Danny Bowens (Gil Scott-Heron)


A young Marcus Miller learned his bassline to “The Bottle” note for note!


The words of the great American poet, activist and musical pioneer Gil-Scott Heron resonate as profoundly today as they did four decades ago. And so does the work of Danny Bowens, who anchored Gil’s watershed collaborations with Brian Jackson, working the pocket with his Fender Jazz and a decidedly funky disposition.


During his time at Lincoln University in the late 60s, Bowens picked up the bass from his college roommate and soon after he was a working musician on the world stage with Gil and Brian’s Midnight Band. Among his admirers included Stanley Clarke, George Benson, Richard Pryor (who booked them on Saturday Night Live), and Stevie Wonder.


When The Midnight Band split, Danny studied with Marshall Hawkins and Keter Betts (Miles Davis, Ella Fitzgerald) and Charles Fambrough (McCoy Tyner, Freddie Hubbard, Grover Washington, Jr.). Among the artists he has worked with include Kenny Barron, Esther Phillips, and Jack McDuff. Danny is also a composer, and solo recording artist – mostly working in Gospel music.


Dig a few of Danny’s signature passages:


“The Bottle” https://youtu.be/EdhoX1Xu6ZI


“Ain’t No Such Thing as Superman” https://youtu.be/2PTyTqdxwqQ


“New York City” https://youtu.be/hbHtU4-Vlqg


“It’s Your World” https://youtu.be/mZ9VxLqkHso