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Advanced Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 333
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - 11:27 am:   Edit Post

Weekend before last I went again to Jorma Kaukonen's Fur Peace Ranch Guitar Camp and took a seminar with Oteil Burbridge. Oteil, as you may know, is not one of those bass players who are OK with having the bass player always standing in the shadows and playing the root note... So for Student Performance we planned a 5-piece bass-only rendition of "Something" by the Beatles. When arrangements were being decided, I happened to be out of the room and was "volunteered" to play the chord tones, without the root notes, all above the 12th fret. Oteil said it was because I had the only 24-fret bass there (my Epic), but it was really because no one else wanted to learn those inversions and I was out of the room when the decision was made! Well, I had a great time learning how to play those inversions, sans roots. The performance was well-received. Oteil is a wonderful soul and an enthusiastic teacher who is a lot of fun to be with. The Allman Brothers are lucky to have him on bass.
Username: artswork99

Post Number: 1302
Registered: 7-2007
Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - 11:45 am:   Edit Post

Very cool. Thanks for sharing! I saw Oteil with the Allman Bros. last year and agree completely (nice gig).
Senior Member
Username: edwin

Post Number: 762
Registered: 5-2002
Posted on Tuesday, October 05, 2010 - 4:11 pm:   Edit Post

What a great experience! I have had the good fortune to hang with Oteil a number of times. Back in the early 90s my old band did a number of gigs with the Aquarium Rescue Unit, so there were various sit ins back and forth. I think that band perhaps showcased his abilities the best, with Jeff Sipe and Jimmy Herring pushing him on and Col. Bruce overseeing the mayhem, he was inspired to do things that aren't really appropriate in his later bands. Since then, we've crossed paths a few times, most recently when Great American Taxi opened for Bill Kreutzman's band here in Colorado for a couple of shows.

I think you got the best part to play. One of the reasons I think that Oteil is one of the foremost bass players out there is his harmonic sensibility. If you had a chance to discuss chord tones and tensions with him, I'm sure you learned a huge amount! His reharmonization of Amazing Grace on Rising Low is just wonderful.

And, as you say, Oteil is not just a great player, but a wonderful human being!
Advanced Member
Username: benson_murrensun

Post Number: 334
Registered: 5-2007
Posted on Wednesday, October 06, 2010 - 10:31 am:   Edit Post

I saw the BK3 with Oteil and Scott Murawski when they came to Boulder. It was one of the best shows I have seen in years; I could liken it to Cream on steroids... I guess he's on the road with Derek and Susan now.
Intermediate Member
Username: chrisalembic

Post Number: 140
Registered: 3-2009
Posted on Saturday, October 09, 2010 - 12:08 pm:   Edit Post

Oteil is one of my favorite bass players, his harmonies are simply amazing. Here is a nice interview for those interested:

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