It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten a chance to curate a podcast and this one holds a particular place in my heart. For probably over a year now, I have been collecting all things Chuck Rainey. Whether I have it on vinyl, on CD or have streamed it online, the collection has grown immensely. If you haven’t heard of Mr. Rainey, then you’re in for a big treat. As a fellow bass player, I have been jaw-dropped at his unique one-finger plucking style that gives him the ability to play extremely fast yet understated 16th note passages with an ease unmatched by anyone with a standard two-finger style.
Many of you would recognize Mr. Rainey instantly from the likes of Steely Dan records, “Rock Steady” from Aretha Franklin, or many of the fly samples lifted from Quincy Jones 70s work. But when you really start digging into the early stuff and the lesser known records, a picture begins to come to life of a bass player so far ahead of his time and so different from anyone else, it’s a wonder to contemplate how many of the greats stole licks from him. I’m calling this Vol. 1 Podcast, Chuck Rainey: 1967-1972. Here is the Setlist with Album Info:
- LaBelle- “Moon Shadow” (*Excerpt*- Moon Shadow 1972)
- LaBelle- “Won’t Get Fooled Again” (Moon Shadow 1972)
- The Chuck Rainey Coalition – “Eloise (First Love)” (Self Titled 1972)
- Willie BoBo – “Sham Time” (A New Dimension 1968)
- Shirley Scott – “Can I Change My Mind” (Something 1970)
- Dizzy Gillespie – “The Windmills of Your Mind” (Cornucopia 1969)
- Cal Tjader- “Solar Heat” (Solar Heat 1968)
- Little Richard – “Second Line” (The Second Coming 1972)
- Quincy Jones – “Snow Creatures” (Dollars Soundrack 1972)
- Quincy Jones- “Rubber Ducky” (Dollars Soundtrack 1972)
- Shirley Scott & The Soul Saxes- “It’s Your Thing” (Self Titled 1969)
- The Chuck Rainey Coalition- “The Rain Song” (Self Titled 1972)
- Phil Upchurch- “Darkness, Darkness” (Darkness, Darkness 1972)
- Don Sebesky & the Jazz-Rock Syndrome- “The Word” (Self Titled 1967)
- The Crusaders- “Way Back Home” (Hollywood 1972)
- The Crusaders- “Papa Hooper’s Barrelhouse Groove” (Hollywood 1972)
Many of these cuts are off vinyl and it’s been a real hunt for me. If you have a chance to check out the Dizzy Gillespie record or the early work of Don Sebesky, it will blow your mind. As one of Atlantic Records go to session bass players, Mr. Rainey was a part of so many different types of projects whether it be Rock, Soul, Jazz, Latin or Bossa Nova. But it wasn’t just for Atlantic. It seems he was hopping all over New York City sessions during this time. Much of it was playing with the great Bernard Purdie on drums. This early stuff really shows how in demand he was and in my humble opinion, how blown away everyone was with him at the time. Many albums, you find him only on a few tracks. Those were the ones where the artist wanted an Electric Fender Bass player rather than an Upright player. That sound was still so new and he was inventing it in the same way as James Jamerson at Motown.
His virtuosity is crystal clear and I hope you enjoy Vol. 1. There will certainly be more to come on Chuck and always stay tuned to the GED Soul Revue.