Carmine Rojas (David Bowie, Joe Bonamassa)

Courtesy of Carmine Rojas Facebook Courtesy of Carmine Rojas Facebook

Courtesy of Carmine Rojas Facebook

Among the most in-demand, versatile session cats since the late 1970’s, Carmine Rojas’ credits on stage and on record span David Bowie, Tina Turner, Joe Bonamassa, Carlos Santana, Nona Hendryx, Ian Neville, Allen Toussaint, Paul Rogers, Rod Stewart, John Waite, Carly Simon, and Herbie Hancock to cite a very, very select few.

Dig Carmine with Joe Bonamassa: https://youtu.be/B4-QVk-6xUc

A composer, producer, musical director (Rod Stewart, Julian Lennon), master of fretless, traditional 4, and extended range bass, Carmine’s canon traverses rock, funk, rhythm & blues, jazz, soul, and hip-hop and permutations thereof.

Dig Carmen with Sir Rod and Ronnie Wood on this Faces classic “Stay With Me” https://youtu.be/oop92KYfR08

To give you an idea of the scope of Carlos’ approach to the instrument – be advised to study Bowie’s live archival Loving the Alien (1983-88) , in particular, the Serious Moonlight Live ’83 selections, wherein Carmine goes full-throttle with harmonic extensions, pop/slap passages, and register leaping counterpoint to reinvigorate Bowie’s early canon.

As I recall back in the day, Bowie diehards recoiled (and many still do) at David’s pop funk forays, however Rojas and that band (also featuring Earl Slick, Carlos Alomar, Tony Thompson) kept the Ziggy zeitgeist relevant for a new generation. Essential listening for those who did not get it the first time around! Rojas was brilliant on David’s Let’s Dance (1983), Tonight (1984), and Never Let Me Down (1987); working a modern rhythm & blues / reggae / funk / soul pocket with a piercing tone signature of the era.

Dig the harmonic / chromatic passage Carmine renders to add a new dimension to “Rebel Rebel” https://youtu.be/W5YzzK4qVwA

Dig Carmine stretching out on David’s “Cracked Actor” https://youtu.be/Shgbt4nN4xc

Carmine Rojas Bowie Seminal Sides _opt.png Carmine Rojas Bowie Seminal Sides _opt.png