new video from ES!

February 5th, 2011

My lovely manager Sarah Wolff also manages several other bands, including Soulfarm and a band called Emergency Service. I know they’ve been working on this video for some time, and last night they premiered it in Tribeca for all to see! Here it is! Enjoy….
P.S., my favorite part is when the girl walk by Dan (keyboard player for Soulfarm as well)….hilarious!!!!

Jeff Berlin….?

February 4th, 2011

Now I’m not into drama, and I certainly can’t stand people who use the internet as their little soap box to complain and preach from (regardless of the fact I’m doing it right now), but I just can’t stop thinking about Jeff Berlin. Recently, my good friend told me about when he used to live in Israel and he had Jeff, Danny Gottlieb, and T Lavitz fly out there to do a bunch of shows with him. I said, “wow dude, Jeff Berlin is an INSANE bass player. What was it like playing with him?”. And all he said was “he’s like an old jewish man”. We both laughed, but I didn’t really get it 100%. Either way it was funny to imagine. But the other day on Talkbass, a thread came up about Jeff Berlin. I knew there was always controversy surrounding Jeff because of his extremely outspoken opinions on music education, practicing with metronomes, and all this other stuff. But somebody posted a link to Jeff’s website and said, “just read this guys bio. This guy must be the cockiest man alive.” Here’s what it says:

“Jeff Berlin is a legend of the electric bass. Simply put, he is considered by many to be the finest electric bass player in the world. Noted for his fluid lyrical playing, he is also a pioneer of slap bass when he brought this percussive-style bass playing in 1979 to a new audience on the tune called 5G! Jeff also pioneered two handed tapping when he performed this style on the tune Motherlode from his 1985 release of his first solo album called “Champion”.

Jeff is known as a major innovator through his incisive playing through recordings and performances for the last thirty years. Jaco Pastorius regarded Jeff as a better soloist than he was. Geddy Lee referred to Jeff as the “greatest bass player on the planet”. Marcus Miller told people that he wanted to be the “Black Jeff Berlin”.

The founder of The Players School of Music in Clearwater, Florida, Jeff has also been at the front of music education for almost 30 years. His column in Guitar Player and Bass Player magazines were the most read columns due to their controversial content emphasizing music education over more popular learning concepts aimed at technique-type instruction.

His numerous recording credits include six highly acclaimed solo records, Champion, Pump It!, Taking Notes, In Harmony’s Way, Lumpy Jazz and Aneurythms. Jeff tours with his band that has features ex. Pat Metheny drummers Danny Gottlieb and Paul Wertico, steel drummer Othello Molineaux, trumpet player Randy Brecker and pianist/bassist Richard Drexler. He also toured with BX3, a bass conglomeration that includes the great bass players Stuart Hamm and Billy Sheehan. In 2009 Jeff toured with guitarist John Abercrombie and drummer Adam Nussbaum. Jeff also played in Asia in an explosive trio with drummer Dennis Chambers, and guitarist Scott Henderson.

Many have said that they have never heard anyone play with Jeff’s melodic fluidity. He is making new fans all the time, while his playing continues to influence a new generation of bass players. His teaching continues to inspire and advance players wishing to know about the language of their art. Jeff Berlin is a Master.”

Honestly, I had a huge smile on my face the whole time I was reading this thinking, this is hilarious! Jeff is hysterical! But as I read other people’s responses on TB it appeared he was VERY serious, and even wrote a letter in Bass Guitar Magazine to some kid who accused him of over-boasting where he quoted several famous musicians such as Jaco, Zawinul, Miles, and several others all saying stuff like “our band is the best!” or “I’m the best there is!” or something ridiculous like that. He then goes on to explain how as an artist, boasting about one’s own talents is extremely important and it’s the confidence in one’s playing that makes them great. He also claims we live in a society today where everyone’s feelings are so easily hurt that they have to blog about it or whatever. I laughed at the article, and I agree with Jeff on some level. But I feel like in today’s music world, there’s such a flood of musicians that the days of great players like him are really done. It’s going to be much harder for us to see another Herbie Hancock or Miles Davis or Jaco Pastorius. Don’t get me wrong, I think the talent is still out there somewhere, but between the fact that all music today is pretty redundant and everybody and their mother wants to be a famous musician, it’s just never going to be the same. I grew up believing that your talent alone will open doors, but after more than 10 years in the biz it’s evident that it’s really all about personalities and clicking with people rather than how great you are. I mean of course you need to be good at what you do, but if you’re an asshole about it (cough cough, Jeff Berlin), nobody’s going to want to work with you. Fortunately for Jeff, he made his career decades ago, and while I don’t know the man personally, he appears to have quite the positive following on facebook and is well respected both for his bass playing and his founding of The Players’ School in my home state of Florida. I can say I’ve always been a fan and I commend Jeff on his attempts to reestablish “music education” from the bullshit excuse it has become. Just, maybe tone it down a bit Jeff….

