Uncle Will's Funk House

Glad to have you in my domain. You're always welcome here, so come often!

Here's a link to playing with Sammy! on Letterman back in the '80's Sammy on Letterman

This is our labor of love for the people of Japan who need our support, click on flyer to buy tickets to what will be a great event or donate to this worthy cause.

Big Congratulations to Esperanza Spalding on her Grammy for Best New Artist!! I'm so proud of Sandrine Lee also for doing the cover of the CD!

On September 9th 2008, We put together a tribute concert to Hiram at the Cutting Room in NYC. We filmed it and a short run of DVD's were printed as a special "thank you" to those who participated and helped making it a momentous night! The place was more than packed and many fans just couldn't be there, so here is a chance to be a part of that evening.This non for profit two DVD set cost $10 which covers production cost and shipping.

It's finally done! After 30 yrs of working with Roger Sadowsky we've finally perfected the Will Lee model. I've been playing this bass for the last 6 months & I gotta say it really delivers. "Jazz bass" style featuring extra midrange bump at 500Hz, 22 fret neck, and other cool qualities, it really cuts through the room and the track with gorgeous sound. Booth 1554 Hall E (downstairs). Come see us!

It is with sadness that I mourn the passing of one of my dearest friends, Hiram Bullock. He was known to some as "the barefoot guitarist from Letterman" and others may remember him from the acclaimed "Night Moves" and countless recordings and his own solo CDs, but to me he'll always be my BFAM. Hiram will always be a big part of my soul and I miss him dearly.

The new Metro is out and making noise!. I'm honored to join friends and amazing musicians, Chuck Loeb, Mitch Forman & Wolfgang Haffner. I even wrote a couple on this one. We'll be playing some live dates soon, and you can order it now by clicking the picture , or visit iTunes or CDBaby.com

Here is a photo of The Fab Faux rehearsing for our first appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman on February 9 celebrating the 43rd anniversary of The Beatles' first telecast from the same storied Ed Sullivan Theater. Joined by The Hogshead Horns and Creme Tangerine Strings and performing "I Am The Walrus"

Dear Friends, By now you may have heard of the passing of Michael Brecker after his long struggle with the blood disorder myelodysplastic syndrome, and eventually leukemia. He fought long and hard to stay afloat for the last couple of years and was really successful in remaining strong enough to watch his children grow and completing a new album to be released fairly soon. I would feel out of place putting out an email about Mike except that he is such a huge part of my life, as he, along with brother Randy, Billy Cobham, Don Grolnick, Bob Mann, Barry Rogers and Eddie Vernon (known collectively as the band Dreams) are responsible for so much of my personal success. In 1971 I was 18 & living in Miami, and fortunately these guys invited me to NYC for an audition (which I was well-prepared for, being a huge fan). Having no funds to support myself with, I lived with Mike. The guy practiced constantly. He was so dedicated to his tenor sax, I could find my way home just by listening! That dedication is why he was Michael Brecker. 11 Grammys to date (up for more this year). The most imitated tenor player of this generation. One of the sweetest, most humble, most intellegent, patient, funniest cats you could ever want to hang with. Played with all the giants of Pop and Jazz. His reputation and success is unequaled by anyone. His discography is astounding. He had a super-gentle way about him that was so effective in dealing with people, we nicknamed him “The Whisperer”, hence the title of Don Grolnick’s much covered song. We recorded many projects together over the years between 1971 and 2005 including the album that’s up for Grammys this year “Some Skunk Funk” with the WDR Big Band in which he is up for best instrumental solo. This translates into many good times. Thank you for that, Mikey. My heart goes out to Susan, Jessica and Sam as well as Darryl Pitt and all who fought closely with Michael during his battle against his disease. With Love, Will

Keynote Address from Bass Player Live with Clinic/Lesson-go to url and click on above graphic and choose "Bass Player Live NEW"

