Ubassists of the World – Abraham Laboriel

Abraham Laborial and me before the Open Hands concert in Sweden this past July
Abraham Laborial and me before the Open Hands concert in Sweden this past July

Hi,

One day in July I got the news that one of my bass heroes would come to Sweden for one gig. We are both Kala Ubass Endorsees (which is pretty amazing to start with) so I managed to hook up with him through the company. 

The meeting/concert was in the southern parts of Sweden and I traveled there with two of my Kala solid body ubasses. 

Who is Abraham Laboriel?

Some of you may know about him and some don’t so I’ll give you a brief background here.

Let’s start with some of the artist he has worked with as a session musician in Los Angeles:

Al JarreauGeorge BensonAlan SilvestriAlvaro Lopez and Res-Q BandAlvin SlaughterDon FelderAndraé CrouchAndy PrattAndy SummersBarbra StreisandBilly Cobham, Carlos Skinfill, Chris IsaakChristopher CrossCrystal LewisDave GrusinDjavanDolly PartonDon MoenDonald FagenElton JohnEngelbert HumperdinckFreddie HubbardHansonHerb AlpertHerbie HancockJohnny HallydayKeith GreenKelly WillardLalo SchifrinLarry CarltonLee RitenourLeo SayerLisa LoebMadonnaMichael JacksonNathan DavisPaul Jackson Jr.Paul SimonQuincy JonesRay CharlesRon KenolyRuss TaffStevie Wonder, and Umberto Tozzi.

Abraham Laboriel Sr. (born July 17, 1947) is a Mexican bassist who has played on over 4,000 recordings and soundtracks.[1] Guitar Player Magazine described him as ”the most widely used session bassist of our time”.[2][3] Laboriel is the father of drummer Abe Laboriel Jr. and of producer, songwriter, and film composer Mateo Laboriel.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abraham_Laboriel

Abraham trying out my Solid Body fretted 5-string tuned EADGC
Abraham trying out my Solid Body fretted 5-string tuned EADGC

 

Meeting Abraham was such a joy. He’s a wonderful, warm human being with such a big heart. Hearing/seeing him play live has knocked me every time. He is an ”all in” performer that really speaks to you from heart to heart. He has been in my musical life for quite some time. I told him about hearing/seeing him at concert in the mid 80’s and even in the town where I work now on a gig probably more then 10 years ago. 

We started talking and I showed him what I have done on my blog, video lessons and recordings. What was supposed to be an interview became a nice chat about music and life, almost as we had known each other since the mid 80’s…

I really hope we can meet again soon and continue of talk and I might even get around to ask him my prepared questions!🙂

As I wrote earlier my two solid body’s were on the trip with me and I wanted to show Abraham these. You might have picked up that I have experimented with ”new” strings on these two 5-strings. (I will do a proper blog post about these tests soon!) Anyway, Abraham started playing on the fretted one, unamplified, and after a while I grabbed the fretless one and join in on the quiet jam. It sure was nice to get to play with one of my bass heroes!

Here’s a little snippet of that jam…

All the best to all ubassists out there,

Magnus

Some youtube videos featuring Abraham:

DIY Update! BUILD YOUR OWN SOLID BODY UBASS – ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW | PHASE 2 – BODY SETUP 2

Video 3.png

Hi,

Finally video 3 (of 4) is done!

Phase 2 | Body setup 2
It’s time to install the pre-amp/EQ, bridge, back plate and volume/tone knobs. All the steps are shown in the video. You can also download a PDF guide here!

Best of luck and stay tuned for the last part in the Build your own Kala Solid Body Ubass series. You can find the earlier posts here!

/Magnus

Actually, Size Really Doesn’t Matter

Another great post from Dean!
I read and agree to the fullest!🙂

uBass Appreciation Society

Bass Player Magazine listed the acoustic uBass in an online roundup of short scale basses. Bass Player Magazine listed the acoustic uBass in an online roundup of short scale basses.

And the uBass is proof.

In an online roundup of short scale basses headlined ”Size Matters: A Roundup of Short-Scale Basses,” Bass Player magazine mentioned the Kala uBass. Not surprising since the magazine has been a fan of the little guy from the beginning. But what is surprising is that the magazine added the uBass in with the likes of a $9,000 Alembic Stanley Clarke Standard 4 bass, a $4,800 Callowhill OBS bass and a $2,000 Birdsong Corto2 bass.

Now that’s pretty good company to be in.

Here’s a taste of what they had to say about the acoustic Mahogany uBass:

While the U-Bass is nothing like the other instruments listed here, it certainly offers a short scale and, most important, sounds just as capable as much more traditionally designed basses. Most every person that’s…

View original post 75 fler ord

Thanks Adam Neely…and of course Frank and Vinny!

 

 

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Hi,

Well, it’s kind of funny how things connect sometimes…

One of my students showed me one of Adam Neely’s videos about bass and learning. From out of the blue I’m in the video. Ok, it’s only a couple of seconds from Jammin’ with my Kala Ubass video no. 7 but still! This video features my friends and really great guitarists Frank Vignola and Vinny Raniolo.

So why is those seconds of out performance flashing by?

In this particular video Adam talks about playing music alone or together. He also speaks around the topic of learning to play music and if music theory is necessary.

When I started jammin’ with Frank and Vinny we had never played a single note together before that very moment I came up on that stage!

I was invited to jam. We decided to play Fly me to the moon and a C-jam blues in the intermission between the two sets they played. That’s it! No rehearsals, no talks about form (how the songs should be structured with the different parts and so on). We just played Music.

How was this possible? Well, we all shared some common ground. We have all been playing Music for quite some time and as it happens we all knew (some) standard jazz repertoire. But is that enough? It’s a big part of the equation but one more ingredients is super important…

Focused listening! Because we all not just played but also listened to what the other musicians was doing we could come up with an arrangement on the fly that worked pretty good in my opinion.

I really like the part in our jam where I somehow manage to imply a cut time feel and the jam turns into a slow blues for a while before Frank takes us back to the original tempo!

Back to Adam’s video. He talks about the, overwhelming information we can get from the Internet regarding music theory. But as Adam points out, information is not knowledge. The knowledge part is when the information becomes true to you and when you have processes the info!

This is a very interesting topic. In the Lesson Packs that will be released (in iBook format) the focus is to help ubassists to get info about specific things (music theory, styles/genres, techniques and so on…) but also to paint the ”big picture” of how it all connects – from information to knowledge!

Teasers of the first Lesson Pack – Basic techniques are being made and will be shared soon in a new newsletter! So subscribe here to get first hand info!

Happy ubass playing to you all!

/Magnus