Here’s Jeff doin his thing!

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I love this jam SO much….

February 1st, 2011

Seriously, this song just NEVER gets old! I think Tye is a genius, but none of his other jams have hit me as hard as Still Have Joy has….now I know I’ve posted clips of them doing this before, but for some reason on this recording you can hear the keys like REALLY loud in the mix and my jaw hit the floor when I heard some of the voicings this guy is doing….WHATTTTT?!!?!!?!!?

I’m sorry, but did you say “PURPLE LEDs”??

January 28th, 2011


At long last, Ampeg has come to their senses and joined the micro head game with a pair of super light weight fliptop combos featuring either a 500 watt switch-mode head and even a class D 350 watt head! Both versions are under $500 miraculously, but it’s no secret that these things are all being made in Vietnam now so I can’t imagine the quality is top notch like it was back then….headlining the release of these new fliptops is of course, the re-issue to the legendary B-15. With switchable preamps and biases labeled “1964″ and “1966″, one can change the overall tone and amount of tube gain distinguishing the classic Jamerson tones of the Motown sound and the later more rock driven tones of the later 60’s and 70’s. There are only like 50 in existence I think he said and they’re all made by hand, PTP wiring. Expected retail is to be $3999.99 so start saving!

damn, I’ve really been sleeping on Michael Manring!

January 28th, 2011

I think the last time I even cared about anything Michael Manring was up to was like 2001….not that he sucks, I just wasn’t ready for what he was doing at the time. But MAN, have I been missing out. This dude’s on a whole other planet making sounds like this out of a bass. I always knew he was into funky tunings and stuff but he has literally turned it into an art-form….and it’s beautiful! Enjoy!

just found this sweet vid of AJ killin it in 1980!

January 27th, 2011

Sweet lookin gig….Steve Gadd on drums too….but wait for AJs solo….NUTS!!! Enjoy….

expensive, but awesome!

January 26th, 2011

To bass players, the name Fodera can ring so many bells. Victor Wooten might come to mind, or Anthony Wellington, or the great Anthony Jackson. Either way, the name is synonymous with greatness and that’s been proven over a 25+ year career of building some of the finest basses the world has ever seen. Joey Lauricella and Vinny Fodera began making basses back in the early 80’s after Vinny left the shop of the legendary Ken Smith, of Smith basses. In 1983, they sold one of their first basses ever, a “monarch” model, to a young and unknown talent by the name of Victor Wooten for something like $1200. From what I remember of the story he couldn’t even afford it so his brother Regi put down $800 and the rest is history….literally! Today, custom orders start around $12-13,000 and the wait list can easily exceed 2 years. A new order today won’t be seen until 2013! Now I can’t say I’ve been impressed with every Fodera I’ve ever played, and I’ve had enough negative experiences with them to personally say they may just not be my thing. However, I just can’t get the thought of owning a Fodera Anthony Jackson Presentation 6 out of my head these days! Now my first thought when I see a bass with a price tag of $25,000 and it’s NOT a pre-CBS Fender in a custom color is, “Whaaaa???”. But in the case of the AJ6 Presentation I can understand. 35″ scale, 400 year old wood dug up from under the ocean, and NO onboard controls. That’s right, not even a volume knob. AJ apparently believes that even a single potentiometer between the pickup and output jack can affect the basses tone in a negative way. And I have to agree with him. Obviously it’s quite handy to be able to adjust ones volume and timbre right there on the guitar, but if you think about the way a pot works, it’s creating resistance in the signal chain. In other words, the more intricate our onboard pre-amps get, the farther we gravitate away from the bass’s natural tone. I made this realization about 4 years ago and if you look at the basses I play these days you’ll notice most of them are passive, meaning they have no onboard pre-amp, just a volume knob and a tone knob. But even THAT’S too much for AJ! Half of the Fodera “sound” to me is the Mike Pope/Fodera 18 volt circuit that can be found in just about EVERY Fodera out there (minus the early models and the NYC Empire basses). But not in the AJ6 Presentation. ALL passive baby. Now to most electric players this could be a serious nightmare. Maybe it’s the upright player in me, but there’s something almost comforting in the fact of knowing there’s literally nothing between you and the raw tone you’re getting out of your bass. Any inflection of sound you want has to come from your touch, your strings, and your amp. Simplicity, brought back to us in this modern world of complicated EQs and active onboard pre-amps. Looking at my bank account I realize I’m a ways away from dropping an order for my future AJ6 Presentation, but you never know, I may just find one in the trash tomorrow….
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Saying goodbye to an old friend….