Just Reviewed By Bill Milkowski for Jazz Times: Jaco Pastorius big Band at Detroit Jazz Festival: The Jaco Pastorius Big Band rocked the Absopure Waterfront Stage on Sunday evening with bristling, expanded renditions of tunes written by Pastorius or associated with Weather Report during Jaco’s tenure with the band from 1976 to 1982. Conducted by Peter Graves, an early pre-Weather Report employer of Jaco’s from their days together at the Bachelors III nightclub in Fort Lauderdale as well as a former musical director for Jaco’s Word of Mouth big band, this aggregation of Florida musicians opened their set in classic Jaco fashion with Pee Wee Ellis’ “The Chicken,” a perennial set-opener for Jaco during the ‘80s. Anchored by bassist Jeff Carswell, this big-band rendition of that funk staple featured a ripping guitar solo from Randy Bernsen and an outstanding contribution from tenor saxophonist Ed Calle, the band’s resident killer soloist. The JPBB also turned in a swinging rendition of Jaco’s burning small group vehicle “Dania,” which featured a fluid solo by Carswell. Special guest bassist Will Lee made his entry to the bandstand with “Barbary Coast,” a molasses-thick groover that Jaco premiered on Weather Report’s Black Market in 1976. Will, who had obviously woodshedded diligently for this gig, followed up with an impressive fretless bass reading of Joe Zawinul’s “Cannonball,” a poignant ode to Joe’s former mentor Cannonball Adderley, which also happened to be the first tune that Jaco recorded with Weather Report (also appearing on Black Market). On a letter-perfect reading of Pastorius’ inventive arrangement of Paul McCartney’s “Blackbird” (which appeared on Jaco’s 1982 Word of Mouth album), Will expertly cut the challenging arpeggios before unleashing a nasty, distortion-laced solo that cut through the tumult of the big band. With Ed Calle covering the Toots Thielemans harmonica parts on soprano sax, the piece ultimately took a radical shift into a Latin vibe with Will grooving over a son montuno rhythm while trumpeter Walter White took it to the stratosphere. Lee, who earlier in the day had spoken so eloquently on a panel discussion about Jaco’s contribution to the bass world, also turned in a stirring solo reading of Jaco’s profound anthem, “Continuum,” replete with reverb-soaked harmonics and the obligatory quote from “The Sound of Music.” On the turbulent “Reza,” an imposing Jaco composition that appeared on Word of Mouth, Will exhibited uncannny endurance on a relentless string of 32nd notes, marked by frantic machine-gun picking with his busy right-hand fingers. Guitarist Hiram Bullock, a former bandmate of Jaco’s and a visceral presence on any bandstand, made a special guest appearance on Jaco’s “River People” (from Weather Report’s 1978 album, Mr. Gone), exhibiting audacious showmanship (in the tradition of Pastorius himself) while also turning in a wicked guitar solo. Hiram remained onstage for a ripping rendition of Jaco’s “Teen Town,” a Weather Report number from 1977’s Heavy Weather that Hiram had played with Pastorius in their PDB trio during the mid ‘80s. Playing side by side on that Pastorius chopsbuster rekindled an obvious and immediate chemistry between Hiram and Will that goes back to their days of playing on the frontline of The 24th Street Band back in the ‘70s. High-note trumpet specialist Jason Carter and fellow trumpeter Ken Faulk, an original member of Jaco’s Word of Mouth big band, contributed sizzling solos here. Hiram and Will also made a dynamic twosome on the JPBB’s encore number, a raucous rendition of Buster Brown’s blues shuffle “Fannie Mae,” a perennial set-closer for Jaco during the ‘80s.

ANNOUNCING! My one-and-only solo project is now available on iTunes! To purchase, click on picture. Of course, you can always buy the CD at CDBaby.com.

I'd like to pay tribute to a great man and beloved friend, Arif Mardin, one of the greatest producers of all time, who recently lost his long battle with pancreatic cancer. I got to work with him on over 25 album projects including ones by Ringo, George Benson, Donny Hathaway, Roberta Flack, Aretha, Carly Simon, Bette Midler, Dionne Warwicke, The Bee Gees, Chaka Khan, Melissa Manchester and on and on. Long live your great spirit and fine music, Reefy.

Recently Yamaha Corporation outdid themselves by organizing their yearly event GROOVE ALL STARS, featuring some of the greatest drummers ever. Onstage were (TOP ROW, L to R): Tommy Aldridge, Marvin McQuitty, Tom Brechtlein, Andy Newmark, Oscar Seaton, John Greathouse, Jerry Marotta, Russ Miller. Ross Bolton, John "JR" Robinson, Dave Weckl, John Beasely, Charles Collins, Jordan Barth & Yoshi Doi of Yamaha, Josh Dion, Zach Alford, Bobby Blotzer, Matt Cameron, Keith Carlock, Eric Marienthal, Ndugu Chancler, Michael Bland. (BOTTOM ROW, L TO R): Neil Stubenhaus, Mark Williamson, Robbie Wyckoff, Tabitha Fair, Joe testa, Rick Marotta, Me, Ralph MacDonald, Peter Erskine, Steve Gadd, Gerry Brown, David Spinozza, Ian Wallace, Chris Parker, Eddie Bayers, Prudence Elliot and Dave Jewell of Yamaha

Carnegie Hall June 19th '05 - played a concert honoring legend Les Paul. The featured players were Peter Frampton, Joe Satriani, Edgar Winter, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Neal Schon, Steve Lukather, Steve Miller, Derek Trucks, Jose Feliciano and Pat Martino!

The Victor Wooten's Soul Circus came to town and all three rings were action packed. I got a chance to surprise Vic and do a little Bass Tribute with him.The new CD and the show are not to be missed. Check out this link if you want to catch them near your town.

At the Rock & Roll hall of Fame induction ceremony 2005, we got a chance to smoke with BB , Buddy & EC!

Well, at first glance, it doesn't look like much, but on this day I got to play with Doc Severinson (right side, back to us), Tommy Newsome and Ed Shaughnessy in Letterman's moving tribute to Johnny Carson. These guys spent decades with The Tonight Show Band & I felt right at home with 'em. After all, they are the originals, we're just a copy!

Recently, I had the pleasure of playing with (David Garfield's) "Karizma" in Copenhagen. While we were there I did an interview with Danish journalist Sune Schack. Click on the photo & you can see it published on the Blue Desert website.

In the countryside near Nashville having lunch at Victor Wooten's Bass Nature Camp with Steve Bailey, Will, Chuck Rainey, Anthony Wellington, Victor, Oteil Burbridge, Stanley Clarke, Gerald Veasley, and among all these bassheads: Victor's mom and 2 of his beautiful kids, Kaila and Adam. Check out his site for more info on this amazing experience!

NEWS FLASH OF THE (last) DECADE!!! All you music lovers out there: My solo CD "OH!" has just been made available from CD Baby. It features a great cast of characters including (among others) Jeff Beck, Don Grolnick, Steve Gadd, Steve Ferrone, Charley Drayton, Chris Parker, Bashiri Johnson, Paul Shaffer & members of The CBS Orchestra & lots more friends & lovers. Click on the picture above to go to CD Baby

Will's new record, Birdhouse, a collaboration between Will and his dad, paying tribute to the great Charlie Parker...

Buy Birdhouse now on CD Baby

Go to In the Grooves to check out samples of Birdhouse!

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