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John Giblin on fretless bass


molan
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I've never really been a fretless man but I just love John Giblin's playing with John Martyn.

My all time favourite has to be Hurt in Your Heart.

Studio version:




and live: EDIT - my mistake, this is Alan Thompson playing John Giblin's lines




and John M talking about the song in '07:




I really miss the old bugger. . .

Edited by molan
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At last, someone else who appreciates John Giblin, I thought I was the only one here.

I've always been a big fan of John's playing ever since I came across it with Brand X. Percy Jones was technically brilliant but John always had that touch which seemed to enhance the track. Everything he's ever played on has been from the heart and thoughtful. He plays basslines like an artist paints detail on trees, you don't really notice the craft until you really look deeply into it.

I had the privilege of sharing bass duties with Fred T Baker and John Giblin on an album in the 90's. Fred was a pyrotechnician on bass but a million notes where one will do doesn't do anything for a song except impress other bass players. John would be quite happy playing one note well. He is my ultimate bass hero and probably the biggest influence on my playing and approach to fretless bass lines.

Nice one Molan :)

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In my opinion these are two of the greatest fretless bass lines ever. I love the way he never gets in the way of the vocal melody. Sometimes he roots it, sometimes he harmonises with it, other times he's wrapping around it in a spiral of melodious loveliness.

Oh and the vids aren't bad either :)



Edited by Mateybass
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ooh - I'd forgotten he worked with Kate Bush. I love his playing on Breathing.

Here he is live with John Martyn again:

EDIT - This actually Alan Thompson but it's so good I thought it was well worth leaving here :)



He really does have a great way of weaving around the vocal without over-playing & getting in the way of the melody :rolleyes:

Edited by molan
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For me, John is one the greats of fretless bass playing, alongside Jaco and Bakithi Kumalo. He just has such a wonderful vocal thing going on. Never before have I heard someone so able to make the bass sound like a human voice and he really can get right inside the instrument and make it touch your heart, which is incredible. His playing on Kate Bush's "Wuthering Heights" is my favourite of his. I only wish I liked the rest of Kate's stuff so I could hear more of him! He is cruelly underrated!

The phrase in this at 02:24 is so powerful and perfect it is heartbreaking. Absolutely incredible.

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Saw him playing with Joan Armatrading earlier in the year on her recent tour. Sadly I was sat in a wierd place that gave a massive bass hump to the sound from about bottom A to D, so couldn't really hear his playing very well. Great gig though.

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I'm a big fan Of Giblins playing too. However, in both the live videos you posted that's not John Giblin playing, it's Alan Thompson.

He didn't play on the first Kate Bush album either. On "Wuthering Heights" it's probably David Paton.

Kate used a wide variety of bass players - don't assume any fretless playing on her stuff is Giblin, it's just as likely to be Eberhard Weber or Del Palmer.

It's definitely Giblin on "Babooshka" & "Breathing" though. Both absolutely brilliant bass parts.

Edited by RhysP
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I recently bought another copy of the John Martyn cd "Grace and Danger" with John Giblin and I was again amazed by John Giblin's fretless playing.
The whole album is a sort of fretless bible and when I heard it again I realised how much my fretless playing has been influenced by this album.
Didn't know it was Paton on Wuthering Heights, after "Nikita" by Elton John another one of his strong bass-lines..

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[quote name='RhysP' post='918537' date='Aug 8 2010, 08:45 AM']I'm a big fan Of Giblins playing too. However, in both the live videos you posted that's not John Giblin playing, it's Alan Thompson.

He didn't play on the first Kate Bush album either. On "Wuthering Heights" it's probably David Paton.

Kate used a wide variety of bass players - don't assume any fretless playing on her stuff is Giblin, it's just as likely to be Eberhard Weber or Del Palmer.

It's definitely Giblin on "Babooshka" & "Breathing" though. Both absolutely brilliant bass parts.[/quote]

That'll teach me to go YouTube hunting at 2 in the morning, lol.

I always think of Danny T on upright bass and thought that Giblin was out live with John Martyn around the Grace and Danger era - of course the live vids could have come from any time.

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[quote name='RhysP' post='918537' date='Aug 8 2010, 08:45 AM']I'm a big fan Of Giblins playing too. However, in both the live videos you posted that's not John Giblin playing, it's Alan Thompson.

He didn't play on the first Kate Bush album either. On "Wuthering Heights" it's probably David Paton.

Kate used a wide variety of bass players - don't assume any fretless playing on her stuff is Giblin, it's just as likely to be Eberhard Weber or Del Palmer.

It's definitely Giblin on "Babooshka" & "Breathing" though. Both absolutely brilliant bass parts.[/quote]


+1 on all that.

Giblin is a very lyrical player.


Garry

Edited by lowdown
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Yeah, I only knew of him through Brand X, which isn't a bad thing at all. I didn't realise he had worked with so many artists.

That's the sort of fretless bass playing I like to do. KISS and melodic and effective.

There's very rarely a time when you should use pyrotechnics on bass anyway.

Davo

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Correction needed on the "Couldn't Love You More" clip above guys - that's Alan Thomson - who played on the Well Kept Secret Album amongst others - his tone on "Never Let Me Go" is just heavenly - I know it's subjective - but that HAS to be one of the best fretless sounds out there.

+1 for Mr Giblin to get back on track - I always liked his duet with Percy Jones - "Wal to Wal" - they always had a wicked sense of humour those Brand X guys.....

Never flashy but extremely tasteful in what he plays, it's easy to see why he is still around and in demand. Last saw him playing with JM at Colston Hall in Bristol in 2007 - nice mix of electric and EUB.

Good grief I miss John Martyn........

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I recall Giblin selling a fair bit of gear off through eBay and most of it was posted just like any other seller would, it wasn't all full of 'I'm really well known , look at all these people I've played with' BS, he just came across as a really decent bloke and giving as much info about each piece of kit as possible. Still couldn't actually afford any of his basses though :)

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[quote name='yorks5stringer' post='920474' date='Aug 10 2010, 11:19 AM']I'm sure he played on the first Judie Tzuke album as well just before Rhino Edwards joined the band....the one with "Stay with me till Dawn"?[/quote]

I think that was Mo Foster on the first album, very tasty fretless none the less!

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[quote name='yorks5stringer' post='920474' date='Aug 10 2010, 11:19 AM']I'm sure he played on the first Judie Tzuke album as well just before Rhino Edwards joined the band....the one with "Stay with me till Dawn"?[/quote]
that album was called "welcome to the cruise" and is..... just superb
no musician credits on it though sadly.
I've allways been aware of John Giblin,didnt he do that "lady in red" thing? (it wasnt Pino)
I've never listened to him properly before today...pheww....anyboby want to buy my fretless stingray? I can't do it anymore, :)
what a player!!

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[quote name='witterth' post='920604' date='Aug 10 2010, 01:06 PM']I've allways been aware of John Giblin,didnt he do that "lady in red" thing? (it wasnt Pino)[/quote]
He did. Apparently, Pino recorded the original bassline for that song, but after a load of work on the track it didn't fit in any more. John Giblin was passing through town or something and threw down a few takes, and that's what ended up on the record.

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[quote name='BottomEndian' post='920609' date='Aug 10 2010, 01:12 PM']He did. Apparently, Pino recorded the original bassline for that song, but after a load of work on the track it didn't fit in any more. John Giblin was passing through town or something and threw down a few takes, and that's what ended up on the record.[/quote]
no disrespect to Mr Giblin, but I'm kind of glad it wasn't Pino.
but then, John is neck and neck with Mr P

eh?

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