williams
    o Baritone, tenor saxophones and flute: Kim Hutchcroft
    o Trombone: William Reichenbach
    o Trumpet: Gary Grant
    * Rhythm and vocal arrangements by Rod Temperton
    * String arrangement by Ben Wright
    * Concert master: Gerald Vinci
  3. jerseyrichSnr


    Sep 1, 2006
    Rufus (Chaka Khan's band) essentially hired to be Michael Jackson's session band for the single. The great Bobby Watson was featured in a recent Bass Player Magazine and Rock With Me was discussed.
    ImprecisionBass likes this.
  4. jerseyrichSnr


    Sep 1, 2006
    Sorry, "Rock With You"
  5. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    It totally sounds like Bobby Watson. He always played very melodic basslines. But I wanna say it was Louis Johnson just to throw a wrench in the works. I could be wrong though.
  6. The BassPlayer article discusses this.... Bobby Watson played on a few of the original tracks, and Louis Johnson replaced his parts on some (and keyboard bass on others)
    In the end, Bobby's playing > Louis's playing on "Rock With You"

    ... so they kept Bobby's!
    ImprecisionBass likes this.
  7. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Cool. I was always felt that "Whatcha Gonna Do For Me" vibe whenever I listen to "Rock With You".
    ImprecisionBass likes this.
  8. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Definitely Bobby Watson. I heard this tune yesterday while waiting to get a haircut. Great example of Pop bass playing: It grooves, has fills galore, & has a life onto itself...hard to believe this was from '79! Time flies, huh?
    Couple years ago, Bass Player did an article on him...& transcribed "Rock With You" in its entirety. Pretty sure, you will need to de-tune (Eb-Ab-Db-Gb) in order to play along.
  9. Hoover

    Hoover Banned

    Nov 2, 2007
    New York City

    While I personally detest the ubiquity of Wikipedia entries being used as "authoritative sources", I can confirm that the liner notes from the original LP do indeed match the above. Bobby Watson FTW!
    ImprecisionBass likes this.
  10. DWBass

    DWBass The Funkfather Supporting Member

    Just checking Rufus band members credits! I didn't know Will Calhoun played drums for Rufus and the Gap Band?!?!?! Is this the same cat from the Black Rock Coalition band Living Color? I totally missed this!
  11. bottomzone


    Oct 21, 2005
    News to me, too!!!

    A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste! :cool:
  12. That's William "Moon" Calhoun and is a different guy, AFAIK.
  13. i dont think it would be a different guy, because one of Will Calhoun's signature ride cymbals is called the "will calhoun lunar ride"... so i can see the moon connection there.

    but i could be way wrong too. would be a huge coincidence if it was a different guy considering the signature cymbal....
  14. Sadly, I don't use Wikipedia much, since in Academia, it's considered an unreliable resource. I much prefer asking questions like this to a group of experts on the subject - which is why I prefer forum utilization over wiki utilization. The expertise of TalkBass has provided definitive clarity once again!!

    Thanks, everyone!!


  15. Will Calhoun was born in 1964 - wouldn't that make him too young to have played in Rufus and the Gap Band?

    I think it must be a coincidence.
  16. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    I agree...I've read a few Will Calhoun (of LC) interviews & Rufus, Gap Band, etc. were never mentioned.
  17. Marcury

    Marcury High and Low

    Aug 19, 2007
    Mid Hudson Valley, NY
    Re: Wikipedia, when it works it works. For stuff like this I find it mostly correct. For academic subjects I go elsewhere.
  18. T-MOST

    T-MOST Supporting Member

    Dec 10, 2004
    NJ via NYC
    Louis is on the album but NOT on "Rock With You".
    ImprecisionBass likes this.
  19. That cleared it up for me. I was always under the impression that Louis Johnson did the entire album and that's what I told people in conversation for years. Looks like I've gotta correct myself to these folks :oops: Still one of my favorite albums of all time and this coming from a metal guy, lol.
  20. great song, great bass work, great album

    go bobby watson go:)
    ImprecisionBass likes this.

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