Bob Babbitt (Motown Funk Brothers)

Courtesy of Bob Babbitt Com Courtesy of Bob Babbitt Com

 

If you grew up in the era of classic AM / FM radio, you grooved to Bob Babbitt, but you were likely unaware of the name…or his legacy. I first became familiar with the former Robert Kreinar by way of a posthumous (and some say “sacrilegious”) Jimi slab entitled Crash Landing (1975) wherein this ex-wrestler / bassist forged soulful bass passages to Hendrix leftovers.

 

Dig Bob and Jimi “Crash Landing” https://youtu.be/LnG6qXE7xWk

Little did I know that I’d been hearing the Motown Funk Brother my entire life by way of his work with Stevie Wonder, The Capitols (“Cool Jerk”), Gladys Night & the Pips, Marvin Gaye (“Inner City Blues”) Del Shannon, Edwin Starr (“War”), Freda Payne, Smokey Robinson, The Temptations, Del Shannon, Tim Curry, and The Spinners just to cite a very, very, very, very, very select few.

 

Dig Bob in this “campy” Tim Curry clip “I Do the Rock” https://youtu.be/kXPCsaO_55o

 

Bob’s weapon of choice was the Fender Precision and Phil Jones amplification.

Here’s Bob discussing his PJB gear: https://youtu.be/bOJqv9i5AXw (Follow the thread for the Three Part interview)

Dig “Cool Jerk” https://youtu.be/R73iEOvkr10

 

An author (Awareness Guide for Bass Players and All Fellow Musicians), Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, solo recording artist, Bob’s riveting rhythm and blues drenched ninety second bass solo on Dennis Coffey’s and The Detroit Guitar Band classic “Scorpio” is the stuff of legend. 

 

Dig this performance of “Scorpio” at NAMM Nashville 2004 https://youtu.be/Lq-ATlSd-A8

 

Recorded live in 2004 at Summer NAMM in Nashville and now available from www.earwavemusic.com as a bonus cut on the DVD “The Day The Bass Players Took Over The World.”  “Scorpio” was originally recorded by Dennis Coffey and the Detroit Guitar Band, featuring legendary Detroit (and NYC, Philly, and Nashville) session bassist Bob Babbitt, was an instrumental hit in the early 70s,  “Scorpio” has perhaps the longest bass solo on a pop hit ever, nearly half its 4 minute length. This live version features Bob as special guest, sitting in with Dave Pomeroy and the All-Bass Orchestra. Dave Pomeroy and Roy Vogt are playing piccolo and piccolino basses made by R.M. Mottola, a Massachusetts luthier, as part of a “family” of four basses, one with normal tuning, one up an octave (piccolo) and a pair up two octaves (piccolino). The All Bass Orchestra includes (L-R) Rick Taylor, Roy Vogt, Charlie Chadwick (upright) Dave Pomeroy, Dave Roe (upright) Bob Babbitt, Paul Arntz, Jackie Street. copyright 2012 by earwave music.