He anchored one of the essential albums of the classic jazz rock fusion era: Jeff Beck’s Wired (1976).
Guitarists and bassists of my generation wore this vinyl out once, twice, three times – and with good reason. Beck and his bassist Wilbur “Bad” Bascomb – along with drummer Narada Michael Walden (who composed most of the tracks) along with keyboard virtuosos Max Middleton and Jan Hammer waxed a classic that melded melody and chops – all in the service of the song.
Dig Wilbur’s bass solo intro on his co-composition “Head for Backstage Pass,” fills on “Sophie,” and his groove motif on “Come Dancing” as rendered by KYBP Adjunct Professor Tony Senatore.
Though Wired was Wilbur’s most commercially visible recording, Bascomb waxed several sides and performed with a wide array of artists including Alphonse Mouzon, Idris Muhammad, Andy Bey, Grace Jones, Roy Ayers, Bobbi Humphrey, Galt MacDermot’s New Pulse Band with Bernard Purdie, BB King, the original soundtrack to Hair, Mick Taylor, and James Brown, among others, and has also led his ensembles under his own name, including Bad Bascomb. He is the son of Wilbur Bascomb Senior, noted for his work with Duke Ellington, and Erskine Hawkins.
Dig Wilber on the bandstand with Free / Bad Company drummer Simon Kirke, and session giant G.E. Smith, and keys man Jeff Kazee: