Michael Manring, ‘The Enormous Room’.

So there is at least one human being capable of this:


I’ve been aware of Michael Manring for a while now;  I find his solo piece Selene to be one of the most gorgeous pieces of music I’ve ever heard, and in general I think it’s fair to say that his Hyperbass has been a gloriously worthwhile investment.  Manring is, for me, firmly in the short list of bassists who have done things that (far as I can tell) nobody did before;  he is so far beyond the “best of the Jaco clones” reputation that launched his early career, that he can no longer be dismissed as derivative.  If Jaco was the Hendrix of the fretless bass, and Percy Jones something between its Robert Fripp and Fred Frith, then Manring might arguably be something between the Michael Hedges and the John McLaughlin.  (To use, you know, comically simplistic analogies.  🙂

Ain’t nobody sounds like him.  For that, alone, he earns my respect.

But it’s not that, alone.  Just listen to what he does with it!  Even watching his hands in real time, it’s still hard to believe, sometimes, that one man with one bass can do that.


Chris Proctor, ‘War Games’.

I dig quite a bit of what Pandora has shown me of Chris Proctor.  “War Games” is quietly insistent, and representative of Proctor’s style.

Interestingly, when I found this clip of him playing it live,

I didn’t even notice the string-dampening gizmo he uses (immediately forward of the bridge, under the strings) until he rips it out mid-tune (1:42 on the timeline), which of course brightens everything up immediately.

Food for thought, indeed.  (And man, have I been craving a twelve-string lately.)