Satnding In The Shadows Of Motown - Bass Book Review

Standing in the Shadows of Motown, by Dr. Licks. $32.95. - Book / CD, 208 pages


No matter how old you are, it seems everyone grew up listening to Motown. "How Sweet It Is," "Ain't Too Proud To Beg", "I Heard It Through the Grapevine," and "What's Going On" are just a few of the timeless classics that Motown produced in the 1960's and 70's. Behind all of these songs stood musicians that were by definition the greatest unsung heroes to walk into a studio...including bass player James Jamerson.

Playing just an ordinary Fender Precision, Jamerson was able to take the instrument to new heights. His driving grooves consisted of chromatic sixteenth note patterns that without a doubt helped define the Motown sound. A few years after his untimely death, Dr. Licks (a.k.a. Alex Slutsky) wrote a book entitled "Standing in the Shadows of Motown: The Life and Music of Legendary Bassist James Jamerson," in order to pay homage to this genius.

Dr. Licks brought together some of today's biggest heroes such as Anthony Jackson, Marcus Miller, John Patitucci, Will Lee, Pino Palladino, Chuck Rainey, and David Hungate (just to name a few) to help with the book. In order to show the extraordinary impact Jamerson has made on their lives, these musicians offer their performance and words to over forty songs accurately transcribed and recorded on the accompanying CD's or tapes. The book includes songs for players of all levels from the simple eighth note pattern in "Ain't Too Proud to Beg" to the unrelenting sixteenth note drive in "Home Cookin'". If that wasn't enough to convince you, you can cut the bass out of the recording and play along with the accompaniment by using the balance control on your stereo!

Add all of that to almost one hundred pages of background information, pictures, and interviews, and you have one of the greatest and most complete bass books to ever hit the shelves. At $32.95 Standing in the Shadows of Motown is a book that all bass players MUST own.

-Marc D. Ensign

Buy it now at Amazon

Need more info View 11 sample pages of this book online -  [Amazon]

Marc Ensign is an accomplished bassist, author, and instructor currently based n the NYC area. He has written articles for Bass Player magazine, authored bass books for Mel Bay, and is currently one of the main subs for the hit musical "Rent."

Check out his page at

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