Doug Wimbish

Doug Wimbish has had an amazing career. From his early days with Sugarhill records to pioneering work with Tackhead to his continuing work with Living Colour; he is truly best described as a journeyman. Doug hails from Hartford, Connecticut, but got his career started as many do: in New York City. There he cut his teeth as the bassist in the house band of the legendary rap label Sugar Hill, backing Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five on their epochal Message album, among many others. As the '80s wore on, though, Sugar Hill found itself overtaken by hip-hop innovations outside its stable of artists, and its house band had already formed a productive relationship with British dub reggae experimentalist Adrian Sherwood. Wimbish, guitarist Skip McDonald, and drummer Keith LeBlanc began working on a variety of projects with Sherwood, including backing ex-Pop Group member Mark Stewart on his solo recordings and issuing their own 12" singles under the name Fats Comet. Major Malfunction was released in 1986 under Keith LeBlanc's name, although it was essentially a group collaboration; that group dynamic became official when the trio christened themselves Tackhead and began recording full-length works with Sherwood. However, their two albums -- 1989's Friendly as a Hand Grenade and 1990's Strange Things -- didn't quite capture the avant-garde Funkadelic-meets-Lee Perry experiments of their earlier work or LeBlanc's "solo" albums. When Living Colour bassist Muzz Skillings departed his band in 1992, Wimbish was tapped as his replacement. However, after 1993's Stain, the group disbanded, and Wimbish returned to session work, playing on albums by Madonna, Annie Lennox, Mick Jagger, the Rolling Stones, Ron Wood, Seal, Joe Satriani, and many others, plus the occasional Sherwood project. Wimbish also reunited with Living Colour drummer Will Calhoun in the experimental funk/electronica trio Jungle Funk. In 1999, Sherwood's On-U Sound label issued Wimbish's first solo album, Trippy Notes for Bass. Then on December 22, 2000 Living Colour re-formed for a one-off show at New York's legendary CBGB's. The show was dynamite and rekindled the desire of Doug, Vernon, Will and Corey to play together. A small tour of the West coast drew huge and enthusiastic crowds. Then they were off for a string of dates in Europe, including the Montreux Jazz Festival. The summer of 2001 saw LC playing another mini tour of the States, this time on the East Coast. The tour was highlighted by an amazing show in central park. Always busy, Doug's work with Mos Def continued in 2001 and 2002 with more studio sessions and a concert filmed for broadcast on HBO's Reverb show. After over 20 years as an innovator, collaborator and explorer of music and bass, Doug continues to ride the cutting edge.

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