January 24th, 2011

It’s never easy saying goodbye. Especially to a loved one we know we won’t be seeing for a long time, if ever again. In a musician’s case, it can be equally as difficult when parting with an instrument. Especially when that particular instrument was the highlight of the collection for many years. In a couple of days from now, my all original 1969 Fender Precision bass will be halfway around the world on its way to Sweden to live with its new owner. I haven’t really played it since I acquired my Alleva-Coppolo KBP5 (a little less than a year ago) but just the thought of not having it on my wall in it’s usual spot has been making me uneasy. I’ve even convinced myself I just don’t have the feel for 4 string basses anymore and my style has already adapted to the low B string, and it’s true, but there’s just something special about that bass that I just know I’m gonna be regretting selling it later in life. I guess I might as well tell the story about how I acquired this magical axe of vintage mojo….

It was the summer of 2007, and I was on tour with the Humble Kings in Israel for the first time. I was playing a heavily modified ‘75 re-issue Fender jazz at the time, and was on a crazy vintage Fender kick. I had played many before, and I knew there was just this feel and vibe that only a REAL authentic vintage Fender could get you. Not to mention I had done my research so I knew the price of an all original pre-CBS on the vintage market. I had no idea where I would get the money, but I knew I couldn’t go on as a bass player until I owned one. One afternoon off in Tel Aviv, I stumbled into this random guitar shop with my buddy and super talented drummer, Andrew Frawley. At this point I could already spot a Fender and tell it’s year from 20 feet away, and there it was….up on a shelf for everyone to see. From the look of the nut width, decal and tuners it was clear this was a pre-CBS Precision bass, but the body and pickguard looked a little off. After talking with the owner, I learned it was in fact a ‘59 neck on a ‘69 body with a non original pickguard. The bass came with the original Fender case, but neither of the pickup or bridge covers or the tugbar. The guy wanted $5000. I said he was crazy for asking that much for a mutt bass. It wasn’t all original and was missing important pieces. He went to $4500. I offered him $2500 that I didn’t have, and he laughed and like a good Israeli said, “ok, then don’t buy!”. I immediately left the shop and called my mom in the states begging her to lend me $3500 in case I could convince this guy to sell me the bass. I told her I could sell the neck alone for probably that much. Somehow, she said yes! So I walked back in feeling like a baller, and told the guy I’d give him $3000. He wouldn’t budge. I once again reminded him of why the bass isn’t worth as much as he thinks and the highest I’d go was $3500. He said he wanted $5000. “what happened to $4500?”, I asked. He stood there for a minute and just repeated: “$5000.” I had to walk. As I came outside, one of the other guys working there was smoking a cigarette and told me that bass has been in that shop for 20 years and it’s like the icon of the store. The owner just really didn’t want to sell it. For the rest of the tour, the thought of letting that unique of a bass slip through my hands just ate away at me. I made my self a promise: as SOON as I got back to the states, it was my number one priority to find and purchase a vintage Fender. As promised, I hit the city hard searching every outlet for old Fenders I knew and finding lots of great stuff but nothing I could afford. I had about $1800 to my name at this point. Then it appeared. A Craigslist add: 1969 all original sunburst P-bass $1500. I think I may have even screamed. I immediately emailed the seller and asked if he had the original case and covers and he did! I told him I would take the bass and he came over my house that very night. Dude looked a little sketchy and gave off a pretty heavy vibe that he couldn’t play at all and just wanted cash for whatever drugs he was on. Made me think the bass was stolen, but he gave me this whole story about how he was the 4th owner and bought the bass from a shop in Seattle and the bass has been on tour for the last 10 years. I made him sit there while I took the entire bass apart to check all the dates and such, and when I was convinced it was all original, I gave him a CHECK for $1500 and never saw him again. Now my original plan was to flip that bass and with the money find two other great deals like this and buy them both, then keep one (pref a jazz at the time) and sell the other to make back all my money. Sounded like a good plan. Except I didn’t intend on falling in love with the P-bass! but boy did I, and it helped completely re-shape me as a player, how I approach the groove and how I conceptualized the roll of bass in a mix in the most tasteful way possible. Basically, it was one of the best things to have ever happened to me bass-wise. I even became known throughout the city for my Pino-like thumpy P-bass sound and it’s still the basis of my sound today. Sadly for my old Fender P, my Alleva-Coppolo KBP5 does everything it can do AND more. I never thought I’d look at a 4 string as being obsolete. The other day I realized, there is absolutely no purpose in having two almost exact same basses, one 4 and one 5. So I decided it was time to sell the unused Fender collecting dust, and I’d put the money towards a second Alleva-Coppolo. And that’s exactly what I did. My ‘09 transition period RA5 will be here next week, and I’ve added a whole new range of sounds to my arsenal. But the best part is, I now have an extremely desirable bass to trade if I ever want, say, a Fodera! Haha….my lord, it will never stop will it!! Farewell, P-bass!! I’ll always love you!!!!
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through the good times and the bad….
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through countless studio sessions….
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you’ve always been there, through millions of gigs and even a few tours….
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….and you were there for Nyle’s WORST SHOW EVER!!!! haha

