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I love good basses.  

My father was a professional musician and would settle for nothing but the best instruments made.  That meant that I grew up playing top quality basses and guitars.  I learned to play on his 1960 Fender P, and 1964 Jazz bass.  When I was thirteen years old he opened a very successful music store.  Through my teenage years I owned and played all of the best basses of the era.














Playing my 1968 Gibson EBO - 1969

In 1969 I purchased a 1964 Epiphone Embassy Deluxe from a neighbor.  That bass became my professional gigging electric bass for twenty years.

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Eugene,  Oregon 1975                                                                                                                               Seattle, Washington. 1977

In 1986 I switched to a new Alembic Persuader and played 150 gigs a year on this great bass until I sold it to a student in 2001. During this period I was also performing 200 gigs a year on double bass. 

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Boston,1994 with Sarah

In 2001 I purchased my first Rob Allen bass, MB2 fretless 5-string.  I own four different Rob Allen instruments now.  I have performed and recorded many times with these great basses. 












Over the years I  have owned a number of other great electric basses.  Three makers whose basses I played extensively are, Fodera, Stambaugh, and Lefay.   

For about thirty years I did not own a Fender bass but that has changed. I began collecting vintage Fenders about ten years ago.  I do have a fairly sizeable collection of Fenders from the '60s.  My favorites are the P basses, 1960 and 1961 models.

I recently fell in love with a specific model Fender Custom Shop bass that they produced for their 2019 Collection.  I have a few of those.  The reason I like these basses are because of the combination of specs Fender chose. 

- 9.5 radius fingerboard

- medium jumbo frets

- neck size and shape, .790 - .990

- low mass, original style bridge

- Time Machine Heavy Relic feel

- vintage appointments

- weight 8.1 - 8.8

- hand wound vintage sounding pickups


Plus, the craftsmanship of today's Fender Custom Shop bass is extremely high quality.  So, I have sort of gone back to the beginning with my electric basses.  

I am often asked, "Jim, if you could only have one electric bass what would it be?"  My choice would be a Rob Allen Mouse,  Fender Custom Shop 1960 P, and a Fender Custom Shop 1961 Jazz.   That's "one" bass, right?  :)




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I have owned a few tremendous double basses over the years.  My gigging bass for twenty-five years was a very old German bass, circa 1820.  I also played many orchestral concerts on my Hawkes-Panormo 7/8 sized bass, circa 1920.  

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Today I play a Juzek plywood, French Barbee circa 1850, and a 7/8 German/English circa 1870.  

jim and michael with french bass in stud
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