John Peña Releases Life, Legacy & Music, Part 1

The veteran L.A. session bassist looks back at his career in a three-part series that spans a wide range of musical styles

John Peña Releases Life, Legacy & Music, Part 1

The veteran L.A. session bassist looks back at his career in a three-part series that spans a wide range of musical styles

John Peña has had quite the musical journey, growing up in Puerto Rico and New York City before moving to Los Angeles to forge a career as a first-call session bassist. Along the way he has recorded and performed with the likes of Tania Maria, Larry Carlton, Joe Sample, Diana Ross, Christopher Cross, Barry Manilow, Dionne Warwick, Nina Simone, Celia Cruz, Ricky Martin, Michael Brecker, Chick Corea, Carlos Santana, Kenny G, Steve Vai, Chaka Khan, Julio Inglesias, Dave Koz, Steve Lukather, Simon Phillips, Natalie Cole, Herb Alpert, and Los Lobotomys. Now, Peña is reflecting on those experiences in a series of three musically diverse albums, beginning with the August 1st release of Life, Legacy & Music, Part 1. The seven-track side ranges from the Tower of Power-tinged “Life’s Short,” with Peña finding the sweetspot between Rocco and Jaco, and the metal fuzer “Mr. Botomy,” fueled by his galloping groove, to the Salsa-fied “You Are My Everything” and the romantic, string-infused ballad “Cien Ovejas.”  Explains Peña, “This project encompasses my life’s work as a musician, writer, arranger, producer, and engineer, with a wide variety of vocal and instrumental compositions that portray my heritage, faith, and pure love of music. I embraced many different styles coming up, but for me there are only two types of music: Good and not so good. My goal is to inspire others to commit to the process of making music, from initial idea to finished product, in order to express themselves and contribute to art and society in a positive way. I also enjoyed playing all of the different 4-, 5-, and 6-string basses I’m blessed to own.” He continues, “Additionally, it’s a tribute to friends who are no longer with us, like the late Marc Beacco, an amazing studio singer, writer, arranger, and producer from France, and my dear buddy Ramon Stagñaro, who was one of the most in-demand guitar players in L.A.—both of whom are on this project.” Peña concludes, “The best way I can describe the three volumes is Part 1 is the appetizer, Part 2 is the main course, and Part 3 is dessert.”For more: Click Herefacebook.com/JpbandpageInstagram.com/Jpslamm
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Chris Jisi   By: Chris Jisi