A NEW AC!!??

January 19th, 2011

that’s right folks, a NEW Alleva-Coppolo 5 string is about to join the family. After much debate, I decided it was time to let go of my amazing ‘69 Fender Precision bass and move on from the 4 string world completely. My Alleva-Coppolo KBP5 does that sound and more, so it was kind of redundant having both instruments. A lucky buyer from Sweden happened to come at the right time, and lucky for me, the AC of my dreams was waiting to be sold. It’s funny, because I remember back when Jimmy Coppolo first introduced the RA series (as opposed to the LG and LM) and I thought, “YES! Jimmy is making basses with black block inlays now!” Fast forward about two years, and on the updated AC site, there’s this GORGEOUS lime-green 5 string jazz with black blocks and binding. That bass soon became THE picture to represent the RA5 Custom. And now, that one of a kind bass is mine. What I love about the RA series, is that it combines the best features of both the 60s style (LG) and the 70s style (LM). Now I’ve always been a fan of the pickup position on the 70s Fender Jazz basses which they changed to have the bridge pickup closer to the bridge for a more growly attack. However, CBS was really cutting corners to just crap these things out and many different aspects of their basses began to suffer. One of those was the bass’s weight. Cheaper wood from cheaper sources often resulted in extremely heavy bodies. Since he’s that much of a perfectionist, Jimmy even designed the LM basses to be just as heavy to be period correct. That’s where the RA comes in. Lightweight Alder bodies and maple necks just like the LG basses (60s era), with the pickup placement of the LM basses (70s era). What more could you ask for in a 5 string jazz bass? How about an Alleva- Coppolo preamp? BLAM! I really can’t wait to get my hands on this bass….videos to come!!
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Nyle vs the Naysayers @ Brooklyn Bowl w/ DJ ?uestlove

January 16th, 2011

Thurs. night was insane. Brooklyn Bowl is to date the finest stage in NYC I have played on. Highline Ballroom runs a close second, but I was SUPER impressed with their stage monitoring system. I could finally hear everybody for the first time clearly. It was awesome, as was our special guest/homey 4 life Fresh Daily. Dude never fails to kill, and if you haven’t heard his lates LP Mothersip/land you’re REALLY missing out on some fresh, progressive, futuristic hip-hop. Not to mention our good old friend Benamin is his producer! Aside from my rig cutting out a few times for some reason and then being electrocuted not once but twice while trying to fix it, it was an insane show, WAY more people than we expected came and it was an overall ballin time. We were treated like kings with free food (which is amazing btw), drinks and BOWLING!! They even put us in the lane next to Sway from MTV and all of ?uestlove’s other friends while the man himself spun records (serato) like 6 feet away from us. Dope evening. Our buddies at Nomandique came and took evidence of the night with some DOPE shots on some really nice cameras. You can check them out @ http://wearenomandique.tumblr.com

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