MUSiC: Chuck Rainey, Bass Legend

I adore this track (and the album it comes from).

Listening to my recently acquired trilogy of Mainstream albums by organist Charles Kynard, I’m overwhelmed by the general grooviness. From Kynard’s playing, which obviously gets star billing, to the supporting cast.

The cast. Richard Fritz, top left.

Arranger Richard Fritz deserves kudos, for his excellent compositions and arrangements. I read, on, that he and Kynard were school chums! And then the musicians, who make this superb gumbo, really ought to be remembered and celebrated.

And it’s great to see that, in the instance of bassist Chuck Rainey, they are:

I put Kynard’s rendering of Joe Quarterman & Free Soul’s ‘So Much Trouble’ front and centre for three reasons: one, it’s a totally ace slab of funky fabulosity (and that’d be reason enough); two, Rainey’s bass is superb throughout… but three is the clincher; he gets to take a solo. Quite rare. His recording contributions are usually more ‘supporting’ than ‘featured’, if you know what I mean?

If I were choosing bassists that have made a great impression on me, and who I aim to emulate when I pick up an electric bass, he’d probably be right at the top of my picks. I particularly like his lightly bubbling finger style sixteenths, in his right hand. Along, of course, with his choices of notes (a favourite Ron Carter theme) with his south-paw.

What a great musician! Love you forever, Chuck!

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