Canadian Musician - March / April 2018 - Page 27

BASS Jason Raso is a professional bassist from Guelph, ON. His latest album, Live at the Jazz Room, is available at Jason proudly endorses Fodera basses, Aguilar amplification, and D’Addario strings. By Jason Raso More About Meshell CM: One thing that strikes me about your playing is your phrasing. I can tell right away when it’s you playing. I was listen- ing you play on Joshua Redman’s “Greasy G” and the line is so far behind the beat. Or is it? I don’t know (laughs)! MN: (Laughs) It’s something I don’t think about. I just play it where I feel it. I just play it where I hear it. Coming from D.C., you gotta make people dance. It’s gotta feel good. Not everyone likes the way I play. I could never play with a bluegrass band; I play too far behind the beat. I’m too relaxed. It’s not for everyone. It’s a push and a pull on the groove. JOHN ENTWISTLE W W W. C A N A D I A N M U S I C I A N . CO M O ver the past five years, I have been fortunate to interview many incredible bass players, including the five women fea- tured in the 2018 Bass Feature in this issue. I am nervous before every inter- view, but I was especially anxious before my interview with Meshell Ndegeocello. I have been following her career since 1995, and I am a big fan. She is one of my musical heroes, as a bass player and as a composer. My hope was to keep it together and not come across as the total bass-nerd fanboy I really am. After chatting for a few moments, my nerves were gone. Meshell was easy to talk with, and I found her to be warm and friendly. She even asked me where I lived, if I liked living there, and where my family came from. Once I had asked my planned questions, I couldn’t resist asking a couple more bass related questions that I wanted to share: CM: Who were some of your early influences? MN: My brother was a big Parliament fan, so I listened to Rodney “Skeet” Curtis and Billy “Bass” Nelson. I loved the way Stevie Wonder played bass. In hindsight, especially on the first record, I think I’m definitely influenced by Stevie Wonder more than anyone else. I’m a Jaco fan, not because of his virtuosity; har- monically, he’s such a beautiful writer and I’m definitely influenced by his tone. I think I’m a mosh of all that, and a lot of D.C. There is a D.C. bass player named Michael Neal. He was the first person