Phil Chen (Jeff Beck, Rod Stewart)

Photo courtesy of RodStewart.com Photo courtesy of RodStewart.com

Photo courtesy of RodStewart.com

By Thomas Semioli

A session giant who waxed seminal sides in the UK and LA, this Kingston, Jamaica born bassist brought his reverence of Motown and reggae to rockers and fusion artists alike.

Though Phil Chen missed the opportunity to assume Ronnie Lane’s position with The Faces in 1973 – he garnered attention aplenty anchoring The Butts Band – which featured ex-Doors Robbie Kreiger and John Densmore.

Dig Phil with The Butts Band on the Old Grey Whistle Test https://youtu.be/It0j_898rR0

A staunch Fender Precision / Jazz devotee , Phil’s economic approach was the perfect choice to anchor Jeff Beck’s historic Blow By Blow (1975) album.

Dig Phil on Jeff’s “Constipated Duck” https://youtu.be/4INHP7WlN1M

When Rod the Mod opted for Hollywood, Phil and drummer Carmine Appice made the most of Stewart’s pop inclinations, blending rock, funk, disco, and blues on several chart topping sides.

Dig Chen’s funky bass break on Rod’s “Hot Legs” – short, simple, and sweet!  https://youtu.be/AHcjjxYbgNM

Dig Phil’s bass solo with on “This Old Heart of Mine” live with The Rod Stewart Band: https://youtu.be/W8cokK7GbjE

Chen’s impressive resume also includes sessions / gigs with Brian May’s Star Fleet Project, Jackson Browne, Pete Townshend, John Lee Hooker, Dave Edmunds, and Joan Armatrading, among, many, many others.

Phil Chen’s home country honored the bassist in 2014 with the Order of Distinction for his musical accomplishments.

Dig this insightful and humorous interview – courtesy of Lauren Scheff wherein he offers his strong opinions on light gauge “cheese cutter” bass strings! https://youtu.be/j8aN168gRfc