Chuck Rainey (Steely Dan, Quincy Jones)

Courtesy of Chuck Rainey Com


Huffington Post (2016) – Tom Semioli: Eleven More Bass Players Who Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


“The bass line/part is the one element in music that causes the listener to feel and hear the lyric, dance and above all enables the lead instrument to function.” Chuck Rainey


Word to all electric bassists: if you don’t know Charles Walter Rainey III, put down your instrument!


Along with James Jamerson, Carole Kaye, Duck Dunn, Bob Babbitt, and Jerry Jemmott, Mr. Rainey established the electric bass in the recording studio and on the bandstand. He is among the instrument’s most fervent and innovative practitioners.


When Quincy Jones, for whom Rainey often worked under, proclaimed that the development of the electric bass was among the most significant events in 20th Century music – he was referring to Chuck and the above referenced bass guitar icons.


Chuck commenced his musical journey as a trumpet player. He made the transition to baritone horn while studying the classics at Lane College. In the military Rainey switched to guitar, and then to bass where his talents flourished. He moved to New York City at the dawn of the studio era and emerged as a first call session player. In ’72 Chuck made the trip out west to Los Angeles with Quincy Jones where his legend was further established. 


In addition to scores of television and film soundtracks, you’ve heard Chuck’s signature bass artistry enhance the work of Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Laura Nyro, Lena Horne, Donald Byrd, the Pointer Sisters, Tom Jones, Tim Buckley, The Rascals, Al Kooper, Diana Ross, Ray Charles, Paul Simon, Bette Midler, Peggy Lee, Robert Palmer, Marvin Gaye, Lowell George, Dionne Warwick, and Rickie Lee Jones – just to skim the surface.


An educator, author, clinician, bass loving vinyl collectors are advised to seek out Chuck’s groovy debut solo gem entitled The Chuck Rainey Coalition (1972 / Skye Records) which never made it to compact disc for reasons unknown.


Chuck Rainey Sound & Vision…


Steely Dan “Josie”


Chuck Rainey Coalition “How Long Will It Last”


Aretha Franklin “Until You Come Back to Me”


Laura Nyro “Eli’s Comin”


From The Wrecking Crew “Chuck Rainey Meets Tommy Tedesco”