West L.A. Music Clinic Features Legendary Bassist Tom Fowler

LOS ANGELES, CA.  West L.A. Music recently hosted a clinic featuring legendary bass player Tom Fowler. The clinic, sponsored by SWR Amplification, included demonstrations of the latest SWR bass amplifiers and a performance by some of LA’s top session players.

For the past eight years, Tom toured and recorded with Ray Charles. Tom played bass on eight songs from Charles’ last album, Genius Loves Company, which won the Grammy for album of the year. He also played on the Ray Charles/Norah Jones duet “Here We Go Again,” which won a GRAMMY for Record of the Year.

Tom Fowler spent three years performing, touring and recording with Frank Zappa’s “Mothers of Invention” in the 1970s. Three members of Tom’s band alsotoured with Zappa's “Mothers of Invention”.

Trumpeter and Keyboardist Walt Fowler has toured with Frank Zappa, Buddy Rich, and Billy Cobham, and currently performs with James Taylor. Drummer Ralph Humphrey performed with Frank Zappa, Al Jarreau, and Manhattan Transfer, and is currently the head of the drum department at the Los Angeles Music Academy in Pasadena, CA.  Guitarist Mike Miller currently performs with Bette Midler.

Tom Fowler began the clinic by discussing his unique approach to warming up forrecording sessions or live performance. He demonstrated his routine,

including his breathing, hand, and finger exercises. Tom explained that his warm-up routine included every phrase, time signature and rhythmic pattern he would be playing during the session or live show. The warm-up routine enabled Fowler to perform to the exacting standards off Ray Charles.

Fowler and his band, “Banned from Utopia,” performed six songs including selections from the Zappa catalog and a rendition of the Miles Davis classic "All Blues," performed in 11/8 time signature. All of the songs featured intricate ensemble playing and superb performances.

Fowler answered questions from the audience, discussing his musical
background and his experience growing up in a musical family. He also
discussed his equipment and the benefits of using SWR bass amps including their sound and dependability. Fowler also shared stories from his experience recording and touring with music legends Frank Zappa and Ray Charles.

West L.A. Music supplies equipment for major artists, recording studios, broadcast companies, film and video post-production facilities, producers, composers and record companies, as well as schools, religious organizations and government agencies. For more information about West L.A. Music call 310-477-1945.

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