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Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4411
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Sunday, March 01, 2015 - 12:59 am:   Edit Post

I am going off to a Guitar show today in order to pre-record an interview with a superb bass player called Yolanda Charles for broadcasting on my jazz radio programme.


She is a great all rounder with her heart in good groove laden funk and is a well know session player in the UK and in Europe. She's worked with Paul Weller, Robbie Williams, Mick Jagger, Roland Gift and the list goes on and on.

Anyway as fortune would have it I have rehearsal straight afterwards so will have to carry my bass with me. I hope there is an opportunity for her to try it out as in a previous conversation she said she has never had the opportunity to play one. I don't usually take my series II to rehearsal but, If she is gonna try an alembic may as well start at the top.

Anyone got any stories good or bad from putting their bass in the hands of a well known pro?
Senior Member
Username: jazzyvee

Post Number: 4414
Registered: 6-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 6:39 am:   Edit Post

The interview went great, I just need to edit it for broadcast. As it happens she was keen to try out my bass. We found a kind TC Electronics stand who were happy to oblige a couple of bass rigs to try it out. Here is the result. The sound is more than a bit distorted because I stupidly stood right in front of the cabs. Actually she is the second musician apart from me to play that bass since I brought it home with me from the California Alembic meet in 2012, the other person is our very own Jacko.

I have heard Yolanda play on one gig last year and in person she is a superb musician. I will have to get some of her records.

Her comments were complimentary and noted how even toned the bass was after she went up and down the fretboard methodically playing every note to check it out and how clear the low B is which is an area that many basses fall down. One thing she said that I'd never heard of but found interesting is that basses with 24 frets always tend to have a weak "A" note at the 24th fret of the A string. She said this one was not bad. I tried it when i got home and there is definitely a difference there but that is an are of the bass that remains dusty for me.
Also felt it had a little P-bass quality to the sound. I've noticed that myself when the strings are losing their brightness and it's a sound I don't particularly like myself and is usually a signal for me to change the strings.

Anyway she liked the bass, though admits to being a fan of the fender sound so a bass like this wouldn't fit into what she wants or the work she does. Which is a fair comment.

All in all a good afternoon

Here is the short video clip of her slapping which is the bit with the cleanest audio. :-(

(Message edited by jazzyvee on March 03, 2015)

(Message edited by jazzyvee on March 03, 2015)
Senior Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 672
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 10:15 am:   Edit Post

I couldn't hear much when listening to the video clip so I just focused on her facial expressions. I think that really says it all about how impressed she was with your bass. Numerous times in the video there's a fleeting little smile that develops as she appears to try something out and experiences an "Alembic moment."
Senior Member
Username: hammer

Post Number: 673
Registered: 9-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 10:15 am:   Edit Post

Oops! double post

(Message edited by hammer on March 03, 2015)
Senior Member
Username: terryc

Post Number: 2323
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Tuesday, March 03, 2015 - 10:54 am:   Edit Post

She supported Level 42 for there Anniversary Tour in 2010 at The Sage in Newcastle.
She was at the bar at half time and I managed to speak to her!.. Talented player, right in the pocket groove!
Senior Member
Username: jacko

Post Number: 3646
Registered: 10-2002
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 4:26 am:   Edit Post

I had a brief chat with her back in 2006 when she appeared at one of the first Manchester bass days. (I think 2005 was the first - I got to know Jan-Olof really well at that one and also spent a few hours sharing beers with Trip - shame the Manchester event folded, it was much friendlier than the big London show) Anyway, back to Yolanda - She played some superb MamaYo stuff with her band then did a really excellent clinic on how to play and sing at the same time - I took home some very useful hints that have since helped me out. very friendly and easy to talk to.
I'm not surprised she enjoyed playing Jazzy's s2.. I didn't want to give it back :-)

Senior Member
Username: pauldo

Post Number: 1446
Registered: 6-2006
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 7:22 am:   Edit Post

ALMOST, handed a bass off to Joe Lynn Turner.

He was in town playing at Summerfest and Dexter Bracket (band I was in at the time) was hosting an open jam at The Globe. He comes in and has his roady/ body guard come up and ask if Joe can get on stage and play my bass. I said we had one more set and then we'll see.

