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  • TM STEVENS: Bass Without Borders!

    I had the pleasure of meeting TM at the London Bass Show in March. He's one of those individuals that fills a room with the sheer exuberance of his presence. An enthusiastic supporter of music education, TM commands his audience from the first word, and the power of his joie d'vivre bowls 'em over!

    Do yourself a favor, and get to know him!


    TM Stevens

    The following is from Wikipedia and http://www.tmstevens.com/ (Warning! You may want to turn the speakers down a bit before you log on - especially if anyone in the house is sleeping!)

    "Stevens records with his band Shocka Zooloo, a power trio that features Michael Barnes "Master Blaster" on guitar and Garry "G-Man" Sullivan on drums. To Date the band has released seven albums, the most recent being Africans In the Snow for the SPV Steamhammer label.

    Along with his work as both songwriter and producer, Stevens works with other artists. Scheduling at least two European Shocka Zooloo tours each year, he also toured in 2004 with Jean Paul Bourelly and drummer John Blackwell (Prince). In Autumn 2005 he completed an Asian tour with Neil Zaza going directly into a lengthy European tour with Shocka Zooloo. Stevens finished 2005 with a collaboration with Carl Palmer and Andrea Braido in Italy and Russia which was followed by a European ELP tour in February 2006. As of 2007, he is also the current touring bassist for The Headhunters. In March 2008 while on his solo tour his bus was attacked by fireworks thrown by a young fan, the young fan who could only be called JO due to legal reasons was charged with vandalism and given community work.

    Steven's vocals came about through James Brown's insistence that he not only play bass but sing on "Living in America" and on Brown's album, Gravity.

    Stevens has recorded with many artists including: Stevie Salas, Steve Vai, Neil Zaza, Cindy Lauper, Little Steven, Tina Turner, Dan Hartman and Billy Joel. A former member of The Pretenders, Stevens recorded on the platinum album Get Close. He produced and arranged the album Tribute to Deep Purple According to New York on which included: Vinnie Moore, members of Living Color and Bernie Worrell of Parliament-Funkadelic. Stevens performed on Joe Cocker's album, Unchain My Heart. Together with Narada Michael Walden he penned the Billboard hit "I Should Have Loved Ya".

    His early jazz years brought him to play with Miles Davis."

    TM Steven's skill and proficiency globally as a bassist and vocalist is legendary. A luminous figure amongst today's bassists, he has unbelievable energy, stunning stage presence and knows how to win a crowd over within minutes. His ferocious, yet melodic, style of bass is as unique as his larger than life persona. Never losing sight of his own special blend of signature roots music Heavy Metal Funk with his band Shocka Zooloo, TM's versatility and heavyweight skills as producer, songwriter, singer and instrumentalist are obvious on his now six solo albums with a seventh due in summer of 2006. (See Discography, Concert, Video and TV-Show list.)

    He successfully presents himself on these as both songwriter and producer and still enjoys working with other artists when his schedule allows. With at least two European Shocka Zooloo tours each year he also toured in 2004 with Jean Paul Bourelly and drummer John Blackwell (Prince). In Autumn 2005 he completed his Asian tour with Neil Zaza going directly into a lengthy European tour with Shocka Zooloo, finished 2005 with the collaboration of TM, Carl Palmer (ELP) and Andrea Brado in Italy and Russia and even squeezed in another European ELP tour in February of 2006.

    TM's rich, hefty, trademark vocals came about through James Brown's insistence that he not only play bass but sing on "Living In America" and Mr Brown's album "Gravity". This was TM's in-road to many years of sessions and productions with some of the world's finest artists.

    His extravagance, combined with tenderness and complimented by a whole lot of 'Funkiness', is enriched through years of recording with award-winning stars like Steve Vai, Cindy Lauper, Little Steven, Tina Turner and Billy Joel. A former member of The Pretenders, TM recorded on the platinum album "Get Close" and also produced and arranged, amongst others, the album "Tribute to Deep Purple According to New York" on which artists like Yngwie Malamsteen, members of Living Color and Bernie Worrell (P-Funk) all participated. It was TM who contributed the compelling groove with his unmistakable style on Joe Cocker's mainstream classic "Unchain my Heart." Together with Narada Michael Walden he penned the billboard hit "I Should Have Loved Ya."

    His early jazz years brought him to play with the man hinmself, Miles Davis, and fans speak almost religously of TM's performance at Montreaux Jazz Festival so many years ago with One Truth, Mahavishu and John Mc Laughin.

    With the songs on TM's CD's leaning more on the heavy metal funk side, combining Afro percussive blends and Reggae roots with funk and strong melodies peppered with his impressive ballads, we note:

    "The important thing is that all of the songs came from my heart, guts and roots."

    From the early days of Delta Blues with artists such as Blind Lemon and Lead Belly, to the very beginnings of modern day Rock'n'Roll , which was carved and invented by the likes of Chuck Berry and Little Richard, these forerunners are indeed part of his roots:

    "As an artist, to draw from what these pioneers had started and then be able to add my own ideas to make a sound that's unique to me, is not only a privilege but also an honor... I find that contrary to the marketing strategies of separating the various music into different categories, new music is created by combining the elements of many styles. We are all the sum total of our ancestors (roots) through our past to the present. Hence by playing, without 'over thinking' what I naturally feel, the sound will be more original and real."
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. Elmeaux's Avatar
      Elmeaux -
      I am very impressed that he worked on Joe C ocker's Unchain My Heart. Love the song, love the album. Saw the live performance on TV (maybe the Tonight Show) when the song was first released.
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