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The Tao of Jeff Beck - Mar. '18 Ex. 4

Behold, the organized chaos of PAKT in the flesh. Guitarists Alex Skolnick and Tim Motzer hold down the left and right flanks, respectively, with revered bassist Percy Jones and drummer Kenny Growhowski.

Photo by Avraham Bank

The free-playing supergroup returns with a full-length that explores the outer reaches of composition. Guitarists Tim Motzer and Alex Skolnick mull over the mysteries of their music.

While all of their music is produced spontaneously, PAKT—the all-star outfit that takes its name from the first initials of guitarists Alex Skolnick and Tim Motzer, bassist Percy Jones, and drummer Kenny Grohowski—believes in the late saxophonist and composer Wayne Shorter’s maxim that “improvisation is just composition sped up.” The foursome’s collective technical ability, open minds, and desire to simply create all combine to make the group an ensemble without boundaries.

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Together with his younger brother, drummer Carlton “Carly” Barrett, Fams created and established much of the hypnotic pulse and infectious vibe that characterizes reggae rhythms.

Photo by Martin Raggio/Wiki Commons

As a member of Bob Marley and the Wailers, he was one of reggae’s original creators.

Bass is about connection—within the music, among the players, and between the musicians and the listener. Even if you can only hear a song’s bass line, say, in a noisy, crowded room, or through an adjoining wall, you might be able to recognize the song—and conjure up all the memories and emotions of how that song speaks to you. Simply through bass. In the musical conversation between rhythm and harmony, bass bridges the gap, gluing everything together. And chances are, as the bass player in your band, you’re not only providing that musical groove glue, but you may also be holding the band together practically and interpersonally. And the whole time, you’re making everyone and everything feel and sound good.

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If you can’t figure out how to play Joe Bonamassa’s solo from “Blues Deluxe,” don’t worry. Neither can Chris Shiflett. But it all changes when Shifty sits down with Bonamassa for this special episode of Shred With Shifty. No surprise that both of them reach for their Les Pauls, and Bonamassa even reveals why he switched from Strats to Gibsons in the early 2000s.

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