Joe Hubbard Bass
Performing a concert in Amsterdam, playing music that I wrote for bass quartet featuring Dutch funk master Jay Tee Teterissa (far right). I had a blast playing with these guys- there are some monster players in the Netherlands!
The 2nd London Bass Weekend finale “deuling basses” jam with Tim Landers. Tim was right in the middle of a Lee Ritenour tour and stopped by for a couple of days of teaching and bass playing. Tim shared a wealth of knowledge with everyone who attended. Tim is a great guy and an incredible bass player. He is one of the most underrated bass players in the music industry today!
In the late 90s my good friend Gulli Briem (drummer for Mezzoforte) asked me if I could put together a band to perform a collection of gigs in Iceland. Pictured left to right is Tony Smith (guitarist for Roy Ayers), me (bass), Mornington Lockett (saxophone) and Gulli (drums). All the tunes were written by me and Tony Smith, carefully selected to feature the virtuosic drumming skills of Gulli Briem.
Jamming with Jonas Hellborg at the London Bass Weekend ’86. At the time Jonas was playing with John McLaughlin’s re-formed Mahavishnu Orchestra and with his skinhead haircut and his double-neck Wal bass he was quite a character and the consummate showman. This performance was the “grand finale” of the weekend where Jonas and I were joined by Peter Vettese (keyboards) and Neal Wilkinson (drums) for the final performance of Bill Evans’ Blue In Green.
This picture was taken at the London Bass Centre and was part of a clinic tour that I did for Trace Elliot Amps & Status Basses. The tour featured drummer Jeff Seopardie (who was playing an electric kit going through a Trace Elliot Drum Amplifier) and myself. The tour lasted a couple of weeks and we played up and down the UK from Scotland to London to Brighton. At the London gig, we were joined by Nick Beggs (Kajagoogoo bassist) and Kevin Powell (Chris Rea); at the Brighton gig we were joined by Graham Edwards from Go West. Great jams- great friends!
When I first arrived to the UK in 1981, one of the first contacts I made was with fellow American Dr. Richard Niles. It was through meeting Richard that I was introduced to some of the best musicians on the London session scene that included Guy Barker (trumpet), Chris Hunter (saxophone) and Mitch Dalton (guitar). It was this tight-knit group of world class musicians that formed the nucleus of what was to become the stellar 80’s jazz/funk unit Hubbards Cubbard. Richard Niles and I wrote and arranged all of the material and then recruited the talents of Neal Wilkinson (drums) and Colin Dudman (keyboards). We were signed by Coda Records and released two albums: Hubbards Cubbard and Nip It In The Bud. This was an amazing band with awesome energy and remained together in slightly different incarnations for seven years. In 1986, I moved to LA for 9-months and reformed Hubbards Cubbard in California. The LA band consisted of Dave Garabaldi (drums), Frank Gambale (guitar), Patches Stewart (trumpet), Michael Paulo (saxophone) and Kei Akagi (keyboards). I was blessed and honored to be surrounded by such monstrous musicians on both sides of the Atlantic. It was truly a surreal experience!
Presenting a Bass & Drum clinic at the Musician’s Institute in Los Angeles with drummer Mark Craney. Mark Craney played on Gino Vannelli’s classic album Brother to Brother. I was blown away when Peter Vettese asked me to play a power/fusion trio gig in London with him and Mark about a year before this picture was taken. Peter and Mark were playing with Jeff Beck at the time along with Jimmy Haslip. Pete, Mark and Jimmy were set to play a gig in London, but at the last minute Haslip had to go back to America, so I got the call. I was in LA the following year and got to know Mark very well. We played a lot of gigs together and I would regularly go to his house and just jam. We put this Bass & Drum clinic together for M.I. and Mark was just awesome! Regrettably, Mark passed away in 2005. He struggled for years with serious diabetes and even though he fought through many medical setbacks, pneumonia finally got the better of him. Mark’s musical contributions to the drums were unprecedented and he will always hold a spot in my “Top 10 Drummers” list.
My first big pop gig was with Gary Numan in 1983. I was hired to play bass on the album Warriors as a session bass player at the recommendation of a recording engineer named Nick Smith. At the time, I was doing a lot of sessions at a studio called Rock City, which unbeknown to me was owned by Gary. When we recorded Warriors I laid down all my tracks in two sessions. I was later called in to go on tour as a member of Gary’s band. Gary allowed me a lot of musical freedom. In fact, every night of the 42 date tour, Gary would leave the stage while I played a 15-minute bass solo- it was wild!
In my last semester at the Berklee College of Music, I had put a fusion band together called Layers. We played regularly at the legendary “Pooh’s Pub” in Boston. The band consisted of Hans Fagt on Drums, Kim Moller (aka Multiman) on guitar and John Seppala on keyboards. After Berklee, Kim and Hans (who were both from Denmark) organized a tour for the band in Denmark. We headlined at the premier jazz club in Copenhagen, Monmartre and we had a blast!
This is where my musical career started. This was Hawaii in 1978. I lived in Hawaii for 3-years after my first stint at The Berklee College of Music. Within a few months of arriving in Honolulu, I was working 6-nights a week as a professional bass player in numerous Hawaiian Luau Shows. There was a great music scene in Hawaii and every night after my show, I would hit the jazz clubs to sit in with some of the hottest jazz musicians in Hawaii. It was at one of these jam sessions that I met Benny Rietveld (bassist with Santana, Miles Davis). Benny recommended me for my first big commercial gig with singer/recording artist Nohelani Cypriano (pictured above). I worked for Nohe for about a year and a half. This was a terrific band- a real late 70’s funk fest! I got some great experience and had a great time working with some of Hawaii’s finest musicains.