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volitar bassist - ford james
 
   

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bassist ford james

ford and i have been matched to freelance several gigs over the last five years; as a rhythm section we work well together. as our musical relationship continued to grow ford asked me to consider playing drums on his debut album "this one moment". after hearing a sample of his music i immediately accepted. it was the type of project i had been dying to get my hands on.

 

ford's debut cd" this one moment" released 1998

 

fords style of progressive-jazz allowed me to express myself through a wide range of dynamics, meters and voices. throughout the recording of this one moment ford directed me until we were both satisfied with the drum tracks. he helped me find a new space in my playing, a controlled yet extremely subtle approach to music. this approach was totally foreign to me coming from a hard hitting, progressive-rock background but, ford continued to tell me i was a born jazzer and eventually, when i figured it out, it was beautiful! this one moment was released in 1998 and features the musicianship of ford james, wayne norlund, andy engstrom, robert cohen, michael dattola, jon hanson, greg holloway and barry weafer. most tracks were recorded in ford's home studio using a mackie 1604, cakewalk pro audio, and a fostex d-80. my drum tracks were recorded at skate bottom sound, juneau, alaska (engineer: albert mcdonnell). mixed and mastered by kristi olson at surreal studios in anchorage, alaska.

during the release of this one moment i received a grant from the juneau arts and humanities council. the grant, although small, did allow me the time to focus on writting music. this was something i wanted to get back to but, never seemed to have the time. now with a few bucks to waive off the creditors, i began writting the second song on the volitar "murder mystery mayhem" cd. inspired by fords music, soul searching has definite jazz tendencies. soul searching debuted along with fords music at his cd release concert may 20th, 1999 at the northern light church in juneau, alaska.

as the pieces of volitar's compositional puzzle began to take shape and drums tracks and song sequences had been recorded it was now my turn to ask ford to participate on my project. i was relieved when he accepted and i quickly pledged all of the volitar bass work to him.

fords main instrument of choice was a 4 string fretless bass at the time. luckily for me, he was experimenting with 5 stringed basses and decided to purchase one. lucky because, most of my bass lines are written for 5 string. unfortunately, i hadn't any experience writting for a fretless bass. fretless basses can add a warm round quality to a song but, what i like best is the way it can slide between pitches without getting fret noise. in the fire of section seventeen ford was able to add this sliding between notes technique effectively. (listen to the song at the point the lyrics sing peace still reigns peace still reigns not in the games of a murderers brain - the fire of section seventeen the fire of section seventeen).


one approach to listening to volitar mmm is to focus on the bass line and how it fits into the music. this is a great way to see where ford was coming from.

i believe i succeeded in turning ford into a progressive rocker, take a listen to dead's bass line, all power until its theatrical ending sequence. extra! extra! ford james plays (pop) in just one look! finally, to top it all off, ford finishes the cd with the phatest groove of them all in the ending austinato of free.


ford played the part of taylor parish, trevor braiden's best friend and company vice-president. although the character of taylor perish is short lived, ford supplies the character with two extremes, a playful side and a deliberate, serious tone. his character changes radically between his opening line "greetings earthlings!" to the ruthlessness of a corporate officer that will let nothing hurt the well being of his best friend and company president. parish, when talkings to dr. lear in the secret delivers the lines 'i will expose you and your past associations if necessary. do you understand me?' with a cold voice contradictory to the lighter, b rated side of other characters i.e.... dr. desiree lear, felix liddy and harold athey.

when it came to building a web site ford patiently tutored me until i had the basics of using dreamweaver ultradev, a web designing software. obviously, i haven't figured it out 100% but, with fords expert guidance this site will continue to flourish and i will be able to keep on doing what i love, writting music! (this is my cue to also thank you, the reader for your support)! ford is a web designer by trade. if you're in the market for a web site consider hiring ford to build it. for more information on fords business click on this link www.yasuremedia.com.

 

 

ford james releases his second cd "sunlight" april - 2002

during the fall of 2001 i had the pleasure of performing the drum tracks to fords brand new cd entitled "sunlight". this is truly some of my best recorded playing and without hesitation recommend this cd. i was cruising with sound engineer, george bryson when i listened to fords newly mastered cd for the first time. i was totally blow away and at that moment realized how lucky i am to be part of this truly great cd. sunlight features performances by ford james, wayne norlund, robert cohen, myself, rick alverito and mike fieldhouse.

there is something to be said about a person who persists. after all, a lot if musicians produce one cd but, to produce two or more is rare. great work ford! i look forward to working with you in the future. www.fordjames.com for more info on fords music.

 

 

stay tuned. coming in june, volitar guitarist - scott hamilton (written by andrew engstrom)

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