Larry Graham's hard-hitting bass pyrotechnics became the driving force behind many of Sly and the Family Stone's groundbreaking hits and paved the way for slap-bass playing the world over. 2012 marked the release of ‘Raise Up’, his first album in 13 years, which features cameos by Raphael Saadiq and Prince who assists on several instruments and background vocals. 'Three of the cuts feature Prince,' says Graham. 'We also did a remake of ‘Higher Ground’, which is by another good friend of mine, Mr Stevie Wonder.'
With Graham Central Station, tracks like 'Hair', 'Pow' and 'It's the Engine in Me' epitomized Graham's percussive bass grooves, which incorporate a combination of trademark 'thumps and plucks'. 'My sound actually has a lot to do with the way I play and how I attack the strings,' says Graham. 'Here in London, I have my bass going into my Warwick WA 600 amps. If I hit the bass lightly I get one kind of response, but if I hit it hard you have another, so the attack has a lot to do with it.' Having shared the stage with Larry for his UK dates at London's Jazz Café, Mark King had this to say of Graham's signature tone. 'Larry's got a WCA 410 cabinet and a WCA 115 and he's just got so much bottom end, it's such a big sound.'
Larry Graham plays:
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