His name is synonymous with excellence on our instrument, and, along with Jamerson, Dunn, Rainey, Jemmott, Kaye, Osborn, and Flowers, to cite a respected few, he is among the greatest session players, and sidemen of all time.
Cited by this writer in Huffington Post (December 2017) as a bass player deserving of recognition in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ( https://bit.ly/37D8plz ), Leland Bruce Sklar was/is the foundation for “The Section” – a historic musical assemblage comprised of guitarist Danny Kortchmar, keyboardist Craig Doerge, and drummer Russ Kunkel.
Though these players were also referred to as “The Mellow Mafia” – there was nothing placid, nor easygoing about this ensemble of Los Angeles based virtuosos who were the catalyst on scores of iconic album and singles sessions, and all of whom were well-versed in jazz, folk, blues, soul, funk and classical music and permutations thereof.
Lee has anchored over 2,000 albums, film and television scores, and 25,000 bass tracks (and counting) with artists ranging from Ray Charles, Crosby, Stills, & Nash in various configurations; Hall & Oates, Donna Summer, David Sanborn, Diana Ross, James Taylor, Jackson Browne, Billy Cobham, Michael Jackson, Peter Allen, Bette Midler, Bernadette Peters, Bee Gees, Sarah Brightman, Glenn Campbell, Joe Cocker, Robbie Williams, Neil Diamond, Rita Coolidge, The Doors (post Morrison), Vince Gill, Dolly Parton, Don Henley, Julio Iglesias, Lyle Lovett, Jimmy Webb, Trisha Yearwood, Tanya Tucker, Jimmy Webb, Carly Simon, Reba McIntyre, David Cassidy …his resume is exhaustive….and his collection of instruments is exhaustive (check out Lee’s page on The Unique Guitar Blog Spot https://bit.ly/2YcioLj ).
In brief, Sklar utilizes the entire harmonic range of the bass and intuitively shifts from playing in the pocket to rendering counter melodies which become intrinsic to the composition. Lee’s legacy has been widely documented in several books (including Michael Viseglia’s A View from the Side) , news features, interviews, and documentaries.
Lee Sklar Sound & Vision
Jackson Browne “Doctor My Eyes” https://youtu.be/qKGTaplzmV4
James Taylor “Smiling Face” https://youtu.be/ZSsfNlS42Cc
Billy Cobham “Stratus” https://youtu.be/b1rX9E8NuRw
Phil Collins “Sussudio” https://youtu.be/r0qBaBb1Y-U
Dolly Parton “9 to 5” https://youtu.be/E4OzdyxbOuU