As the world continues to recover from the Coronavirus, we're all finding ourselves in unfamiliar territory given the subsequent lockdown that is keeping us off of stages and confined to our homes. Luckily, there's comfort in the fact that we're all in this together, and that there are still many outlets for us musicians to keep us active and sane throughout this quarantine. We're checking in with bass players from all over the world to see what they're doing to stay entertained, healthy, productive, and safe during this trying time.
Bass Player: Lorenzo Feliciati
Bands & Artists: Tiromancino, Niccolò Fabi, Pat Mastellotto, Roy Powell, Colin Edwin
Home: Brussels, Belgium
How have you been passing time during the lockdown?
I’ve been organizing my life on all fronts. I work at least four hours in my home studio on three new projects I have. I spend a few hours reading, and I cook for my family daily. Having a routine helps keep me away from worrying about the future.
What have you been working on in terms of your bass practice routine?
I’ve been revisiting books I grew up with, like the Charlie Parker Omnibook [by Jamey Aebersold], Berklee’s Chord Studies for Electric Bass [by Rich Appleman], Joe Hubbard’s method books, as well as playing along with Yellowjackets’ Mint Jam, using their official transcriptions.
What music, songs, recordings, artists, bass players have you been listening to as a source of comfort and inspiration that you can recommend?
I’ve been listening to three albums with Jimmy Haslip: Elemental [with drummer Jimmy Branly and keyboardist Otmaro Ruiz], Arc Trio [with keyboardist Scott Kinsey and drummer Gergö Borlai], and Karl Sterling’s Dream. Also some classics like Steps Ahead’s Magnetic, Weather Report’s The Legendary Live Tapes: 1978-1981, and a lot of Buddy Rich’s big band recordings.
What bass gear have you been playing and trying out?
I’ve been using mostly three basses: my Markbass JP 4-string, my Ibanez Gary Willis 5-string fretless, and my headless Maruszczyk Frog 5-string—all equipped with Markbass .45-.100 or .45-.125 nickel-plated steel strings. For recording at home, my signal chain is my bass into a Markbass Casa or Little Mark Tube head, into ProTools.
What non-music activities books, shows, movies, or workout recommendations do you have?
Netflix and Amazon Prime are a big source of entertainment. I like old series like Seinfeld and Frasier. The Michael Jordan series, The Last Dance, has been terrific. For reading, I’m into detective story books based in Greece—by Petros Markaris, Shanghai—by Qiu Xiaolong, Norway—by Jo Nesbö, and Barcelon—by Alicia Gimenez-Bartlett. It’s a good way to travel in a time when you cannot physically do it!
What projects do you have coming up when the world gets going again?
A tour with guitarist Richard Hallebeek opposite the Frank Gambale band, which was postponed from March. I have some gigs in Norway and the Netherlands with the Brecker Brothers tribute project, Skunk Funk International. And I’m excited about a new project called Eurochord. We started working on it during the quarantine and our debut album is nearly finished—it’s instrumental funk/soul songs with nice melodies.
What advice can you offer fellow bassists for staying positive and keeping morale high?
Now is a good moment to remember that what we do for a living started from our passion for music. Let’s never forget that we are lucky to be able to create and contribute to something so special and unique. Hopefully that gives us a slightly different approach to life and the environment when we start to perform and travel again.
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All check-ins compiled and edited by Jon D'Auria & Chris Jisi