Charles Lambiase by Tony Senatore
It’s always easy to say what has already been said. If you walk into an art museum, and rave about Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, you surely won’t be laughed at, and will, at best, be considered someone with marginal intelligence.
If you went to work today and told your coworkers that Donald Trump is a fascist, or used the phrase “We the People” in a conversation, I’ll wager that you’ve been listening to Rachel Maddow or Sean Hannity. Once again, you’re not going to be regarded as a thinker on the level of Victor Davis Hanson or Tom Semioli, but you won’t be ridiculed either. It’s safe, and everyone likes to play it safe.
What we need more of in this world is for people to take risks, and not play it safe. Whether we are speaking about music, art, or anything for that matter, more people need to step out of their comfort zone, and run the risk of being called either an iconoclast who is breaking new ground or a charlatan who is nothing more than a hack.
When I was coming up, no one really every went out on a limb for me, as I was relatively unknown. Even though some well-known musicians (like the late Lew Soloff) would make calls in my behalf, no one wanted to hire me, as i hadn’t worked with anyone of note, at least in their opinion Things changed for me in 1987 when Mike Varney put me in his Spotlight Column in the July, 1987 issue of Guitar Player Magazine. The process was slow, but steady, and I built whatever career I had from that first step. Not many in the music business are willing to risk their reputation on an unknown.
Charles Lambiase is one of the most innovative bass players I have heard in a very long time. Everything about him is unique, from his extemporaneous sonic improvisations, to his custom made 6 string fretless acoustic bass. Charles doesn’t just string a few NAMM Show licks together. You won’t hear him do a cover of “Donna Lee.” What he’s doing comes from a very deep place.
He uses his bass not in the typical way, but as a conduit to tap into all that he holds sacred in music, from Jack Bruce to John Mc Laughlin, to Jonas Hellborg and Shakti. Last night (October 23, 2019), Brooklyn and the world was introduced to a new and special talent; and artist who does not sound like any other bass player you have ever heard.
I would like to be among the first to stick my neck out for him, and let you know that I have nothing but the utmost respect for him as a musician, but more importantly, as a person. He is a friend, and I am a big fan of his playing.
He’s right up there with all the greats!