At the time I didn't really know who he was (I don't even think he was a bassist?) and there was a funny vibe around him. After our set his roady comes back up to me and says something like; 'so this is the bass?' And reaches out to take it.

Right then I knew this wasn't right. First off you are going to be so flippant about my Distillate (horrors!). Secondly, the guy who wants to play it is too cool for school to approach me? I just couldn't allow my baby to be put in to a strangers hands.
Senior Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 455
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 8:07 am:   Edit Post

Good call...

And, I'm guessing the next thing you would've heard when you asked to get it back is "what bass - ?"
Advanced Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 270
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Thursday, March 05, 2015 - 10:09 am:   Edit Post

Glad to hear that Joe Lynn Turner didn't get his meat hooks on your Distillate!

I've never put any of my Alembics in the hands of a famous bass player, but I did get the opportunity to let Jeff "Skunk" Baxter use my electric guitar at an open mic so he could play a few tunes. Super nice guy! He shook my hand afterwards and thanked me for letting him play my guitar (which was an import PRS that I used to own long ago).

I also let Jonathan Edwards use a guitar stand at a theatre show he played in my town. Someone from the theatre approached me at a gig and told me they needed to provide JE with a guitar stand. They let me into the show for free. The stand sat on the stage, but he never used it at all. Never met him, either.

I did get my guitar stand back, though.

Sorry for the derail. Just reminiscing on yet another snow day!
Advanced Member
Username: bassfingers

Post Number: 375
Registered: 11-2005
Posted on Friday, March 06, 2015 - 2:49 am:   Edit Post

When I owned my first 20th Anniversary bass,the band I was in did a bunch of support gigs for the Moody/Marsden Band - Micky Moody and Bernie Marsden from the original Whitesnake.On one tour the bass player was original Whitesnake bassist Neil Murray.They treated us really kindly and after one of our soundchecks Neil asked if he could play my bass,saying that he'd had a 20th Anniversary bass but had recently sold it.He was a really lovely guy and I was already a fan and said "Yes,of course" but only if he showed me that wonderful bass line in the chorus of the original recording of "Fool For Your Lovin'",which he did,loudly,to my delight.

They were great guys,and I got to play Micky Moody's early 60's 335 and Bernie Marsdens '59 Les Paul (The Beast).Very happy times.
Advanced Member
Username: moonliner

Post Number: 307
Registered: 12-2004
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2015 - 12:06 am:   Edit Post

The day I picked up my beautifully modded Starfire, we went to see Phil Lesh play at Terrapin Crossroads. Since my bass was basically a tribute to his early Alembic modded Starfire I couldn't resist asking him to sign my bass. As soon as he saw it he said "oh, I've heard of this bass!" He was very curious of the controls, and if mine had been red like his. He was so very gracious and friendly. It was a dream come true!
Thanks again to Alembic for making dreams happen!
Advanced Member
Username: mtjam

Post Number: 273
Registered: 11-2011
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2015 - 2:33 am:   Edit Post

Thanks for sharing these very cool pictures! It must have been great to meet Phil. He is my number 1 bass influence, without a doubt!
Intermediate Member
Username: growlypants

Post Number: 123
Registered: 3-2011
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2015 - 6:36 am:   Edit Post

Now, THAT'S cool!!
Intermediate Member
Username: moongerm

Post Number: 134
Registered: 8-2013
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2015 - 7:06 am:   Edit Post

Very cool that you had someone to capture that moment on camera.
Senior Member
Username: 5a_quilt_top

Post Number: 456
Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2015 - 12:00 pm:   Edit Post

Wow - what a thrill.

TXR is just a magical place. Where else can you go to eat great food at reasonable prices, hear wonderful music and have a chance to have an up close and personal encounter with the man himself.

Don't ever wash that bass!
Username: davehouck

Post Number: 11684
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Monday, March 09, 2015 - 1:06 pm:   Edit Post

Very cool Keith!!
Intermediate Member
Username: cje

Post Number: 172
Registered: 5-2009
Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 7:02 pm:   Edit Post

Who knew Phil writes lefty???
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 1949
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 - 10:04 pm:   Edit Post

I found out the same way!

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